DESIGNER IN PROFILE: James Murphy, JM Designs

JM Designs recently reached the shortlist for the IY&A Awards 2014. Their project, MU2 Marquis (click to view), will compete for the Private Aviation Interior Design Award. (To enter the awards email


James Murphy


Name: James Murphy

Company: JM Designs

Position within company: Designer/Owner


What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

I think generally design is moving towards embracing our human needs. I say that with the intent that a majority of design has been about making something look aesthetically pleasing or functional instead of embracing indirect elements. In the past we have been limited by raw materials and resources, however technology and knowledge, coupled with the communication of that knowledge, have opened up unlimited possibilities for addressing these areas and allowing design to encompass these needs in very basic ways. Using resources more efficiently and sustainably are part of this methodology.


What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, we are working on a handful of projects for international clients. We are also developing some concept projects for unveiling later in 2014. Personally I’m working on some sustainability projects and hope to take part in some international mission trips this coming year.


A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

This is so true! It is a balancing act, with a wife and 4 young children there is never enough time outside of work to do a lot of extra activities. I try to include the kids in innovative projects that I’m working on to foster their love of learning new things.


Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2014 and beyond.

Looking into the future I see the key design themes, as always accommodating the client- maintaining the client’s needs and desires, Innovation- constantly striving for ways to explore new ideas, Texture- the visual interest that texture provides will continue to tantalize our senses, Layering- adds depth to the palate and visual interest, Variety- seeing a combination of ideas, techniques, materials, and textures adds to the synergy of a design.


If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Experience is the key to developing concepts that are better than the last. As one gains experience the evolution of one’s knowledge is not just of making a beautiful design but a design that can also be created within the limitations of the medium. Doing both allows the vision of the design to match the final reality.


How do you relax?

I relax by getting into scripture, drawing, and building. Seems like work, but when you have a passion for something you love it isn’t really work! When I’m able to get into a different mind-set away from the challenges and ups and downs of life, I have peace and joy.


What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

Over the next 12 months I would like to see us continue to showcase our design resources to potential clients as well as the industry.


Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

I’ve had a chance to visit a lot of different places throughout the world. One thing I really enjoy is meeting different people and experiencing their cultures. I am at a point in my life where I am happy taking in the beauty around me.