Issey Miyake, electric bikes and Lisbon: designer Paul Cocksedge loves them all
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My personal style signifier is a pair of Adidas Originals Court Vantage trainers. They have a slightly raised sole, a nice gold logo and a little pink trim on the side to act as a flash of colour against my daily uniform of sombre-toned trousers and jacket. adidas.co.uk
An object I would never part with is my Lucellino table lamp, designed by Ingo Maurer. He gave it to me himself, and I love being reminded of a designer who has been important for me personally and has influenced so many others. €460; shop.ingo-maurer.com
The last thing I bought and loved was a Victorian terraced house in east London. The location meets all my criteria – it’s on a quiet road close to the studio, the marshes and the busy street life of Chatsworth Road – and the house itself has great views of the beautiful arched windows of the house opposite.
And the thing I’m eyeing next is a VanMoof S2 electric bike. I’m passionate about finding ways to make London more friendly, and one is to encourage people to walk and cycle more. This bike takes us into the future. £2,598; vanmoof.com
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is the “Monster Building” in Hong Kong. Properly known as Yick Cheong Building, it’s a housing development where the apartments are so densely packed that they look like pixels – walking around is like being in a computer game. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it proves that building at this density can work.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is Frank Cornelissen’s MunJebel Rosso 2016 from a trip to Mount Etna. I knew about his naturally produced wines already, so it was a real treat to meet him in person. His wine is, to my mind, some of the most intense and pure made anywhere in the world. £29.99; raeburnfinewines.com
The best gift I’ve received recently was a pair of Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i Bluetooth headphones – a thank-you for some work I’d done. The cool thing about them is that when you flick them off your head to speak to someone, they pause. Little details like that make technology outstanding. £450; bang-olufsen.com
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose London Fields, where I live and work. It’s full of interesting independent cafés and shops such as Earl of East London. The people behind this lifestyle brand take a considered approach to the products they make and sell, and everything is driven by its sensory appeal – the candles [from £20] are incredible. The artisan bakery and café e5 Bakehouse sells wonderful food and they have classes too, encouraging people to engage with the making process. I run in Victoria Park in the mornings and often stop off at the Pavilion Café. Nothing beats sitting by the lake with a fresh coffee. E5 Bakehouse, 395 Mentmore Terrace, London E8 (e5bakehouse.com). Earl of East London, 5A Gransden Avenue, London E8 (earlofeastlondon.com). The Pavilion Café, Victoria Park, London E9 (020-8980 0030)
A recent find is Manhattan Loft Gardens, a 143m-tall apartment building in London’s Stratford. What’s remarkable about this place is how the developer has used the architecture to create a sense of community, carving three gardens into the building to create high-rise versions of the traditional garden square. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20-22 International Way, London E20 (thestratford.com)
My favourite apps are Monzo, which means my bank is in the cloud rather than a physical branch, so there are no phone calls, no queues and I can use it wherever I am in the world; and Freetrade, which takes all the mystery out of buying shares.
My style icon is the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. I was lucky enough to meet him while I was a student at the Royal College of Art and I’ve never forgotten the way he looked – his style seemed to suit his character: soft and open and extraordinarily creative. There’s so much innovation in his apparently simple clothes.
The last meal that truly impressed me was my regular lunchtime dhal from my local café Tempesta Coffee. Based on an old family recipe, it’s healthy, delicious and served at just the right temperature to drink straight from the bowl. Arch 2, Fieldworks, 274 Richmond Road, London E8.
The last music I downloaded was How to Disappear Completely by Radiohead. Repetition helps me get into the right frame of mind when sketching or thinking, and there’s something about the hypnotic tempo and texture of this track that aligns with my creative process. My music taste is as jumpy as my character, but Radiohead is one of my favourite bands, and no matter how often I hear this track, it never loses its impact.
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a black jumper from the COS Soma Collection. I like simple clothes with subtle details and this has some very interesting stitching on the collar and sleeves. cosstores.com
An indulgence I would never forgo is walking to work. My journey to the studio is my daily creative space.
The one artist I whose work I would collect if I could is Richard Serra. Like him, I’ve also worked with plate steel, but Serra takes it to another level – the heaviness of what he’s working with is just astonishing. And there’s such rawness and confidence to his pieces too. gagosian.com
In my fridge you will always find a few bottles of Lucky Saint 0.5 per cent unfiltered lager, which I now drink from Sunday to Thursday in an effort to reduce my alcohol intake. It tastes as good as any other craft beer. My other essentials are a slab of Kirkham’s Lancashire raw-milk cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy and whatever fermented drink my local café, The Grand Howl, is experimenting with when I call in. The Grand Howl, 214 Well Street, London E9 (thegrandhowl.com). Kirkham’s Lancashire raw-milk cheese, £8.85 for 295g; nealsyarddairy.co.uk. Lucky Saint, £25 for 12 330ml bottles; luckysaint.co
My favourite room in my house is either the kitchen or the top bedroom. It’s hard to choose because I haven’t lived here very long, but both these spaces are full of light and the bedroom has a wonderful view of the tree in the front garden.
The person I rely on for my personal wellbeing is my therapist Martin Adams. We sit and chat every second Monday and it keeps me going. The Plane Tree, 31 Roman Road, London E2 (theplanetree.co.uk)
The best gift I’ve given recently was to my new godson, Oscar. I found a long, wide, mustard-coloured cotton jacket with black and white lining in a children’s clothes shop near my studio, and because they make the clothes on site, I asked them to make me one to match. Similar children’s reversible kimono coat, £44; What Mother Made, 192 Well Street, London E9 (whatmothermade.co.uk)
The beauty staple I am never without is for my mind, rather than my body. We are designing a prototype for a hand-blown diffuser for the Korean fragrance brand Soohyang, and its Lavender Darling scent has been filling the studio, relaxing and inspiring us. soohyang.seoul.kr
The best book I’ve read in the past year is not a book at all. I only read the newspapers, or I’ll Google articles about artists.
If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Lisbon. My business partner Joana Pinho is Portuguese and gives me the inside track. I love all the creative opportunities it offers and it’s a great place to spend the evening too. A perfect night out would begin with a Pisco Punch at Pensão Amor, then move on to Prado restaurant for a plate of Ibérico pork before finishing off with an Old Fashioned at The Good The Bad and The Ugly. For culture, I head to MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. When you approach the building, you really get the sense that water has been its inspiration, and the architecture plays with light in a unique way. Getting out of the studio and into nature is an important part of my work process, and when I’m in Lisbon, I go to the botanical gardens. I love that you can find a green spot like that right in the middle of the city. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Rua do Alecrim 21, Lisbon. Jardim Botanico, Rua da Escola Politécnica 58, 1250-102 Lisbon (museus.ulisboa.pt/pt-pt/jardim-botanico-lisboa). MAAT, Avenida Brasília, 1300-598 Lisbon (maat.pt). Pensão Amor, Rua do Alecrim 19, 1200-014 Lisbon (pensaoamor.pt). Prado, Travessa das Pedras Negras 2, 1100-404 Lisbon (pradorestaurante.com)
If weren’t a designer, I would be something that involved swimming underwater. I don’t know what – perhaps a scuba diver? – but I do really love the sensation of swimming below the surface.