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In Profile:

In Profile:


Shortlisted: for 1 category

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024

Name: Viki Lander

Company: Ensoul

Position within company: Creative Director


Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)

I left Camberwell School of Art early, keen to start work and make a name for myself. I became a self-taught graphic designer and at the age of 26, I set up my own graphics and marketing agency which I ran for 10 years, working for some of the most exciting and ground breaking technology companies in the world. During this time I designed and managed multiple home and office transformations and developments for myself.

Following the birth of my son and with a passion for architecture and interior design, I decided to change direction and launch Ensoul, an architectural and interior design business with a very talented friend and designer, Philip Rogerson. Our aim was simple – to offer residential clients unique and highly personal home transformations that exude colour, individuality and soul. Design schemes that speak to our clients, with elements of their life journey woven into the fabric of the home. In fact ‘Ensoul’ our name was no mistake – the dictionary definition of this word means ‘to endow with a soul.’

We launched Ensoul 10 years ago with a flagship design project in London as our case study and launch photography. Since then we have had the privilege of working on some spectacular projects. Designing interiors for new builds; extending and renovating many Victorian and Georgian town houses in London; gutting and transforming super cool apartments and redesigning large scale properties in the Home Counties and the Cotswolds. Each one being unique.

How would you describe your personal design style?

Contemporary, individual, a masterclass in colour, highly considered and authentic.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Most importantly, the Client. In addition, the outdoor surroundings, the history of the building and any notable features, artwork, key furniture pieces being kept.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

There is no doubt that design is being enabled more and more by technology and will be further changed by the rapid adoption of AI. This will enable quicker and more efficient development of design schemes and is facilitating realistic, high-quality visualisations to aid more informed and quicker decision-making.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2023 and beyond.

  1. Professional expertise. Would you benefit from an interior designer or architect. Think through how technical the project is; how creative you are; what budget you have and how much time you realistically have for a project. Then define what support you’d like.
  2. Budget Control. Design everything up front. Finalise choices for the full scheme and have it all costed it all up both product and labour before starting works. It’s the only way to control costs.
  3. Put yourself in the scheme. Think about your heritage, passions, interests and work. Find elements to inspire your designs. Make it about you – not what’s trendy or someone else’s taste.
  4. Make sure you review the ‘engine room’. Nobody wants a home that looks beautiful but melts you in the Summer or makes you freeze in Winter. And consider getting off grid or lessening your reliance with solar panels, air/ground source heat pumps etc. Get it right and make it sustainable, before you spend any money on making it look good.
  5. Furniture & soft furnishings. Ensure you think about these at the start of the design process and not at the end to ensure it all works together perfectly and you get the best, cohesive result.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Be brave, commit and believe. Extraordinary schemes are usually when you’re bold, take a leap of faith and trust it will look great. Nobody did great playing safe.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

So important! Vital to share ideas and inspire a dynamic industry – both professionals and home owners. Also really important and lovely to give a pat on the back to those deserving, for stand-out work.

What projects are you currently working on?

  • Double mews house in South Kensington. We are creating a brand-new basement, completely gutting the houses leaving just the façades, and modernising into an elegant, four story, contemporary home.
  • Victorian townhouse renovation in Clapham. Putting in various extensions, fully gutting the house and creating funky, social spaces for a young professional couple, one training to be a Somelier and the other a keen amateur chef.
  • Updating a lake house in the Cotswolds. Full refurbishment and new furniture and soft furnishings package.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?

‘Rock n’ Roll in Balham’ – our shortlisted project in 2024 IDA Awards. Our client wanted something truly different to the norm. She encouraged and trusted us to be bold, dramatic and playful. As a result I was able to really let my imagination run wild, and work freely with strong colours, prints and textures.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?

Definitely the projects we were working on during the Covid lock down years. It was incredibly challenging trying to move projects forward with all the construction, office and retail closures, supply chain issues, having Covid twice myself and trying to home school our son along with my husband.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?

  1. Apple iMac
    I think much better when looking at floor plans on my screen rather than standing in the room (albeit I need to have seen and photographed all the spaces). And I spend most of my time putting together and refining mood boards on my mac.
  2. iPhone
    I do so much research on my phone and am always on the phone to builders, suppliers, clients and colleagues checking if ideas work, solving challenges, finding items.
  3. Electric car
    Nothing like zooming round to see things in the flesh – whether its site visits, seeing furniture, slabs of beautiful stone or carpets. And meeting the people behind them to get their specialist tips.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

  • Our number one objective will always be to keep attracting interesting clients wanting a unique and beautiful home with incredible design detail and personalisation. We strive to delight every client with our service all the way through the process and of course with the end result.
  • During the next year, we’ll also be looking at how best to further leverage technology and adopt AI to further streamline our processes, power even more creativity and get even more photo realistic visualisations. AI is gaining a lot of momentum and whilst we don’t believe it will replace architects and designers, the future of design, is definitely going to be harnessing it.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?

Can I have two?

  • My photo library. Love flicking through special memories and would be devastated to lose any of them.
  • A locket necklace from by husband and son. It’s got my birthstone in it, a special photo of me with our son and a special inscription.

Your favourite holiday destination?

Dubai – love the complete contrast – architecture and culture. And there is so much to do. Can’t wait to take our son there for the first time maybe later this year.

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar? 

  • Hotel: One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai – love the authentic Arabesque architecture, rooftop terrace bar playing chill-out tunes and stunning beachfront with a shuttle boat to pop over to the One & Only Palm for cocktails.
  • Bar & Restaurant: Hakkasan – such an incredible fusion of modern design with traditional Chinese elements with the dark wooden screens and lanterns. So clever how they make a large space feel so intimate and special. Love it either for just drinks at the bar or dinner with my husband and/or friends.

Your favourite book, film & song?

  • Book: Rabbit and Bear series my son has read to me. Full of fun, laughs and fantastic moral purpose.
  • Film: Some like it hot – an absolute classic and comedy masterpiece.
  • Song: Insomnia by Faithless – the best dance anthem ever and our wedding song!

Your favourite food and drink.

  • Roast chicken, my husband’s roast potatoes, carrots peeled and cut by my son and all the trimmings. The best meal ever that’s even better when we all make it together.
  • Gin and tonic. Clean, long, refreshing.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

Walking our two cocker spaniels with my husband and son.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

Specialist food producer. It would give me a creative outlet to make my own recipes and I’d love to help give more choice to people with allergies (we have them in the family).

Anything else interesting?

I have been fortunate enough to have two completely different design careers and businesses – starting out in graphic design and running my own agency for 10 years; then switching to architectural and interior design with Ensoul which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. I truly believe my background in graphics is the bedrock for my appreciation and skill for working with colour. In both disciplines I am completely self taught proving that if you believe in yourself, learn from others on the job and work incredibly hard, you really can achieve your dreams. There are different pathways for all of us.

Ensoul has been shortlisted for 1 category in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024.

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The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024
are organised by design et al and sponsored by:

Sylka Carpets
Joseph Giles

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