5 Minutes With Hola Design..

Monika Bronikowska the owner of Hola Design sat down with us after being shortlisted for the International Design and Architecture 2012 to tell us about her practices diverse design field.


What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

At present there isn’t any single prevailing trend in interior design. A distinctive feature is the parallel occurrence of a few main currents and many secondary ones, and this feature in the best way reflects the diversity of the investors’ expectations. Putting emphasis on individualism intensifies this effect. Thus we are facing trends connected with the adaptation of former industrial spaces and related typical austere style of interiors, neo-baroque and neoclassicism, new presentation of modernist ideas, nostalgic current connected with fascination with design patterns of fifties or eighties of the twentieth century, return to ethnic styles or fascination with nature, shapes and materials originating directly from the nature, often coming from recycling. In addition, all the time the eclecticism allowing the free arrangement of elements from various styles is in fashion. At the moment we are in the incredibly diverse period of design development which promotes the development of this field on its many planes.

What are the key influencing elements at present?

While watching not only the interior planning but also the entire sphere of design and economy in global approach the attention should be paid to the increasing impact of pro-ecological factors and the return to underlining the inextricable connection between man and nature. This strongly affects both the approach to thinking about design and interiors, but primarily their aesthetics, applied materials, shapes and colours. The connection with nature, sustainable development, the need to care for environment results in increase in the use of natural materials, often more severe, in subdued colours, referring to eco-trend not only with their origin, but also with their appearance and style.

What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?

We keep working on projects of private flat and apartment interiors. This is the key part of our business. However we also take part in concept development of several topics connected with public interior spaces for hotel industry, office and services space. These topics are on various levels of work progress, of a different scale and partially in different styles; this prevents our team from closing in a narrow specialisation and helps to develop and gain experience in different areas.

A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

It is difficult to separate the professional life from the private one when a man’s job is his passion, and this is our case. Nevertheless we try to force ourselves to escape from thinking and working on design in our free time. The mind has to have time to rest, as even the continuous searching for inspiration may burn us out. Moreover, the family is the most important, and the time we spend with our children requires that we focus totally on their needs so that the precious moments spent together cannot run away forever. Trips, especially to the bosom of nature, are invaluable. They allow relaxing in an unhampered way and resetting our organism.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

My key rule in design is keeping to four basic principles we formulated in the beginnings of our work in this profession after thinking what could be the most important for the creation of a good project.

These principles are as follows:

– an idea – because it is the base of concept work of any kind

– consistency – because random design creates uneasiness and disharmony

– coherence – because using too many diverse solutions may be as destructive as their random use,

– consequence – so that the idea, consistency, and coherence would not be in vain.

How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?

Design Awards help to promote good design. In my opinion this is their main role, as often it is very hard to compare dozens of projects in an objective way and to choose the best one. But it is important to show them and promote them, because popularisation has impact on the perception of the role of design in today’s world. It helps to shape not only business relations but also the social approach to the role of design in the development of modern economy thus creating better and friendlier environment in which we all live. This is vital and responsible role of awards in the area of design. The reality in which we will be functioning in a few years or decades depends on what we show today as good and appropriate, what directions we indicate.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

If I were to enumerate my objectives for the following year, the list would certainly include the objectives relating to my further personal development and travelling. Probably there is no more inspiring factor than meeting other cultures and places. The baggage of experience we bring from our voyages around the world broadens horizons, allows considering all aspects of new topics and challenges which translates into even higher quality of what we do. More and more foreign professional contacts certainly facilitate this and this is pleasing. My objective will be for sure the expansion of our studio into foreign markets. This is the splendid way to meet new people and receive new stimuli for creative development for the entire project team.


Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

The car you drive?

Audi A5 Sportback

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

There are many places I love to visit. Travels and discoveries are the wonderful way of spending time. However if I were to select only one place, the winner would be: Lucerne in Switzerland and Osada Czorsztyn in Poland. These are two unique places where the beauty of the mountainous nature joins the picturesque water basin, while silence and peace is adorned with a beautiful, place-specific architecture.


Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

Favourite hotel: there are too many good hotels to choose only one. I like to stay in places where we can preserve our intimacy and which emanate with peace.

Favourite Restaurant: it depends on my mood. Normally in Warsaw I go to two restaurants alternately: “Dziki Ryż”, which serves oriental cuisine and “Żywiciel” with traditional Polish dishes.


The place that gives you the most energy?

Forest – a piece of spotless, pure nature separated from the noise and hubbub of civilisation.


And the place that enables you to totally relax?

Forest or a beach at the seaside, empty and secluded places where you can feel the beauty and power of nature with all your self, listen to it and to yourself, escape from everyday tumult and information noise.


Your favourite food and drink?

Blandy’s wine from Madera, Mohito and Baileys. I love eating, especially in good companyJ and I wouldn’t be able to limit myself to only one dish (it’s a waste of opportunities the life gives us).


For an application pack for the International Design and Architecture awards email us at : awards@design-et-al.co.uk