Interview: David Rockwell, W Singapore designer

Is there something you know now that you wished you’d known when starting out on your career?I have gained a great amount of experience and insight from everything I have done. You need those experiences to learn and grow. Without them I don’t think I would be where I am or who I am today.What design trends do you anticipate seeing more of in 2012?After several years of fewer and smaller-scale projects, more projects are emerging and a lot of pent up creativity is flowing. Increased optimism seems to be drawing designers to shiny, metallic products and warm berry tones combined with cooler colors like pistachio and taupe. Nontraditional floor plans have become popular, featuring open, flexible layouts and multi-purpose moveable furniture. But I think an interest will also remain on raw, crafted materials.Do you sense a greater public appreciation for design now?I think design has always been important in people’s lives. It creates connections and evokes emotional responses. Especially in the last decade, design has become more and more available to the masses. It is no longer fair to assume that only high-end customers appreciate well-designed spaces.Do you have a pet hate when it comes to a certain element of design?Poor lighting! Lighting is everything—it shapes the space, has a dramatic impact on atmosphere and perception of space.Why do you think the W brand generates so much excitement?The W brand fuses ideas of luxury with the hip and comfortable. Their hotels are not just places where guests sleep but oases, or cities within cities. W is constantly reinventing, modifying and updating to stay relevant.What are you most excited about with the W Singapore project?The W Singapore Sentosa Cove will bring a cosmopolitan vibe to a magical tropical setting. We studied Singapore’s traditional floral patterns extensively, particularly the native hibiscus flower. The flower is laser cut in rosewood behind the reception and on floor patterns at the bars and lounges.