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In Profile:
Kitchen Architecture

In Profile:

Kitchen Architecture

Shortlisted: Kitchen Over £100,000 Award

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024

Kitchen Architecture

Name: Martyn Wigginton

Company: Kitchen Architecture

Position within company: Design Manager


Tell us a little about your background in design:

I graduated with a first-class degree in Product Design from Nottingham Trent University in 2011. During my studies, I secured a design placement at Kitchen Architecture in Oxford, where I gained experience in interior design and learned about the design principles of Bauhaus. For the past 12 years, I’ve served as a Design Manager at Kitchen Architecture, collaborating directly with clients, interior designers, and architects to primarily design residential properties.

How would you describe your personal design style?

My personal design style draws heavily from German product designers like Dieter Rams, who supported the principles of “less, but better” design, emphasising purity and simplicity. Prioritising function over form, my style blends practicality with beauty. I aim to create sociable spaces that foster interaction and engagement.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

My design inspiration stems from multiple sources. Firstly, I draw from the Bauhaus movement, embracing its principles of simplicity and functionality. Additionally, my family life and observing how clients live and utilise their spaces inspire my designs. Furthermore, my travels across Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa contribute to my creative process, exposing me to diverse cultures, architectures, and design aesthetics.

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

In a general sense, design is moving towards a classic aesthetic characterised by the use of natural materials to create texture and visual interest and to create an individual look and feel.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2024 and beyond. 

Personalisation and Customisation: Offering bespoke design solutions and personalised touches that reflect the individual preferences, needs, and personalities of clients, creating unique and tailored spaces.

Functional Spaces: Designing versatile interior layouts and kitchen areas that serve multiple purposes, accommodating a range of activities and lifestyles, such as cooking, dining, working, and entertaining.

Integration of Technology: Incorporating smart home systems and appliances to enhance functionality, convenience, and connectivity.

Sociable open-plan living: This plays a crucial role in shaping the functionality and atmosphere of living spaces. It maximises space, encourages collaboration among family members, and creates a welcoming environment where family and friends can thrive together.

Wellness-Oriented Design: Creating environments that prioritise health and well-being, with features such as natural lighting, indoor greenery, ergonomic furniture, and spaces favourable to relaxation and mindfulness.

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

One piece of advice I would offer when it comes to design schemes is to prioritise functionality and layout before focusing on aesthetics. Consider how you intend to use the space and ensure that the layout meets your practical needs and enhances usability. Once the layout is optimised, you can then explore materials, textures, and aesthetics to create the desired ambiance and visual appeal.

Kitchen Architecture
Kitchen Architecture
Kitchen Architecture
Kitchen Architecture

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

The International Design & Architecture Awards hold significant importance within the design and architecture industry. They inspire and encourage continuous improvement and innovation in design and architecture, pushing the boundaries of creativity and excellence.

For us, at Kitchen Architecture, it is the recognition from the design community and the high profile that this award enjoys within the sector, that are the compelling reasons for us to enter the International Design and Architecture Awards.

Strong, trusted and long-standing relationships with clients and our colleagues in the design/build sector are at the core of our organically grown business. It’s our service, knowledge and intelligent design that defines our approach and are the key to the entire experience of working with us at Kitchen Architecture.

Behind the scenes, our Kitchen Architecture workshop and design teams invest time in product development to ensure we evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of our discerning market and have the best products available to cater for individual requirements, style and budget.

Formal endorsement through your voting process from the design community that we have worked so closely with over the last 22 years, and the confidence that this will bestow within the sector, will be pivotal in elevating our bespoke range to the level of awareness and prestige enjoyed by our contemporary ranges.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m primarily engaged in large-scale whole house projects that encompass various areas such as kitchens, utilities, bedrooms, home offices, and bar areas. In these projects, I serve as a consultant, offering intuitive solutions tailored to the specific needs and preferences of clients. Choosing the right product for the right application. My focus is on creating cohesive and functional spaces that seamlessly integrate with the overall design of the home while enhancing usability and aesthetic appeal.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?

My favourite projects are those that allow for a high degree of creativity and innovation. One type of project that stands out to me is the conversion of non-residential buildings, such as agricultural structures, into designer living spaces. These projects offer a unique challenge and opportunity to transform unconventional spaces into beautifully designed and functional homes. I enjoy the creative process involved in repurposing these structures while preserving their unique character and history. It’s immensely satisfying to see the transformation from a non-residential building to a stylish and comfortable living space that exceeds the client’s expectations.

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

My most challenging projects occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, where I had to rely heavily on virtual communication and online platforms to interact with clients and visualise spaces. The inability to physically visit spaces and meet clients in person posed significant hurdles in understanding their needs and preferences accurately. Additionally, conveying design concepts and theories without the ability for clients to experience them firsthand in our design centres was particularly challenging. Overcoming these obstacles required innovative approaches to communication, visualisation, and collaboration to ensure that the final design met the expectations and requirements of the clients despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. 

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

When designing, there are a few products and services I couldn’t live without. My trusty scale rule and pencil are essential tools for sketching out initial designs and conceptualising spatial arrangements. Sketching allows me to visualise ideas and explore possibilities effectively. Additionally, computer programs play a crucial role in refining and detailing designs, while material samples help in making informed decisions about textures, colours, and finishes. These tools and resources enable me to bring concepts to life and create functional and aesthetically pleasing designs.

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

Over the next twelve months, my primary aim is to maintain and surpass the expectations of my clients, as well as the interior designers and architects I collaborate with regularly. I strive to deliver exceptional service and innovative solutions that not only meet but exceed the needs and desires of all involved in my projects. Additionally, I aim to further refine my skills, stay updated on emerging trends and technologies in the design industry, and foster strong relationships within the design community. Ultimately, my goal is to continue contributing positively to the field of design while delivering outstanding results for my clients.

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

Your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession is a collection of my university designs, particularly those focused on designing for emerging countries and creating products that enable communities to flourish. Among these designs are projects centred around building schools using readily available waste materials. These designs represent not only my creativity and innovation but also my commitment to making a positive impact on communities and promoting sustainable development. They serve as a reminder of my passion for design that addresses social and environmental challenges, and they inspire me to continue pursuing meaningful projects that contribute to the well-being of others.

Your favourite holiday destination?

My favourite holiday destination holds sentimental value to my wife and I. We got engaged and married in the South West of France, making it a cherished and memorable place for us to revisit for holidays.

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?

I appreciate unique accommodation, preferring to stay in converted properties nestled in natural settings. When it comes to dining and socialising, I’m drawn to exploring street markets while traveling. They provide an authentic taste of local cuisine and culture.

Your favourite book, film & song?                   

My favourite song is “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, which was played at my wedding and during the birth of my son, Finnley. My favourite book is “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, where I could immerse myself in a very different culture to my own. My favourite films are by Guy Ritchie; I love the grittiness and escapism of them.

Your favourite food and drink?

My favourite food is a curry I had whilst travelling in the north of India and my favourite drink is a classic pale ale.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

My favourite way to spend an afternoon is with my wife and three-year-old son exploring our local area in the countryside, stopping off at a pub for lunch on a winter’s day with a roaring fire and a roast dinner.

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

If I were not a designer, I would be a travel photographer, that would be an amazing job.

Kitchen Architecture

Location: London, UK

Photography: Darren Chung

Kitchen Architecture has been shortlisted for the Kitchen Over £100,000 Award 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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