The final episode of series four of DESIGN POD, sponsored by Geberit, welcomes John Williams, Founding Director of SpaceInvader Design, to discuss creating meaningful, unconventional narratives in design…
Meet John Williams, an interior designer based in Manchester who is the Founding Director of SpaceInvader Design, a studio with a single-minded purpose: to transform the way organisations use space and motivate people through their environment.
With this approach, John and his team have created some impressive – and unconventional – design narratives, which Editor Hamish Kilburn explores on this episode of DESIGN POD.
Episode 31: design through a filmmaker’s lens (Dereck Joubert)
In episode 31 of DESIGN POD, Editor Hamish Kilburn strips back the layers to understand how two National Geographic wildlife filmmakers and photographers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, have designed luxury safari camps in harmony with the natural world…
Welcome to Africa, where nature unapologetically rules! In episode 31 of DESIGN POD, Editor Hamish Kilburn meets Dereck Joubert, a wildlife photographer and filmmaker who for his whole life, while working with the likes of National Geographic, has campaigned to protect wildlife conservation in Africa.
To part-fund his and his wife Beverly’s selfless journey, they created Great Plains, a cluster of luxury safari camps dotted across the continent. But these aren’t just any camps. Each one tells a different story through design and has its own raw personality.
The considered approach at the start of each development always starts the same; with Dereck and Beverly camping out under the stars, exposed to the elements, in order to take conscious steps to ensure that each property, deliberately designed to feel ‘semi-permanent’ – works with and not just in nature’s spectacular setting. “The way we design was to limit impact on environment,” Dereck says. “I also wanted to convey a sense on impermanence. I wanted to give a sense that we, all of our guests are temporary here. We are here for a moment. We are visitors to landscapes like this.”
Redefining luxury through the filmmaker’s lens, Dereck and Beverly’s social approach to luxury travel has resulted in Great Plains African safari experiences in Botswana, Kenya and now Zimbabwe. And it doesn’t stop there. The husband-and-wife team are committed not only to wildlife conservation in Africa, but, through many charities and initiatives launched and nurtured by Dereck and Beverly themselves, they also work tirelessly to offer and promote equal opportunities for those living and working in and around their camps. This took on a whole new meaning after one incident, sensitively explored on the podcast episode, that Beverly fighting for her life in hospital.
Episode 27: Sustainability in materials (Richard Holland)
Meet Richard Holland, Co-Founder and Director of Holland Harvey Architects, who is pioneering a new era in socially and environmentally designed buildings. Some of the studio’s recent projects, explored in this episode of DESIGN POD, are, put simply, changing the game in this new chapter of meaningful hospitality, design and architecture.
In episode 27 of DESIGN POD (the first episode in series four), sponsored by Geberit and produced by Mel Yates, Editor Hamish Kilburn welcomes Richard Holland, Co-Founder and Director of Holland Harvey Architects, on the podcast to explore the significance of materials when having a sustainable approach to hotel design. To contextualise this, Kilburn starts the episode by asking Holland about how his ‘free architecture’ concept led to the creation of the socially and environmentally driven architecture studio, before exploring some of the projects that, put simply, change the game in the conscious hotel and hospitality arena.
Listen to the full episode here:
InHabit Hotels, is a fine example of this, which is a cluster of socially connected, environmentally responsible hotels. Holland Harvey Architects together with the interior designers at Caitlin Henderson Design were on the design team from when the brand launched its first hotel in 2019, in Paddington, London. The confident mindset from the client allowed the design team at the studio to, well, design deeper by applying research and finding unconventional ways to retain materials existing buildings, while not taking anything away from the contemporary Scandinavian-meets-British design aesthetic.
In addition to discussing how the story of Inhabit Hotels developed through conscious approaches in both design and architects, and understanding how this developed further in Inhabit Hotels’ second property, Holland and Kilburn discuss greenwashing, materials and putting emphasis on the social aspect of ESG in hotel design.
Image credit: Inhabit Hotels
Outside the hotel arena, the studio recently completed a project for Shelter From The Storm (SFTS), a London-based homeless shelter that provides 42 beds, fresh food and holistic support to its guests. “Every single space had to be considered with a particular mindset, which myself and my colleagues did not understand at first,” Holland says on the podcast. “We very much leant on the founder to help us understand what the experience meant, what the challenges were and how design could soften the impact of finding yourself in this situation, arriving at the shelter and finding the space and time to rehabilitate yourself to leave the shelter, which is the ultimate goal.”
In episode 20 of DESIGN POD, Editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with Ivaylo Lefterov, inside the Minotti London showroom, to understand how his plan is coming along to develop the world’s first energy-positive hotel, which sits under a glacier in Norway…
Ever since Hotel Designs heard the first whispers of the project – and its ambitious aims – the publication has been engaged and excited to follow the development of Svart, which in 2024, is slated to become the world’s first energy-positive hotel. Whether its the curvaceous architecture, iconic location, striking interior design scheme, its eco-conscious attitude, or all of the above, Svart which will be operated by Six Senses Hotels and Resorts, is going to break new boundaries on the global hotel design and hospitality scene. And the man pulling together all element to ensure it hits all the right notes is Ivaylo Lefterov, who caught up with Hamish Kilburn recently to discuss how the project is coming along.
Designed structurally by Snøhetta, the 94-key Six Senses Svart will combine a futuristic design, led by interior design studio, Space Copenhagen, and technological innovation with earthy, organic materials that will use the latest embedded energy. The hotel, which will be poised on poles above the crystal-clear waters of the Holandsfjorden fjord, at the base of a glacier, aims to raise awareness of the possibilities of regenerative travel and the importance of the polar region, in partnership with the local community.
Innate to this project, and an integral part of its DNA, is the commitment not to compromise the fragile and pristine glacial surroundings or the property’s beauty and quality. The major design pillars of Six Senses Svart are environment and nature, sustainability, technological innovation, wellness and mindfulness, which have been integrated in tandem because they all directly impact each other.
Episode 15: A new era of luxury design (Jo Littlefair)
In episode 15 of DESIGN POD, in association with Minotti London, interior designer Jo Littlefair joins the sofa discuss interior schemes, materials and projects that are shaping a new chapter of luxury in hotel design and high-end residential (scroll down to listen)…
Jo Littlefair, who won Interior Designer of the Year in 2019 at The Brit List Awards, is the Co-Founder of Goddard Littlefair, a design studio that is unquestionably on the curve of the hotel design industry. Taking time out of her daily mission to purposefully challenge the perception of luxury in interior design, she joined Editor Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde – virtually due to a Covid-19 curveball – to discuss the ever-evolving luxury hotel sector in 2022 and beyond.
Injecting inspiration from her travels into the studio and sharing her passion for new and exciting dining, dwelling and hospitality experiences, Littlefair’s curious and observant nature allows her to recognise emerging evolutions in consumer, industry and design trends.
Episode 13: Unconventional materials in design (Hen’a Yadav)
In episode 13 of DESIGN POD, in association with Minotti London, Hamish Kilburn and Harriet Forde meet Hen’a Yadav, Principal at Studio Carter, to explore the qualities of raw and unusual materials in design and architecture…
Hen’a Yadav’s journey in hotel design recently moved her from LA to London. The Principal at Studio Carter’s first gig here was at HIX 2021, when she was asked to design a multi-layered hotel wellness suite concept. Her approach to design “one room with many faces”, as she described it, allowed her to explore new materials and forms, while harnessing wellbeing properties through a soft and muted design scheme.
In episode 13 of DESIGN POD, Yadav joined Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde to explain what those materials were, and how the project gave her a deeper sense of understanding when exploring opportunities that have emerged since modern travellers started for wellness and wellbeing being enriched in the whole hospitality experience.
It’s an uncanny chain of events that led Yadav to this exact moment. She was born in Bombay, raised in Katmandu, and studied in Dubai, followed by Basel. With this unusual upbringing and paradoxical perspective on different cultures, she became curious about the various environments she lived in and how they mould us. Thus, her innate drive to study interiors led her to Montreal, to where she came with an ambition to revolutionise and rethink the word ‘lifestyle’.
After graduating, she started her career in Dubai by designing royal palaces. The opulence of that lifestyle led her to seek a role specialising in hospitality. She continued to explore different design communities and cultures by working in Hasselt, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore, quenching her creative curiosity with fabulous mentors and celebrity designers along the way.
After 18 years of this nomadic, creative journey, she has seamlessly accumulated a vast and versatile portfolio with unique set off experiences. This has now all culminated in a fabulous role in London after Los Angeles, and as a principal of a boutique, a lifestyle-driven firm called Studio Carter where she continues to spearhead the London office.
Studio Carter consists of a team of internationally based creatives that provide a personal and articulated perspective on hospitality, creativity and wellbeing. The studio commits itself to have a positive influence through holistic and timeless design. Years of experience, a highly talented team and a strong vision create a position of trust and dependability with our clients. All work starts from an artistic viewpoint, adding authentic creativity to a unique interior design. Studio Carter transfers a story into a tangible and sharable experience whilst constructing a narrative that people will be immersed in.
DESIGN POD, series two, is sponsored by Minotti London. In the next episode, Kilburn and Forde meet Guy Oliver, Co-Founder of Oliver Laws.
Main image credit: DESIGN POD
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