United House, Notting Hill: the latest offering from The Office Group
TOG’s Head of Design Nasim Köerting tells Mix about the 40th space from the flexible workspace providers.
As the Founding Editor of this fine tome, Mick Jordan has seen things people wouldn’t believe. Not quite attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, but certainly C-beam desks glittering in the dark near The Gate. We decided, for our 200th issue, to sit him down and ask him about some of his favourite things from the past 20 years.
I certainly wouldn’t have followed my dad into the City – far too much pressure and early, early mornings. I think I would probably have gone to work on local newspapers. I’ve also always liked the idea of working at an airport – I’d be airside with hi-vis jacket and paddles!
Iain Banks, Ian Rankin, Irvine Welsh (strangely, all Scottish), Robert Harris, John le Carre, Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, Alex Garland, lots of sports and music biogs.
I’ve not conducted too many ‘odd’ interviews. One that does stick in my mind is an interview with Gianluigi Colani, who sadly recently passed away. He was eccentric, to say the least. The whole thing was beautifully surreal. Legendary designer – and really good fun to sit and chat with. I recall that he drew an odd little sketch to explain one of his designs – and then signed it and gave it to me as a present.
It’s a little obvious, but Jonathan Ive is a real visionary. I’m lucky enough to have been born into a generation where tech really took off and thanks to Jony (and others, of course), it has gone from the purely functional to the most desired products we own.
It would have to be a dinner of white asparagus and German beer, on a hillside high above the Bavarian countryside. It was surprisingly (apart from the beer, which was obviously great) idyllic. There was also an amazing meal in one of Vienna’s best-rated restaurants, an incredible Bloody Mary and steak in Chicago, a ludicrously over-the-top champagne brunch in Dubai…
They’re all amazing. Stockholm with Kinnarps, Helsinki with Artek, Austria with Bene, Dubai, Venice, Prague, Anfield…they’re genuinely all special. We’re incredibly lucky to be treated to such kind hospitality and to get to see fantastic people, places and businesses. My family and friends don’t get these opportunities – so I always try to make the most of them when they come my way.
Other than the aforementioned Apple products and tech, it has to be Aeron. It was simply a quantum leap in seating design.
On the ball.
My favourite interview was with the late, great Ettore Sottsass. He was just so cool and incredibly generous. It was one of those moments when you realise you’re in front of a true ‘great’. He was in his eighties at the time – not that you’d have known if from his energy. An interview with Mark Newson was also a standout. It was a real press junket thing, but after our allotted ten minutes had passed, he (very politely) shooed his PR team away and took me for a beer. Finally, I should mention an interview we did in one of our very first issues with Vitra founder, Rolf Fehlbaum. I think that feature made a lot of people sit up and take notice of Mix.
Through the industry. He was running his own furniture PR business and I was a junior reporter for another magazine. One of the main roles I had back then was to talk with manufacturers, marketing and PR about new product introductions, and I therefore became one of Henry’s contacts and vice versa. We’d meet up in London – and quickly realised that we had a number of things in common; beer, football, cricket, music etc. We were also both based out in Essex, so would regularly meet up in and around the City before heading out of town. In fact, it was during one of those meetings – in The Railway at Liverpool Street – that Henry first mentioned the idea of launching an independent workplace magazine…
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