Published to accompany an international touring exhibition. The rising generation of British design stars feature a lot of exotic names. Not since the wave of émigrés fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s has British design had such an injection of foreign blood. Import Export demonstrates how profoundly British design has been enriched by immigration and by the internationalisation of education, business and cultural discourse.
Import Export’s Curator, Lesley Jackson, interviewed the fourteen featured ‘British’ designers about their motivation for working from Britain and about the influence or significance of their own cultural heritage. Several related themes prevail in their responses: the way that ideas are valued as much as skills in Britain’s design culture, the multiculturality and ‘chaos’ out of which simplicity can be distilled, and, above all, a feeling that Britain lets designers ‘be themselves’.