I have owned and refurbished two Span houses in Blackheath, South London. They are typical of the small development housing designed in the late 50s and 60s by Span Developments formed by architect Eric Lyons who was the subject of a RIBA exhibition in 2008.
Michiko Koshino, a fashion designer with an established business in the Far East, raised her profile in the UK by opening a flagship store in Covent Garden. The brief stipulated that the design should avoid literal cultural references but reflect Michiko’s individual approach to fashion which combines simplicity and idiosyncrasy. The entire store became a window for the brand with the frameless shop front blurring the boundary between inside and out. Finishes were chosen to combine natural materials with those closely associated with Michiko’s work, such as neoprene. The success of the shop was acknowledged through it’s popularity and appeal to London’s nightclub fraternity, Michiko’s most ardent followers.
Uncorked Wine Merchants in the Broadgate Centre, London celebrates the ritual of wine tasting. The interior was conceived as a contemporary response to the traditions of wine making, resulting in a subtle but rich composition of natural colours, textures and materials. The design also reflects on the sensorial experience of wine relating to smell, taste and vision which is reinforced by stimulating and informative graphic imagery, designed by Karen Wilks.
Ecco, a Danish shoe company with a worldwide distribution, launched it’s first flagship store in Oxford Street, London in 1998. Ecco advocates quality and comfort; their shoes are renowned for lightness, softness and durability.The main objective of this project was to broaden brand perception in the UK and attract younger customers, whilst avoiding alienation of the established older market. The resultant environment design endorsed Ecco’s philosophies and was implemented, over a period of three years, into numerous sites in key European cities including Dublin and Stockholm and San Francisco in the United States.
Welsh Slate was formed in 1997 and opened a showroom in the Business Design Centre, London to showcase slate produced by six major quarries in Wales. The interior displays the unique qualities of slate and challenges the perception of it’s traditional use as a roofing material in order to expand this core market. We also designed exhibitions in Germany, France and Australia to promote Welsh Slate worldwide.
Red or Dead is an internationally renowned brand and Wayne Hemingway, its founder, has now achieved celebrity status through his TV appearances. We worked closely with him on the design of the first Red or Dead stores in Soho and Covent Garden, as the company transformed from a market trader into an multiple store, high street retailer. At 33 Neal Street our original concept was updated to appeal to a broader customer base. The design focused on the simple clean lines of an architecturally structured display system to organise and clearly project the merchandise. This, together with a rich composition of industrial and natural materials, created a stimulating and colourful backdrop to the store’s eccentric shoes and clothes, reflecting the ‘street’ spirit of the brand.
David Fern has over twenty five years experience in interior design. His career started in engineering; he acquired a Higher National Diploma and completed an Apprenticeship at Rolls Royce in Derby before going on to graduate at Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education with a BA (Hons) in Three Dimensional Design in 1981.
After working for high profile Design Consultancies including Conran Associates he formed David Fern Associates in 1987. Two years later he formed Fern Green Partnership with Nigel Green and this successful partnership became internationally recognised for creating some of the most notable interior design projects of the nineties in the retail, office and exhibition sectors. Clients included fashion designers Michiko Koshino and Red or Dead, The Natural History Museum and Boots The Chemists.
Fern Green’s work has appeared in a wide variety of magazines including Frame, Italian Vogue, Wallpaper, Architect’s Journal, FX and Blueprint and numerous books including International Interiors 3 by Lucy Bullivant, Experience by Imagination and Retail Graphics by Giles Calver.
Awards include The National Association of Shop-fitters (NAS) Store of the Year for Michiko Koshino, Design Week Best Temporary Exhibition for the BG Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum, and short-listings for D&AD Gold for Michiko Koshino and The Minerva Award for the John Richmond Stores and Uncorked Wine Merchants.
David has taught on various Degree Courses around the country and given talks at major creative schools including the Royal College of Art and Glasgow School of Art. He has also held visiting External Examiner roles on BA (Hons) Degree courses in Interior Design and Furniture Design.
In 2005 Fern Green Partnership was dissolved and since then David Fern’s work has continued to diversify with residential commissions, furniture design projects and a venture into architecture with a new build house in Cordoba, Spain.
Teaching continues to play an important role and David is currently Associate Professor and Director of Programmes for Interior Architecture and Design at Middlesex University.