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The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at those who have recently decided to go it alone
Main PeopleGeorge King, founder and director BasedLondon and Melbourne Founded2015
Where have you come from?
Grimshaw and Zaha Hadid before founding emerging design studio NEON in 2012.
What work do you have?
We are currently putting the final touches to a camera obscura hotel room in St Petersburg; building our Lasermaze project for the September 2015 Detroit Design Festival; and are about to submit a scheme for a housing extension to a Cotswold Cottage to planning.
What have been the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge for any emerging architecture studio is always to find good clients and interesting projects to work on. As a start-up it can be difficult to get your first break. We are lucky that we have found some really exciting projects by building on our existing network of contacts and having some success in a few competitions.
Is there a brand philosophy?
Our philosophy is to work without preconceptions to ascertain the unique qualities of each brief, taking into consideration the social, environmental, economic and technological context. Our work is often designed to initiate an emotional response, to stop people in their tracks, to break the monotony of the everyday. We are deeply curious about how thoughtful design can make people feel, and the positive impact it can create, whether it’s a comfortable and functional place for someone to live or something more magical.
What is the most ‘magical’ project in your portfolio?
A good example of one of our projects that challenges conventions and provides a moment of surprise and mystery is our award-winning House of Mirrors for Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi. This project takes the form of a giant inhabitable kaleidoscope and flips the idea of a traditional beach hut on its head. Instead of creating a dominating presence on the beach, its fragmented form disappears into the natural landscape. Instead of blocking nature out, its mirrored, faceted facade reflects and amplifies it.