Podcast

    Andre Straja talks about creating the perfect vision

    Episode 40: Creating the Perfect Vision

    1024 640 Sophie Harper

    In the sixth episode of series five of DESIGN POD, sponsored by EquipHotel, Hotel Designs Editor Sophie Harper catches up with Founder and Principal at Goring and Straja (GaS) Studio, Andre Straja, about the mechanics of crafting and delivering the perfect design vision – especially when reality kicks in…

    Andre Straja describes himself as a ‘cultural chameleon and professional immigrant’ – born in Romania, he then moved to Quebec, then Texas, then California before going back to his European roots and settling in Milan.

    He brings logic and acute understanding of what makes a luxury experience to his designs, and in this episode he talks about the reality of delivering that all-important five-star experience where landscape plays a major role in the hotel architecture.

    Straja talks about one of the studio’s recent projects, Casa di Langa, in Piedmont, Italy and the intricacies of the design and impact of the site.

    He tells us more about his career and his views on the design world in general, believing if we want to know what’s in store for the future of design, we should refer to the past…

     

    DESIGN POD is brought to you by Hotel Designs. This series is sponsored by EquipHotel, produced by Kevin Lines, and hosted by Sophie Harper.

     

     

     

    Tina Norden speaks to Sophie Harper about Experiential Design on the latest DESIGN POD podcast

    Episode 39: Experiential Design

    1024 640 Sophie Harper

    In the fifth show of series five of DESIGN POD, sponsored by EquipHotel, Hotel Designs Editor Sophie Harper catches up with Partner and Principal at Conran and Partners, Tina Norden, about the logistics of working on global projects and creating experiential hospitality design that appeals to tourists and locals alike…

    A well-known personality in the design industry, Tina tells us about her evolving role from architecture to design through to her current role as partner at Conran and Partners and how she’s excited to see her peers’ careers unfold.

    Her design knowledge and understanding of the human condition has contributed to her natural ability to sculpt hospitality environments that offer guests an all-encompassing hotel experience.

    Listen now to hear Tina talk about working closely with clients to really get under the skin of their target market and showcase the visual expression of the brand, as well as incorporating each project’s locality to add depth and immersion.

    DESIGN POD is brought to you by Hotel Designs. This series is sponsored by EquipHotel, produced by Kevin Lines, and hosted by Sophie Harper.

    Nicholas Oakwell speak to Hotel Designs about Fashion's Affinity with Hospitality for DESIGN POD

    Episode 38: Fashion’s Affinity with Hospitality

    1024 640 Sophie Harper

    In the fourth show of series five of DESIGN POD, sponsored by EquipHotel, Hotel Designs Editor Sophie Harper talks to Creative Director and Founder of NO Uniform, Nicholas Oakwell, about his career and the inspiration behind his unique clothing collections designed specifically for the hospitality sector.

    Ahead of the opening of the brand-new Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London, we caught up with Nicholas Oakwell, who designed the team’s wardrobe to honour the hotel brand’s Asian heritage while keeping the styling modern and respectful of its surroundings.

    Having started his career in millinery and gone on to launch his own couture design label, Nicholas didn’t anticipate the swerve ball that led him to establish No Uniform, a bespoke clothing design service that now dresses the teams at the most exclusive hotels in the world.

     

     

    Listen now to hear about some of No Uniform’s most notable project collections, from Raffles and Fairmont Doha, to Rosewood London, and Nobu Portman Square. Talking about the complexities of fabric choices to ensure durability and practicality, Nicholas explains that one of the most important aspects of his designs are that they wholeheartedly represent the hotel brand – as well as making the team feel fabulous whilst wearing them!

     

    DESIGN POD is brought to you by Hotel Designs. This series is sponsored by EquipHotel, produced by Kevin Lines, and hosted by Sophie Harper.

     

    Main image credit: NOUNIFORM

    Louis Thompson talks about Unconventional Design on episode 37 of DESIGN POD

    Episode 37: Unconventional Design

    1024 640 Sophie Harper

    In the third show of series five of DESIGN POD, Hotel Designs Editor Sophie Harper chats to Nomadic Resorts Founder, Louis Thompson, about his ideas on unconventional design and how he applies different forms of architecture and craftsmanship to some truly unique hotel projects.

    A true believer in creating experiences that enhance a guest’s stay and that complement the local surroundings, Louis Thompson thinks so far out of the box, it makes you question why there was even the option of a box in the first place.

    Talking about customer demand for more interesting and adventurous hotels and resorts, Louis tells us about the projects he has worked on and why going back to basics is key to making unique experiences that are in harmony with and utilise their natural settings.

    Here he unravels his thought process and the research that goes into creating some of the most stunning hospitality projects in the world which, as it turns out, are built in a more conventional way than stereotypical developments.

    Listen now to hear about Nomadic Resorts‘ projects, including a restaurant in the Maldives made in the form of a stingray and constructed from bamboo, and  a completely accessible luxury development in Fiji.

    DESIGN POD is brought to you by Hotel Designs. This series is sponsored by EquipHotel, produced by Kevin Lines, and hosted by Sophie Harper.

    Main image credit: Nomadic Resorts

    DESIGN POD ep 27 main image

    Episode 27: Sustainability in materials (Richard Holland)

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    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.

    DESIGN POD ep 27 main image

    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.

    Inhabit London Queens Garden

    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.”

    Main image credit: DESIGN POD

    Image of INODA+SVEJE in front of pink background and the DESIGN POD logo

    Episode 19: unconventional design details (INODA + SVEJE)

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Episode 19: unconventional design details (INODA + SVEJE)

    To kickstart series 3 of DESIGN POD, sponsored by Minotti London, Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to the Co-Founders of INODA + SVEJE to understand their design direction and inspiration behind the furniture pieces they designed for the Minotti 2022 Collection. In truth, though, this episode was so much more than striking design details…

    Image of INODA+SVEJE in front of pink background and the DESIGN POD logo

    One week after their debut collection with Minotti was debuted to the world at Salone del Mobile, Editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with Nils Sveje and Kyoko Inoda, the Co-Founders of INODA + SVEJE, to understand why furniture pieces they designed for the Italian luxury furniture brand were such a hit.

    Minotti describes the collaboration – the items being Yoko, Lars and Sendai – as ‘two worlds connecting’. The brand refers to the the two owners’ separate heritages – one Japanese and the other from Denmark. But, in reality, these protagonists within the 2022 Collection are the result of three cultures coming together in harmony, including Minotti’s Italian heritage. The tread that connects each piece is the language of minimalism, told is various ways.

    INODA+SVEJE was founded in 2000 in Copenhagen and is now, since 2003, situated in Milan. Together, working as a team of two – expanding beyond that would disrupt each designer’s harmony (their words, not mine) – they have developed a sensitive approach applied to both the design process and the resulting form and aesthetics.

    Main image credit: DESIGN POD/Hotel Designs

    DESIGN POD for Simon Kincaid

    Episode 17: Flexibility in design & architecture (Simon Kincaid)

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Episode 17: Flexibility in design & architecture (Simon Kincaid)

    In episode 17 of DESIGN POD, in association with Minotti London, Simon Kincaid, Partner at Conran & Partners, joins the sofa to discuss the benefits of a flexible approach to design and architecture… 

    DESIGN POD for Simon Kincaid

    Simon Kincaid, who joins the DESIGN POD podcast, has more than 20 years’ industry experience in residential, hotel and hospitality design. Arguably, there is no one who is better equipped with the skills and know-how to understand and enforce flexibility in an industry that is ever-evolving.

    His latest projects include, among others, Puro Kazimierz, Blake Tower, Luma and The Conran Shop in Seoul.

    The interior designer and architect has worked across residential, hospitality and retail sectors, and brings a great understanding of consumer lifestyle trends to the communal and public areas of all project typologies, often to engage with the wider neighbourhood, as well as creating well detailed desirable homes, hotels and experiential retail experiences. And he does all this (and more) while generating a strong sense of place and identity in every brand he and his team touch.

    Kincaid joins Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde for this episode, sponsored by Minotti London, to explore why now designers and architects need to be able to bend in order to create strong brand awareness and deeper narratives.

    For Kincaid, his ability, which was the result of working in various corners of the design and architecture arena, aligned cohesively with Conran & Partners’ approach to projects, which is to put the brand at the heart of the project.

    In the next episode of DESIGN POD, the duo from GamFratesi joins the Minotti London sofa to speak about furniture product design.  

    Main image credit: DESIGN POD

    DESIGN POD Ed Murray

    Episode 16: Fluid architecture (Ed Murray)

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Episode 16: Fluid architecture (Ed Murray)

    In episode 16 of DESIGN POD, in association with Minotti London, architect Ed Murray joins the sofa discuss sustainability in architecture and fluid, cohesive design schemes…

    DESIGN POD Ed Murray

    Ed Murray, who last year was listed as one of the top 25 architects in Britain, is an accomplished associate and architect who has led a wide range of projects for independent owners and international brands across the entire hospitality spectrum, including luxury hotels, banqueting and conference venues, resorts and spas.

    For this episode of DESIGN POD, sponsored by Minotti London, Murrary joins Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde to discuss fluid architecture – as well as what modern studio life looks and feels like at Dexter Moren Associates.

    For the last two and a half years he led the delivery of the Westin London City, in the City of London. The new-build 222-key, five-star hotel, and nine residential apartments opened last year as Westin’s first brand in the UK.

    The Westin London City is one of those projects that has it all; four scheduled monuments; four existing buildings; archaeological works; an existing bridge structure over one of the primary arterial routes through the City of London; the St Paul’s height limitations and a brief to create an exemplary luxury hotel, with two restaurants, a wine bar, a spa with pool, a double-height ballroom and expansive meeting facilities.

    Working on a land-locked site as complex as this comes with its challenges. But out of the challenges Murray has delivered Dexter Moren Associates’ vision for a strong and cohesive building that is firmly anchored in the City of London, and delivers two elements of public access with a single strong architectural idea; first, it provides a unique connection between the area around St Paul’s with the Queenhithe Dock through the hotel’s public areas, and, second, it introduces a river walkway, which is the final piece of a pedestrian riverside walk which will connect Albert Embankment with the Tower of London.

    In the next episode of DESIGN POD, Simon Kincaid joins the Minotti London sofa to speak about the legacy Sir Terrence Conran left behind, as well as how his vast experience in all corners of the design industry has shaped his career at Conran & Partners.  

    Main image credit: DESIGN POD

    DESIGN POD Series 2 Hen'a Yadav

    Episode 13: Unconventional materials in design (Hen’a Yadav)

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    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…

    DESIGN POD Series 2 Hen'a Yadav

    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