Alyn Griffiths’ Annual Design Round-Up

  • Port’s design editor on the section’s highlights, including a planes, trains and automobiles special, and a look at retail spaces

    The year began with the fantastic news that Daniel Day-Lewis was to edit the movie-themed spring issue of the magazine, which gave us the opportunity to feature the under-appreciated field of movie production design. We spoke to one of its leading exponents, the vivacious and supremely talented Eve Stewart, who had recently been Oscar-nominated for her work on the spectacular film adaptation of Les Misérables.

    During a tour of Pinewood studios, Eve couldn’t help getting stuck in with some of the prop makers, resulting in some lovely portraits of her covered in confetti-like polystyrene debris.

    We also presented a stunning photoshoot of some top-of-the-range film equipment and were granted access to one of Milan’s hidden treasures – Villa Necchi – once home to a bourgeois Milanese family and used as the setting for the feature film, I Am Love. During the Milan Furniture Fair in April, Port helped recreate the sort of vibrant social event for which the house is famous by hosting a party in its beautiful grounds.

    Right: Eve Stewart, photography Léonie Hampton


  • PORT_1964_Jensen_CV8_MKII_GIF_Michael_Bodiam
    For our summer issue, we chose to focus on transport, and featured a line up of classic cars that set our hearts racing. For a few lucky members of the Port team, driving these four-wheeled masterpieces from London’s Classic Car Club to the venue for our photoshoot was one of the highlights of the year.

    Photography & animation Michael Bodiam
    Styling Kuchar Swara

    We sent writer Will Wiles to Devon to interview design legend Kenneth Grange, who was responsible for an enduring classic of locomotive design, the InterCity 125 train, while our examination of the aeronautics industry included interviews with the people designing the next generation of aircraft and a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacture of these amazing machines.

  • Interior Wonderwall
    Autumn saw us visit several spectacular properties owned by Italy’s National Trust, as well as one of the world’s most exciting recent architectural achievements, Wilkinson Eyre’s award-winning giant greenhouses at Gardens By The Bay in Singapore.

    Finally, the focus of the winter issue was on retail, where design plays a vital role in defining the shopping experience. Architect Shohei Shigematsu told us why he believes the trend for statement shops designed by big-name architects may be over, while Masamichi Katayama of Japanese interior design firm Wonderwall explained that shops are becoming less about shopping and more about communicating a brand’s values to its consumers.

    We also took a look at some of the hardware used inside the world’s best shops, including a spectacular quarry in Tuscany that supplies marble to luxury boutiques.

    From planes, trains and automobiles, to movies and shopping, this year’s design section has covered a lot of ground and many topics that are key to contemporary living. Here’s hoping for just as many exciting opportunities in 2014.

    Alyn is Port’s design editorOutside, Wonderwall