A New Cypriot Interior, Retail and Object Design Workshop.
Καλωσoρίσατε, fáilte, and welcome to our very first FOUNDiiD BLOGiD. We are very happy that you clicked here, and hope that you will make it back for regular visits. Let us tell you about ourselves and what we aim to build in these pages and with our business.
From Here and Over There.
I am Loucas, FOUNDiiD’s designer. With a childhood spent in Larnaca district, I remember that my very earliest interest in design was fired by the cosmopolitan wave of modern architecture and design which extended across Cyprus from mid 1950’s. My richest memories are of the beautiful buildings of Famagusta, close to my home. I know now that these structures and objects which surrounded me in my pre-teens influenced how I came to view and appreciate my world.
The enthusiasm and love for understated, elegant and functional design ultimately saw me working for mid-century modern and Scandinavian retail design companies Knoll International and Skandium, as well as being a partner in an East London interiors and interior design store.
Meanwhile Paul McEvoy, FOUNDiiD’s co-founder, arrived to design from a different route. Hailing from Galway in the West of Ireland, he spent most of the past 25 years in media, advertising and consumer research. His interest in contemporary design was energised by the constant design innovation he saw living in East London. Crumbling and tired buildings were transformed on an almost weekly basis into shops, bars, and hotels with designs which were distinct and forward looking, but which still made elegant reference to the skilled trade heritage of the area.
The signature of FOUNDiiD design is therefore a fusion of the craft heritage of our homelands, with the timeless modernity of Scandinavian, German and British design, and maybe even with a little hint of Japanese minimalism in the mix.
We arrive to a changing Cyprus. Emerging from the economic crisis there are signs of a returning optimism. And we sense a growing appreciation that local creative services, craft and design can and must be a central part of Cyprus’s economic and cultural progress.
The World Design Day event at the University of Technology in Limassol in April was an important forum for voicing and debating this trend. The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness of design and designers in Cyprus. A back-to-back schedule saw presentations from a handful of young and not so young Cypriot designers. They included the fascinating and challenging voices of Christina Skarpari (Xarkis), Daniella Georgiou and Daphne Christophorou. The themes discussed ranged from how to build external export markets for Cypriot design, to infrastructure and development strategies, include entrepreneurship skills in design curricula to gain professional experience for young designers.
In many ways we see that Cyprus is on the same path of design economy trends which Ireland has taken over the past decade. As Ireland emerged from economic crisis, a focused cultural and government policy made a collective spectrum of design services central to internal and foreign business strategy. And it has been a success by key measures: improving Ireland’s business reputation, driving business innovation and seeing improved export share. In 2013 design services in Ireland accounted for 21% of total exports (€38 billion)*
As a new Cypriot based design start-up in Cyprus we hope to contribute to and share in a progressive and successful design economy.
Our Blog in Design….is BLOGiD
BLOGiD will bring regular articles on a range of topics, but with design as our central theme of course. We will have ideas, tips and comments about interior design, retail and object design. But we will also include broader subjects such as food, lifestyle and culture.
We will share our thoughts on strong (and not so strong) Cypriot design projects. Most importantly we hope we are creating relevant, entertaining, interesting and inspiring material for our readers.
So if you want a change, or just want to chat, find us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Loucas (Designer) and Paul (Researcher)
*Policy framework for Design in Ireland, Jan 2016