Artist and designer Faye Toogood on how Wallpaper* shaped the way we live

Artist and designer Faye Toogood, a Wallpaper* contributor since 2007, on our forward-thinking magazine. Toogood’s recollections feature in the ‘25 Years of Wallpaper*’ series, published in our October 2021, 25th anniversary issue

cover of Wallpaper* magazine issue 141
(Image credit: press)

Early in my career, I worked as a stylist at The World of Interiors, spending most of my days surrounded by artful chaos (mess), creating artful things out of paper and sticky tape; faxing analogue requests to foreign countries (we only had one computer); styling 17th-century teapots on photo shoots; and taking bits of floral fabrics to faded palaces in India.

One day, Tyler Brûlé summoned me to visit Wallpaper* HQ. I was transported into a world more modern and forward-thinking than I’d ever experienced: a wall of front covers presenting beautiful half-naked people sitting on low modernist chairs; line upon line of up-to-the-minute iMacs; beautiful people dressed in black; and sleek furniture made from blonde wood. I asked a gentleman (Scandinavian, of course), ‘Why is it so immaculate here?’ He explained that when Tyler came in each day, always the first to arrive, he’d go round the desks and throw away anything he thought to be neither beautiful nor useful. That has stuck with me; I have to admit I am guilty of doing a similar thing in my studio to this day.

Wallpaper* has always felt otherworldly to me. Before social media, Wallpaper* was the place to expose me and others to Asian cuisine, Scandinavian design, avant-garde fashion and global interiors. I have been lucky enough to work for it and be featured in it and, I have to say, design and interiors would not be what they are without it. Thank you, Wallpaper*, for actively reshaping the way we eat, dress and live today.


A version of this article appears in the October 2021, 25th Anniversary Issue of Wallpaper* (W*270), on newsstands now and available to subscribers – 12 digital issues for $12/£12/€12.