Name: Darren Morgan
Company: Designer Kitchen
Position within company: Director
. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Design is not necessarily something you learn, it is a way of thinking and a way of expressing yourself. Design ideas can manifest themselves physically by empathetically understanding the World and the people around you. For that reason I believe that my formal education in the field of economics and sociology has allowed me to appreciate the mechanics of society and this has helped to lay the foundation for the practical side of my approach to design.
I spent many of my formative years working and traveling as a musician and I feel that the cultural and personal experiences I had along the way may have helped to form my artistic approach to design. Music and art can affect people differently, becoming an intrinsic part of who they are. Personal style, cultural identity and social ideology can be driven by music allowing individuals to form a sense of identity; understanding this can allow a designer and client to connect and this in turn can produce results.
My introduction to design has been unconventional but maybe that is what makes my approach a little different with life experiences and my educational background teaching me that design is about people and that without this constantly evolving and subjective input from others design would lose its soul and designers would become nothing more than introverted and frustrated artists.
My work ensures that my educational training will continue as it is only through human connections that ideas and therefore design can flourish.
. How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My style is constantly evolving and is inspired by the people I meet. I think in the field of bespoke kitchen design the approach must be very practical in the beginning with functionality becoming the cornerstone of every design; after that only your imagination can become a limiting factor.
. Where does your design inspiration come from?
Inspiration can be found everywhere; it can come from a potential design problem that when considered effectively becomes a defining feature. Listening to people and understanding their relationships with each other and the space they inhabit usually provides an insight into their aspirations for a project. I feel that as a designer you never stop making connections and simple everyday items can present indirect inspiration which the creative mind can then manipulate in order to form an indirect relationship with any given design.
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
To design is to imagine beyond what is already available, to create something unique that has a purpose or solves a problem. It is difficult to categorise design trends as there are so many streams of influence including art, personal preference, age, family demographics, location and budget. But maybe the recent economic uncertainty has lead designers to become more creative and allowed clients to appreciate the value of good quality design.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2014 and beyond.
The five key themes I consider when designing a kitchen are:
Functional Performance – Will the design provide a practical, functional solution?
Sight Lines and Architectural Integration: Will a design enhance the surrounding architecture and provide drama and impact along multiple sightlines?
Sociability: Will a design help and encourage human interaction?
Technology: Can a design deliver efficiency and performance through technology?
Holistic Design: Will a design encourage a sense of well being; a sense of place?
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Cherish natural light; consider the aesthetic approaches or sightlines within a space and respect the vision of other design professionals as communicating ideas will always deliver the best results.
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
….they allow the design community to re-enforce an ethos of professionalism encouraging high standards and setting bench marks for both designers and their clients! Without standards we would not have aspiration and without aspiration our imagination and therefore design may falter!
. What projects are you currently working on?
My work allows me to meet people from all walks of life and this is displayed in the variety of projects I am currently working on. Some are modest and local, some are extravagant and international but the underlying theme is the same, my clients all want to engage in the design process and get the most they can out of their circumstance and budget. Clients now appreciate how a well designed kitchen can enhance personal well being and that in an open plan setting the kitchen can become the backdrop to your home life!! Considering the kitchen in the early stages of a development can allow clients to maximise the potential of the entire building. A kitchen can become the inspiration for an entire building so my work has lead me into other areas including the field of restaurant and commercial design.
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I want to continue to meet new and interesting people and I hope to work on more international projects.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Easy – Just spending time with my wife and kids!!