Highly Creative Minds
Highly Creative Minds was formed in 2018 but existed as a state-of-mind for much longer on my own private projects. A year later Ian Clarke joined as a partner enabling us to become a fully-established practice. Together we make a very balanced team: Ian focusses largely on technical issues, with a great skill in producing handdrawn sketch-details to resolve design issues, while I bring both vision and a passion for design along with seeing to the financial side of the business.
Our work is varied with a number of commercial projects currently underway including an hotel and office in Port Harcourt and Lagos respectively, our scope-of-work covering architecture and interior design for both. Closer to home we have a number of residential reconfigurations progressing and a bar/café fit-out design package in a lottery-funded arts project where a former hospital chapel is being converted into an arts centre /theatre: it has just reached tender stage.
As a practice we are still quite small with only three full-time staff; however, we link-up with other like-minded, highly-creative, people to work on projects and pitches. Consequently we can provide an expanded range of services, as required, such as for lighting and graphic design; project management and structures. We can also expand our delivery capacity in the same manner. Our studio culture is one that encourages such people to come and work in the office alongside us, we welcome such drops-ins as they add variety and stimulus while we can help support the non-office-based worker. As the nomadic work force becomes more commonplace we find such co-operations provide an additional source of energy and vitality with our office acting as the oasis. Out of this loose and flexible framework we aim to create better design, better buildings, better environments and [hopefully] better lives wherever we practice.
The Highly Creative Minds
Hilary Clayton Mitchell
I am both a qualified interior designer and architect with over 30 years of experience.
On leaving the Royal collage Art I joined Conran Design and worked on many prestigious projects; LanvIn and Expo 1992 to name but two; with teams of design creative experts, graphic designers, exhibition designers, artists and architects.
After completing my architecture diploma I joined Chapman Taylor an international architectural practice specialising in commercial architecture; in particular in the retail field. My role at Chapman Taylor was to lead their interior design group, as its creative head, on commercial projects from shopping centres; mixed-use developments with a high proportion of F&B and leisure; through to transport hubs and offices.
I have also been actively involved in the education field and have taught for many years on the interior design degree course at Ravensbourne University and at Kingston University.
In 2018 I set up my own design studio working on hotels, offices, leisure and residential projects.
I joined Highly Creative Minds in 2019 just after its foundation, although being part of a smaller more independently-minded, hands-on practice had been in my mind for some while.
Prior to joining HCM I was an Associate Director at Chapman Taylor working on a wide-variety of project types from conception through to completion. This included urban mixed-use developments, hotels and cinemas (including one in Croydon). Residential schemes across a variety of scales ranged from affordable housing in Exeter as part of a Postal Sorting Office (24 units); a site in Brent Cross (60-units) along with individual properties in central London. My time at CT included many projects outside the UK, often in conjunction with the practice’s various international offices, that gave tremendous insight into varied ways of working and different lifestyles around the world. Schemes in Europe (e.g. hotels in Romana and Latvia); Uzbekistan (city centre residential); the Mid - dle East (‘resort’ master-planning in Libya involving an array of housing planning), China and India, to list but a few, were all rewarding and enjoyable.
Fortunately the diverse, and international, nature of project work continues at HCM where we have undertaken projects in Nigeria (two office buildings and an hotel); Es - tonia and Lithuania (mixed-use and retail) and Belarus (adding Olympic-stand sporting facilities to a retail mall to give it a new slant in a changing commercial environment!) as well as closer to home (a charitable trust arts centre café fit-out in Epsom plus residential schemes in London, Surrey and Devon).
The varied challenges of working across the full-range of stages in architectural and design projects is a major focus of my working life. This can be found equally in the cre - ation new environments or in amending / enhancing existing ones. I have an affinity for problem-solving and for seeing space and detail in three-dimensions that greatly assists with the former.
Director / Visualiser
I joined Highly Creative Minds in 2019 just after its start Head of Visuals and 3D designer. Working in a smaller practice has always been a goal of mine. In this time with HCM I have been involved in global projects including Tallinn, Lagos and Minsk as well as residential and F&B schemes across the UK.
After leaving Portsmouth University as a 3d Animator I started working for Bill Ledger Animations and then Scott Wilson (now AECOM) as a 3D Visualiser.
I was Head 3D Illustrator for CCFE (EFDA), working on Europe’s largest Fusion site responsible for the creation of all 3D Illustrations of ‘JET’ (Joint European Torus, Europe’s Largest fusion device) and ‘Mast’ (United Kingdom’s largest fusion device). My first role was to develop a method of creating photo realistic images of the new machine, images that have never been seen before allowing people to see the new. These images have been used for many forms of publicity: in Science Works magazine; exhibitions at the Science Museum London; The of Future Science and Energy lecture presented by Prince William and in TV documentaries by Physicist Brian Cox.
Subsequently I spent time at Squire & Partners working with the architects developing design visuals for the new Chelsea Barracks development in London before moving to for Chapman Taylor as a 3d Designer and visualiser. This position allowed me to grow as both a designer and a visualiser on a long list of projects internationally and in the UK including mixed-use projects in Milan, Russia, South Korea and the Middle East. I have also acted a designer and Visualiser for several large cinemas in Dubai, working on the Dubai Mall Cinema refurbishment, Jebal Ali, Le Pointe and Springs Village, the latter incorporating Guy Fiery dining Cinemas.
My links with HCM, as in Hilary Clayton-Mitchell directly, are long-established beginning with my time as an interior design student. After graduating and then taking a short break from the design industry we worked together in the same architectural practice for many years; including very enjoyable periods designing numerous cinemas, hotels and other projects worldwide.
A second period away from interior design saw me studying professional hairdressing; however, since then I have moved back and become a freelance illustrator. I have remained in close contact with Hilary, and while not a full-time member of the Highly Creative Minds team I maintain a close association with them undertaking numerous presentation and design commissions on both live projects and competition bids.
Away from the world of work I like to travel widely (international pandemics permitting); am a very keen skier and cyclist; enjoy music and films, ideally from the 80s and 90s; and cooking
32 years’ experience in re-energising, refreshing and creating brands.
I started my career at Conran Design Group where I was fortunate enough to work directly with Sir Terence Conran creating brand image for his Le Pont de la Tour ‘gastrodrome’ at Butler’s Wharf, Quaglino’s in Mayfair, the Lanvin flagship store in Paris and experience and exhibition design for the British Pavilion at the World Expo in Seville 1992.
I Joined Davies/Baron (becoming Future Brand) developing retail concepts, print and brand assets for: Laura Ashley, Harrods, Next, Valentino and Matthew Williamson couture. Here as Design Director I was part of the creative leadership team for the British Airways account defining and refreshing the complete customer experience within Club Europe and Club World.
Have worked on projects around the globe, from: Telecoms in Central Africa, banking in the Middle East, eco initiatives in Australia, food and beverage in North America, fashion branding in London.
I joined Sapient Nitro as a founding member and Creative Director of brand and innovation within a global advertising group working between the London and New York offices creatively leading branding accounts for: Volvo, Kraft Foods and Dove/Galaxy, North America.
For the past 10 years I have practiced as a freelance Creative Director / illustrator working directly with clients at: Tesco, Audi, Unilever, Diagio and M&S and within many London creative agencies latterly HCM.
I have combined my practice as designer and illustrator with lecturing posts and mentoring undergraduates at the University of Birmingham and fashion communication post-graduate students at The University of the Arts, London.
Anita is a successful interior designer, specifier and project manager with more than 20 years experience in the world of interior design.
Sha has had an extensive and varied career, including 6 years in the cruise ship sector, and has completed prestigious interior design schemes in various countries around the world as well as in the UK.
Her considerable experience incorporates design concept, design development, client liaison & project management.
In recent years she has developed her talents as an FF&E interior designer with a distinctive style and a practiced eye. Constantly developing her knowledge of the latest innovations and trends as well as emerging techniques and products she is able to source unique and inspiring finishes and materials to enhance any design scheme.
With a comprehensive knowledge of the marketplace, and her extensive experience, Anita’s skillset has proved invaluable in the success of many design projects.
Light Made Up London
Light Made Up provides innovative and thoughtful lighting design through concept, schematic, and detail design stages for signature artwork for public and private building developments. Its expertise is based on a solid combination of understanding both how light works and performs as well as how the fittings and supporting services make lighting systems deliver those effects.
I have a strong art, design and engineering background and spent ten years in the R&D environment in fields as diverse as the motor industry and oceanographic research facilities.
Active in the Lighting Industry from1987 I have covered all aspects of lighting design, standard lighting product development and bespoke lighting product design and manufacture.
After seventeen years as Design Director working world wide on prestigious lighting projects for Scott Lighting Ltd. I founded Light Made Up to progress design at a more personal level. Light Made Up and HCM have cooperated on numerous projects since then.
I have a passion for music, playing guitar in a rock band in my spare time, along with golf and riding motorbikes.