Award-wining design studio Swiss Bureau’s concept for the forum explores the confluence of tradition and modernity.
With renowned blue-chip multinationals, global entities, governments and boutique business as clients, Swiss Bureau Interior Design is known for delivering progressive workplace environments with a focus on creating dynamic collaborative spaces that become the focal point of the project.
“We see ourselves as the conduit for businesses to align diverse people for common goals,” says Joakim de Rham, Co-founder, and CEO. “Our design approach is centered on creating environments that will foster change, creativity, and discovery.”
This creative path is evident in their design for the forum space that is inspired by the concept of a ‘tribe’. “Across time, in every region and culture, like-minded people have gathered at a ceremonial place to learn, exchange ideas and collaborate,” explains Joakim. “Our concept for Downtown Design’s forum is our attempt to acknowledge the diversity of the regional design scene while celebrating our similarities as we come together as a creative community at Downtown Design.”
Led by Zoe Allen, the studio’s Design Manager and quite unlike their typically contemporary projects, the forum is a juxtaposition of traditional and modern elements punctuating the industrial set up of Downtown Design’s purpose-built venue. Inspired by Bedouin culture, an array of handwoven carpets by Samovar will provide a dramatic and unexpected backdrop for this year’s talks to unfold.
An assortment of Moroccan poofs integrated with Pedrali chairs and low hanging bead and cane lamps by Tribe will connect heritage with a contemporary outlook – mirroring the creative approach consistent across the regional design scene. The overall result is an eye-catching space that is eclectic, yet familiar, and demarcated only by a permeable screen of plants, celebrates its location as the heart of the fair.
“A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate,” says Joakim, citing the American author, Seth Godin. “Our concept for Downtown Design’s forum is our attempt to acknowledge the diversity of the regional design scene while celebrating our similarities as we come together as a creative community at Downtown Design.”
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