Our Habitat Led Workshop

Creative Studio

You may recall reading about our collaboration with Habitat, where our member’s designs, feature on homeware products on sale in Sainsbury’s stores across the UK.

To further develop our working relationship with this well-known brand, this week on Thursday 30th November we had some designers from Habitat, visit our studio to present a workshop to our staff team and members.

Led by Andrew, Head of Designs from Habitat/ Sainsburys, who heads up 28 talented designers.

Andrew set the tone by letting us know that we’d be having a relaxed session. He brought boxes of our products such as mugs, tea towels and home fragrances as a gift to us. All of the designs for these products have been designed in our studio, by our members. Once sent over to Habitat, the colours and typography were added by Andrew and his team.

Today was an optional extra workshop to our main studio days, which members can choose to attend. I put my name on the list a few weeks back and thought about how it would make for a great blog post.

I started to write this blog on the morning of the workshop, updating it along the way as the day unfolded. In anticipation, we plan to capture the excitement as the workshop is presented.

The theme for the workshop is ‘typography’ and we will be coming up with sayings, motivational words and the like, to then get down onto paper with coloured pens or collages. The idea behind this is akin to Live, Laugh, Laugh which you’ll probably have heard of. According to Google Trends, worldwide searches for “Live, Laugh, Love” took off in 2004 and peaked between 2008 and 2012. So it was a nice idea to think about and create fresh ideas, from our discussions during the workshop before deciding which ones we’d be drawing.

On Thursday morning I got to thinking about where “Live, Laugh, Love” originated, so I went down a wormhole on the internet to find out more.

‘The phrase is an abridged form of the 1904 poem “ Success” by Bessie Anderson Stanley which begins: He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.’ You’ll find this quote woven into this article: https://bit.ly/47ZLizz

Paradoxically, on the morning of the workshop, I did end up laughing as I love writing these blogs and ended up looking at the time, thinking I better look lively and get ready to leave the house!

Arriving at the Designs in Mind studio I was greeted by a lot of folk, new and familiar faces, staff and volunteers, Andrew and his team. Members from different studio days all come together with the Thursday crew.

There was chatting and laughter in the room, anticipation and excitement for the day.

A projector was being set up for the workshop presentation. We were encouraged to think about our favourite sayings from different parts of the world. This created a lot of laughter and learning new sayings for everyone.

Then we were set to go. We started by writing down our favourite sayings. These ranged from Oswestry sayings, Scottish sayings, Street Slang, Leicestershire sayings and more.

I loved every minute of the session as it is always great fun to be with the folks at Designs in Mind. Many staff members and volunteers got involved too, which was fabulous to see, as they work so tirelessly to facilitate our weekly sessions. Seeing those staff that were present, all enthused at being part of the creative process, making a welcome change to be participants rather than leading the group was a highlight for me.

I met a few new folk and lots of jokes and wisecracks were bantered about. My saying was ‘Haud yer Wheest’ a Scottish saying for Be Quiet or Shut up! A favourite of my late Dad’s, especially when he was trying to watch sports, with 4 women in the house!

As the workshop was coming to a close I asked Andrew to comment on the day’s events. I also enquired with a few of our members, to share how they enjoyed the Habitat Workshop.

Andrew shared: “The day was a wonderful way to look at how typography and wall art play a role in all of our lives. Sayings and phrases from local dialects, all the way through to phrases that make us smile were created. Designs in Mind plays a huge part in our Habitat family and it was great to see all of the members again interact with design.”

Gareth said: “It’s been really lovely and relaxing, I enjoyed coming up with the phrase, I chose: ‘We all get there in the end, it’s how we get there”.

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Jenny B shared: “It’s been really enjoyable to hear everybody’s witticisms and sayings, however, what resonated with me, is the meaning of a tattoo I have on my arm, which is a Native American quote, ‘The Soul would have no Rainbow if the eye had no Tears’ by John Vance Cheney. It was nice to put it into typography and an imaged picture form during the workshop. It was also great to meet some of the team behind the collaboration with Habitat and Sainsbury’s.”

John said: “It’s been good, everyone has been nice and pleasant. I was on a downer before I came along and the workshop lifted my spirits. This is mainly due to the staff, volunteers, members and Habitat Team being warm and welcoming. I always feel like I can be myself at Designs in Mind, so much so, that increases my mental well-being.”

Big thanks to Andrew and his Team for our Habitat/Designs in Mind collaboration gifts and for facilitating such a fun and relaxing workshop. We hope to have you back to do more in the future.

Thanks also to all those who attended and commented on this blog.

Blog Written & researched by Willow, Member & Social Media Coordinator