Designer Profile: Miguel Cancio Martins of Quinta da Comporta – Wellness Boutique Resort

Name: Miguel Cancio MartinsMiguel Cancio Martins
Company: Quinta da Comporta – Wellness Boutique Resort, Palco dos Desejos
Position Within Company: Owner, Architect and Interior Designer

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Born in Lisbon on May 15th 1965, I’ve traded Portugal for Paris, France at the early age of 15 where I continued high school studies at the German school. My passion for architecture could be considered somewhat genetic as I grew up admiring my father’s work and would often spend hours using the design materials around my house to inspire my own creativity. The idea of creating fascinated me and I would challenge my curiosity of how things could be built by constructing cities out of Lego, one of my favourite pass times.

I started off my professional formation in ENSAV (École Nationale Supérieure D‘Architecture de Versailles) in Versailles and graduated from the ESA Saint-Luc Institute of Architecture in Brussels in 1991.

Winner of the first prize of the Ideas Competition by Exposição Universal of Lisbon in 1992, I opened my own ateliers of architecture and design, MCM Design in Paris and CM&P in Brussels and specialise in the creation of public spaces, conception and implementation of restaurants, hotels, bars, disco’s and stores globally.

Currently I am living in Lisbon where I have opened MCM Architecture & Design.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I describe architecture and design as the crossroad between psychology, philosophy, science, economy, technique, precision, and endless amounts of imagination. For every one of my projects, a clear sense of integration and functionality as well as balance and respect for all the surrounding heritage, is the base.

Then I let my imagination flow, and my artistry do the rest. The ultimate goal? To awaken emotions. 

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Paris inspired my way of perceiving architecture and design, but it was through my many travels that I gained a deeper understanding of how important emotion is in art and the underlying value one can find in originality, in difference.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
There is so much creativity going on around the world, the design production is much more accessible to the creators and internet made the visibility of design easier so that enables a rich choice. Before you had the design icons like Phillip Starck that changed the world and gave the tempo and the kickoff for the young designer’s proliferation. Today we are more worried and concerned with the materials we use, trying to be more sustainable, economic, and accessible.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond

  • Sustainable
  • Durable
  • Useful
  • Ecological
  • Economic

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Let your imagination flow and present what you think is right but keep always in your mind that you are doing it for the other ones.

How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I think the Awards are a quite prestigious Opinion Maker in the Hospitality Industry that is all the time searching for the new best hotels, destinations, design, etc. Their followers can trust their choices of talents and achievement.

What projects are you currently working on?
Among the various projects I am working on, I would highlight: Hotel Ludovice in Lisbon & Mamula Resort in Montenegro

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I would like to take my time to develop a concept for a camp for young people. Today the young generation is so much connected, obsessed by screens and tablets that they do not enjoy the simple things of life. So, it’s time to go back to bases and learn the simple things of life. A camp in the nature where the young people work in the orchard, to do small constructions, do sports and learn languages.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession? My Book Collection
Your favourite holiday destination? Comporta
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar? Il pellicano (Tuscany) besides my hotel Quinta da Comporta / Buddha Bar Paris
Your favourite book, film & song? Book – L’entreprise des Indes from Eric Orsena, Film – Heat (with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro), Song – Good luck from Vanessa Mata and Ben Harper
Your favourite food and drink? Bacalhau à Brás (portuguese dish with codfish)/ Glass of red wine Carm reserva 2018
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? To work in my Hotel
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

Miguel Cancio Martins has been shortlisted for Hotel Under 200 Rooms – Europe, and Spa Hotel Award in The International Hotel and Property Awards 2020.

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