Mark Bithrey, founder and creative director at B3 Designers tells us about interior and branding designs.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mark Bithrey: My family and I are doing okay – we have been fortunate. The kids are back at school now and had an interesting time doing school work (and watching loads of cartoons!) at home.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded B3 Designers.
Mark Bithrey: I founded B3 Designers in 2002, after working with several design agencies. It started with one interior design project that I poured my heart into, and then another, and another. Here we are in 2021 – nearly 20 years later and we have had the good fortune to work with some fantastic clients on some incredible and creative projects. Our clients include Marriott, Roka, StayWell Group, Nutshell, Nandos, Le Gavroche, Zizzi, and Tom’s Kitchen, among others.
How does B3 Designers innovate?
Mark Bithrey: The creative philosophy at B3 Designers has always been that we treat every site as a unique project. We immerse ourselves in the environment, work hard to understand the target audience and the voice of the brand or individual, weave in details from the existing shells, and create something bespoke every single time. The team also stays on top of market trends in the interior design, branding, printing, and packaging world, helping us innovate with every new project.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Mark Bithrey: Like many other businesses, we took a hit during the worst of the pandemic. Since our work is focused on the F&B space, and with hospitality being one of the worst-hit sectors, it certainly has been a strange, challenging time. We have coped, however, and have been fortunate to have had a few large projects that kept us busy. Now that the country is slowly opening back up again, our spirits are certainly higher, as are our clients.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Mark Bithrey: As interior designers, one difficult thing was to not visit sites as much as we would’ve liked. But thanks to technology, we were able to do virtual visits and stay on top of projects, finishing and delivering on time and to perfect standards. We made sure to have online parties, so we don’t miss out on the group fun!
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Mark Bithrey: As designers, we are obviously big fans of design software, and over this period of remote working, we have begun using Google Meets, Zoom, Jam Boards, Trello Boards, Miro, WhatsApp groups, and Drive, among others, to manage projects, jump from call to call, and get things done (and done well).
I think we have all had to learn to navigate remote working, finding spots in each others’ calendars to have quick chats. We meet every morning for team check-in, and we love it! Strangely, we feel more connected and even relaxed as we are avoiding the morning London rush.
Your final thoughts?
Mark Bithrey: With more and more people now shifting to working from home, a lot of thought is going to into redesigning spaces – both residential as well as offices. Hospitality is also adapting rapidly to changing needs and demands. Through all of this, if there’s one big thing we have learned, it is that design will play a crucial role in shaping a changing world – whether that is home offices, takeaway business, pods, and secluded work areas, and even retail.
About B3 Designers
B3 Designers is a dynamic design studio based in London focused on interior design and branding. We strive to create designs that have a positive impact on people and places. Our team, consisting of multi-disciplinary designers, interior architects, graphic, branding, and illustration designers, and marketing and finance specialists, is focused on delivering stunning, functional, profitable restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and office spaces.
In the last 19 years, we have worked on some of the most iconic and award-winning projects in the UK and in Europe. Reach us on +44(0)20 7729 8111 to speak to us about designing your restaurant, hotel, office, home, or retail space.