An Interview with Marcus Cain, Managing Director of Stickman Design

Marcos Cain imageName: Marcos Cain
Company: Stickman Design
Position within company: Managing Director





. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)

I come from a food & beverage background and started my career in the hospitality industry twenty years ago. I owned several bars and restaurants in Australia and that’s how I recognized my passion and talent for design.

I was a design consultant for numerous bars, restaurants, nightclubs and boutique hotel projects in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and was able to develop the concepts through to finished venues, adding value from not only the design perspective but also from an owner/operator angle. Some of my design projects include the Ascot Keys Hotel, Buddah Bar, Tiger Lils and The Library in Perth Australia, for which the latter two were nominated for Bar of the Year awards in 2007 and 2008. During this time I was also the design and food & beverage consultant for a number of high-end gastronomy outlets with Grey 2 and BAT for Malaysia’s Horeca School of Excellence and Venue Vision.
I founded a Concept Design consultancy in Australia in 2005, which is when I started to pursue opportunities in the Middle East. As Design Director for dwp UAE and working closely with my business partner Karen Hay, we built a client base and company turnover that was 400% over projected budget in the company’s first year of operation.

A few years later in 2009 Karen and I established Stickman, specializing in interior design and brand development for hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and spas.
. How would you describe your personal design style?
It’s an organic process that is derived from emotion and gut feeling. The brief plays a key role and once you become absorbed, a melting pot of ideas and inspiration defines the outcome, essentially no preconceived ideas. If I had to describe it in one word I would say, holism.

. Where does your design inspiration come from?
Day to day life and frequent travel creates a gamut of information to process and draw inspiration from.

. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
In a general sense is subjective, for Stickman we are currently developing a new business unit called ‘Stickman Green’. The main objective for us is to continue designing under the standard process with elements of green wise solutions implemented when and where possible.

Stickman Green is a passion of mine, and an idea that I have wanted to manifest for some time now. Without giving away the Stickman Green trade secret or USP, the objective is to create a platform where we can design unique and bespoke spaces and elements that are very difficult to be copied. To individualize the place and space with a personal touch that we can all recognise. I hope and trust that we all have that general sense in using what tools we have to make the world a better place with sustainable green wise design solutions…

. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2013 and beyond.

Really? This should be called the 5 deadly sins.

. 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 should be a way of life and recognition for your work and achievements is a great start. Embrace the opportunity to appreciate your industry, passion and peers.

. What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on the Fairmont hotel in Dibba, which we have tagged as the “Arabic Bohemian Art hotel”, we are also working on the Anantara Hotel on The Palm- Mekong Restaurant- A gamut of colour, artefact’s depicting the back street, shop front food stalls of Vietnam, Thailand and China. Aussie grille- A typical outback play of what is truly Australian from a boomerang wall finish to the hobby farm and chicken wire fence.

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

Fit out our Hong Kong office and develop another business unit namely “Stickman Green”

. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Selfishly, my surfboards

Your favourite holiday destination?
This depends on the mood and purpose of the holiday, however for the benefit of my treasured possession: where ever 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?

Arthouse film- The Cook, the Thief, His wife and Her lover
Most recent- Inception
Animation- Finding Nemo
Classic- James Bond Dr NO

Music is so personal and depends on the time of day and how you feel, right now I’m listening to the “Hush” by Rae and Christian a beautiful melodic track worthy of any Sunday morning wake up tune, followed by “Holding on” by FLUME” and up to our necks in it”, by Skunkhour
Book, this month! and I read this every night I’m home in time for my daughter,
Dr Suess “The Goldfish’ classic!
Your favourite food and drink?
Champagne and Oysters

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
This month it is building a house or a bridge out of Lego with my 3 year old daughter!

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Bored after surfing

Anything else interesting?
Absolutely! Lets start with my daughter, who inspires me to constantly analyse the world today from yesterday and what will be there for our youth tomorrow.