Name: James Flick & Matt Mars
Company: Flick Mars
Position within company: Partners
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
James Flick, RA, NCARB, LEED AP, carries a Bachelor of Architecture from Texas Tech University. James is a registered architect and interior designer with extensive experience in the hospitality design industry. Over the past 34 years, he has completed interior architectural design for hotel and resort projects in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Canada; including award winning projects in Osaka, Japan and Warsaw, Poland. Projects with his involvement have been published in Interiors, Architectural Record and Hospitality Design magazines.
Matt Mars, RA carries a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University. Matt is a registered architect specializing in hospitality interior architecture for over 20 years. His education has included living in Italy to study classical architecture and design. Matt has been associated with award winning hospitality projects in four countries including Mexico, Canada, and the Middle East. Projects with his involvement have been published in Interior Design and Hospitality Design magazines.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
James: Warm, ordered and proportionate.
Matt: Timeless and comfortable. Accented with found treasures from travel.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
James: Usually from a conversation I may be having with a client or my team; I love the collaborative process. My greatest days are when ideas gel in the studio; when an idea is nurtured into being and we know it’s solid.
Matt: Personal travel and experiences. Always carry a sketchbook.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
James: Theatre in an experiential sense.
Matt: I feel story continues to drive experiences, With the recent pandemic and stay at home efforts the question is how that story will evolve. Humans want to interact and share experiences, we can only do that virtually for so long. Design will be bold and authentic to quench the pent up need for experience and interaction.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
James: Wonder, Flexibility, Impact (on our Planet), Experience, Comfort.
Matt: Authenticity, Meaningful spaces, Agile design, Flexibility, Technology as it allows safe and hospitable guest interaction.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
James: Stay true to the project as a whole; and by that, I mean adhering to the core concept that inspired the design in the first place.
Matt: Bring back colourful spaces.
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Matt: Everyone here at Flick Mars strives to create award winning projects and we celebrate as an entire design team when we are honoured with awards. The project submissions for the international hotel & property awards represent the best of the best globally. We are humbled and excited to be considered among our esteemed peers.
What projects are you currently working on?
James: The National, Marriott Autograph Collection in Oklahoma City, OK, Origin Austin in Austin, TX, Delta Midwest City in Midwest City, OK, Delta Santa Clara in Santa Clara, CA, The Highland Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton in Dallas, TX, Delta Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV, Westin Southlake in Southlake, TX, The Barfield, Marriott Autograph Collection in Amarillo, TX.
Matt: AC Midland in Midland, TX, Moxy Madison in Madison, WI, Moxy Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ, AC Santa Rosa in Santa Rosa, CA, Moxy Austin in Austin, TX, Tapestry Basalt, Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Basalt, CO, Lake Linier Island Resort, Buford GA.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Matt: Continue to adapt to the current work environment and use it as an opportunity to grow as a firm both creatively and personally. We have an opportunity to redefine hospitality design post COVID. The design decisions we make today can set the tone for years to come.
Your most treasured possession?
James: My 1965 Epiphone Casino Guitar
Matt: Martin acoustic guitar(s)
Your favourite holiday destination?
James: Penedès Wine Region, near Montserrat mountain Spain
Matt: With family at home.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
James: Hotel: Can Bonastre Vineyard Hotel, Spain; Restaurant: Scarpetta, NYC; Bar: The Bar Room at Temple Court, NYC
Matt: Hemingway bar, Ritz Paris, Malla Malla Reserve, South Africa, August Restaurant, New Orleans
Your favourite book, film & song?
James: Book: Tie: 1. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (As a child this opened up my mind and dreams) 2. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand (dreams part two); Film: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand; Song:Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
Matt: Songs by Citizen Cope and Band of horses are on my repeat list these days. Love music so its always changing.
Your favourite food and drink?
James: Food: Texas BBQ; Drink: I am partial to “brown water”; I.E. Bourban
Matt: Wine, Italian, and Friends
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
James: Lost in my thoughts
Matt: With my Kids.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Matt: Set designer or animator
Anything else interesting?
James: I once was on medication that did not mix well with alcohol. Worst. Christmas. Party. Ever.
Matt: Had no idea my time as a stand up comedian in college would help me so much later in my career.
Flick Mars have been Shortlisted for Hotel Over 200 Rooms – The Americas Award in The International Hotel and Property Awards 2020.
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