Wayne Hemingway is a British fashion designer with a degree in Geography and Town Planning from UCL. After selling his and his (now) wife, Geraldine’s clothes to fund a band; Wayne and Geraldine built the Red or Dead fashion label selling Geraldines hand-made clothes and his own designs and established shops over the UK and the US. The Red or Dead label won the prestigious British Fashion Councils Streetstyle Designer of the Year Award for 3 years in a row 1996, 1997 and 1998.
In 1999, having sold Red or Dead they set up HemingwayDesign, which specializes in affordable and social design. Involved in the building projects such as The Staiths South Bank Project, HemingwayDesign are currently working with McDonald’s on a long term sustainability project, and is now a multi-disciplinary design agency led by two generations of the Hemingway family and a wider team of talented designers.
An extremely busy and important man, Waye received an MBE in June 2006; is a Professor in The Built Environment Department of Northumbria University, a Doctor of Design at Wolverhampton, Lancaster and Stafford and a Fellow of Blackburn. He also writes for architectural and housing publications as well as being a judge of international design competitions. He is also the Chairman of Building for Life, Chair of the South Coast Design Forum and on the Design Council Trustee Board and the Design Council CABE Committee. On top of all this he also gives talks on housing, urban design, education and the creative sector and is a host of creative industries related awards events! He does a bit of charity work for the likes of Noise Festival, The Princes Trust, Shelter, Oxfam and Traid, has a massive vinyl collection, loves his family and Blackburn Rovers!
?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?
WH: The future I choose is fitter, healthier, happier, less greedy, more liveable, more equal and beautifully designed.
?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?
WH: The think that inspired me to want to create that future is having spent 30 years in the creative industries and knowing what design can do, and what clever thinking can do. I suppose what we strive for as designers and especially the urban design I do is to create happier places and you know if people are happier they behave better, and that if things are more equal you get less crime… its just common sense really, its all inspired by common sense.
?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?
WH: Well.. in a perfect world, people that care would do things about the environment around them, and the simplest way of doing that is to become an elected member of your local council. If you look at some of the more progressive countries in Europe, the Scandinavian countries especially, you’ll find elected councillors in their 20s and 30s who are representing that generation. If you go to a lot of towns in the UK you’ll find the average age of a lot of the council that are supposedly representing the whole of their community and making decisions on our behalf can be in their late 60s and 70. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with old people but you can’t expect all 60 and 70 year olds to totally understand what a 15 year old or a 20 year old wants out of the future. So we can only make that difference; you know… I’m 51 and I would still be considered a young council member in this country and I’m not young.
?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?
WH: Well there are loads of things we can support to make a better future.
One is to work with communities like the London recycling network and make sure that nothing goes to waste.
Another is to work with long standing charities like Oxfam who have proven over decades the value that they can achieve on behalf of society.
Or to follow quirky little initiatives like the Uniform Project where this young lass called sheena decided she was going to wear the one little black dress for 365 days and style it up a different way every day. It shows what can be done with creativity. It was a happy project, it was an intelligent project, it was a creative project, and it was a sustainable project all rolled into one.
?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future?
WH: I suppose my favourite long-term song, one that always makes me feel good every time I hear it is Roy Ayers– Everybody Loves the Sunshine, which is a 1970s soul track, bit of a hippy vibe going on with the words but if you listen to those words it’s a very uplifting track.
?!X: Can you share with us up to 5 weblinks that you find interesting and inspiring?
But I could add www.discogs.com where I research the history of music for our Vintage festival and add to my vinyl collection …and you know what? Keeping vinyl in circulation is sustainable!
Facebook.com/vintagefestival – the vintage community are always vibrant.
Designcouncil.org.uk ..always a good place to start to show businesses how investing in design can really pay off.
We will soon be publishing a video version of this interview – look out for it.
Follow Wayne on Twitter @HemingwayDesign
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