London based creative studio Nina+Co, founded by Nina Woodcroft, merges beauty and sustainability in their mindfully minimal designs.
Design constantly, subtly and continuously influences our emotions. At times as a quiet background whisper like while we are walking down the same streets we do everyday, failing to pay attention to the fine architecture. Other times it’s a massive symphony like when entering a trendy bar on a Saturday night and you can tell they designed the place in such a way that makes us never want to leave.
Design is omnipresent, for that reason addressing its role becomes of upmost importance as we discuss pressing societal issues. Perhaps the most pressing of these issues, is the dilemma of sustainability: environmentally, socially and economically.
London based creative design studio, Nina+Co take on societal challenges like poverty and deforestation as well as the challenge to achieve beauty by creating mindful and elegant creations in design, product design and branding.
We talk to founder Nina Woodcroft about life after she decided to walk away from large scale luxury hotel projects, leave her job at Ara Design and create Nina+Co in 2014 where projects became more intimate and more socially ethical.
One of the creative studios first projects was for Saint Espresso coffee shop in Angel, Islington, London that embodies the airy minimalism that travels you to a naked beach in Greece with white homes, neatly topped with blue roofs. We discuss social responsibility projects in London, inspirations and trends in the sphere of design with the creator Nina.
Sustainability is about preserving the environment and living within our means, it’s a way of thinking; a mindset.
Why do you think sustainability is important?
Design affects how we shape our world but also our impact on it. Sustainability is about preserving the environment and living within our means, it’s a way of thinking; a mindset. With a little thought and application we can lessen the negative impact of new design on our world and enhance our enjoyment of it.
What are some of the ways in which your creative studio implements sustainable methods?
Through the thoughtful sourcing of products and materials. We use natural or reclaimed materials that are both beautiful and long-lasting. We take care to source locally, support local manufacturers and we try to consider the impact of all our daily decisions. We make products and design interiors to last.
How does your culture and experiences influence your work?
I am thankful to have worked on some fantastic hotel projects around the world in the past, but the general lack of thought for sustainability has definitely influenced a more thoughtful direction now.
I grew up in London and I love experiencing and adapting to new cultures through travel. Spending time in Lithuania and The Netherlands recently has opened my mind up to different attitudes and approaches to work and design.
What role do you feel colour plays in design?
Colour affects mood. It can energise, make us feel safe and relaxed, increase our ability to concentrate and evoke memories. I have always been of the Danish persuasion, using minimal, subtle tones for a soothing effect. I like to punctuate this with soft, natural colour – particularly from sculptural plants.
Can you tell us a bit about your social responsibility projects with Centrepoint and Luminary Bakery?
These are both exciting projects from a design perspective; challenging, flexible, multi-purpose spaces designed to look great and to maximise the efficiency of their operations.
The Dean St Cafe is for a prominent UK homelessness charity, Centrepoint, located in London’s Soho. As well as serving great food with locally sourced ingredients, they will provide training and employment opportunities for the young homeless people they work with. We’ve finished work on site and are almost ready to open.
Luminary Bakery is a cafe and bakery which helps vulnerable women in Hackney break the cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty through the skill of baking. It will be a beautiful space, designed to feel like a home kitchen.
What are some of the predominant trends in design that you are loving right now?
Bringing the outdoors in – filling interiors with plants. And I’m excited about innovative new materials made from coconut husk, pineapple leaves and cork.
Our first print edition was themed Sustainability to get 128 pages on sustainability click here.