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Ilse Crawford

Ilse Crawford is a renowned British designer, the founder of eponymous design studio Studioilse, and the former founding editor of Elle Decoration. Throughout her exceptional career, Ilse Crawford furniture has focused on design’s ability to enhance the human experience with products and experiences that are attentive to space and the lives that coexist within them.

Born in 1962, Ilse Crawford, the oldest of 5 children, was the daughter of a Canadian newspaper editor and a Danish artist and pianist. While her upbringing was simple, it was vibrant, community-oriented and surrounded by her parent’s friends – a group of intellectuals, artists, and writers. The Crawford family’s rich everyday life undeniably formed much of the inspiration for her later humanistic design work, which blended functionality and style.

Studying the history of architecture at university, Ilse Crawford, a designer, began to form her design aesthetic around what she was taught about buildings, applying key architectural principles to her future designs and collaborations. When she launched Elle Decoration in 1989, it was this historically attuned yet utterly contemporary approach to living that caused a sensation amongst the industry. Pared back and modern, yet entirely livable, Crawford’s interpretation of how interiors should enhance the lives of the people who reside in them was revolutionary at the time.

It was after a stint at fashion design brand Donna Karan, and during her post as the head of department at the Eindhoven Design Academy in Holland, that she eventually opened Studioilse in 2001. A client based that included all facets of the design spectrum – restaurants, hotels and heritage brands such as Swarovski, and Waterford Crystal – gravitated to the studio’s aesthetic, which soon became a mainstay and founding pillar of modernity in the international design world.

Ilse Crawford has been a natural collaborator from the get go. From lighting to rug, fabric and textile design, Crawford partners with some of the world’s most recognizable companies from IKEA and American Vogue to Soho House and the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. Irrespective of the project and client, Crawford continues to push the boundaries of design without sacrificing function. Known for a strong aesthetic that pulls inspiration from comfortability and the everyday life, Ilse Crawford excels at the presentation of living spaces that improve on the familiar realities, which has made her a design industry icon throughout her career.

In addition to founding the Department of Man and Wellbeing at Design Academy Eindhoven, Ilse Crawford has also published three books, Sensual Home: Liberate Your Senses and Change Your Life (1997), Home is Where the Heart is (2009), and A Frame for Life: The Designs of StudioIlse (2014).
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