An interview with photographer and designer Kevin Radcliffe

Having spent 20 years as a photographer, Kevin Radcliffe has taken inspiration from Newcastle’s industrial heritage to create a range of steel-framed tables housing glass-topped photographic montages. I was keen to find out more - we talked inspiration, good cappuccino and Cockapoos... Kevin Radcliffe

What’s the most important thing to know about you?

I love what I do, and I wouldn’t swap with anyone. I think if you find your niche and you are passionate about what you do, you will flourish.

Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Kevin Radcliffe of Radcliffe Design?

Great days start with a good cappuccino and a croissant from our Radcliffe Coffee House cafe in Jesmond, Newcastle. Then I’d take our crazy Cockapoo for a walk in the local park whilst planning the day ahead. The afternoon would involve me doing what I do best – taking photos!

A bad day would be not having the time to do these things.

Kevin Radcliffe

What inspires your ideas?

I’m stimulated by travelling and exploring. You look at things and places with a different eye when you’re a designer and photographer.

For instance, my home city of Newcastle heavily inspired the design of our bespoke table collection. We managed to capture the industrial heritage of the city in the utilitarian steel-frames.

Kevin Radcliffe

Describe the process you go through to turn your ideas into products.

Everything starts off with a visual either in my mind or on my Mac Book, then some really loose sketches in my ideas book. I am the only person on the planet that understands my doodlings!

My tables were brought to life as I was finding it increasingly difficult to find decent frames to display my photography work at exhibitions, so I designed these unique handmade steel photo frames with an industrial chic feel.

I contacted a local metal works fabricator more used to making steel girders for industry. We have a great shipbuilding history in Newcastle, and they had the best metalworking quality anywhere I’d seen. Now they produce every frame, mirror and table to order.

Kevin Radcliffe

What advice would you give to creative professionals?

The idea is everything, and everything else that follows is merely a fine tuning process.

Desert island design time; which three designed items could you not live without?

My new love is the "moof" - a fantastic urban bicycle from company VANMOOF. I use it whenever I can, near and far. It even comes with a ‘Sexy Waitress’, which is the basket carrier on the front.

Next would be my iPod, complete with Bill Clasper, Horris Silver and other out of date tunes. I am a huge Apple fan.

Last but not least, my Hasselblad Xpan camera. It is a mini-panoramic format and has travelled around the world with me. It’s also completely bomb proof, which comes in handy.

Kevin Radcliffe

What are you most proud of?

To be honest it has to be my children. My wife and I have seven children between us and they are my best friends. I really enjoy it when we can all get together on a weekend and spend quality time together.

Kevin Radcliffe

What’s next for you?

I love trying new things and we really want to expand our range of furniture. I have created a new range of shelving and also some lighting that is based on old photographic lamps.

And, finally, what’s your favourite colour?!

Blue. Light blue, dark blue, duck egg blue. I am always buying blue shirts only to discover that I have another 30 that look remarkably similar hanging in my wardrobe!

Kevin Radcliffe