5 Minutes with Richard Doone, Managing Director of Conran and Partners Far East..

Managing Director of Conran and Parterns Far East Richard Doone, took 5 minutes to talk to us after the ICON Hong Kong reached the shortlist for the Asia Pacific Hotel and Commercial Design Awards.

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

I recently heard someone use the term ‘from vanity to sanity’ which struck a particular cord with me. I am hoping that design is responding in a positive way to the current global situation. It is pushing us all to reflect and focus on what is really important and strip out the superfluous.

What are the key influencing elements at present?

I am pleased to see that the environment and sustainability seem to be finally receiving greater priority on projects. But, there is still a long way to go!

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

At Conran we have always enjoyed working on a great variety of projects at any one time – big, small, local, global. Currently they include a 20 hectare masterplan in Tokyo, two clubs in HK, the refurbishment of an iconic tower in London….and an office reception for a friend!

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

If your career and life are the same thing, it is easy!

Name 5 key essentials for 2012 and beyond.

Personally: Virgin airline, a passport, sleeping pills, free Wi-Fi access and a great bed!

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

Listen first.

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

There is an undeniable satisfaction to be had in receiving recognition from your peers in the design industry and awards do suggest you are doing something right, however, only when this is balanced with a happy client and operational success.

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

As always, more happy clients, please!Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

The car you drive?

I don’t really need a car much, but my wife has an MPV for driving our family and it’s paraphernalia around.

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?


Your favourite hotel/restaurant/bar?

Hotel ICON (of course!)

The place that gives you the most energy?


And the place that enables you to totally relax?


Your favourite food and drink?

Japanese food & Italian wine. (but not together and not always in that order!)

Anything else interesting?

South Place Hotel, which opens in London in Summer 2012 – interiors by Conran