As 2013 draws to a close, we speak to seven practices around the world to find out how business has fared this year, what is predicted for the AEC industry in 2014 and what to gifts are most favoured by design professionals…
Elliot March, March & White
What has been the highlight of the year for your office?
Building our Yacht Division. We are extremely excited to be working on the interior design of 100M+ Super yacht with the finest craftsmen who recognise that we are also artisans, and appreciate the shared values of expertise, artistry, and intriguing provenance. They understand our desire to use only the most exceptional materials which are necessary to bring our designs to life.
What shifts/trends have you witnessed in the global market in 2013?
This is always a tricky question because as designers you want to incorporate the latest trends with timeless elegance.
In terms of colours, yellows and acid colours are being used more frequently. Also, clients are moving towards making their interiors more personalised and individual.
In regards to luxury design, we’re seeing Gatsby inspired art deco influence, particularly in patterns…in summer we call it Riviera chic! It’s inspired by old style luxury and elegance but in a more paired back modern way.
We predict, and are already starting to see, a real shift away from brash ‘bling’ interiors towards a more considered paired back look, whilst still retaining the use of handcrafted materials.
New York hotel and cafe style has taken over the high street, perfected in brands such as Soho House, it’s really become a new style in the designers palette. The style is relaxed, comfortable and when done well it can also feel luxurious. This certainly influenced our approach to Lima.
What are your predictions for the AEC industry in 2014?
The industry has had a tough period since the financial crisis started in 2008, but through the second half of this year we have felt that confidence is growing, and we predict a strong upturn in 2014.
The AEC industry is likely to lead the way for other industries in terms of growth with London taking the lead. Buildings and new sites have been popping up all over London during the second half of this year, and we see this is a sign of things to come in the next quarter.
Where would your ultimate festive getaway be?
Hong Kong. The interior design world over there is booming and I have always wanted to visit the luxury department store, Lane Crawford. I’ve heard amazing things about the W Hotel overlooking Victoria Harbour – a beautiful design by Fabio Ongarato, which I’d like to see.
What design present would you most like to receive this year?
A cigar humidor from Linley!
More industry insights…
David Cole, BTI
Daniel Safarik, CTBUH
Shaun Killa, Atkins
Elliot March, March & White
James Zheng, Goettsch Partners
Caroline Bos, UNStudio