Name: Carl Almeida
Company: P49 DEESIGN
Position within company: Partner
Tell us a little about your background in design…
Born in India, raised in Australia and living in Thailand I have been practising for 27 years.Professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Architectural Studies as well as a Bachelor of Architecture, both degrees being obtained from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. The first 15years was spent practicing architecture and interior architecture predominantly in Australia while the latter 12 years to date has been spent working from Thailand on interior design projects specifically in hospitality.
How would you describe your personal design style?
Having an architectural background my design style stems from achieving formal planning and spatial principles first and then letting the design aesthetic develop from the parameters that are unique to each and every project.
This way I can ensure that every project is unique and exciting yet achieves the fundamentals of good design.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from everything and everywhere. There are no rules.
We are also very lucky that we have an amazing team at P49 Deesign with a range of designers from young to old and from a broard range of universities. This diversity and the fact that we design through a workshop philosophy allows ideas to flow freely and creativity flourish.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
At the luxury end of hospitality, design is moving towards uncomplicated luxury grounded in faultless functionality. Design is also very niche market driven these days especially when hotel brands come into play. There is a hotel brand tailored to every type of guest parameter and hotels are being designed specifically with each target group in mind.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.
Functionality; Scale; Proportion; Balance; Warmth
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Don’t over design. Enough is usually enough and know when to stop…
How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The IH&P awards are a great vehicle for projects to be showcased at an international level to the industry as a whole. There are so many wonderful projects being done by designers all over the world and it is great to get the opportunity to see what others are doing at the peak of design.
What projects are you currently working on?
P49 Deesign is working on many projects around the world from Bora Bora to Nairobi.
Some exciting projects that we are working on include the renovation of the world famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok as well as new Indigo hotels in Seminyak, Bali; an Autograph Collection in Sanya, China; and a new W Hotel in Muscat, Oman.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
As P49 Deesign have not done any projects in Australia, I would like us to do a hotel there and then consolidate this as an active market for us. We are currently looking at some opportunities and hopefully within this year we will be able to start to deliver on that goal.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Any beach resort with my family.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Favourite Hotels – Trisara Phuket / Sanchaya Bintan / St Regis Florence
Favourite Restaurants – Hutong Hong Kong / Café Sydney, Sydney
Favourite Bar – Rock Bar Bali
Your favourite food and drink?
I enjoy all types of food but Italian seems to be what I eat most when I am dining out.
Obviously you need to have some good wine with Italian food, so Red wine is the drink of choice.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Living in Bangkok, having a massage in the afternoon after a nice lunch is hard to beat.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
At 10 years old I would have said Pilot, but as an adult, I think Diplomat !