Timeless design. Inspired by the past, adapting to the present and looking optimistically to the future

The Greek designers at k-studio are featured in our weekly interviews with the jurors of the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards.

Based in the centre of Athens, k-studio was founded by two brothers, Dimitris and Konstantinos Karampatakis, who create almost handcrafted architecture, always mindfully sensitive to context, tradition and materials, inspired by contemporary life.

Although nominations for the sixth edition of the ADAs closed last Monday, the interviews with the judges of the new edition of the annual Archiproducts awards celebrating excellence in international design continue.

Interview with k-studio, on the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards jury

What do you expect from the entries, and what characteristics should the winning products have?

Design that deserves to be awarded is conscious of the place, program and guarantees low-impact solutions.
An extraordinary design is something that should excite.
It is timeless in a way that inherently carries three moments – inspired by the past, adapting to the present and looking optimistically to the future. It respects and learns from tradition and heritage, responds to current events with a fresh look and becomes “time-proofed” to endure without becoming irrelevant.
In addition, a thorough understanding of the design process and the complex interdependencies among quality, time and cost is essential when evaluating a significant project.
Ultimately, one should not design for a prize with the mere aspiration of achieving an aesthetic goal but rather designers should seek to provide adequate solutions to any scale of a design problem. We would be thrilled to encounter these qualities in the evaluation process.

 

In the post-pandemic era, how can design define a ‘new normal’? How do you think the pandemic has affected design?

To say that the last year and a half has been challenging would be an understatement. Much of the process has been about understanding the unpredictability and instability of a short and long-term future.
We asked ourselves many questions similar to these for a very wide range of projects during this period.
2020 and the pandemic allowed us to question even the most obvious constants that had guided our work so far.
Like travelling to or from work. The enormous flows of people moving around and being anywhere at any time have become rare opportunities. We discovered that coexisting in the same physical space is not necessary after all, or at least not as necessary as we thought.

That new reality made us realise that, after all, travelling and being physically in a place is essentially something you do when you really want to, rather than when you have to.
It allows us to connect to each other and experience a sense of ‘being there’.
We re-evaluated the priorities regarding the places we ultimately need to visit. We realised that many of us had to go to places we didn’t really want to be, just because we felt there was an obligation to be there.

We think that there will be a major shift in 2021. People will travel when they really want to, which will provide a unique opportunity to design for people who want experiences.
This mood is an excellent invitation for those who create spatial experiences to design for the ‘active receptors’ of the design message.
It is a great opportunity and a great responsibility, now that the pressure for holistic design is higher. It seems to be a focal point. Places matter more. Sense of place has become huge. People have become more aware of and selective about our surroundings.
As designers, we find it particularly stimulating to feel that, beyond the utilitarian aspects, places can become active sources of emotions and sensations.

The designer engages in a conversation, an experience in the present of the real participants in an exploration. People are consciously aware of and connected to a place, interacting more than ever, seeking stronger emotional relationships and experiences.

Kalesma Mykonos, 2021

Kalesma Mykonos, 2021

Villa Mandra, Mykonos, 2021

Villa Mandra, Mykonos, 2021

Villa Mandra, Mykonos, 2021 - Terrace

Villa Mandra, Mykonos, 2021 – Terrace

1. Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Amaliáda, 2018

1. Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Amaliáda, 2018

2. Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Amaliáda, 2018

2. Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Amaliáda, 2018

Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini, 2018

Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini, 2018