In the frame: William Knight

William Knight

William Knight, the director of two of London’s most influential annual shows, Clerkenwell Design Week and 100% Design, tells us what makes him tick

How has your style evolved over the years? I’ve become bolder; I’d now prefer to make a statement. I was once given a pair of teal-coloured patent shoes that generated comments from people I walked past. That gave me a strong sense that standing out was rewarding.

Who has influenced you? The people immediately around me, now and in the past, are my key influence both personally and professionally. I tend to be surrounded by strong women; I trust their view of what, how and when.

Who are your design heroes? There are so many designers I admire. It’s always vision and the ability to challenge convention that separates the good from the great: Frank Pick (the great mind behind London’s modern transport system), Zaha Hadid and James Dyson come to mind. But my list includes people I’ve worked with, such as Paul Cocksedge, Thomas Heatherwick and Morag Myerscough: never conventional, sometimes controversial but always convincing. And there’s so much talent at Clerkenwell Design Week, so we are excited about what we’ll see this year.

What’s your favourite building? The Southbank Centre (below) never ceases to amaze me, despite being a constant in my life. I loved my visit to Glasgow School of Art and will always remember it. Another very special building is Grand Central Terminal in New York – its sheer size, elegance and the human activity in it make it an incredible structure.

Describe your dream home Warm, airy, comfortable, connected and full of love.

What is your own home like? My wife and I share a passion for clean lines and an off-minimalist style. Making sure that everything in your home either has a purpose or gives you joy is a mantra we’ve adopted.
 
What makes a home? Definitely the people. I share my home with a nine-year-old and a seven-year-old, without whom it is just a building. When we’re together, it’s home.

How do you relax? Listening to music is a great way to provide low-level relaxation. If the radio isn’t on (which it usually is), there will always be music playing. 

Which iconic interior product do you wish you had designed? Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif citrus squeezer for Alessi.

What are you sitting on now? The tube. I always seem to be sitting on the tube. 

What is Scotland’s greatest attribute? Fortitude.

In the frame

The Southbank Centre