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Elle Decor IT Interview with Mint’s Lina Kanafani

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As LDF approached, Elle Decor Italia quizzed our very own Lina Kanafani with questions about contemporary design, Mint’s goals, designers, ambitions for LDF and how social change is affecting the design world.

Continue reading to see the full interview, with some poignant and relevant advice!

What is the concept behind the store?

Mint focuses on showcasing works by new and upcoming designers mixed in with works by established designers, exhibited in two major annual shows. Design pieces are presented in the context of a living space using an eclectic mix of furniture and unique objects. Mint style continually evolves as new works are regularly introduced and integrated into the collection. Mint’s aim is to promote a stylish, elegant yet comfortable mode of living through an inimitable and personal mix of interiors.

How do you select the designers you work with?

My selection is intuitive; I am normally attracted to new and original ideas, which can vary from technical 3D printing to handmade & craft pieces. The work has to be captivating, exciting, surprising and unpredictable! If I have seen it before it won’t capture my interest. I visit several graduate shows but the Milan fair holds the core of our findings. We also receive numerous emails daily & I make the effort to see them all in case there is an interesting design for mint.

What are your plans for LDF 2016?

This year our show White Canvas focuses on innovative designers whose approach is highly individualistic. Over 50 new and established designers have been chosen for their unique handcrafted skills working in a broad range of mediums. Such creative processes invariably result in compelling and collectable pieces. Cast alongside these examples of design excellence are experimental pieces by new graduates handpicked from Milan and UK graduate shows, where innovation, technique and surprise are the main criteria. Such a wide brief gives the designers a free hand to design any piece they wish, hence the title White Canvas as long as I like the result!

What do you think of the future of design?

Design is about solutions, and seeing so many graduate shows I have noticed over the last 3 years graduates are opting to design solutions for the environment and current issues such as natural disasters, refugees’ needs & climate change issues. In addition technology is taking over with new processes & 3D technology allowing for great designs in the medical fields and IT generally.
Very few design graduates are now inclined to design a new piece of furniture, as they do not feel the need. I quite agree as it makes for a better world and consideration for the environment; furniture is only needed if there is a brilliant idea behind it. I think for these reasons handmade, crafted & unique pieces are currently in demand.

What are the new trends in design?

Designers are aware of global issues and their designs are changing to accommodate wider social needs. Therefore the trends are generally towards addressing current social and environmental issues, using new technology to change the way we live. Technology is moving fast and creating huge changes and development in our near future. Everything is now available on one’s phone which affects the way we live, shop, travel, date etc. The trend is towards design considering immediate needs such as housing, travel, technology etc. By contrast at the other end of the spectrum luxury design is in demand as there is more appreciation for the unique and collectable.

How will Brexit affect design Scenario in UK?

Design relies on an international community with no boundaries. The flow of ideas is universal and even a Brexit decision cannot stand in its way. I am upset about Brexit because it is a step backward from a global community with a free movement of ideas, people & merchandise within Europe. Most importantly the UK might lose valuable and talented European graduates, professors and funding if Brexit imposes restrictions. Already EU imports are more expensive which will affect sales in the long run and limit choices. Brexit is an uninformed decision as no one knows what it exactly means and what future implications are. UK politicians are still deciding!

Find the published article here:

http://www.elledecor.it/london-design-festival-2016/lina-kanafani-intervista-tendenze-design-contemporaneo-lusso-ecologia