Peter Meets, Roisin Lafferty
Peter meets, Roisin Lafferty.
Roisin Lafferty is the Founder and Managing Director of Kingston Lafferty Design. She has become a public figure through her work as Design Judge on RTE show ‘Super Garden’ as well as giving regular design talks. Roisin has taken full advantage of her writing flair and has contributed her ideas to magazines and newspapers such as The Irish Times, The Independent, The Gloss and Image Interiors to name but a few. From a young age, Roisin’s artistic flair has been evident. From an early age all she wanted to do was work in design and when the time came to study in her chosen field she excelled; achieving first-class honours in Interior Architecture and Furniture Design from Dublin Institute of Technology. She went on to do a Masters in Product and Spatial Design in Kingston University, London, where she was awarded a first-class honours and presented her final project as part of renowned design exhibition, Tent, in London. Since founding KLD, Roisin has earned enormous respect and recognition across the construction and interiors industry for her contribution to design.
I first met Roisin when I was in my teens, one of her oldest friends happens to be the sister of one of my oldest friends. I hadn’t finished the first term of my first-year in college when I had my first conversation with her. We had only really exchanged pleasantries and polite conversation until then. A group of us were sitting around our mutual friend’s kitchen table, I was gabbing on about how liberating my first term of art college was; in comparison to an all boy school I had just come from. Roisin pulled me aside and began to quiz me about college, the course I was doing and all things art. At that young age I saw a fire within her soul. When she expressed her interest in art, and everything interior design, her eyes lit up. You could see then what you see now, a woman whose passion for interior design and architecture knows no bounds. Roisin’s vision is one of beauty and purity. When you walk into a room that Roisin has created her stamp is all over it. She has a drive to make the world a more beautiful place to sit in and a better place to hang your coat on.
1. Do you have a favourite artist and what’s your favourite piece by them?
Definitely depends on my mood. I love installation art where it is more about an overall sensory experience and you can interact with the piece. Tara Donovan creates ethereal and evocative landscapes with a translucent quality. They are so beautiful and calming to be around. Another I had the pleasure of visiting was Yayoi Kasumi, she sees the world in spots and creates the most amazing colourful and playful environments. But the work of art I'm most coveting myself is by Harding Meyer; he captures female faces so strikingly and the scale is stunning.
2. What was the last exhibition you went to?
Art galleries and exhibitions make me feel so calm and happy so I try soak in as many as I can. Currently writing this from Art Basel in Miami where I've been to Art Basel art exhibition, bursting with a huge range of beautiful pieces from all over the world including some of my favourites Anish Kapoor and Brigid Riley. Had the pleasure of a spare hour in London last week also where I got to immerse myself in the world of Rothko at the Tate Modern, one of my favourites. His work is captivating
3. What’s your favourite book?
'Back to my youth': Enid Blighton series 'The Enchanted Wood', still triggers my imagination; with the'Faraway Tree, magical different lands at the top; magic exciting worlds to unfold. Any Roald Dahl also, he's my hero "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it" Roald Dahl. And on a more sombre note; Sylvia Plath has my heart.... I have all of her poetry.
4. Who’s your icon?
Marilyn Monroe has always captivated me. A tortured soul with an incredible story
5. I know you are an accomplished interior designer, but do you like to dabble in a bit of painting every now and then?
I used to. But haven't in a long time. I think when you need to be creative every day, it can be hard to have the creative headspace to fit everything in. I do love to sketch though, it's something I've brought back to KLD when doing internal brainstorms and working with clients. It shows flow and creativity so much more than stiff CAD drawings.
6. What influences you on a daily basis?
International designer influences, I keep a close eye on my favourites and make sure to visit their work whenever I can. My current favourites:
Lazaro Rosa Violan
7. What’s your favourite sound?
Music in general; all the time.... I can't live without music. Mood dependent classic, Ella Fitzgerald, to my favourite classic, Arvo Part. Currently loving Irish band, ‘Talos’ and ‘American Sylvan Esso’. I love discovering new music and also sing in the Dublin Gospel Choir; nothing cheers you up like a gig with that gang!
8. What has been the single most important event in your career so far?
Everything is intertwined for me; it's been a journey for sure, with a lot of amazing experiences. Some highlights from this year: Showcasing KLD HQ to our creative audience, getting to create my perfect space that truly reflects me, getting a U.K Front cover with one of our projects, international awards and press, and the cherry on top, our designs selected to be featured in the Wall Street Journal. Bring on 2018!
9. What do you hope your contribution will bring to your community?
That they feel good within the space. That it provides an overall sensory treat and that as a whole, the space offers an exciting atmosphere that you can't quite put your finger on. And as you spend more time within it, it only gets better, as you notice the details and how it all links together. Ultimately, I want to create environments that capture imagination and curiosity.
10. What is the hope for your audience when they encounter your work?
That they feel good within the space. That it provides an overall sensory treat and that as a whole, the space offers an exciting atmosphere that you can't quite put your finger on, and as you spend more time within it, it only gets better, as you notice the details and how it all links together. Ultimately I want to create environments that capture imagination and curiosity.
11. Who has been the most influential person to you and your work?
I have a lot of designers that I follow and am constantly awed by. Verner Panton has been a big influence from my college days. He is as much an artist as a designer. He understands how to evoke emotive experiences and his brave and imaginative work is still ahead of its time today. He showed how powerful space can be, avoiding trends and instead creating colourful, dreamlike environments.
12. If you could have dinner or a drink with someone, alive or dead who would it be?
This is something I've definitely mulled over before.... in the interest of the overall experience, I think it would need to be quite the creative gathering.... so this collection of people could be very interesting!
Diane Von Furstenberg
My grandad Roy...
Nat King Cole could sing... With Tracy Chapman and Florence Welsch for good balance
13. Do you think an artist needs to be tortured to create?
I think that art is very much a personal reflection of emotions and feelings. To be truthful and authentic with the artwork, it is about fully expressing who you are.... this tends to come with inner demons. The fragility tends to gravitate people to the work. "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" Leonard Cohen
14. What was the first piece of art you bought?
The first piece I bought was an abstract painting by Dan Henson, as seen in the attached picture. I have worked with Dan for a number of years on various projects so I was delighted to get to have one of my own. His work is very textured, colourful and emotive. There is something about it that just draws me in. I love that everyone sees his work in different ways too and has a different reaction.
15. Where’s your favourite space to get creative in?
Generally, when I'm surrounded by beautiful places I feel most relaxed and creative. I travel a lot, it inspires me hugely getting to experience new cultures and places. El Fenn in Marrakech is one of my absolute favourite places, it took my breath away last year when I first visited, for me it is like being within a piece of art. You can't help feeling inspired. In Dublin, I am in love with the new extension at the National Gallery. It is a place of ultimate calm, perfect for clearing the mind, stunning light, beautiful refined materials and the stunning sculpture by Joseph Walsh.
16. What’s next for you?
Lots! This year has been an absolute rollercoaster for me in every way imaginable, but it has ended very well with us launching our new KLD HQ off Baggot street, an exciting space to showcase who we are and what we do and all things creative. Next year should be all about new adventures and projects, lots are already underway in London and across the country with some of my favourite clients so far. Watch this space!
Thanks, Roisin, xx (I'm incredibly proud of you and all the dreams you are manifesting into reality!)