Name: Mike Stiff
Company: Stiff + Trevillion
Position within company: Director
. Tell us a little about your background
I qualified as an architect in 1981 and formed Stiff + Trevillion after working for Rock Townsend and Chapman Taylor. In the 1990s I ran the Berlin office. Over the years I have taught at Westminster, Brighton and Sheffield Universities, and I continue to exhibit drawings and paintings. In addition, I have been a member of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Architecture Appraisal panel since its inception and I also sit on the Earls Court Review panel. I am an External Examiner for the Liverpool John Moores University and I make regular contributions to magazines and building reviews.
. How would you describe your own personal style?
Restrained & timeless
. Where does your inspiration come from?
History and place
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
There is a global style emerging, projects from across the world seem to be loosing their identity.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching property development in 2015 and beyond.
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to development projects, what would it be?
Employ the best professionals
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
They recognise the best
. What projects are you currently working on?
A broad variety of things. We are working in Hong Kong for the Art Central exhibition taking place in March 2015, we are midway through a major scheme on Sloane Street for the Cadogan Estate and two residential developments, one in Victoria and one in Bayswater plus a number of significant projects have recently achieved planning such as 33 Horseferry Road. We are also on site with Jamie’s Italian in Sao Paulo, the first in Brazil and last year the practice published its first book ‘practising architecture’.
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Keeping an eye on the global economy and making sure that the business continues to thrive
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My Grandfathers gold watch, presented after 45 years of service to British Rail
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Hotel – Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Restaurant – River Café, London
Bar –King Cole Bar at the St Regis, New York
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book – Money by Martin Amis
Film – Boyhood (I’ve just seen this)
Song – Hey Bulldog, The Beatles
Your favourite food and drink?
Italian, red wine
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Fly fishing on a secluded chalk stream
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
The highs and lows of running a busy architecture studio is all the interesting I need.