Ambre Venissac – Marketing Project Manager for Carlin Creative: Dear Constantina, many thanks for having accepted sharing with us your inspiring vision of design and art of living, in the light of post Covid 19. After being the Creative director of HBA London, the award-winning studio for over 14 years, you decided to launch your own practice : Studio Lost London. What is Studio Lost’s philosophy ? What inspired you ? Where does your studio name come from ? What is the story behind Design through discovery ?

Constantina Tsoutsikou – Founder of Studio Lost London: Thank you so much for inviting me!  I admire  the Carlin Creative approach to trend forecasting. Our worlds certainly overlap. I set up Studio LOST as a collective of creative thinkers – not just designers. Up to that point, I had really enjoyed my long tenure at HBA -a global leader in hospitality design- and completed beautiful award winning projects in many continents. Then I felt ready to try something new, and wanted to explore a different way of working. I have always felt inspired by entrepreneurs and people who follow their dreams. LOST is about seeking the unknown. Our curious nature leads us to discoveries. Our approach is about experimentation and ambition. Being an independent studio, we shape our own path, we actively seek out opportunities to engage and collaborate with artists and brands. Our way is about having creative fun during the process, which leads to an end result rich in narrative and personality.

Constantina Tsoutsikou – Portrait by Athena Cusack

A.V3 words that truly describe yourself :

C.T: Honest. Open minded. Always an Optimist. If I could add one more, I would also say: Determined.

The Camellia bedrooms – Sanja Bistricic 

A.V: Could you share your thoughts on the covid 19 pandemic?

C.T: No one could have predicted what happened this year. Sometimes I feel like it was and is a surreal situation. We were not prepared for a pause, nor a lockdown. But we prevailed and the long confinement is over for most people. I admit that I have nice memories of spending time with my family in our London home. My lifestyle for the last few years had been all about travel and exhaustive schedules, so the pause that came with the arrival of Covid-19, was an unexpected but much needed change of rhythm. I am grateful that we didn’t have any health issues and we adjusted easily to a new reality. In terms of work, I spent most of my time on setting up studio LOST, briefing the branding team, building the website, doing lots of admin tasks while also working on two projects with my new team! So there was not much free time left after all, although I did start a running routine in the evening, which I still follow now.

A.V: At Carlin Creative trend bureau, we truly believe in a renewal of less is much more in all creative industries (from design, to fashion, beauty…). What is your understanding and interpretation at Studio Lost of this trend? Has covid 19 pandemic raised sustainable expectations in design and hospitality?

C.T: Yes, I couldn’t agree more! I think the collective feeling we all had , was that we need a lot less than we previously thought. These are lessons learnt that we will take with us moving into the new era. The fashion world realised that we don’t need as many shows and collections each year. We- as consumers- found out that by working at home, our attires were reduced to comfortable, easy outfits. In design and homeware however I think we may see a rise in interest in artefacts and furniture, if we haven’t already. People have had the time to look at their living spaces and do appraisals of what is left on their action list. I, for sure, will upgrade our dining chairs into something more comfortable, especially now that we got used to doing more from home. Most designers I know were all making some renovation or other, and I am sure many more people out there spent their time in the same way.

Royal Senses Bedrooms – Nick Kontostavlakis 

A.V: What impact will it have on design and hospitality when physical distancing still prevails?

C.T: Our work is predominantly in luxury hospitality, and I have to say that we have always been working with generous dimensions in public spaces, allowing easy circulation and options for privacy for the clients. So an element of ‘distancing’ has always been part of our curriculum. Now we need to add a little more or tweak existing layouts, perhaps allow for more staff to service a space and avoid queues.

A.V: What trends will define what we call the new normal in the future of hospitality?

C.T: We absolutely need to pick up the conversation and action about sustainability from where we left it pre Covid-19. Otherwise, and related to the pandemic, a hotel will need more than ever to be easily cleaned and sanitised, so this will influence a lot the materials, the layers of design, how much we accessorise a space. Less is more will be the way to go for the near future at least.

The Royal Senses Resort – Nick Kontostavlakis

Amadria Park Hotel Camellia – Sanja Bistricic

The Royal Senses Resort – Nick Kontostavlakis

A.V: Do you think the covid 19 pandemic has changed the way we regard interior ?

C.T: Yes indeed. And actually, not just the way we regard the interiors, but also the world around us: Nature – and our relationship with it- the connection between indoors and outdoors, have been pushed up high on the creative agenda.

Royal Senses Bedrooms – Nick Kontostavlakis 

The Camellia bedrooms – Sanja Bistricic 

A.V: Could you tell us a little bit more about the summer pop up by Studio LOST you have setted up in the Greek island of Paros? What is the aim of this installation?

C.T: This year, I was planning to operate differently from the usual fixed studio location format which is the norm in our industry. The reason was the following: I had in mind our work ethos about wellbeing and the great importance I place on sustainability and exploration. So the plan to relocate from London to a greek island, for the summer months, was initially conceived as an experiment. From a practical perspective, the location was determined by the projects we have in the southern Mediterranean. This meant that I would be able to visit the site often, as well as producers and local manufacturers and have meetings while exploring a new way of work life balance. All while communicating with my colleagues remotely. The pandemic didn’t change these plans, in the contrary, it may have accelerated them. Certainly from a travel perspective , it has been beneficial to be only boat ride away from site action, enabling me to avoid unnecessary air travel and the disruption that is currently going on with it. So it has proven to be a very sustainable way to operate. I believe that when we talk about sustainability in design, it is essential to also embed these ideas in our day to day. So far, it has been a great success and it looks like we may repeat the same philosophy next year. The question is: where next??!

Summer mood boards by Studio LOST

Studio LOST BOTANICS

A.V: How would you define creativity ?

C.T: For me Creativity is expression. And a form of dialogue. Through our work we communicate ideas and our vision of the world. To create is to try and make a better world as well as understand the one we live in. To quote the Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman: ‘inside the thick walls of this playhouse, sometimes the little world succeeds in reflecting the big one, so that we understand it better’. Beautifully said in Fanny and Alexander.

A.V: As a color trend expert, we Carlin, would really like to have your vision about colour : what are/ is its super power(s) ? What kind of colors do you bank on for SS21 ?

C.T: I love using the power of colour in our work and the Carlin teams do such a great job of investigating and predicting trends. In my view, comforting palettes and soft tones are what we will see more of. We have had quite a shock with the pandemic , so I imagine colour will continue to be part of our lives, as a soother and a feel good factor. Eucalyptus greens, earthy yellows, gentle Lavenders, maybe toned down terracottas would be my bet.

Summer mood boards by Studio LOST

A.V: Could you name and describe the best place for a summer 2020 escape?

C.T: Island escapism on an empty beach is very summer 2020 – and very ‘LOST’, so you will find us there! 😉

A.V: Many thanks Constantina, we can not wait to follow your adventures with Studio Lost London !

C.T: Thanks you too it was a pleasure!

AMBRE VENISSAC
MARKETING PROJECT MANAGER

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