The space between
In a former life, London-based interior designer Ilse Crawford was a journalist and the inaugural editor-in-chief of Elle Decoration UK. One supposes it was during those years that she learned the value of being adaptable. Her design firm Studioilse is credited for wide-ranging projects spanning the groundbreaking Soho House New York, Cathay Pacific’s First Class lounge in Hong Kong International Airport, an Aesop store in Denmark.
A more recent project is the VIC (Very Important Customer) lounge at Shanghai’s Plaza 66 shopping mall. “We used great textiles and materials such as Chinese marble," says Crawford. She describes the VIC lounge as a hosted environment that’s engineered to make the retail experience more hospitable, comfortable and effective. The gorgeous space is composed of curving lines, private alcoves and liberal applications of lustrous materials reflective of a discrete notion of luxury.
As with all her projects, Crawford begins by finding out the types of people who will utilise the space. “With Soho House, it was obvious that comfort and ease of movement in the public spaces made the project successful," she explains. Her creative processes entail figuring things out during the time before a job begins.
On her collaboration with Plaza 66, she attempted to merge the answers, even when the locations are not the same. For example, designing an airport lounge is different to creating a lounge in a retail setting “With the same question, one gets different answers," Crawford suggests.