We spoke to Aiji Inoue, CEO of Doyle Collection, Japan, about their win at the 2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards for Cronus, and what the impact of the award has meant.
What has been the effect of you winning the Asia Bar category at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards last year, and how has it influenced your design plans for future projects?
Since we got a lot of media exposure, it is for sure that my company, though young in years, has gained a lot of visibility. I very much appreciate it. By winning the Asia Bar category, this has made us easier to explain to our future clients that our skills are above certain level. We can expect to facilitate the first communication with our clients. However, needless to say that ways of working styles have been changing daily and every project needs an appropriate approach. I assume that from now is our time to be tested.
Tell us about the winning project, Cronus, and how you were inspired to create it.
Cronus is a bar lounge that has compatible with the impact aspect and the hospitality aspect. Give “impact” to make people willing to become a member of Cronus, and emphasize “hospitality” to seek for comfort once you start using this place. It was a very exciting experience to bring both of these two high priority aspects into Cronus. There are always “firsts” in any projects we do and I think there are many pleasant experiences hiding behind every work we do.
Give us an example of a really great food and drink venue that is design-led, and works well for customers, and why this is?
I like the ASO brand of Hiramatsu Inc. Space design characters are not so much remarkable but it has Italy-based high quality techniques and serves many surprising dishes which is often referred as “Operetta”. I think these high-class experiences will continue to win many admirers.
Which hospitality operator would you love to work for and why?
We want to increase the number of hotel business categories. We are now working with the renovation of guest rooms of a five star worldwide chain hotel, and are confident to expand our potentials. Whenever we get engaged with hotel business, of course, design’s output will be necessary. This is indeed our working style. Nevertheless, in some cases, constructing logical structure will become an even more important point. We will surely feel the finely-honed sense.
What trends do you foresee for the next few years in designing for this sector?
More designs with unnoticeable brand new images will come into fashion. Newness that you have never seen before, yet, feel some sense of tenderness. For example, to make use of the ready-made, and the application of traditional techniques designs will come into style.
Can you tell us any of your plans for 2014?
2014 will be a year to handle increasing numbers of big projects. Designing time span will tend to get longer along with this increase. Some projects will probably not be able to complete within the year 2014. There are enough promising amounts of work to enhance our performance.
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