De­sign Speak

Malaysia Tatler Homes - - JUN/JUL ISSUE -

Nikki Hunt on Chi­nois­erie

How did Blink De­sign Group begin?

I was in­spired by my friend Bill Bens­ley when I first vis­ited his stu­dio in Bangkok. I thought I’d also like to have my own firm one day and have as much fun as he was hav­ing. So I left WATG as the youngest part­ner, packed up and moved to Bangkok to start Blink De­sign Group. Eight years later, we are for­tu­nate to have grown into four stu­dio lo­ca­tions with projects from Istanbul to Seoul and through­out Asia, work­ing with brands such as Alila, Re­gent, Rose­wood and Six Senses.

When it comes to the de­sign process, do you play by any rules?

Most cer­tainly. I al­ways trust my first in­stincts when it comes to the de­sign of the project – from the best way to ap­proach the site to the in­te­rior style. This is why I’ve named the firm Blink; it’s about the power of first im­pres­sions where, at the blink of an eye, we all form ideas that are sur­pris­ingly cor­rect.

As a designer, what in­spires you?

I find in­spi­ra­tion from my clients and the en­vi­ron­ments that I de­sign in. For ex­am­ple, the feel­ing of tran­quil­ity and the sub-trop­i­cal cli­mate of the site has in­spired the de­sign for the new Alila Salalah that my team is work­ing on.

Could you tell us more about your lat­est project, Alila Salalah?

We just started work­ing on the project and I’m thrilled. The site is on an amaz­ing stretch of land over­look­ing both the sea and a tran­quil es­tu­ary. Our de­sign re­flects the tran­quil na­ture of the site but it also em­bod­ies one of Alila’s brand pil­lars of rein­ter­pret­ing lo­cal cul­ture through mod­ern de­sign.

What is your de­sign style?

It is con­tex­tual and mod­ern in the sense that it is in­spired by the place it­self but with a mod­ern flair.

Who – de­sign­ers or not – have in­flu­enced your work to­day?

Two peo­ple close to me who have in­flu­enced and in­spired my work are Jaya Ibrahim and Ralf Oh­letz. Jaya had an in­cred­i­ble flair and un­der­stand­ing of how to cre­ate a seam­less luxury ex­pe­ri­ence. Ralf, with whom we de­signed the Re­gent Bali (now known as Fair­mont Sa­nur) and Re­gent Phuket, has the un­canny abil­ity to cre­ate in­cred­i­ble ho­tels that are game chang­ers, like The Se­tai in Miami and The Chedi Mus­cat.

What words of wis­dom would you give to those who are plan­ning to en­ter or are al­ready in the de­sign and cre­ative world?

As de­sign­ers one could say that ideas are our cur­rency. It’s es­sen­tial to un­der­stand that to be good you don’t have to be dif­fer­ent. But to be dif­fer­ent you have to be good.

The founder and cre­ative direc­tor of Blink De­sign Group, Clint Na­gata be­lieves in the im­por­tance of first im­pres­sion as the hope and foun­da­tion of a last­ing idea

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