Name: Matthew Andrews
Position within company: Senior Designer
Tell us a little about your background in design:
I started at Poggenpohl almost straight out of University where I had studied Automotive and Transport Design. Whilst there I realised I was more interested in the ergonomic and human interaction aspect of design and I focused in on interior design within the transport industry. I worked on projects including luxury private jet and yacht interiors. During these projects, I knew that some aspects of the luxury interior sector was where I wanted to work so following a move to London I was offered a position at Poggenpohl as a design assistant and I have worked my way up to Senior Designer at the Hampstead showroom ever since.
How would you describe your personal design style?
Modern and industrial with Scandinavian influences. I really like the space and tranquillity afforded by Scandi design but at the same time there is an inherent feeling of cosiness and warmth within it. I try to find a balance on every one of my designs between the modern and sleek aesthetic Poggenpohl offer and this family friendly, cosy feeling that a design can give you.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Films, television, family, travel, pretty much anywhere I can find it. I enjoy Sci-Fi so I have a lot of ideas stemming from that that I would love to implement into kitchen design.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I think design is very subjective, so it probably varies wildly from person to person in which direction they see it moving as they’re likely only paying attention to the direction that interests them. For me personally, I can really see a push for sustainable, eco-friendly design coming further to the foreground over the next few years as I think consumers, including myself, are becoming more and more aware of the irreversible damage single use unsustainably manufactured products can have on the environment. I don’t think it will just be materials used hat will become important but also how eco-friendly the company is as a whole, if your business is working with sustainability in mind and is conscious of the impact it’s having I think
consumers will be more likely to gravitate towards your brand.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
• Consumer focus
• Maximising functional family spaces especially multipurpose designed furniture – People need to change their living space into a home gym, to school room, to working office and back to living space within one 24 hour period so design that takes this into account will probably be more and more popular.
• Health and Nutrition – People are far more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies so any kitchen design that can help take this into account will be successful in the future.
• Nature and outdoor spaces – People being stuck inside will probably influence design trends as people try to bring more of the outside in and make the most of any outdoor spaces they have.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Listen to your clients. They’ll give you all the information you need to construct a successful space. If you ask the right questions and try to understand their wants and needs from the project, you’ll nail it even if you’re not keen on the design itself, the client might be. You could
design the most beautiful space in the world but if it’s not suitable for the client it’s not a successful design.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
Very, these sorts of events give a great outlet for creative designers to showcase their talents and to get to know others in the industry.
What projects are you currently working on?
Loads! It’s been such a busy period for us, Brexit and COVID have presented their fair share of challenges but also a lot of opportunities.
What was your favourite project to work on and why?
One of my first projects, a converted barn on the south coast. It was huge and I remember feeling as though I had bitten off more than I could chew but with the help of the team around me, we came through with flying colours and the feeling of accomplishment when that project
was signed off as completed was a really special moment. It looked great too.
What was your most challenging project to work on and why?
I think every project presents it’s own challenges. The more projects you do and the more you push the boundaries on what you can envision, get the client to understand and actually deliver on, the more complicated your designs become over time. Each project seems to become more complex and more challenging than the previous one. I’ll probably look back in
5 years at the difficult projects I’m working on now and find them very simple.
Which products/services could you not live without when designing?
The internet is a big one. There’s so much design inspiration out there that you can use online. Music is also important. I listen to music when designing, sometimes my own playlists, sometimes music the client has expressed an interest in, anything that helps me focus on the work and get into a flow.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Knuckle down, make it through COVID intact, work hard and stay healthy. I think it’s important to set goals but with the world seemingly on the brink of disaster every other day it’s difficult to even predict what will happen next week let alone in 12 months.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Probably a necklace that used to belong to my late father.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Cyprus, I love it there. The food, the weather, the people. It’s always a great holiday.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
There’s a hotel in St Lucia called the Rabot that I would recommend to anyone. It’s owned by Hotel Chocolat and is situated within their Cocoa plantation on the island. The restaurant is a fantastic experience as you’re dining within a tropical rainforest with all the wildlife around you and it’s all open air.
Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis
Film: The Fugitive
Song: It changes every week, I’m listening to a lot of Everything Everything at the moment.
Your favourite food and drink?
My wife makes the best lasagne so I’d probably pick that if I could pick any
food. And a Negroni if we’re going boozy.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
There’s a pub near where I live that has a fantastic garden and great selection of beers so probably sat in there with my wife and friends for a sunny afternoon.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I think I might have liked to be a Chef. When I was younger, I worked as a cook in a local restaurant and I really enjoyed the experience. Much like design, cooking has a creative element, be it experimenting with your own recipes or the presentation of the food. I really enjoyed the pressure of working in that environment. The need to concentrate and focus is something I’ve taken with me into my working life now.
Anything else interesting?
Did you know that France technically has 12 time zones?
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