Marina Mrdjen-Petrovic talks to David T’Kint, Partner at HBA Dubai, about the importance of maintaining his passion for design while managing others.
You can be the most creative designer, but if a client doesn’t understand an idea you are trying to sell, you’re not going anywhere. The secret of a good presentation is to make your clients dream, says David T’Kint, design director and partner at Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) Dubai.
From a narrative and concept to the final design, he compares his presentations to a Chanel bag, where the packaging is as equally important as what is inside.
“When I do a presentation, it is always a bit out of the box. I make my clients go through that dream factor, I walk them through the design concept right from the entrance of a hotel and all the way to the guest rooms. Because if you start explaining your concept item-by-item, where is the dream, then?”
With more than a decade of hospitality design experience, T’Kint has been successfully turning dreams into reality by working on large-scale projects worldwide, while living in Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore, before settling in Dubai.
A year and a half ago, T’Kint was appointed to spearhead HBA’s expansion in the MEA region. His Dubai-based team now comprises over 90 individuals, representing 30 or more countries. Together, he says, they bring a wealth of cultural knowledge and experience to each project.
“We’ve grown tremendously, but I don’t want to become a design factory where projects just go in and out.”
Apart from managing his team, T’Kint still gets involved in design projects. That’s the only way, he says, to keep the passion for designing alive.
“Over the years, I’ve grown to a management position and nobody forced me into it, but I’m still an interior designer. A busy one. It would be physically impossible for me to work on every single project, but every year I will give my full attention to five to six projects. I will be with my clients from day one – from concept stage until the opening. They can call me on Saturday, I will be in factories and on site. It is very important to keep that passion as an interior designer.”