Desert Island Desks with Nic Pryke, Oktra

Nic Pryke, Oktra
In the past 30 years, Nic Pryke has gone from cabinet maker to Design Director of this leading D&B firm. He understands the value in this area of interior design, as it has such an impact on people’s lives and how they work. Everyday Nic continues to be impressed by his design team at Oktra, with their innovation and creativity, producing unrivalled concepts.

Sheep shears
This is my favourite design object! The design for these shears has been honed, fine-tuned and simplified over hundreds of years of use and is totally driven by function. Every curve, junction and finish serves a purpose and there are no superfluous or decorative elements added, yet it is a beautiful object. It is made from two pieces of forged steel and two rivets: a masterpiece of craftsmanship and minimalism. All the qualities of steel are brought into play. The steel has been tempered to different degrees of temperature so that at one end it performs as a spring, opening the blades, and at the other end it is hard so that it can be sharpened to a cutting edge. The blades are hollow ground so that they self-sharpen against each other every time they are opened and closed. The shears sit comfortably within the hand.

Sunday lunch
Love cooking it.
Love eating it.
Love the conversations I have across the dinner table.
Preferably washed down with a fine bottle of Saint Emilion!

London
I think it’s the most creative, vibrant, exciting, beautiful city in the world by far. It has so many facets and layers and is constantly surprising and invigorating. It’s not a British city; it’s a world city. I particularly love its multiculturalism. Tricky to take to a desert island though!

Plaster and trowel
I’m a ‘soft’ minimalist. Nothing superfluous comes into our home unless it has purpose; it has to earn its place. On the desert island I would make it my business to try and create a space with straight lines and smooth, flat surfaces. It would differentiate me from the animals.

Charcoal drawings
I love the aesthetic of charcoal drawings – so fundamental.
I love doing it – creatively it is so challenging, starting with a blank piece of paper and trying to capture the human figure. I quite often attend life drawing classes and I arrange classes in our studio, which are always popular.

Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport
This is my bike and I’ve never seen one more beautiful. I love its V twin sound and the muscle-look the tappet headcovers give it because the V is transverse. It’s 100 horse power and will get me up to 135mph (no wind!), which is fast enough for me.
I bought it new 21 years ago and, for me, it’s still my brand-new sports bike but old bikers often say to me, “nice old classic mate!”
I spend too much time looking after it and not enough time riding it.

My tracks for the Desert Island Jukebox:
Radiohead – Creep
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
Dave Brubeck – Take Five
Ingrid Fliter – playing
Chopin’s Barcarolle Op.60
Delgados – Tempered, Not Tamed