Terence and I have been lucky enough in our lives to have travelled far and wide across the globe and experienced many different cuisines and cultures. One of our most memorable trips of late has to be our visit to Italy, a country that oozes culture, prides itself on its delectable food and is draped and decorated with beautiful art and architecture.
Wandering down the cobbled alleyways and navigating our way through the narrow side streets of Rome, we remember pausing for a moment and letting our senses take in our surroundings. We were engulfed in the tantalising scent of freshly baked focaccia and rich pasta sauces and it was at this point that the similarity between cuisine and design became more apparent than ever. The architecture, along with the smells and tastes we experienced on our trip, all followed similar themes: tradition, warmth and a rich cultural heritage.
One of the most exciting culinary trends one can experience is comforting and genuine cuisine, dishes created through the combination of native, traditional ingredients together with popular classics enjoyed on a global scale. Success in a design project, in which these principles can also be applied to, is achieved when a designer stays true to traditional themes and elements, interpreting them in his own way through luxurious materials and designs.
When Terence and I undertook the design project of the W Bali, we were confronted with a challenge. Like a chef cannot merely select random ingredients and throw them into a dish, we too were faced with the task of carefully selecting the right design elements that would complement one another, while staying true to Balinese culture and aesthetics. In order to achieve a design that celebrated the local culture, we drove around the island and studied Balinese culture, history and philosophy for many months before we created the concept for the W Resort’s design in order for it to truly represent and epitomise the island’s unique characteristics.
This acknowledgement and incorporation of local culture in a design venture, we believe, is paramount to the success of any project and we would impress on all young designers not only to study design, but to also soak up the culture of a place in order to stay true to the locale and to achieve design success.