Jared Mankelow, Senior Product Designer at Conran Studio, spent last week amongst the fridges and flatscreens at consumer electronics show IFA Berlin. He kindly offered to share his thoughts on where are homes are headed.
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South Place Hotel is the first hotel from venerable restaurant group D&D London, but – if we’ve counted correctly – the 84th restaurant and hotel design project we’ve worked on.
We’re delighted to spill just a few of the beans on our latest project: South Place Hotel.
South Place is D&D London’s first hotel. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their pedigree in restaurants, South Place will be “as much about meet and eat as sleep”, to quote General Manager Bruce Robertson. It will feature two restaurants and three bars, as well as its 80 stylish guest rooms.
This week’s Friday Tip comes from Orla, one of Conran Studio‘s brand design team.
You may have heard of Secret Cinema, the themed pop-up cinema experience which involves a lot of dressing up and just as much fun. Last December, the team behind Secret Cinema opened a pop-up restaurant along similar lines, ingeniously titled Secret Restaurant.
Are kitchens the purely functional places they once were? Jared Mankelow doesn’t think so.
Rather, as our formal rules of dining have broken down, kitchens have become social hubs, folding in the dining room and living room, too.
To that end, Conran Studio‘s Senior Product Designer has written the following piece on the evolving role of the kitchen – and what that means for kitchen design.
Bad design is an inevitability, and and in one way designers should be thankful for it: for good design to be recognised as such, we need bad design.
But, for those of us who believe well-designed things make the world a slightly better place, encountering bad design can be painful.
What’s worse is when bad designs come back to haunt us. For example: weren’t NHS spectacles bad enough the first time?
Last month, she spoke at the Interior Motives China conference in Beijing – a major gathering for the Chinese domestic car design industry.
Cutting through the petrol fumes with typical panache, Emma regaled a 350-strong audience with a story about coffee.
Bear with her…
“…un piccolo momento di piacere” – in drab English, a small moment of pleasure.
As designers, we’re interested in transforming items of necessity into such moments.
Britons, on average, spend £3 a day on takeaway coffee.
£3 a day makes a £5 billion business, and a greater household expense than the gas bill.
Until 1994, the coffee shop market was relatively immature – the baristas wore baseball caps, and served lacklustre pints of weak, sweet, American-style coffee. Did you know that the French call American coffee jus des chausetttes – literally, ‘sock juice’?
Then something changed. There was an infusion of Antipodean personality into the British (and especially the London) coffee scene. An infusion of social ease. The emphasis was no longer on the utility of a caffeine fix, but the luxury of a moment of pleasure.
Coffee shops started to say something about us: bright, confident, sexy, energetic. The market diversified – not just Italian-American, but Australian, British and Scandinavian. There was a new confidence in national personality.
With it came a natural increase in quality.
The American stalwarts took note of this shift – and tried to inject a little personality of their own.
What does this mean for the Chinese car market?
“…un piccolo momento di piacere” – a move away from necessity.
Cars are more than appliances, more than status symbols. They represent a way of living.
As the Chinese car market matures, cars will evolve from necessity to lifestyle choice.
How will China influence the rest of the world?
By infusing design with Chinese personality – with themes of economy, family values and respect.
Just as Australian social ease was an authentic fit for coffee shop culture, so these Chinese values fit plumb into the new, leaner automotive industry.