Timorous Beasties was established in Glasgow in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, who met studying textile design at Glasgow School of Art. Today, the studio is a diverse operation and has emerged as a multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed icon.
Timorous Beasties’ work embodies a unique diversity of pattern, ranging from design that echoes a golden age of copperplate engraving (a time-honoured classic is the Thistle range; or Merian Palm superwide wallpaper) to example of a distinctly edgy nature, an elegant transgression, a display of chic irreverence. Yet, the studio fully engages a design discourse with textiles history by lending an aesthetic evolution to time-honoured motifs.
In 2004 Timorous Beasties unveiled their critically acclaimed Glasgow Toile: by reversing the pastoral context of toiles de Jouy, they transformed the traditional toile device to create an exclusively modern urban genre. The Hotch Blotch fabric series challenges a 1000-year old aesthetic mode by placing disorder within the structure of damask pattern to reveal the inherent beauty of splatters, drips and blotches. Hunting Toile and Urban wallpapers mark a synthesis of 18th-century chinoiserie groupings, Rococo swirls, and Victorian silhouette paper cuts to create a uniquely contemporary ornamental textiles pattern repeat.
The art critic John Ruskin related a universal connection between nature, art and society. Timorous Beasties share a similar world view, where plants, animals and society are visually inextricable. They are devoted to how that impacts as pattern design in our daily experience of furnished spaces, from one-bedroom flats to country villas, to the halls of civic and government buildings, departure lounge backdrops, boutique enclaves, restaurants, and hotels.
COMMISSIONS & COLLABORATIONS
Some Timorous Beasties brand clients include Famous Grouse, Nike, Fortnum & Mason, and Philip Treacy. The Studio’s gallery of cultural design commissions includes the Edinburgh International Festival 2009 graphics and book covers for Penguin, Magna, and Granta.
Home accessories include exclusive lines for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Brintons carpets, Liberty London, and John Lewis Department Stores.
Ranking among the Studio’s strong record for bespoke furnishing and installation commissions are the V&A boardroom, UK Supreme Court, Wellcome Trust, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Robert Burns Museum. Exteriors range from engraved stone cladding for Bristol’s Cabot Circus to the extravagant aluminium decorative façade for Princes Square, Glasgow. Christies, Claridges, the Inter-Continental Hotel Group, and Hilton-Waldorf Astoria rank among a heady list of our commercial clients.
Timorous Beasties have collaborated with furniture elites Ercol, S.C.P., and the design cult classic duo, .nobody&co.
Timorous Beasties opened their first retail shop in 2004 on the Great Western Road in Glasgow. Their central London showroom opened in 2007 and their Berlin showroom in 2019.
2013: Winners of the Retail Exterior Surface for Princes Square (Surface Design Awards, Business Design Centre London)
2007: Winners of Walpole Award for Best Emerging Brand
2006: Elle Decoration Award for Best Textiles
2006: Elle Decoration Award for Best Carpet
2005: Winners of Scottish Style Awards
2003: ICFF New York Editors Award for Best Wallcovering
2001: ICFF New York Editors Award for Best Fabrics
1999: Millennium Award for laminates
1998: ICFF New York Editors Award for Best Wallcovering
Art Institute of Chicago, US
Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, US
Decorative Art Collection, Hampshire County Council, UK
GOMA, Glasgow, UK
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada.
Temple Newsam, Leeds, UK
Victoria and Albert Museum, UK