The American designer is the subject of our weekly appointment with the jurors of this year’s Archiproducts Design Awards

The call for entries for the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards closed a few days ago. While we wait to hear the names of the winners of the annual Archiproducts challenge, we continue our appointments with jury members, this week with American designer Robert McKinley.

Robert McKinley, head of the New York-based studio bearing the same name, is the creative force behind some of the most exciting hospitality projects in recent years, including the Hotel Joaquin in Laguna Beach, California and the Hotel Kinsley in Kingston, New York.

McKinley built his career on his passionate love of craft. He started in the field of visual merchandising for fashion brands like Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan. McKinley also collaborated with artists Mike Mills, Tom Sachs, Santigold, Takeshi Murata and worked on projects for such institutions as MoCA Los Angeles.

 

 

Interview with Robert McKinley, member of the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards jury

 

What do you expect from the submissions, and what characteristics should the winning products have?
What we have just experienced has been an unprecedented year. I’m excited to see projects that can really help bring the vision of our new lifestyles and human connection into focus. I’ll mainly look for projects that address the growing need for well-designed, multi-functional spaces and new and innovative products that address a specific industry gap. Creativity is just as important – whether that means looking to the future or being inspired by the past. 

 

How should contemporary design evolve to meet the needs of the community?
After experiencing a global pandemic, we designers realised that sometimes we have to slow down the fast pace of production and focus on developing products that will last and create harmony in people’s daily lives. This year we realised that good product design can have a positive impact on our lives…I think this evolution that has just begun will remain firmly in our minds as we design for the future. 

 

In the post-pandemic era, how can design define a ‘new normal’?
I don’t know if it is entirely accurate to talk about a ‘new normal’. 2021 has changed the way we work and the way we think about products and the spaces we interact with. However, I believe this change of thought is for the best, as it will constantly push designers to think outside the box and look creatively and strategically at projects.

 

Do you think the pandemic has affected design? If so, in what way?
Of course, it has! We’ve been thinking about how good design can help make the whole community feel better. We are witnessing the creation of products that challenge the boundaries of material, texture and form – the genesis of innovative ideas in all areas. And meanwhile, we are seeing how designers can have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.

 

 

The call for entries for the Archiproducts Design Awards 2021 is now closed. 

Over the next few days, the jurors will evaluate all the submissions to the Archiproducts Design Award‘s sixth edition with the aim of rewarding innovative, ethical and sustainable design.

The jury’s vote will lead to the definition of an initial Longlist, a selection of the proposals that will enter the Award’s final phase.

The winners, selected from the longlist, will be announced during the first week of November.

 

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Robert McKinley_Ph by Nicole Franzen

Robert McKinley_Ph by Nicole Franzen

Credit Nicole Franzen

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Credit Nicole Franzen