UNSCRIPTED with Bethan Laura Wood: Colours of Composure

From kitschy flea market finds to her dreamy sartorial obsessions, discover interesting nuggets about the bold and beautiful, London-based designer Bethan Laura Wood.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Oct 29, 2021

“People think I am a performer, and just because I dress up, they think I am taking pictures all the time,” says London-based multidisciplinary designer, Bethan Laura Wood (b.1983) as we discover things the world doesn’t know about her, in this special STIR series titled UNSCRIPTED.

  • Wood’s works are characterised by materials investigation, artisan collaboration and a passion for colour and detail | UNSCRIPTED with Bethan Laura Wood | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Wood’s works are characterised by materials investigation, artisan collaboration and a passion for colour and detail Image: © Bethan Laura Wood
  • A photo of Wood which she refers to as ‘blackmail material by my mum’ in which she is seen wearing an Easter bonnet | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    A photo of Wood which she refers to as ‘blackmail material by my mum’ in which she is seen wearing an Easter bonnet Image: © Bethan Laura Wood

Born in western England in a small British town called Shrewsbury, for young Wood, umpteen hours spent inside her bedroom or over the kitchen cabinet ‘making stuff of all kinds’ – from drawing, painting, or sewing, to creating something from papier mâché or simply trying to put together a thing of beauty from a medley of everyday objects – a creative living was never out of sight. The path became even clearer when she chanced upon a documentary on BBC that telecasted the explorations of different creative studios at the Royal College of Art in London. All along, Wood nourished her passion for colour – using it not only in what she created but also in the way she expressed herself. She studied Three Dimensional Design at the University of Brighton before obtaining an MA in Design Products at the RCA under the tuition of her mentors, Italian designer Martino Gamper and Dutch designer Jurgen Bey.

I tend to have sticky fingers when it comes to objects.
  • Wood flaunting her flea market finds | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Wood flaunting her flea market finds Image: © Bethan Laura Wood
  • At a flea market in Japan wearing wind jacket which she has now put on her wall at home | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    At a flea market in Japan wearing wind jacket which she has now put on her wall at home Image: © Bethan Laura Wood

Today living and working in East London, Wood channels her love for colours, layers, and lines to create eclectic products which include furniture, lighting, textiles, and art installations. Fascinated by the connections we make with the everyday objects that surround us, and as a collector herself, she likes to explore what drives people to hold onto one particular object while discarding another. Speaking about how she keeps herself creatively stimulated, Wood shares getting herself lost in flea markets and discovering new places and interacting with them through her own physicality do it for her. In this 17-minute video conversation, she muses, “There is nothing more zen for me than walking through flea markets and just visually experiencing objects and the colourful world that comes from different spaces and environments. I find that very harmonising.” She continues, “The biggest transformation between colour and I that I had was the experience I had going to Mexico because this was the first country I had visited outside Europe. I had really not experienced being in an environment where the core basis of day-to-day palette is totally different compared to the European which tends to be a lot softer, greyer, and more muted. In Mexico, the base colour is hot pink, bright blues, and reds and yellows…That really stuck in my memory because it was this physical introduction to living within an environment that’s built up of different principles to do with colour.”

  • Flower Folly, Dior. 2021 | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Flower Folly, Dior. 2021 Image: Giorgos Nalbadis
  • Ornate bedhead, Nilufar. 2021 | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Ornate bedhead, Nilufar. 2021 Image: Angus Mills
  • Meisen Cabinet Little bug, Nilufar. 2021 | | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Meisen Cabinet Little bug, Nilufar. 2021 Image: Emanuele Tortora
  • Hot Rock low table, Nilufar. 2019 | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Hot Rock low table, Nilufar. 2019 Image: © Bethan Laura Wood
  • A rug from Wood’s Super Fake collection for CC-Tapis | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    A rug from Wood’s Super Fake collection for CC-Tapis Image: © Bethan Laura Wood

Since 2011, Wood has worked with the prestigious Nilufar Gallery to showcase her self-directed, limited edition and one-off works, and has been commissioned by and produced named collaborations with a variety of international partners including Dior, Perrier– Jouët, Moroso, Design Miami, Tory Burch, and Tolix Peter Pilotto. Some of her key works include a collection of rugs for CC-Tapis inspired by her walks in East London; Hermes products as the seeds and hearts of myriads fruits and vegetables in a series of hand painted compositions; and a collection of furniture drawn from the design of the boudoir marking 10 years of collaboration with gallery Nilufar.

  • Wood from her fond trip to Mexico | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Wood from her fond trip to Mexico Image: © Bethan Laura Wood
  • Alice in Wonderland – Wood, happily lost in a flea market in Mexico | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Alice in Wonderland – Wood, happily lost in a flea market in MexicoImage: © Bethan Laura Wood
  • Wood showing her favourite hoedown pants  | UNSCRIPTED | STIRworld
    Wood showing her favourite hoedown pants Image: © Bethan Laura Wood

On UNSCRIPTED, Wood, who lives by the mantra 'distance through detail', also tells us about her picks and pick me nots when it comes to fashion. An admirer for kimonos, scarves, and hoedown pants, we discover her sartorial obsessions and achievements on UNSCRIPTED.

All this and much more! Tap on the cover video to watch the complete episode.

All visuals © Bethan Laura Wood, unless stated otherwise. Images may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced or used in part or whole without obtaining permission. The photographs in this video are not licensed for personal, commercial or public use, or use in the public domain in any form.

UNSCRIPTED:
Curated by PramitiMadhavji (Consultant, Content Adviser, STIR), UNSCRIPTED is a STIR-original series of quick-witted video interviews with leading design professionals who give us an undiscovered peek into their lives. A melting pot of quests, revelations and quirks, the series releases a new episode every Sunday as designers reveal unheard and unknown nuggets from their lives, in response to 30 questions.  

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