UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel talks about the future of design at Inside Festival

In today’s keynote lecture, Ben van Berkel outlined his roadmap for the future of design processes at a packed house in the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. He told an attentive audience that co-creation partnerships will replace the old models of collaboration. Using an image of the Griensteidl Cafe in Vienna (former meeting spot of scientists and artists in the early 20th century), van Berkel explained that local conversations are being quickly replaced by a global dialogue. At UNStudio, the team invite in as many creatives from different disciplines as possible to ensure that the work of the practice remains relative and future-proofed. For instance, the studio has just produced an office block in Holland that has been designed specifically with interiors that can be transformed into apartments, as this requirement is now often needed in the life cycle of a building.

SitTable by UNStudio ©Roel van Tour and Pim Top

Van Berkel also stated that it is essential to teach to remain fresh, explaining his students question everything and investigate new business models from all industries. Nigel Coates, the host of the talk, was particularly interested in the “very well behaved, classical furniture” produced by the office. Van Berkel explained that these pieces are furniture transformed into architecture so that individuals can utilise them in many different ways.

Inside World Festival of Interiors runs from 1-3 October (insidefestival.com).