Decorex is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
Describe a typical day for John?
I start every day around 5.30am with a cup of green tea and fruit. It’s a great time of day because my mind is fresh and there are little to no distractions. Whenever I can (which is less and less, unfortunately) I try to go for a swim as soon as the gym opens at 6.30. Nothing better than starting your day with a swim!
You’re working on Decorex’s new feature, Design Encounter. Who/what inspired you to come up with the concept?
I have been expanding my creative practice (with a foundation in architecture and years of experience working in-house with interior designers) to include spatial storytelling - a fusion of architecture, interior design and experience design. When Decorex approached me for the feature this year, which became Design Encounter, it was for architectural input but I grasped the opportunity to integrate a layer of storytelling into the design. What I enjoy about spatial storytelling is that people and experience are at the centre, which they certainly are at Design Encounter.
Can you give us a teaser on what to expect from the new feature?
One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s feature is the collaboration with six other designers who each design a room. Their work then comes alive with technology with an experience that I liken to a 3-dimensional Instagram - where you can touch, feel and like!
What has been the most challenging aspect of the project?
Although individual elements of the feature (in isolation) may be familiar - such as space planning, design of finishes or smartphone technologies - we combined them in a unique way and the challenge was to communicate this coherently while also being economical with resources.
You’re speaking in a seminar this year entitled The Design of Wellbeing. People’s mental health and wellbeing have come to the forefront in recent years, how has this affected the way you approach a project?
Particularly in residential design, optimism is fundamental to the client’s motivations to do the project in the first place - to create spaces for how they want to live and the kind of person that they want to be. My role as an architect, while also working together with others on a design team, is to tease out what the client might unconsciously think of as the best version of themselves - and manifest that in architecture. To achieve this successfully I consider it critical not to impose a vision but to use patience, experience and my design values to help this best version to emerge.
What are you excited about seeing at this year’s Decorex?
I am always excited to see colleagues and my peers at Decorex as I consider it as much a social event as a product event. Of course, I'm also excited to experience Design Encounter!