With our first ever event in Ireland just around the corner, we took the time to talk to Ulster CarpetsHead of Design, Anthony Hickman. Anthony tells us about his journey into the design world and how the Irish design industry is growing.Anthony Hickman, Design Manager, Ulster Carpets webHow did you get into carpet design and what do you love about it?

I got into carpet design through my year’s placement at university when I worked in the design studio at a Carpet factory. Then after university I applied for a lot of different jobs and it just so happened at the time that there were a lot of carpet design jobs about. What I love about carpet design is that every day is different and it’s such a creative job.

What has been your inspiration for your latest carpet designs?

I would say recently I’ve been inspired a lot by textures. The way we are using and layering colours is a lot more textural than before – designs used to be a lot more graphic.

“The way we are using and layering colours is a lot more textural than before – designs used to be a lot more graphic.”

How have you seen the Irish design industry change over the last five years?

With the advent of the major hotel groups having a presence in Ireland over the last 10 years for example Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental, design has become more contemporary and more in line with the corporate images of the Hotel brands.

Over the last 5 years as Ireland has come out of recession the hotel industry has flourished with a lot of foreign investment and growth of groups. This in turn has meant a lot of refurbishment, using both Irish and non-Irish Interior Designers for example Ina Rinderknecht for the Hilton Double Tree, Burlington and Cunningham Mclean for the Clayton Hotels.Clayton_Chiswick_London webIs individuality something you struggle with in carpet design? Can you stay on trend without losing your identity?

Yes you can absolutely stay on trend without losing your individuality. The key is to take influence from trends but ultimately you adapt it and make it unique to your projects.

What do you do to help yourself think more creatively?

I find speaking with other creatives to be really helpful.  I’m lucky in that I get to travel a lot with work and meet other creative people such as interior designers.London Heathrow Marriot webTo see more from Ulster come and visit them at stand #17 at the BCFA Open Dublin on Wednesday 14th June. Get your free ticket here