25th March 2020

Our 2020 Cockpit Effect Impact Report features a series of case studies to illustrate the diversity of makers, their practices and business journeys at Cockpit Arts. Over the coming weeks we’ll share these with you.

Sian Zeng is gaining a global reputation with her hand-drawn and magnetic wallpapers to suit every lifestyle

Sian Zeng’s is a thoroughly 21st century success story: the result not just of an innovative range of products but of savvy digital marketing that has allowed her to establish a global reputation and market. “We have sent wallpaper rolls to remote areas of Mongolia,” says Zeng, who has placed heavy emphasis on the commercial success of her craft from the very beginning.

The brand is best-known for its hand-drawn and magnetic wallpapers. Of these, it is the latter that has truly captured the public imagination, including that of actor Hilary Duff, who placed a large order in 2012, and the judges of the Etsy Global Design Awards, who awarded the range its Grand Prize in 2019. “The magnetic wallpaper allows users to create their own scenes and stories on the wall by moving and playing with a cast of magnetic characters and write-on speech bubbles.”

Since then, the collection has grown to include mural wallpapers (which are cheaper than bespoke murals and fit any wall width) and fabric stickers (handy for renters, as they can be easily stripped off walls and refixed).

Over her nine years at Cockpit, she has absorbed advice on subjects ranging from lean manufacturing to building a digital toolkit. A stable rent and a thriving community of creative professionals means she sees herself remaining at its Deptford studio for the foreseeable future.

Cockpit Effect Impact Report 2020

Photos: Jon Day