In conversation with Christian Tamayo
An interview with Christian Tamayo, designer and currently studying in TU Dublin.
Continuing our series of Stories, our next one features our studio designer Christian Tamayo.
Currently studying in TU Dublin, Christian shares with us what has influenced him so far on his design journey, what’s important to him when designing and how he unwinds.
Hi Christian, welcome to M&M Stories, we’re delighted you’re taking the time to chat to us. When did you realise that Interior Design was your calling?
It all started in Secondary school with my two of my favourite subjects, Art and Technical Graphics in which I had found an interest in creating art, learning about how forms have evolved over centuries while also being introduced to technical aspects when constructing for these big ideas. Till then I was still unsure of what career path to choose but after my recent ventures to different countries and seeing the amazing architecture which held these perplexed interiors, I was one step closer to knowing what was right for me.
After researching and attending open days in my final school year, it was difficult to find a course that welcomed both of my creative and technical interests. I remember my art teacher had always mentioned this Interior Design course that her daughter was studying, and I was curious to know how the whole programme ran. After attending the open day of meeting the lecturers and other students that were like myself, considering studying Interior Design, I knew that it was something that I would really enjoy as a profession.
Third Year Hospitality Project Building – Harbour Square, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
What was your first big project and how did you find that experience?
I’d say it would be my Hospitality project in my Third Year studying BA Interior Design with TU (Technological University) Dublin where our lecturers had set for us to design a 4-star boutique hotel that was originally a commercial multi-use building located on the coastal town of Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
The whole process of designing our first large-scaled thesis building seemed very daunting at first but through weekly crits and lectures, breaking down floor by floor and creating different forms for all the amenities required whilst forming a cohesive scheme, resulted in an unexpected feeling of great satisfaction before the deadline submission.
Are there any designers, past or present, that really inspire you?
Angelo Mangiarotti, an Italian designer who had embraced the ideals of the Modern Movement and was famously known for his beautiful sculptural furniture pieces that depicted his interest in different contemporary materials but never neglected its functionality.
Francisco Manosa, a Filipino architect who emphasized his enthusiasm of the Filipino Style through his “three A’s” – Awareness of the materials available in the country, acceptance of the use of these materials, and assimilation of the use of materials in design.
Do you have a favourite area of design?
Retail Design. Having shopping as a major aspect in our daily lives, I find that it is important to form that strong connection between the store brand and its customers. Every time I walk into a store that is new to my eye, I always feel like I am in a maze trying to find one item to buy but end up buying five, but it’s that whole process and journey that interests me and how the space is designed to lead customers around the store to get to know the brand’s identity. With the development of technology rapidly evolving and the prominence of online shopping, this can result in the loss of understanding and meaning of the physical retail environment.
Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with?
I have always been keen to learn about my roots back in the Philippines and how spaces are created, showing the identity and originality that lies within Filipino design. One of many truly passionate Filipino design companies I would love to be given the opportunity to work with would be Cyndi Fernandez and Amado Victor Beltran and their team at Moss Design House, sharing my experiences from overseas and be a part of their vision in becoming “the first Filipino firm to join the global arena of game-changers in the field of Interior and Event Design.
What are your thoughts on what the next big thing for 2023 might be in Interiors?
Living in a post-pandemic era, I think a very important factor in design that would bring people back to what was once known as a ‘normal day’ is more communal spaces. The need to bring back shared spaces is essential to allow people to connect with one another and create amazing collaborative experiences.
Buildings should all be reconsidered when dealing from a holistic view and should be redesigned to not suit one audience/use but also leave room for the community to interact in a way that encourages them to leave their so called ‘isolated bubble’ that separated us human beings from one another during the quarantines and lockdowns.
2023 will part from these past terrible times and will rise back up and become one again.
What can’t you do without when designing?
Remembering to enjoy the things I love to do, listening to music from different genres, making use of breaks to stroll around outside, and usually end up picking up another unnecessary thing for myself but let’s say I like going out to let go a little and come back to the table with fresh ideas.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and why?
Back in secondary school, I was told by my choir teacher to “don’t just sing your note but listen to the others around me” and try to create unity in harmony. It taught me a key lesson, but not only in singing but also when working in teams; Yes, your role or input is important for the group but the way you understand the things around you and how they all work together plays for a successful piece of work. Same as in interior design from the sharing of creative ideas to the choice of materials and how they all blend to form a functional space.
What do you like to do to relax and unwind?
Travelling. There is nothing better than exploring the world, your place. Seeing, feeling and experiencing the natural beauties around that ultimately surround you is what I love to do when I need a break from any type of workload. That and when I am in the kitchen, baking cakes and pastries to satisfy my everyday cravings for my sweet tooth.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have always been one with music. Singing. I mean like non-stop when I am away from the crowd or simply just bored and have always played some type of instrument whether it be piano or guitar.
Christian Tamayo 01 July 2022