Name: Jason Volenec
Company: Volenec Studio
Position within company: Founder
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I began my career in the music video industry as a set-designer and specialty-props fabricator. However, becoming disillusioned with the ephemerality of ’set-design’, I decided to move into hospitality design to create slightly more ‘permanent-sets’ (so-to-speak)… to paraphrase the words of Morris Lapidus, “where everyday-people are the actors who can play out their roles”…
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Since each project by nature is unique in context, each project demands completely different design solutions (based on food program, location, target market, etc). Due to this we begin each project with an empty canvas. We prefer to stay away from any ‘signature design style’ as that (to us) would seem self-indulgent. Of course, there is the ‘occasional cross-germination’ that happens in projects ‘here & there’ due to parallels in overall context & the occasional obsession, however, our preference is too let a unique identity emerge for each project.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources… often times unexpectedly… sometimes an art exhibition, sometimes music & film… sometimes unique places by ‘non-designers’ such as Golden Gai in Tokyo, or… a wide range architecture… (often ‘paper architecture’)… or sometimes simply a random texture in an alleyway or elsewhere as I walk aimlessly…
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I feel that interior design (as well as all other creative mediums) are becoming homogeneous due to the immediacy and algorithmic nature of on-line visual sources such as (for example) Pinterest, etc, however this is the world that we live in… we can likely expect more homogeny as AI continues to get developed, but again, we can’t drag this horse back into the barn:)… we must keep adapting
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Every project is unique and deserves a unique approach. We always proceed in this fashion, independent of preconceived notions.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Each project has its own ‘DNA’ … so I suppose my advice would be to ‘listen’ to everything related to the project first e.g. location, client desires, etc … allow the project to ‘say what it wants to be’, rather then overlaying some preconceived notions on it.
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The International Hotel & Property Awards are great asset in bringing recognition to those who shape the industry.
What projects are you currently working on?
The Vestry @ The Dominick Hotel / NYC – For Michelin Star Chef Shaun Hergatt, Milu – Fast Casual Chinese on Park Ave South NYC
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Entering the Asian market.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession? Ipad + design related apps
Your favourite holiday destination? Ko Samui (for slow) & Tokyo (for fast)
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar? Rose Bar & Jade Bar @ The Gramercy Park Hotel
Your favourite book, film & song? Tough to only mention 1 of each but here we go…
BOOK: Adhocism by Charles Jencks
FILM: In The Mood For Love – Wong Kar Wai
SONG: One More Cup Of Coffee – Bob Dylan
Your favourite food and drink?
DRINK: Water during the day & Red Wine at night
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Exploring the city or town that I am in.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?