Name: Phil Cotton
Company: Finite Solutions
Position within company: Design Director
Tell us a little about your background in architecture (education, experience, etc).
I have been designing electronic systems for over 15 years. I back this up with a Master’s Degree, with 1st Class Honours, in Electrical and Electronic Engineering – so I know exactly what’s going on with the ‘black boxes’ behind the scenes.
How would you describe your design style?
Blending creativity and technology.
When embarking upon new projects, where do you look for inspiration?
The industry as a whole. The development in technology, the changes in design and architectural themes. Each day is different yet inspiring.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
There is a dichotomy of increased use of technology and individual desire to use technology less. Smart phones, tablets and other devices are increasingly a part of everyday life, yet there is a purposeful movement to reduce one’s ‘screen time’. As a bespoke Home Technology Consultancy, we can advise how best to use technology without overdoing it.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design projects in 2013 and beyond.
-Use the best LED light fittings you can afford. The cheap ones can ruin a room.
-Invest in a professional Data and WiFi network in your home. You are going to need it!
-Don’t expect your iPad to be the answer to all your Home Control needs.
-Keep it simple.
-Expect to pay Design Fees. Free Design is worth as much as you’ve paid for it.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to architectural projects, what would it be?
Always Be Authentic – whatever it is, let it be that. Don’t try to make it something it’s not.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
To be judged by leading industry experts as well as design enthusiasts, clients and customers, will demonstrate the very best in design and architecture: from the technical aspects to the intuitiveness of the system and its user ability. These awards take into account every perspective and viewpoint, resulting in awards that can thus claim to be the pinnacle of design and architecture.
What projects are you currently working on?
A private basement 3D cinema in Chelsea, with a huge 3m screen.
A 12 seater cinema in Bahrain.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Continue to bring the disciplines of architecture and design with the advances in technology to create inspiring, emotional and personal home cinemas for our clients.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Wedding Ring, but only as a symbol.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Vale Do Lobo, Portugal
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Riva Restaurant, Barnes
Your favourite book / film / song?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Your favourite food and drink?
(Good) Lobster and Lager, but not necessarily together!
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words).
Walking, playing with my niece and nephews, or watching England rugby with a few beers.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
Outside of work, I am a celebrant for civil ceremonies. I have conducted a wedding and 2 baby naming ceremonies.