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01 DD Walala

An amazing maze in Chicago


The Design Diaries
Camille Walala


Words Vidula KotianImages Julia Jomaa, Charles Emerson, Jenny Lewis, Taran Wilkhu, Tekla SeverinDate 21 July 2023

Camille Walala is an East London-based textile, graphic, and interior designer influenced by the Memphis movement, the Ndebele tribe, and op-art master Victor Vasarely.

The irreverent French artist harnesses optimistic typography and exuberant geometries to create entire environments that stimulate the senses and inspire pure joy. Her work encompasses full-facade murals, immersive 3D installations, street art, interiors, and set design.

Camille’s practice has taken her all over the world to transform homes and workspaces with her signature tribal-pop style. But she is also becoming a recognizable force on London’s street art scene with her joyful murals and colorful installations. She’s done a mix of projects, such as Les Jumeaux in White City where the pedestrian crossings and murals outside the tube station bear her trademark bright geometric patterns, or the Walala Parade, in Leyton, a community project designed to make people proud of where they live. We had a brief chat with this purveyor of positivity, vibrant color, and bold pattern-work.

02 DD Walala (1)

A full-building wrap in Haarby, Denmark

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South Molton surprise: Walala’s flags and furniture are an inspiration in Mayfair

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Color and form: Walala’s permanent zebra crossing at London’s White City station

Design Style

Likes to experiment with perspective and scale in her patterns. Those patterns don’t have to be complicated, but the bolder the better.

Design Ethos

An aim to make art accessible and a medium for spreading happiness.

Claim to Fame

Dream Come True building in Shoreditch

What You Didn’t Know

Camille’s surname is really Vic-Dupont. Walala was invented by her boyfriend at the time when Hotmail had just started. He set up an email address for her as a joke, because he said the first time he saw her, he thought “wa-la-la!”.

Design Hotels Member

SALT of Palmar

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Shoreditch mural: Walala’s full-building wrap

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A parade of wraps in London’s Leyton neighborhood

When did you first discover your love for color?

I really owe my first attractions to color to my mum. She was incredibly bold with color. She would paint the rooms in our home in Provence in the most striking hues. I believe it made me feel at ease with utilizing strong shades liberally and not holding back.


What has been your most fun project to date? Why?

I get asked this question a lot, and I always will reply the same, the Dream Come True building I painted in Shoreditch, London will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my first breakthrough project; it opened a lot of doors for me. It was a highly challenging project as I had never done anything like this before. I always look back on that time with very fond memories.

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“I try to find a good composition using the right balance of color and thickness of lines. People don’t realize that you create a lot of rubbish work before you create anything good.”

How did you move from textile design to art? Was it hard to switch mediums?

I made the switch quite organically. I was commissioned by the owner of XOYO nightclub in London to remodel the bar area. I took my patterns that I had created and blew them up to different scales on the photocopier. I then went about designing the space using large scale graphics and making it as immersive as possible. When it was finished and I watched people’s faces overcome with joy and excitement as they entered the room, I knew that this was the art I wanted to produce!


You travel a lot. Which destination left a lasting impression on you? Why?

My favorite destination is Mexico. There’s something very special about this country. I love the architecture, colors, food, nature, music, and the people. It ticks all my boxes!

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A gas station in Arkansas gets the full Walala treatment

Walking or flying?
Round or angular?
Sunset or Sunrise?

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Walala’s colorful corners at SALT of Palmar

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Tell us about what it is was like designing your first hotel, SALT of Palmar.

It was very challenging, having no previous interior design experience. The teams we worked with were great, very accommodating, and probably very patient with us. However, it was so interesting to work through the various stages of the process and see the designs come to life. I would love to design another one.

You work in different mediums—how does the material dictate the way you work?

The materials do have a direct impact on the work we produce. You must understand the boundaries to which a material can be pushed.

What are your dreams for the future?

I would love to be able to spend more time in the countryside. I love being in a natural environment. It brings a certain level of calmness. I absolutely love that pace of life more and more.

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Bold perspectives: Walala’s permanent maze installation in Chicago

Do you have any recent cultural discoveries that you would like to share?

I visited the Charleston house just outside of London recently. It was a beautiful revelation.

What have you changed in your life in the past year to be more sustainable?

I travel a lot less. I only travel for work when its completely necessary. I also try to buy more vintage clothing when I can.

What do you think is the future of travel?

Hopefully we will find a way to be more conscientious with travel. Short flights for short periods should hopefully be a thing of the past.

14 DD Walala

A grand gateway in Fidenza, Italy

Landscaped or Zen garden?
Spotify or LP?
Vertical or horizontal?

Images by Julia Jomaa: 1, 13
Image by Charles Emerson: 3-4
Image by Jenny Lewis: 5
Image by Taran Wilkhu: 7
Images by Tekla Severin: 9-12

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