JPA Design is a multinational design company founded by James Park, with an exceptional reputation in the transport and hospitality sectors. Based in London, the design firm offers talent, energy, curiosity and progressive design tools to turn complex challenges into compelling customer experiences. This enables brands to create the environments, objects, buildings and vehicles of the future. Here are some of James Park’s thoughts about the path of his career.
JPA Design is a multi-awarded world-leader in luxury hospitality and transportation design, primarily for premium hotels and resorts, residential, restaurants, luxury trains, aviation and airport lounge design. Over the last 30 years, the design firm has gained a broad knowledge in designing luxury trains such as the Orient Express and five-star hotel rooms, lounges, spas, restaurants and lobbies for international brands such as the Taj Group, IHG and The Pierre New York. They understand how to make these often tight spaces work through thoughtful and clever design so the high-quality service is enabled seamlessly within them. The firm feeds these insights back into projects like the new Singapore Airlines Business Class seats. Their offices in London, Dubai and Singapore allow them to be on the ground to better understand the needs of each market and region, while working collectively to offer the bests global skill sets.
“What gives me most satisfaction about my work at JPA Design is that, collaborating alongside our extremely talented team of architects, interior, product, industrial designers and trend forecasters, we have the capability to take a project from concept through to completion whilst protecting the integrity of the design in the process.”
During their 30 years of experience, JPA Design has come across several challenges, claiming that their biggest challenge is the fact that they are in a highly-competitive field, alongside several established design firms, as well as numerous small players. They are constantly challenged to innovate and to provide clients with exceptional high-end designs that meet their needs and aspirations.
When it comes to their work, JPA Design has a reputation for delivering high-quality design solutions that cover a wide range of specialist areas from private luxury trains, aircraft interiors, and a wide variety of hospitality and residential work. It is within that context that they are bound to respond to the client’s requirements and adapt their approach according to the project. However, at a personal level, Park says that he remains “drawn to both high-quality traditional solutions that have matured as time has passed, and to the better contemporary and innovative interiors and products that we see today. As such, I would define my style as one of intelligent, high-quality design solutions that improve with age, whether they be forward-looking or referring to the past and this can be seen in the work we have done for Venice Simplon Orient Express and Lake Palace Hotel in India, and the award-winning aviation projects for Singapore Airlines.”
“We always work as partners or as part of our clients’ in-house design team. JPA Design’s understanding of the entire experience of the VIP traveller and our holistic design approach is what distinguishes us from our competitors. Our knowledge is thorough and every detail at every touch-point is considered.”
Park defines its clients has global, regional and local companies in the luxury hospitality, leisure, residential and transportation space, along with clients in the healthcare sector. Most of JPA Design‘s clients are repeat customers, including the Taj Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, IHG, Singapore Airlines and Belmond. They have also designed for luxury resorts such as Cape Welligama, voted one of the top 30 hotels in the world (2018) and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, in the Maldives, along with hotels such as the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kolkata and Amara Signature hotel in Shanghai.
When it comes to craftsmanship, James Park admits that “manufacturing is marching into the building industry and has largely replaced what we traditionally understand as craftsmanship. So, craftsmanship has become more about how to cleverly exploit products and manufactured materials. However, there remains a demand for skilled craftsmen and my reference is, without doubt, looking backwards rather than forwards and I would name Edwin Lutyens as the master craftsman who, to this day, still leads the way.”
“It seems to me that our visions for the future rarely materialize in a form that we expect but I can see an exciting time ahead as new, very high-performance materials and products become available. This will likely free designers to respond with designs that are more elegant and more efficient and, coupled with technology, we should see some truly startling architectural, interior and product design projects.”
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