In conversation with: Tina Norden, Interior Designer of the Year 2021

    Hotel Designs: Interior Designer of the Year, Tina Norden Conran and Partners
    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    In conversation with: Tina Norden, Interior Designer of the Year 2021

    Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden – recently crowned Interior Designer of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2021 – welcomes Editor Hamish Kilburn into the studio’s brand-new Clerkenwell home, in the heart of London’s thriving design neighbourhood…

    Hotel Designs: Interior Designer of the Year, Tina Norden Conran and Partners

    Tina Norden is a rare breed when it comes to hotel and hospitality design. Throughout the pandemic, Norden was a consistent and key voice in the industry, speaking as a leading interior designer and architect at various online events on topics such as, emerging interior design trends, the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry, inclusive design, and quality craftsmanship. Throughout this year, the interior designer and architect continued to mentor more junior members of her team and generally kept the momentum going and the positive vibes electric all while working on and completed large-scale projects remotely.

    It was therefore only natural for the judges of The Brit List Awards 2021 to collectively award her the prestigious title of Interior Designer of the Year.

    Following what she describes as an “unsuspecting win” at the awards ceremony which she describes as like a “big group hug from the industry,” I went to visit Norden in Conran and Partners’ new home in the heart of Clerkenwell.

    Norden’s passion and curiosity for interior design and architecture was a combination of nature as well as nurture. Her father was a landscape architect, and growing up on the outer edges of the German port city Hamburg – a destination that amplifies creativity, culture and liberal attitudes – which influenced her career path.

    Despite her love for her hometown, Norden’s commitment to the world of design and architecture brought her to London aged just 18 years old – directly after leaving school. Drawn, she explains in the Conran and Partners’ A Way of Living book, to the city’s “incredible music scene”, when it came to applying for university, there was no other place for Norden.

    > Watch the full interview with Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners here.

    Upon completing Part I of a course, Norden took a year out, which opened the door to a placement at Conran and Partners, a place that Norden describes as “the place for me.”

    Taking away the experience from her placement, Norden was offered a place at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, on a course that combined both design and architecture (something she wishes was more common in today’s educational system). There, she completed her Part II, and arguably where she discovered her interest in interior architecture.

    While studying, the designer and architect continued working at Conran and Partners (and never left), enjoying the creative freedom, while working closely with Sir Terence Conran on a number of high-profile projects.

    In her time at Conran and Partner, Norden has given so many projects new leases of life, while also leading a team with a strong and empathetic style. Her masterpieces include German Gymnasium, Skylon, South place Hotel, Finsbury and the Maximilian Hotel in Prague.

    One thing is certain when flicking through all of Norden’s work: she designs for style over fashion (every time) to ensure the result is both aspirational and long-lasting – a skill she has no-doubt inherited from Sir Terrence Conran himself.

    Recently completed projects include the new Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland, FEAST within Hong Kong’s iconic EAST hotel, a new dining destination and members’ club within London’s Taj Hotel and the Peninsula Boutique and Café in Hong Kong.

    In addition, Norden and her team were recently part of what many would consider the highlight of HIX Event 2021; designing the WFHotel installation. The studio worked collaboratively to design a set that explored how consumers’ attitudes towards working from home/hotel could challenge conventional lobby designs. Norden’s interpretation of the brief centred around community-focused ways to interact (unsurprising after experiencing for myself her selfless approach to being a true leader in international hotel design).

    This editorial series is sponsored by GROHE, Broadcasting Partner of The Brit List Awards 2021 – and was filmed by CUBE. The Brit List Awards will return this year – with applications/nominations opening in the Summer, and remaining a free-of-charge process for all categories. Following our interview with Norden as Interior Designer of the Year, up next we meet Mark Bruce, Main Board Director of EPR Architects who was recently crowned Architect of the Year 2021.

    Main image credit: Conran and Partners

    Hamish Kilburn / 14.02.2022


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