This year, i+s not only has a new look, but we’ve also revamped our Advisory Board and are excited to welcome so many talented design practitioners into the fold. We recently asked Arthur Garcia-Clemente, interior designer at Partners by Design, to share with us his thoughts on what he sees ahead for the industry as well as his personal design philosophy and how it has shaped throughout his career.
i+s: Where do you find inspiration and purpose? What motivates you to do the work that you do every day?
Arthur Garcia-Clemente: The trust and respect I have for my clients, and a desire to provide the best space possible for all the employees they represent. I’m also motivated to slowly uncover, through experience and testing, the language of design that can inspire all people.
i+s: How would you describe your design philosophy and who are the mentors and/or colleagues that helped shape it?
AGC: Meaningful space design is achieved when its users see their very selves in the space. In some cases, the connection happens in an obvious manner (the style of the space matches my style). When the connection is less obvious, more profound, and touches at who we are as a human collective, the space has the potential to transcend time, population and style.
Constantine Vasilios helped me find the connection between space and the living world, and helped me understand the profundity and interconnected of architectural design; Nick Luzietti hammered in me that my role as artist, and the voice I could lend to those who couldn’t speak, was critically important; Sheryl Schulze showed me how to bring humanistic passion to the corporate world in a way that could impact the most people and do the most good.
i+s: What are you excited about as we head into 2021? What are your major concerns for our industry?
AGC: Design has always been a balance between human-centric considerations, and corporate, world-based economic concerns. The societal awaking to humanistic concerns of the past year (pandemic, equal rights movements, sustainability issues) is hopefully moving the pendulum in a way that will allow designers to place human wellness as a higher priority.
[Related: Wellness Is the New Black (But Is It Classist?) ]
i+s: What design trends do you think we can expect to see in the next few years?
AGC: A step away from raw, unfinished and rough spaces; a backlash against exposed ductwork.
i+s: What’s next for you and your firm?
AGC: Expanding collaboration through the web; finding ways to make the design process work better, even if we’re not all in the same room.
i+s: Tell us a fun fact, such as which city you hope to visit once it’s safer to travel, etc.
AGC: I’ve been doing some long-distance hiking recently, and earlier this year I had a chance to walk some of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. It’s one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Pilgrimage trails, and I’m now excited to start planning a trip to the second trail, the Kumano Kodo trail south of Osaka, Japan on the Kii peninsula.
Meet our other Advisory Board members: