Mini Moderns

Never mind The Imitation Game, British design duo Mini Moderns has also turned one or two wartime secrets to their advantage... 

BY DEE IVA

When we first clapped eyes on P.L.U.T.O, this distinctive new wallpaper from Mini Moderns, we thought it had interplanetary origins. We've since discovered that the inspiration is much closer to home. Under the English Channel, in fact.

During the Second World War secret pipelines ran along the seabed between the English and French coasts to supply fuel to the Allied forces in Europe. Codenamed Operation PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean), this subterfuge enabled more than 172 million gallons of fuel to be pumped to the amassed troops liberating Europe from the grip of the Nazis after the D-Day invasion. Pumping stations were disguised to hide their true nature; in Dungeness, Kent, one took on the appearance of a seaside cottage, while on the Isle of Wight another became an ice-cream parlour! Look closely and you'll see a cunningly hidden metallic pipeline running diagonally through the geometric background design inspired by another type of subterfuge, the Dazzle camouflage used by warships in both world wars. One last military influence is also present – the spherical shapes are based on the Dungeness Sound Mirrors, a sort of prototype radar that could detect incoming enemy aircraft before they could be seen. You can still find the giant sculptural remains of these concrete 'Listening Ears' at nearby Denge today.

In the hands of the Mini Moderns (Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire), these elements of war have been transformed into a thing of great beauty, with wallpapers in five startling colourways, printed in the UK with water-based inks on paper from sustainable forests. We can only salute you and promise to pay more attention in history class from now on...
minimoderns.com

TOP: 'Lido & Copper'
TOP RIGHT: 'Mustard'
ABOVE FROM LEFT:
 'Lido & Copper''Coach Emerald & Silver''Mustard''Tangerine Dream & Silver''Washed Denim & Copper'. £55 per 10m roll. 
All furniture courtesy of Hopper + Space  hopperandspace.com