If you want to know more about the people behind our designs, you’ve come to the right place. This is the blog series where we sit down with our designers and chat about their career, what they get up to at Interface and their inspirations.
Here, we speak to Emily Brown, a Senior Product Designer who’s based at our office in Halifax, UK and has been with us for almost 10 years!
Hi Emily! Tell us – how did you start your career in design?
Hello! I joined Interface as an intern in 2010 while doing my degree in Surface Pattern Design at Huddersfield University. I loved it and it went so well that I was offered a permanent role as a Product Designer.
I’m so proud to work for Interface – I’ve always resonated with the company’s strong ethical values and I’m so grateful for the numerous opportunities I’ve been given to progress my design career since graduating.
And who do you work with at Interface?
I work within a team of five product designers in the EMEA. We’re primarily office-based, which gives us the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas on colours and technical expertise on translating patterns to machine types. Our team has different strengths, so we all support one another and work together to create the most beautiful designs.
The team works closely with the other design teams globally and we often have meetings to share inspiration and knowledge. Discussing trends can be really inspiring when beginning product development, and we always encourage each other to let our creativity flow. This is what makes my job so exciting; each project is an opportunity to learn!
I also regularly collaborate with our Technical Development Director, Robert Boow. With 48 years of experience, he has been a great mentor and has always supported me with my personal development.
What’s been your biggest achievement in the role so far?
Since returning from maternity leave 18 months ago, I’ve had the most exciting phase of my career yet! I’m currently putting my skills to the test on lots of new products and collections for regions across EAAA and I’m so excited for them to launch. They will, without a doubt, be my greatest achievement and proudest moment of my design career so far.
What’s your favourite Interface product and why?
Touch of Timber is absolutely my favourite collection. During the product development stage, I got to work with the yarn suppliers at the factory which was such a great experience. We really pushed the design capabilities of a micro tuft product and it was completely different from any other product we’d launched before. I felt that this collection truly highlighted Interface’s design potential within the flooring industry and it was a privilege to launch something so unique into the market.
Sustainability is central to everything we do at Interface. How important is living and working in a sustainable way to you?
Interface has taught me so much about sustainability and I’m so honoured to work for a company that truly cares about climate action and is setting an example for other companies across the globe.
I have made many changes to live in a more sustainable way since working here and I think everyone has a part to play in protecting the planet. I also educate my children on the simple things like recycling and saving energy so they realise the impact small changes can make from a young age.
Who inspired you to pursue a career in design?
My creative genes came from my mother! She gave me every opportunity to pursue a career in design, from teaching me to supporting me through university. She allowed me to follow my passion and I owe a lot to her.
And what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my two children. We really enjoy walking, bike rides, swimming and camping trips – and ice cream is always involved! I love being outdoors and my ideal day out would be a challenging hike with beautiful scenic views.
I’m also a huge fan of classical piano music and I’ve recently taken up lessons to refresh my knowledge from playing as a child.
Finally, if you could give advice to anyone who wanted to get into design, what would you say?
My advice would be to embrace any opportunity you get. Learn as much as you can about the areas that interest you most and engage in your passion. It’s also really important to be able to work well in a team – collaboration is essential in design.