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Talking Design With Sam Eades

Samantha Eades is a formidable force in the design industry. Not the kind of formidable that should be feared; more the kind to be revered. With a keen eye for detail, a sound knowledge of how spaces best function, and an affable and generous nature, she is very much the "it" girl of hospitality design in Australia. She's the girl you've been to dinner with a dozen times, but you've never met... No doubt you have sipped a cocktail or shared a plate at one of the many tables in one of the many establishments she has designed.

A huge part of the success of the venues she designs is the focus on making you, the customer, the centre of the experience. Having said that, there is so much more than the customer to consider when it comes to designing hospitality venues. There are a multitude of teams at work in food and beverage outlets, and all their individual needs have to be considered in the overall design. Making a space look good is comparatively easy compared to the complexity of creating a functional design.

With venues in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA her portfolio is vast and exciting. If you are lucky enough to spend time with Sam, you cannot help but be swept up into the high energy and positivity of her work ethic and life outlook.

I ask Sam some questions about what drives her, and find out a little about what we can expect in our upcoming Masterclass on Hospitality Design in August. Tickets are on sale via this link.

Sax Bistro by Samantha Eades Design

AM: Why do you love designing hospitality venues?

SE: Food is one of my favourite things in the world! My life is all about food, design and travel, so designing in the hospitality sector makes such complete sense. I also think that a food and beverage venue is the most challenging of all spaces to design, as it's a total sensory experience. The design has to hit all of the right points.

Sax Bistro by Samantha Eades Design

AM: What are you working on at the moment, and what exciting things do you have coming up?

SE: At the moment I am working on several projects in Hong Kong, one in Shanghai and another in Barcelona. The one in Shanghai is the most exciting, which is a very large restaurant, bar and lounge in a beautiful and iconic building on The Bund.

I'm looking forward to more work we have coming up in Hong Kong and we are working with some very notable chefs in Melbourne at the moment.. that's all I can say for now!

Nomada Restaurant and Bar by Samantha Eades Design

AM: What are the main factors of hospitality design that vary from residential projects?

SE: The fundamental principals should be the same: meeting a client brief and delivering considered designs that come in on budget, on time. Hospitality design should not only be beautiful, but also highly, highly functional. It's also important to remember that you have two sets of customers - the operation staff and the guests, so you are actually trying to please two audiences!

Hana Tiki Bar in Melbourne CBD by Samantha Eades Design

AM: If a designer wants to work in the field of hospitality, what key skills and attributes do they need to possess or refine?

SE: Spacial awareness is one of the key elements of hospitality design. You have to have an understanding of how people move and flow through the space. You must possess strong technical knowledge of equipment and its implications, materials and acoustics - high technical and functional knowledge is key.

Yarri Bar in Dunsborough, WA by Samantha Eades Design

AM: What is the most challenging aspect of designing hospitality venues?

SE: Keeping the client happy by maximizing seating capacity without compromising the customer experience can be incredibly challenging. It can also force you to come up with creative outcomes that otherwise may not have been considered. Juggling work flow and customer movement in difficult shaped spaces can also take a lot of lateral thinking.

Chin Chin Restaurant, Melbourne by Samantha Eades Design, Bergman & Co and Craig Tan Architects

AM: What can designers attending your Masterclass expect?

SE: A glass or two of a good red.. hehe!

Expect a very open and transparent discussion around hospitality design - what has worked for me, and what hasn’t. Designers will come away with a clear understanding of the principals that make our business a success, and keep our clients happy.

I plan to openly discuss how we can all refine our systems and become better designers.

Our Masterclass with Samantha Eades is coming up next month. We will be supplying beautiful wines and antipasto in the gorgeous surrounds of Sam's latest venue, The Carlton Wine Room.

Time & Location

17 August, 2018

6:00pm – 8:00pm

The Carlton Wine Room, 172-174 Faraday St, Carlton

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