Emma Masters, Associate Designer, Richmond International
Can Faik gets personal in a 5-minutes-with interview with Associate Designer, Richmond International, Emma Masters…
Can you tell me about your role at Richmond International?
I started as a junior designer, working my way up and have recently been promoted to an associate. The role involves overseeing the projects I work on and managing the team.
What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working on several projects for Four Seasons hotels, a project with the Langham, and a new cruise ship for P&O cruises.
How important is the journey when it comes to designing a new hotel?
The journey can hugely influence the guest experience of the hotel, which is an integral part of its service, so it is a very important element. It needs to feel seamless, from arrival, to check-in, to dining/drinking in the hotel restaurants and bars. The journey should be an experience that is exciting, with layers of interest, so that guests want to explore and stay for longer.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Collaborating with Vivienne Westwood on the Penthouse Suite at The London West Hollywood. It was exciting working with such an iconic British designer, developing our own collection of fabrics, rugs and toweling; it was a truly unique experience.
Have you noticed any particular trends in hotel design?
Guestroom design has become much more flexible as technology has changed. The traditional desk has disappeared and has been replaced by relaxed seating areas.
Entrance lobbies and lobby lounges are also shifting from formal to informal maximising the use of the space. By incorporating lively bars and dining options, areas that can sometimes feel lifeless are brought to life as social spaces.
How important are public spaces in hotels?
Public spaces set the tone of the hotel. They add atmosphere and create experiences to make the hotel memorable.
Number of meetings attended each week?
It depends on the project, but can be several per week.
What is your favourite destination?
It has to be Ibiza, I got married there and love it. I love that it has two very distinctive sides, a bit like me! It’s a fun, energetic and colourful island, while also boasting a beautiful softer and more relaxed side
What is your favourite hotel?
Hotel Village, Ibiza – It’s a very small, family run, simple but beautiful hotel.
Tell us about your last three trips?
My last three trips were all work trips, and the job definitely offers our team the opportunity to travel and see the world.
Maison Objet in Paris. – This is a word leading trade show, and it was great to get some inspiration, ideas and see which new products are on the market.
Melbourne, Australia – This was for an exciting new project that we have just started working on. These trips allow us to explore the local area, meet the design team and client and start the design process.
Amman in Jordan – This was to review a model room. It’s always great to see our design in reality and receive feedback from our clients.
Mies van de Rohe – I have always admired his use of materials, the simplicity and confidence of his work and the way his architecture seems to work in harmony with its surroundings.
Mojito, I love it! But it has to be with dark rum.
What projects will you hope to be working on in the future?
I’ve been working on several city projects recently so a beach hotel project would be great… for work purposes obviously!
What would be your dream project?
A luxury boutique hotel in Ibiza.