International Design & Architecture Awards 2020 - Iain Johnson

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The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020 – Designer In Profile: Iain Johnson, Rigby & Rigby

Rigby & Rigby have been shortlisted for Living Space – UK ,  Residential Architectural Property Award  and Luxury Residence – UK Award in the The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020. Read more about Chief Executive Officer, Iain Johnson, below:


Tell us a little about your background in design
I have been instrumental in the growth of Rigby & Rigby since its inception and have overseen the studio’s expansion into becoming an ultra-prime delivery specialist delivering projects worldwide. I am architecturally trained but have a passion for graphic, film, photography and interiors, this eclectic taste has rounded my learning and is regularly influenced by research and development modules by colleagues in our studio.

How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal design style has led Rigby & Rigby’s minimalist vision – refined and luxurious but based out of research and analysis. Japanese and Nordic influences with a pinch of excitement. But most of all spaces have to be comfortable and liveable, this all sets the tone for the interior design studio’s projects currently.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I do like to read around a subject matter, I love learning about new things and experiencing new places, travel is a huge part of my life and this along with fashion, film and photography are really core essentials. I am a real advocate of not putting anything down on paper without a reason, this should relate to client, project or theory, adding these layers of complexity turn a reason into reality, a narrative for the client and us to enjoy and experience.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
We are the first studio in the UK to submit a WELLness accreditation for a private residential property. This is very relevant and complex, and we are aiming for a platinum standard accreditation.

My focus for the next year is offering more sophistication in the industry in terms of our multi-disciplinary approach and delivery. We are working carefully on how information is organised and processed to elevate our construction and delivery service. We are wanting to ensure that we have an uncompromised delivery and maintain quality across all our sites. This includes exploring off-site sampling and construction to ensure that our drawings are realised precisely.

Our clients are passionate about uniqueness and our product business Unknown Editions delivers one of one, exemplary pieces which has recently launched. 

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Wellness, sustainability, modern methods of construction, essentialism and landscape integration.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Knowledge is power. A thorough understanding of your client is critical. This is achieved through dedication and hours invested in learning. There is no shortcut to success and if you love what you do then this is part of the recipe for success.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
Extremely, they are broadly the only design awards that support our sector of work.

What projects are you currently working on?
We have some amazing current projects, two yachts, a single private residence with Kengo Kuma in Tokyo, Olson Kundig’s first residence in the UK, a Private Family Office in Oslo and a hotel in Monaco.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We are defining our product offering Unknown Editions. We have reorganised our studio internally with a modular system. We also have a significant focus on the delivery of our ultra-prime super-house Lancelot House as it moves into its finishing stages.

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

Your most treasured possession?
I could not live without the iPhone, the best camera you have is the one you have with you.  

Your favourite holiday destination?
I love Tokyo as a city, so vibrant and safe. Montenegro is amazing and I am also hoping to return to Lake Como this year.

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Hotel – Aman, Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Restaurant – Wagyumafia, Tokyo
Bar – The Shore Club, Miami

Your favourite book, film & song?
Book – Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Film – Leon or a number of early film 4 ventures
Song – Many electronic beats!

Your favourite food and drink?
Salted seabass, some vegetables and a white burgundy

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Sailing if possible with a nice long lunch!

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would either be a landscaper or yacht engineer something that allows me to be outdoors more!

Read more here.

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