Name: Marcos Cain
Company: Stickman Design
Position within company: CEO I Director I Co-Founder
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
With over 20 years in the hospitality industry, I have had the pleasure to work across Australia, Asia and the Middle East. I started my career as a
Design Consultant for restaurants and bars in Sydney, Melbourne & Perth where I focused on not limiting myself to offering interior design services but rather a holistic approach covering operations and ROI; the main reason I managed to establish long term clients for multiple venues. I consulted for boutique hotel projects in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia which gave me a full scope of design experience on an international level. In 2005, I was offered the Design Director position at the renowned Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP) Dubai. Eager to venture into a new design scape, I moved to the UAE where I worked on a wide range of projects all over the world, gaining in-depth experience in all areas of the hospitality design. After acquiring enough knowledge and experience in the market, I decided to set up my own company, Stickman Design, in 2009 with my Scottish business partner Karen Hay. I’ve been heading the main office in Dubai while Karen runs the Hong Kong branch. Within the first 8 successful years of founding Stickman, we had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s most prestigious brands like Conrad, Shangri-La, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Sun Resorts to name a few and managed to complete full scope hotels in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Beijing, and the Maldives among a gamut of award winning restaurants & bars all around the globe.
How would you describe your personal design style?
My approach is not to have one set style. I treat every project as a blank canvas, I take the time to hear the client’s brief, study the space and then formulate my own vision of the project and more importantly defining its unique selling points.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Like the designers themselves, the design world is forever evolving, so in a sense, your work grows and develops in parallel with your experiences. Day to day life and frequent travel creates a bank of information and inspiration in my mind, one that I tap into when creating new designs.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Sustainability has been driving the design world for the past decade as designers and clients are becoming increasingly aware of the magnitude of sustainability. Another critical driver for the design scene is the target clientele, the millennial traveller. Like the new generation, hotels and restaurants are also becoming increasingly casual and laid back in nature; a buzzing bar with minimal boundaries is the place to be for anything ranging from a business meeting to watching a sports game with friends.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design.
Health & Fitness
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
My advice would be for the young designers looking to make it in the design world; Learn from other people’s mistakes but don’t let that stop you from making your own. As progressive as the hospitality industry seems to be, it remains a rather conservative one where many clients & operators of signature brands would rather do what has been tried and tested rather than take a chance on what’s new; a reality that shouldn’t discourage any rising designer from pushing the limits and setting trends rather than following them.
How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Being positive should be a way of life and receiving recognition for your work and achievements is a great start. All designers should embrace the opportunity to appreciate this industry and admire the work of their peers. This will not only help them develop personally but will also inspire them when working on future projects.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Wherever there is waves and no crowds.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Hotel: Capri Tiberio Palace, Italy
Restaurant: Long Chim, Perth
Bar: The Bar at Hotel Costes, Paris
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book: Whatever my daughters wants me to read to them at bedtime
Film: The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover
Song: depends on my mood
Your favourite food and drink?
Champagne and Oysters
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Spending quality time with my daughters and seeing them happy.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
I told my 2 year old ‘you have OCD darling’ she answered saying ‘no daddy, it’s ABC’
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