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David McKendrick, London

Words by Elisha Kennedy

Images by Ho Hai Tran

Scottish-born David McKendrick runs the highly respected London design and art direction studio, B.A.M. alongside Lee Belcher. The studio has worked on projects for the likes of Christie’s, White Cube and The Times – delivering an aesthetic which is consistently clean and sophisticated yet discerning and playful. We visit David’s compact studio apartment in London’s Barbican building and learn, amongst other things, that he is riotously funny and has an instagram account documenting notes from his beloved laundry lady.



 

How long have you lived here in the Barbican? Tell us about your flat.

I’ve lived in the general area on and off for around 15 years. My current flat I’ve had for 5 years. It’s a studio flat in the Barbican – it is tiny, but I’m super efficient with space. I run a tight ship here. A British architecture critic, Ian Nairn once said, “I’m a real city dweller, my idea of a home is a very small flat, and no possessions much and the whole of the city to use as my drawing room or dining room.” This is my mantra.

What are some of things you enjoy doing in your neighbourhood?

I’m really lucky, there are three cinemas in the Barbican. Watching films is my favourite past time and I find it a great way to relax and be inspired. It also helps to switch off from the digital world we live in. It is complete escape for me.



 

How old is BAM now?

B.A.M. was 4 years old at the beginning of August. We are fully up to speed now and have established a good body of work, the best team and have been lucky enough to score some top clients. We are cooking on gas, with some great new projects launching towards the end of this year.

Can you share with us some of your favourite recent projects.

Yes, we recently rebranded White Cube and we are starting to work on some top secret moving image and films, which has really set the studio alight. We have been predominantly print and editorial based but the opportunity arose, and we are really thriving on producing moving image. Watch this space!

Tell us about Pamstagram…

PAMstagram is a Insta account for Pam who does my laundry (my flat is too small for a washing machine). She runs the Barbican laundrette and she does the best hand written signs. She has also has become a good friend. She washes my laundry, and she gives me constant relationship advice. She is like my morning therapist.



 
linen duvet set

Our Kohl linen duvet cover and pillowslip set featured in David’s London apartment

Do you have a morning routine?

I do. I rise at 6, have my breakfast, spend 30 minutes catching up on emails and planning for the day ahead. I head to my swimming pool at 7.15. Pop into see Pam on the way. I swim 2km every day. Then I’m at my desk / studio / shoot for 9.45, ready tackle anything that comes my way.

A bedtime routine?

I have no bedtime routine. Evenings are full, and unpredictable, so I play this one by ear, but my mornings never change.

I have no bedtime routine. Evenings are full, and unpredictable, so I play this one by ear, but my mornings never change.

What would you be doing on a productive Saturday?

A productive Saturday would consist of a swim, some culture, a little bit of life laundry, then dinner with friends.

And on an unproductive Sunday?

I’m a little strange in that I don’t like having unproductive days! I like to always be busy but on a Sunday, I make sure I carve out some time for a film at the Cinema.



 

Do you go back to Scotland often?

I go back usually once a month! I’m blessed with the best family which is ever-expanding. I also like going back to see my Scottish friends. It is always very grounding as they don’t let me get away with any of my “pretentious London shit”.

I also like going back to see my Scottish friends. It is always very grounding as they don’t let me get away with any of my “pretentious London shit”.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to getting the current projects in the BAM studio out into the world. The last six months have been really pivotal for where the studio wants to be in the future and quite a dramatic departure for us really. We are learning every day, which is what I keep looking forward to. Hopefully this will continue.

@b.a.m.stagram

@mrmckendrick


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