Designer Profile: Marcos Cain of Stickman Tribe

Marcos-Cain-image-1024x682Name: MARCOS CAIN
Position within company: CEO

Tell us a little about your background in design…

I began my career as a Design Consultant for restaurants, bars and boutique hotel projects in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Whilst there, I was able to develop ideas from conception through to the finished venues, adding value from not only a design perspective but also from an owner/operator angle. Since then, I have gained over 20 years of international experience within the hospitality design industry, having worked across Australia, Asia and the Middle East.
After founding a Concept Design consultancy in Australia during 2005, I packed up and moved to Dubai to become a Design Director at DWPUAE. During my time there, I had the opportunity to work on a vast array of projects, gaining extensive knowledge and experience in the hospitality design field in the Middle East.
I established Stickman with my business partner, Karen Hay, in Dubai in 2009. With offices in Dubai and Hong Kong, and having attained global recognition, Stickman has had six prosperous years of transforming projects from empty spaces into sublime, beautiful designs. The Stickman Tribe has worked and helped to create more than 35 projects, including new builds and operational hotels, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges spanning across the UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and more.

How would you describe your personal design style?

I see every project with ‘new eyes’. I treat it as a blank canvas, ready to be dressed. There are no preconceived notions of relevance and definitely no pre-packaged selections. Each project is different, baring its own character by creating iconic elements that are individual to each and every space we embellish.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

I believe that designing is an organic process that naturally derives from one’s passion, emotion and environment. My day to day life tied alongside my forever changing surroundings and frequent travel help to form creative and constant thoughts full of inspired, fresh ideas.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
As the years go on, I believe more and more will be stressed about the importance of sustainability in a design, especially concerning how they cater to the millennial travellers. Technology, individuality, boutique and environmentally aware designs will be at the forefront of the industry, giving visitors and guests an experience of something exciting when they enter the space.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.

Technology – Living in an age, when innovative technology is daily astounding us and breaking through pre-conceived notions of what is possible, we, too, as designers, have to surf those waves of change and stay on the crest. Staying in the flow of what is going on around us refreshes and revitalises our ideas and extends our design parameters. We become the change we are seeing.
– Innovative Materials – The same applies to innovative materials. Aside from using classic materials in innovative ways, new materials are being created at break neck speed with unexpected allies coming into the design market. The luminous by night, see-through by day paint for bikes from Volvo is an excellent and exciting design use of the self-charge paint, invented to light up roads in Scandinavia.
– Cultural Reference – Knowing the key elements of style for the culture that you are referencing is foundational, entry level design criterion. It is as important to understand the more subtle world view and philosophical outlook of your clientele, too, as a part of that.
– Regional Specifics – As designers become more aware of the need to be sustainable, we will see that materials used have to be sourced very locally. This is brilliant ecologically but it also serves us as designers. It gives us a limitation to creatively tussle with whilst insisting on resources that by their nature are sympathetic to the cultural and regional needs.
– Reusable/recycled products – Re-using and re-cycling helps the planet and forces us to find way to marry things in unexpected and innovative ways. Anything that doesn’t fit convention needs creative thinking to solve it – design at its best.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Dream big. Break it down to a reality. Listen to learn.

How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

Being positive is important and an ideal way to live. 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 inspire them when working on future projects.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are currently working on a range of projects in the United Arab Emirates, from our Dubai office and from Asia, in our Hong Kong office, including –
Mina Al Fajer Real Estate – 152 Keys
Fairmont Hotel – Full Hotel Scope – Dibba, Fujairah
China World Trade Center Co. Ltd – 580 Keys
Organised by: design et al | Watergate House | Watergate Street | Chester | CH1 2LF
Brand New Hotel – Full Hotel Scope with Branding – Beijing, China
Scene Café – All Day Dining Restaurant – China World Hotel, Beijing
Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd.
All Day Dining Restaurant – Shangri-La Hotel & Resort, Sanya, Hainan Island
Shangri-La, Nanjing Spa – Shangri-La International Hotel Management
Shangri-La Eros Hotel, New Delhi – F&B Outlets – Shangri-La International Hotel Management
Intercontinental Hotel Hong Kong Harbourside – All Day Dining Restaurant
Kerry Real Estate (Hangzhou) Co. Ltd.
All Day Dining Restaurant
Langham Place Hong Kong
The Portal
The Place
Club L
Fairmont Hotel – F&B Outlets
Cheng Du, China
Kanuhura Spa & Beach Resorts
Sun Resorts – Full Hotel Scope – Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

– To build up Spilt Milk’s food and beverage consultancy to complement our hospitality projects.
– To see completion of the new brand flagship hotel in Beijing. It has been designed for the new hotel guest/business traveler.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession? My surfboards!!
Your favourite holiday destination? Wherever there is warm water, waves and no crowds.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Tiberio in Capri, Italy – Hotel
Le Petite Maison, Dubai – Restaurant
Faros- Coupa Bar, Kastelorizo, Greece – Bar
Your favourite book / film / song?
Animation – Finding Nemo
Classic – James Bond – Dr NO
Book – Whatever my daughters want me to read to them at the time!
Your favourite food and drink?
Champagne and Oysters
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Spending quality time with my wife and two young daughters and seeing them happy!
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
An inspiring surfer! Organised