+44 20 7580 0611 design@grigoriou.co.uk

This is our opinion about the business of DESIGN and hopefully you are not surprised! We want to challenge and raise awareness on certain issues we come across in our business that affect our industry’s forwards and upwards development.

So what does ‘forwards & upwards’ look, feel, sound and taste like? (… a comfortable interior space with views over lush countryside, blue steak and a bottle of Barolo thank you very much!) 

What is hindering us getting there?

Throughout our careers as young Designers we looked up to our tutors, directors, fellow designers, exhibition showpieces and industry magazines to tell us what is good and right to design. Well, what if these were not wrong but not quite right either? What makes us think theirs is better anyway? It may not be human nature to everyone but to us it feels like the need to constantly question, review and improve things around us is part of our nature… So we started by admiring these glossy images of beautiful interiors, with glossy surfaces and showcased in again, glossy magazines! We then would visit some of these spaces or receive feedback from users (can’t knock word of mouth) that would bring the ‘glossiness’ down to earth. A bit like meeting your idol film star (male) in real life and realising they are shorter than you (female)… 

Designers have been guilty in creating interiors that would look great in their portfolio, and in that much yearned for publication, but forgot that this is also a lived in space or work space for people with emotions, (this includes bankers of course!). Somewhere along the lines, and that can go as far back as 100 years, Designers lost track of what really matters; we forgot that to create a ‘good interior’ we need to satisfy not only our eyes and our pocket but also our ears, the tips of our fingers, our skin, our health and our mind. Only then are we satisfying the human element as a whole.

Change needs to be driven and supported by the industry as a whole; this includes architects as well as interior designers. The industry needs to look outside its own circle and look at what society, our companies and even what our own families need to make them happy and healthy. We are not in any way assuming that if you have the perfect interior you will be happy (no sir!) – we are simply raising awareness and acknowledging the responsibility we have as Designers in holding a piece from the complicated puzzle of our life and making sure we respond.

Some recent efforts by other parties in line with our thinking:

–     Perhaps some of you came across the Silent Life of Buildings programme on channel 4 recently; overall we were very pleased to see the issues challenged in such an open way. We would encourage a more thorough approach to the tests with 3rd party reviews.

–     Action for Happiness http://www.actionforhappiness.org/

–     LSE – Architecture for happiness events

–     The research by The National Statistician to look for an alternative measure of our progress as a country other than the GDP. Their example of ‘Making money = increasing GDP from flood damage repair works does not mean we are happier people and improved as a nation’ hits the mark.