The Design Duo Behind Verden

23 Feb 2015
3 min read
Other Works is a design company run by Pippa Murray and Simon Lamason working across interiors, products and furniture. Recently they took on the project of Verden wine bar, located in East London. Take a look at their eye-catching aesthetic.

Tell us a bit about Other Works

Other Worksis a design company run by Pippa Murray and Simon Lamason working across interiors, products and furniture. Pippa has a background in interior architecture, an MA in design products from the Royal College of Art and has run her own furniture company for the last four years. I have a background in industrial design and design strategy, working both in-house and as a consultant. Other Works was born from our love of making; we have different backgrounds but complimentary skills and expertise, and take pride in crafting what we design.

Where were you born and where did you grow up and where do you live now?

Pippa grew up near London and still lives there but has close ties with Cumbria in the Lake District. I am originally from New Zealand but have since lived in Amsterdam, London and recently moved to San Francisco.

Tell me about how you got into your line of work. What are you known for or have a knack for?

Something that sets us part is that we manufacture and make much of what we design ourselves or use a close network of suppliers. It means we have a deep understanding of the practicalities of getting things done and the ability to push boundaries of what is possible. For instance what we did with Jonathan Leech in getting him to turn the giant wooden shade and the small pendant lights. It also means we are able to create unique solutions such as the hanging boards and rail system and the bespoke bar stools in place at Verden.Describe a normal working day from start to finish.

It is always dependant on what stage projects are at, but a normal day will consist of the usual emailing clients or suppliers, running budget and project spreadsheets. On the design side it might be background research for inspiration, defining schemes through sketching and CAD, production drawings and visuals. We always try to spend a sometime in the workshop everyday prototyping, making samples or just tinkering, its an important part of our creative process.Verden E5 seems to have a lot of influences from the Nordic countries or am I wrong?
Verden was always driven by an ethos of simplicity and an honesty to materials, yes things are evident in Nordic design and hence evident in Verden.Where did you get your inspiration for the design of the place? What influenced your choices on colors and the sharp yet soft angles in Verden?
Foremost was defining a layout that worked both functionally as a bar/restaraunt and to make a space that is really nice to be in. Tom and Ed, the owners of Verden, wanted something that was clean, modern and unique. To achieve this we kept a minimal palette of natural materials which allowed the wine, food and customers to bring it to life. We are especially inspired by materials and process, for instance the protective burning or charring of wood in Japanese and Scandinavian architecture, the beautiful English timbers that Pip has extensive knowledge of from her time in Cumbria and the turning of Green wood. The sharpness and angularity evident is to give a modern feel but we consciously softened this with elements of natural edge wood,warm lighting and banquet seating to make it inviting and comfortable.What type of atmosphere were you trying to create?
Verden is split over two floor’s: a large and bright ground floor with high ceilings and large windows, and the opposite in the basement; with low ceilings and lack of natural light. We wanted to accentuate these aspects of both spaces. The ground floor; inviting and open with a large outward facing bar, plenty of stools to sit on with the warmth and tactility of wood at hand. The basement is intimate and cosy with carefully controlled lighting, dark ceilings and booth seating plus an eye on the inner workings of the kitchen and cheese room. Lighting was of paramount importance to creating the atmosphere and focal points, hence the bespoke lighting pieces designed by us.What are some of the challenges in designing an interior like Verden? How do you over come those?
By far the biggest hurdle for us was in making something special on a tight budget, an all to familiar story. We were very lucky in that we shared a common vision with Tom and Ed, and apart from keeping reign on the budget, they trusted us completely in bringing this vision to life. We were able to overcome many issues as we designed, built or supplied most of the bespokepieces, cutting out the middle man, meaning things could happen that would have otherwise been costprohibitive. What do you like to cook at home? What’s your comfort food?

Pip always has a soft spot for dumplings and I, the basics of a roast chicken, green beens and mayonnaise is my elixir of choice.Any favorite cheap eats?

London – Doms place

San Francisco – Yamo

Other Works


181 Clarence Road

London E5 8EE