Women in BUILD Awards 2016

Build 2016 Women in Build Awards 4 stablished in 2007 Fusion Interiors Group is an international interior and graphic design studio specialising in creating unique solutions for clients in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors, as well as working in the residential sector for both commercial and private clients. “Here at Fusion Interiors Group we create identities that are meaningful and memorable built on strong narratives.” Hilary emphasises, as she talks us through the firm’s work and client base. “Our projects range from small coffee shops to large resorts, from budget hotels to luxury homes. Clients range from known brands to independents. We are highly versatile and innovative as well as being commercial, always bringing creativity to a brief. Our ongoing focus is always to not be pigeon-holed into one sector. We are just as good at doing luxury as we are at doing budget. As long as we can be creative I will continue to accept exciting and unique projects all over the globe. We are now getting into resort and spa design, which I have always wanted to do.” Currently the practice is designing the interiors and graphics for a 25 room Boutique Hotel in Amsterdam, which looks set to be a really innovative project, as Hilary explains. “For the new Boutique Hotel we are really pleased with the concept that we have created and the connection that it has to the history of the building and its connection to the Dutch Royal Family. It will be a unique hotel and we are proud of the graphic design work that we are doing alongside the interiors.” In order to stand out from its competition, Fusion Interiors Group avoids following trends, because, as Hilary points out, the firm: “prefer to develop a design from a narrative that we create and deliver this with an exceptionally professional service.” This is particularly important as it is the firm’s mission to continue to deliver intelligent, creative and inspiring design to every single client, no matter how small or large the project, or which sector it falls into. “To achieve our overall mission we strive to be part of the huge satisfaction our clients have when they walk into the completed space for the first time,” Hilary adds. “The rewards for us are immense. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to have a client who is ‘over the moon’ at the end of each project. With public spaces, it is always gratifying when people using the space feel inspired to put their photos of the project on Instagram, as this indicates that we have done our job well.” One key challenge for women in the industry is the fact that they are still a minority in the building industry. Most networking events are male dominated, so it can be a challenge to feel confident in the environment. There are some women’s networks in the industry but not enough. Women naturally support each other while men are more competitive, so in the construction world women have to develop a very competitive quality and stick close to supportive women at the same time. “My advice to women looking to move into interior design is never give up. There are ways to be just as successful as men without being cutthroat. It is probably easier for women to break into the interior design sector than it is for women trying to break into engineering; the industry almost expects interior designers to be women, which is another issue, but one which we can use to our advantage. For those looking to run their own businesses, they have to be tough and be prepared to fight for work – particularly in the commercial design sector. In the private home sector, I would say it is easier for women as there are many more courses available that allow women to design homes.” Most Innovative Interior Designer - Europe Fusion Interiors Group is a world-class interior and graphic design company, based in London with offices internationally serving clients around the world. We invited Founder Hilary Lancaster to provide her insight into the secrets behind both the firm’s success and her own personal achievements. E

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