in Collaborations , Videos | 12 OCT 20

‘The Original Palladio Collection was All About Excitement in Design’

Zoffany’s new collection of wallpapers draws from an important chapter in British design history

in Collaborations , Videos | 12 OCT 20
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Begun in 1955, Palladio was an innovative collection of wallpapers, distinctly geared at architects. Connected with the spirit of post-war reconstruction, embodied by the Festival of Britain (1951), in which several designers for Palladio also participated, it also drew on the recent movement to reinvent wallpaper as a bold modern idiom, suitable for public life as well as private spaces. Over its history, it would feature work by over fifty designers, including important figures like Terence Conran, Althea McNish and Peter Smithson.


In 2020, Zoffany revives six designs, each of them originally selected by design duo Robert & Roger Nicholson, for Palladio Volume I. ‘They were really quite audacious’, Zoffany archivist Keren Protheroe explains in this video, filmed in the company’s headquarters in Denham, Buckinghamshire, UK, and reflected designers’ ‘new way of understanding the world after the war.’


Zoffany Lead Designer Peter Gomez explains how, as a studio working with historic documents - more than 50,000 items are held in the research archive at the company’s HQ - it was an appealing challenge of working with ‘a modern archive, and treat it with the same level of respect’. To further  honour the company’s historic legacy, Gomez explains a new Palladio bursary programme will support one student a year at the Royal College of Art, where many of the original Palladio designers were drawn from, reflecting the Nicholson’s belief in supporting young talent. Designer Sam Wilde, whose design ‘Precarious Pangolins’ draws attention to the world’s most trafficked animal and is included in the new Palladio volume, describes his desire to use surface design to ‘immerse, empower, engage and educate.’


Discover the wallpapers in Palladio Volume I by Zoffany at Style Library