- BODW2016 Hong Kong, interview with designer Tina Norden
British interior designer and architect Tina Norden (Conran and Partners), with a diverse portfolio, began her career right here in Asia, and she was one of the speakers in the Food&Design session at the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, which ended on 3 December. Tina is currently working on two new Park Hyatt hotel projects in Jakarta and Auckland, as well as a boutique hotel for in Istanbul. She is also the project leader for two new restaurants in Dubai.
Our questions aimed to get a better grasp of her approach to design.
What is the “timeless beauty” of a space and do you work more with moods or with materials to create experiences?
I think for us as interior designers materials are fundamental to create a new experience, so ultimately it is what we paint with, so to speak. So once we have decided what kind of atmosphere and what mood we want to create we select the materials to express that very, very carefully. Dark timber, veined stone or light colours, it very much comes down to what we want to create and materials are fundamental to that.
Is there a globalization of taste or how do you consider the importance of local traditions and stories in your projects?
I mean this is a very good question actually. I think it's actually kind of both. I think taste is definitely becoming more international, that's because of the internet, of course, because of Pinterest, Instagram... I think design is all around the world, and people all around the world are looking at projects in the States, in Asia, in Europe, in Africa, whatever and this is all merging together quite a lot. But at the same time I think what it comes down to is culture and how people behave and cultural conventions and things like that and that is where the locality comes back in. But it's also about creating a sense of place because people want to feel like they are in Hong Kong, they don't want to feel like they’re in London when they're eating in a restaurant here. I think there are many things coming together. Everybody is more sophisticated as a result of being international with their taste but there are still certain things rooted in the environment, I mean that have to do with the people that use it and how they eat. We were talking earlier, you know, about how the Chinese love to eat with their families with lots of people around the table while in Europe it's much more about tables of two. It's those kind of cultural things that kind of make a restaurant what it is.
Tina Norden - Conran and Partners
Business of Design Week Hong Kong
from 30 November to 3 December 2016
Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
Images: courtesy of BODW
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