Afroditi Krassa: Designer interview
The name Afroditi Krassa should be fairly well known for design followers.
Afroditi learned the basics of design at Central St Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art.
Afroditi is the Director of Afroditi Krassa, a studio specialising in category defining hospitality design, having created the design concepts behind itsu, Dishoom and Heston Blumenthal’s latest restaurant.
We, at MKW Surfaces have recognized Afroditi’s talent minutes after meeting the Designer for the very first time and have since been interested in knowing more about her passion for design and of course, stone.
This is what Afroditi had to say to us:
You were born in London and raised in Greece..What was your childhood like?
Sunny and full of creativity. I was a very energetic child, still am in many ways. I kept thinking of new ways to channel my creativity, new ways to make things.
Art and Design education in Greece is not very structured, so you have to be self reliant, in many ways.Me and brother would also spend a lot of time in the kitchen, experimenting with different recipes as kids, so food and art was always central to my life.
Mount Olympus, Greece
Has living in Greece influenced your approach to design and how?
100%. I grew up close to the sea and the elements, you learn how nature behaves, you observe ads a kid and this becomes engraved forever. Greece has always been a country that relied on very little, so I picked up on a culture that is very resourceful and stark. I admire this in design, there is something very magical in using very little to achieve a lot.
How would you describe your brand/design style?
I am not interested in design styles as such, I am interested in design process and design outcomes. As a studio, the starting place for our design process is different from a typical interior design firm. To design the true category-definer takes guts because it requires challenging the status quo. At this point interior design becomes so much more than colours, finishes and trends. Our aim is to turn spaces into three-dimensional stories infused with meaning, innovation and timeless value.
BIcosi Donaldo Designer End Table by Afroditi Krassa for Bonaldo
Who are other designers you admire (if any) and why?
I admire Eileen Gray’s spirit, she was single minded in her approach and had a great point of view at a very difficult time for female architects.
What is your creative process?
I believe that unless you go through a very vigorous research process, the result would never be convincing. This is the base of all things creative and obviously a very close understanding of materials and processes.
Are you seeing any new trends in interior design?
There are several trends, depending on the context.
The hospitality industry is very much driven by this nostalgic, homey, slightly American feel. I do hope that the industry realizes that there are several clones out there.
Curzon Cinema Victoria
Could you walk us through one of your favorite projects?
It’s impossible to choose from one project to another. Our studio doesn’t commit to a project if we don’t feel 100% passionate about it. Every project is interesting & exciting on different levels.
Curzon Victoria was our first cinema & working with such a cool brand & team was great.
It was very exciting to work with Heston Blumenthal on the Prefectionist’ Café. It felt we found our match in terms of passion level; he is as passionate about food as we are about design.
What does the phrase “timeless luxury”mean to you and do you think it could be applied to stone?
All materials with great patination, such as stone, would apply to this thinking. So absolutely.
When do you suggest stone in a project?
Once the aesthetic concept has been decided we look into materials straight away.
In most cases materials will come from the concept itself as well as the form & function of the design.
Afroditi worked on Oriel, shortlisted for Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012
Which are your 2 favorite stones and why?
Hard to choose… when it comes to design we will be guided by the aesthetic of the space we are creating.
Do you prefer Natural or technical stone?
Both have their own strength. Natural stone have classic and timeless qualities whilst technical stone provides a very useful material with outstanding properties.
Can you tell us about an upcoming project?
It’s been a very busy year. We just finished two of our major projects, Curzon Cinema in Victoria & Heston Blumenthal’s Perfectionist’ Café in Heathrow Terminal 2.
Stone was very important to both projects being very durable for such busy environment as well as beautiful for high-end fit-outs.
Cafe Rouge by Afroditi Krassa
Who should contact your Studio and when?
A definer, someone who wants to create a new concept in hospitality and is looking for the right partner.
Afroditi Krassa Ltd, Studio 59, Great Western Studios,
65 Alfred Road, London, W2 5EU
Call: +44 (0)20 3214 3102
Fax: +44 (0)20 7221 0200