Trifle Studio challenges the notion of who can be a designer

Director Ella Ritchie and studio manager Tom Dorkin talk about their work helping creatives with learning disabilities break down barriers

Intoart is a charity founded 23 years ago to help “people with learning disabilities to be visible, equal and established artists”. Based in Peckham, it’s an alternative art school for people with learning disabilities to develop a long-term creative practice, across art, design and craft. 

Taking the lead from the creatives and practitioners they work with, last year the charity decided to look beyond the art gallery towards a fully committed design studio practice that operated under its own identity, and so Trifle Studio was born. It’s the first multidisciplinary design studio in the UK whose work is created by artists and designers with learning disabilities. An extension of Intoart’s original vision, Trifle aims to bring attention to creatives often overlooked by commissioners and brands to take on commercial briefs. 

Our ambition is to put Trifle in the public eye as a commercial endeavour, creating a studio that is passionate about working with new clients, collaborators and brands,” says co-founder and director Ella Ritchie. “We aim to champion high quality creative work while simultaneously challenging preconceived notions of who can and can’t be a designer.”

Knot Wraps for Lush, Lisa Trim and Andre Williams. All images: Trifle Studio