The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020 – Designer In Profile: James Ashfield, 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 Studio Manager – Interior Design, James Ashfield, below:
Tell us a little about your background in design:
I always had a passion for art and technology, so architecture and interior design was a great fit for my creative and practical interests, which led me to study Interior Architecture. I now have 15 years industry experience working in the UK and internationally. My first role was for a small architecture, interior and development practice and I’ve since held positions at leading London architecture and interior design practices including the Harrods Interior Design Studio. Since joining Rigby & Rigby, I have led the interior design for our landmark project Lancelot House, a 17,000 sq ft single private residence located in the heart of Knightsbridge, London.
How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal design style is modern, minimal and comfortable. I like to strike the right balance with less.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My design inspiration comes from a desire to enhance the environment we live within. I’ve had a varied career having worked in different countries, on a variety of projects and for different design studios. This has made me appreciate the design process, different cultures and different scales. Ultimately, I enjoy improving a space and tailoring so many possibilities to the end user.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is becoming more conscious of its global impact. The new direction will see two luxuries, the ‘old’ luxury will remain with brand and opulence, but the ‘new’ luxury is much broader and focused on sustainable, ecological well-being.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Sustainability, longevity, well-being, simplified technology and biophilic design.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
To stop and reflect. We aim for perfection but sometimes the imperfect is the greatest reality. I had the pleasure to work with two wise Japanese Architects in the Middle East who didn’t rush – this was so they could reflect on their proposal. They epitomised the rules of Wabi Sabi: nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect. There is beauty in the imperfect. This takes courage as we want to complete the perfect design scheme – if we can embed the beauty of the imperfect during the process then, potentially, the design is enhanced.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The International Design & Architecture Awards are an important benchmark within the industry and honour great projects, great design and great people.
What projects are you currently working on?
We’re currently working on many UK and international projects including a 25,000 sq ft private residence in Tokyo, a Private Family Office in Oslo and a Georgian villa in a highly renowned Notting Hill garden square.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To keep delivering considered and multi-disciplined design solutions. Our brand has built a great reputation in the industry for quality and craftmanship. We would like to keep doing what we’re already doing well.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Currently a face mask… keeping one close by.
Your favourite holiday destination?
A water villa in the ocean – luxury escapism.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
My favourite hotel… The Chedi in Muscat especially by the long pool surrounded by the architectural landscaping. My favourite bar is very relaxed – Mercato Metropolitano – it’s very laid back and social with lots of Italian food options.
Your favourite book, film & song?
My favourite song is George Michael – Faith.
Your favourite food and drink?
Anything new but if I had to pick I often travel to Brazil to visit family and enjoy the traditional delicacies such as coxinha, feijoada & moqueca.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Cycling followed by a rest with my wife and three rescued pets (Vanilla, Pudding & Pie).
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would have been a different type of designer – either landscape or graphic design.
Anything else interesting?
I’m born on a leap year so I’ve only had 9 birthdays.
Read more here.