William Wilding is a person with a calling. To say he produces wallpaper reflects only a small facet of his business. Alice Blackwood speaks with one of DQ’s Top Ten Forces and Faces about design leadership and empowered creativity.
April 4th, 2012
William Wilding is a design leader: he germinates ideas, facilitates projects, mediates between stakeholders and creatives, and, where applicable, uses his graphic design and screen-printing business to channel the outcomes.
In a way it’s an act of bringing art to architecture, as Wilding collaborates with artists and designers to produce work for residential and commercial interiors.
“The world we live in is inundated with averageness,” says Wilding. “People want to do and have things that are special now.”
His act of “bringing many disciplines and seemingly disconnected people together to come up with something new” is a natural part of the design development process. Channelling it through the Wilding brand – incorporating fine art, interior design, branding design, and traditional craftsmanship – becomes the perfect medium for capturing creative potential and directing it into tangible outcomes.
From a private commission for a Melbourne residence, where Wilding custom-designed the wallpaper throughout the house. He now resides here as care-taker and creative.
Among his initiatives is The Wallpaper Project (2009), a joint venture between Wilding and the University of Southern Queensland, co-curated with Simon Mee. The project saw the university commission artists to produce unique designs that were then developed and produced as wallpapers.
This fuelled the first seeds of The Immaculate Perception Project (2011), carried out in collaboration with Craft Victoria, which saw Wilding produce a series of designs with artists and designers represented by Craft Victoria.
Selections from The Immaculate Perception Project in collaboration with Craft Victoria
“While we initially produced the designs on paper, they were designed to be produced on textiles, plastics and metals too.”
Wilding, who works alongside his wife Esther, is quite charismatic in his leadership, yet mindful of his place within the process.
“I might bring things together, but I don’t want to control them – I create an environment where artists and designers can gather to apply their tools and knowledge,” he says.
He is open to initiatives that resonate with his sense of integrity, devotion and purpose. “Ideas inform humanity with meaning,” he says. “They power innovation, so we are collaborating with the Faculty of Business and Enterprise at Swinburne University as we consider the nature of products and services – and how to deliver them best.”
William Wilding is featured in DQ#45, as one of DQ’s Top Ten Forces and Faces in Design. Pick up your issue of DQ from 11 April to meet the full Top Ten, or subscribe to DQ here.
Photography: Megan Cullen
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