Designer in Profile: Keith Pillow, Creative Director of Daaa Haus

Name: Keith PillowDAAA HAUS
Company: DAAA HAUS
Position within Company: Founder | Creative Director of the Grp
Website: www.daaahaus.com

Tell us a little about your background
DAAA HAUS is a multi-disciplinary design practice lead by creative visionary – Keith Pillow. DAAA HAUS offers a unique design process; mixing parameters, such as design and architectural  strategies and communication, fabrication techniques and tools, materials and technology, as well as other relevant lifestyle and cultural matters.  Bringing together the skills, talents and passion for eye-catching, innovative and functional design, DAAA complete design service helps clients rediscover how design can work for them and how excellent and beautiful design can increase their return on their investment.

DAAA HAUS work always reflect a balance between form, function, communication, lifestyle and culture. The end result is always an experience larger than the product or space itself. “We go beyond designing functional spaces, we design ‘concepts’, creating unique selling propositions and above all giving a sense of identity that different people associate themselves with”. At DAAA we call it SIGNIFICANT DESIGN – daaaahaus.com

Today DAAA Haus has offices in Milan, Malta and Ragusa and employs around 35 professionals ranging from architects, interior designers, graphic and digital designers and product designers.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
On a personal level, Keith Pillow’s preferred interior design style could be defined as minimal, clean, modern, soft and calming, mostly inspired by Japanese design. However this style is never forced to any client as the approach taken by DAAA Haus is inclusive. The design is a process whereby the client and the team working on the project is encouraged to give his input to the finished product. The design is not one’s style but a style to spell out a particular experience.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Everything that is emotional. Anything around us from any era, and different parts of the world  that gives a sense of emotion from travel, nature, to art to music, to pop culture like, movies, literature, fashion, technology etc. An interior and architecture concept can be inspired and built around a classic typography like a graphic art can be built inspired around a classic piece of architecture.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond.
Design cannot change the World, but surely can make it look and feel better. We are living a hectic and fast life and therefore design is today becoming more and more important. Anything we do, eat, drink and wear is developed around design. From the way we package and consume our food, to the way we judge a hotel when we travel, to picking up a restaurant, design alienates us from the chaotic normality. Design builds nostalgic memoires and memorable experiences. Hence when asked what key themes one should consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond I would say that primarily design should be ICONIC and MEMORABLE, it should also be EMOTIONAL and SENSIBLE to its audience and surroundings, whilst at the same time remain FUNCTIONAL and RELEVANT. Good design also has to be AFFORDABLE and TIMELESS if possible.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Before embarking on an interior design project it is important to identify and establish a design direction based on business objectives, the target audience / users, and scope. The mistake done is that most projects are judged by personal liking and not on the experiences of the end users. Sometimes we see projects without an identity but that would have costed a lot of money. Using the best most expansive light fittings and chairs does not make a good design project. Everything has to fit in its place. A particular chair gives an emotion that appeals to a certain audience so design is like spelling out an experience.

How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Being recognized with an award by The International Hotel & Property Awards for the restoration and regeneration of the Macina Hotel Project for us is a very important achievement. It would not only reward the hard work and talent of all the team for the design but also reward the hard works these last 7 years. We have not only designed the project but have been working on it from the very initial stages promoting it trying to find investors to take on the restoration of this unique historical building.

What projects are you currently working on?
After the delivery / completion of the Macina project I must say that the company is keeping up with challenging projects. We have also just completed the restoration of 7 state rooms at San Anton Palace, the official Private Residence Palace of The President of Malta.  We currently have more than 50 sites open and projects range from modern state of the art offices to a number of boutique hotels, a large art hotel, private villas and apartments in the heart of Rome, Milan and Valletta to the design of the stations of a new country wide modern suspended cable-car public transport system.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
The goals and aims of the next twelve months is to consolidate and reinforce the brand in Milan, strengthen the management team and win a number of AWARDS.

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

Your most treasured possession?

Your favourite holiday destination?

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Cannot name one as there are quite a few that I would recommend not only for the design but for the food, service and experience. From the most simple Tapas place in Madrid to elegant places in London, hip bars in Bali to fashionable cafés in Paris and Milan. However I always enjoy places done up by Philippe Starck. I find them fun and memorable.

Your favourite book, film & song?
The Monk who sold his Ferrari – latest favourite Book
One Week & Lion – latest favourite Movies
U2 – Music

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Enjoying a bottle of wine during a sunny day in a café in a nice city with family & friends

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
If I wasn’t not a creative director leading a team of designers I would be lost in my kitchen as a chef.