Name: Christian Garnett
Company: Garnett + Partners LLP
Position within company: Director
Tell us a little about your background in design
I graduated with distinction from the University of Cambridge, trained at Sheppard Robson Architects and later worked with Sir Terry Farrell & Company. Following spells as a designer in Sydney and New York, I joined the late, great Franklin Israel’s office in Los Angeles to act as a project architect on a highly acclaimed residential scheme in association with Frank O Gehry, who is most famous for his design of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
How would you describe your personal design style?
Contemporary design, which works in a classic environment
Where does your design inspiration come from?
London. I love London and the classic, great estates. I love the Georgian and Victorian discipline. I admire the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I think it is moving in two directions. We are seeing a lot of huge schemes with a lot of repetition but at the same time people do treasure the character and quality of life that our finest, period architecture provides. Landlords are realizing there is a huge amount of value in creating character within buildings.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.
Changing legislation locally and nationally
Cost, speed and delivery.
As the economy expands the building industry gets swamped resulting in less resource with the result that tenders get higher. It becomes very competitive and harder to offer value for money.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Know what you like, be decisive.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The ID&A Awards are very important. It is wonderful to be recognized by industry peers, excellent PR and fantastic for team morale.
What projects are you currently working on?
A continuing programme of projects for the Cadogan Estate, Portman Estate and Bedford Estates, plus a number of large retail spaces and offices.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To win the ID&A Retail Space award!
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Your favourite book / film / song?
For Whom The Bell Tolls, Gladiator, ‘Georgia on my Mind’ by Ray Charles
Your favourite food and drink?
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Watching my sons play rugby
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would have been a builder/developer