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Ten minutes with…Craig Menzies

Craig became a director at Benoy in 2014 and has worked on some of the company’s most significant projects including Elements Mall in Hong Kong and Terminal 4 Changi Airport, scheduled for completion in 2017.

What does good design mean to you?

Good design makes our daily lives easier through innovation, aesthetics, functionality and durability. It is not always fashionable but never appears old and tired – it conserves resources and minimises the physical and visual pollution of a space.

Who are your major influences in the world of design?

Renzo Piano and Le Corbusier.

What inspires you today?

The younger generation of designers is a constant inspiration for me as well as what I see as innovative, forward-thinking design that pushes the boundaries in our industry.

How much do you incorporate sustainability into your work?

Sustainability is a key element of today’s good design practices and should always be considered in whatever shape or form.

How much do you consider feng shui in your designs?

Being in Asia, it does play quite a significant role. I find that the principles are applied to design here either intentionally or subliminally. For me, though, common sense must always apply.

The most important lesson I have learnt in design is…

To really listen to your client. As a designer, you must also be true to yourself, draw on your past experiences and always follow your instincts.

What sort of design elements make a happy home?

I am a family man and I like items within the home that make life easier – functional design, comfort and good lighting. I like an uncluttered house.

And a stylish restaurant?

I am quite a foodie and I like to go to a restaurant either for good food, well-presented dishes or for the atmosphere and interesting spaces. Interiors play an extremely important role in the overall dining experience, probably more than we realise.

Are there any notable trends we should look out for in the next few months?

Metals and textures will play a big role next season as well as a resurgence of ‘back to basics’, which has been around for a while, as people try to simplify their hectic lives.

If I had to limit my interiors shopping to one city it would be…

Can I have two places? Barcelona and Milan.

The biggest faux-pas in interior design?

Not following the principle of ‘less is more’.

The one place I wish I’d designed myself…

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Westgate Singapore

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