Design Hunter™ Q+A with Ilias Fotopolous

For our last Design Hunter™ in the Temple & Webster Emerging Design Award series, we catch up with textile visionaire Ilias Fotopolous and hear about his considered and unglamorous design favourites.

22 Jan 2013

Your name: Ilias Fotopoulos

What you do: hmm… I develop concepts that at the start have no home, they are usually moulded to fit into an interior textile or wallpaper concept or a clothing concept.

Your latest project:  finding a way to preserve my cultural heritage through a new body of work

 Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 

1)  Rei Kawakubo for unending originality

2)  Martin Margiela for his work and stand against the concept of the celebrity designer

3)  ALL migrants who came to Australia with a bag of clothes and not much more and got on with it no matter what. Such courage and


What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: I’m a push bike fan I love my bike… Cars and boats really hold no interest. Planes in general I find amazing  – the most incredible engineering feat that we all take for granted.

Chair model: Kai Kristiansen #42 in rosewood

Residential space: A small house on the greek island of Sifnos that I go to: stone, basic with all of the marks of time and living. I find it very soothing.

Commercial space: Palais de Tokyo in Paris – it’s unpolished and the perfect combination of dark passage ways and cavernous bright space.

Decorative product: Pieces by Florence Knoll – they stand the test of time

Functional product: Plumbing– it was only 60 years ago that my  grandmother in Greece had to get water from a well a kilometre away and carry it back home. Imagine.

Handmade good: Heirloom pieces from blankets and lace table cloths to the amazing hand made dresses my mum made for herself – I’ll always keep them.

Mass-produced good: It’s a toss up between the ubiquitous post it and sticky tape – they will never fade in to obscurity.

Meal: Mum’s osso buco, dads olive oil hand cut chips with greens from his garden. Yum.

Restaurant: So far, Fratelli Paradiso. Simple and good.

DrinkGOOD coffee.

Bar: I don’t know any

Item in your studio: my flocker that  I use to create the flocked wallpapers.

Piece of technology: The internet. Another amazing feat we all take for granted.

Historical figure: Socrates – I’m a great believer in open dialogue and questioning what we believe and why.

Fictional character: The original Batman and Robin when their eyes would meet: so many unanswered questions.

Vice: procrastination.

Virtue: determination.

What would you do with the $5000 prize for winning the Temple & Webster Emerging Designer Award? I am certain all of the nominees would invest it in their work in some way – I’ve no doubt that we are all equally passionate and I’d do the same: put it towards a collection of sample books that contain my wallpapers so that people have a tool to show and see the work – that is what is holding me back at the moment – it is a big investment.

If you could have anything from the Temple & Webster Catalogue, what would it be? I’m a big fan of linen and the Miss Molly irish linen is something to use daily.

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’™ mean to you? I would hope that a design hunter is more about searching for the elements that I see as key to design: originality, longevity, integrity – whether it is successful in the market already or not.

To learn more about the nominated designer for the Temple & Webster Emerging Designer Award and place your vote, visit

Temple & Webster