Most of us spend the majority of our time inside buildings, whether it’s for work, entertainment or home life. Proximity to plants and natural materials have proven benefits for health and happiness so why are many interior environments cold and impersonal? The fetish for empty, white spaces is dated and it’s high time that our internal landscapes were populated with as much nature as possible. Developers, designers, suppliers and researchers will gather for this talk and reveal that the future’s bright, the future’s green!
Clare has been writing about the business of design and architecture for 20 years. As well as a staff writer for Wallpaper and Design Week magazine, she had a regular column in the Financial Times for two and a half years. Clare currently works as a freelancer for titles including Monocle, The Guardian and Wired, and has written two books on design. She also organises and chairs industry events at London Design Festival and Clerkenwell Design Week.
Tania Adir, Founder, Uncommon
Tania Adir founded one of London’s leading flexible workspaces, Uncommon. Following a career in property development she moved into the world of interior design and is now the sole designer for all their spaces (Fulham, Borough, Highbury & Islington and as of May this year, their new 8 floor flagship space on Liverpool Street).
Uncommon has been created to primarily help increase levels of productivity in a considered and thoughtful environment to boost creativity, making it the perfect place for freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and anyone who wants to experience a fresh, natural and encouraging approach to day to day work life.
It took Tania (aged 31) less than five years of working in finance and law to discover that the corporate life wasn’t for her. “Developing my first property was the turning point,” says Tania. “I realised that I can’t sit in a corporate office environment, I need somewhere that inspires me, that feeds my creativity and increases productivity…enter Uncommon”
Tania and her husband set up the development firm, G&T London in 2010, aged 23 and 24, and began renovating single high-value flats in central locations. In 2014, their astounding refurbishment of a Georgian building, 58 Myddelton Square, sold in excess of £5m; at the time the most expensive single house ever sold in Islington.
Tania was never daunted by being a young developer in a competitive market, though admit she does have battle scars. People see your age and wonder what you know about life. Property isn’t a traditionally young field in the way technology is and she also had to tackle the issue of being female in a male-dominated industry.
Matthew Holloway, Principal, Grimshaw
Matthew is the Principal of Grimshaw’s Southern Asia Business, based in London, covering projects across the region but with a specific focus on Singapore and Malaysia.
Currently he is leading the team designing Lendlease's Tun Razak Exchange Lifestyle Quarter as Precinct Architect, a role which oversees the design team to ensure a cohesive world class design is achieved for this large scale mixed-use regeneration project. Prior to moving to South East Asia, Matthew was the Principal of Grimshaw's Melbourne Studio, and led the emerging commercial and mixed-use portfolio for the Australian practice.
He was the Project Director for several large scale commercial office buildings including 477 Collins Street, a $300 million premium grade office tower in Melbourne's CBD, 664 Collins Street, a new office campus for Pitcher Partners and 699 Bourke Street, AGL's new Headquarters. Of particular note; 664 and 699 are both constructed over the active rail environment of Southern Cross Station, also by Grimshaw.
David Mahyari, CEO, SOLIDNATURE
SolidNature was founded in Amsterdam in 2011, and in 2014 entrepreneur David Mahyari joined the company, after which it expanded rapidly to become one of the premium natural stone suppliers in the world. David became CEO in 2018.
The in-house team of design managers are masters at book-matching (two slabs with mirrored veins and patterns) and butterfly-matching (four mirrored slabs) and can offer a range of finishes from highly polished to honed, sand-blasted or bush-hammered. The company employs 40 marble experts, stone workers and project managers in Amsterdam, London and Dubai.
When sourcing its stones, SolidNature insists the owners, directors and managers of its quarries adhere to standard health and safety, environmental and human rights policies for their workers. Regular unannounced visits are undertaken to ensure these standards are enforced, and the procurement team also visits local villages and communities to monitor housing, sanitation and education for the workforce.
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