Our story begins in Singapore. A collective of like-minded souls with a passion for creativity and big ideas came together in 2010 to create something truly authentic. Fine artists, interior designers, fashion designers, textile creatives and craft enthusiasts shared ideas about 2D and 3D fabric manipulation. With the support of LASALLE College of the Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, we worked in collaboration on projects and exhibitions exploring surface design. We pushed the boundaries of creativity, pattern and print. We made art.
Nowadays, SURFACE 1°22 is a multi-faceted enterprise: we create bold and geometric surface pattern designs that are available for purchase or for licensing, exhibit and showcase collective works, and run workshops and short courses. We design and sell original artwork to create beautiful digitally printed textiles and patterned surfaces for the home and fashion industries. Collaborating with fashion brands around the globe, SURFACE 1°22’s print designs have featured in swim, resort and active-wear collections globally.
And while SURFACE 1°22 now calls another island home, we have never forgotten our roots – after all, we are named after Singapore’s geographic coordinates.
Emily Wills is the founder and creative director of SURFACE 1°22. In her various manifestations, she has worked as a fashion designer, illustrator, curator, arts educator and printed textile designer. With over ten years’ experience in design education, she is a leader in the Australian and Asian surface design community.
In addition to running SURFACE 1°22, Emily lectures at RMIT as part of their Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) programme. She inspires by doing and sharing through workshops, exhibitions and events. Her goal is to foster a love of surface design in people of all abilities and backgrounds through project based learning.
Currently based in Melbourne, Australia we run an intro to Textile Design workshop, hosted by WORK-SHOP in Fitzroy. We provide a series of specialised workshops and short courses through our Design School.
Our studio provides a warm, welcoming environment in which to share our ideas and create. It features kitsch undertones with an eclectic assortment of art, and a good dose of nostalgia from the 50s and 60s. Contemporary influences also abound, with illustrations, screen prints and graphic designs adorning the studio walls. We’ve tried to strike the perfect balance between modern, quirky and retro vibes to leave you feeling inspired and right at home.
Where the magic happens…
We live and breathe surface design, and our studio reflects our love of the applied arts and an infatuation with hand-drawn images and handmade objects. Doubling as a showroom and studio space, we host workshops and courses in a light-filled nook, where you’ll be surrounded by an assortment of our framed textile artworks.
Throughout the design process, we will inspire you with all our favourite elements: bold colours, patterns, print and ornamentation. As your own art comes to life, take a moment to soak up the surroundings: the Norwegian troll watching from the window, the woven basket from Bhutan, the Takeawei Ceramics boob vase, the Laura Blythman tray. And if you’d like to know more about our colourful knickknacks, do sing out. We can’t wait to see you at our studio and to show you all that surface design offers!
Have you met our amazing surface pattern design collaborators Adilah Amri and Serene Lin? Emily met these two fabulous individuals seven years ago in Singapore, and the love affair is going strong. Both designers in their own right, Adilah and Serene design contemporary prints as part of our #surface122collab project and featured at Surtex New York in 2016.