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Interior design should be simple, clever and fun | hcreates interior design

Hannah Churchill is an interior designer with a passion for all things creative, hailing from the South Island of New Zealand. After working at one of New Zealand's top architecture firms, Hannah moved to Shanghai in 2009 to broaden her horizons and began working on her own independent projects, founding hcreates interior design in 2010.


Q: Why did you get into Interior Design? A: As a child I was always into art and design. I used to design my dream house over and over. This interest continued in my life and I started my career in Architecture. After moving to China I moved over into interior as I enjoyed the fast paced nature and variety that came from interior projects.

Q: Where does your inspiration come from? A: Inspiration can come from anywhere. A lot of my inspiration comes from my travel and spaces that I experience or see along the way. I like to think about all projects as if they were my own restaurant/office/bar/space and how I would enjoy using that space.

I think each individual space has its own unique character so I try to incorporate what is already there into my design. Such as the shape of the space or enhancing the spaces natural light, I also like to reuse underlying materials and textures in the buildings structure.

Q: Can you tell us about a significant accomplishment or project that you regard as notable? A: I made the Architectural Digest AD100 list in 2017 which recognised the top 100 most influential designers in China. The recognition came from a project called The Clinic which was a boutique physical therapy space. This one stood out the most to me as it was completely unexpected, and I was very honoured to be recognised. The main idea and goal of the project was to create a space that re-thought the typical white walled sterile medical space. The aim was to create a space that evoked relaxation and a sense of home.

Q: How do you think an Interior Designer should dress? A: Fashion is way people can personally express their identity and style through colour, texture and pattern. I think all people should dress in a way that is comfortable to them and their working environment.

Q: If you could design anything, what would it be? A: Currently due to the world situation we are biding our time in New Zealand so im spending a lot of time dreaming about my ideal beach house overlooking the ocean in New Zealand!

Q: Can you give us a statement about Design? A: I think design should be simple, clever and fun. Design should make people feel inspired and encourage connection.

Q: If you could describe your designs related to food (in senses, i.e. spicy, bitter, sweet etc.) what would it be and why? A: They say that a good dish engages your senses, incorporating “salt, fat, acid and heat”. I would like to think that I could describe my designs in the same way, incorporating a bit of all senses creating a well balanced space.

Q: What do you think of the design trends in the future? A: I am fortunate to be working mostly in China and specifically in Shanghai. It’s about good food in an environment that is a good back drop for your social media posts. I think the role of technology is probably going to have the biggest impact on design in the next 5-10 years. As restaurant owners need new ways to bring their audience in and kept them coming back. Q: Describe yourself in 3 words. A: Creative, passionate and practical Q: In which country would you like to have your project in? A: Having designed exclusively in Asia for the past ten years I would actually love to have more projects back in New Zealand.

Q: What element of a design is the most important thing to you? I.e. colour, size, lighting etc. A: If I have to choose one, then I’d say lighting. Lighting has a vast impact on a space that can completely change the mood and usability so it’s vital to get right for every project.

Q: What is your favourite cocktail? A: A very good dirty martini or espresso martini for a good start to the night after a busy day.

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