Designing restaurants and shops is different from a home because you’re not designing for a particular person; you’re designing for everyone who walks through. How does this affect your design process?
It’s completely driven by the client. My ultimate goal is for people to never know that we were there. It’s about listening to the client and drawing out what their style is. A lot of time, when we come to the table, a chef or owner may have had this vision in their mind for about 10 years and we’re just a part of that. So, it’s really about getting to know the client and what they want to present to the space. We never want people to come into a space and be like, “oh, it looks like Futurestudio did it.” It’s almost like design coaching along the way because they may not know about certain materials and little details. Our clients are always so involved, and they usually bring so much to the project. They make us work so much better. It also has to reflect them; it’s their space, so it should always feel like them, not us. That’s one thing I always stress with my team.
When you start working on a project, you may have a specific direction or designs in mind, but things change over time, and clients’ views change. How do you make sure a project stays on track without completely changing the vision?
I think you have to be open to adaptation. We all start with a vision, but things happen on-site. For example, there are things you can’t control, like we open up a wall and there's a duct there, and it’s going to cost 10k to move it so, it’s about being flexible. You have to hold the vision and design close, but you have to be adaptable in the execution. Because if you’re not, you can go way over budget or timeline, and that’s not a successful project even if it looks like it was intended to. So, it has to look like your vision but it must be adaptive.