Meet Emma

Our Design Lead

We wanted to introduce you our fabulous Design Lead Emma, who heads up our London studio. Emma was living in New York before she joined the JOLIE team, designing incredible schemes within the F&B/ Hospitality sector for Sarah Carpenter & Studio. She designed the globally featured, award-winning Hags in East Village along with Sereneco and Talea - and designed iconic US foodie hotspots Levain & Alidoro.
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Happy 1 Year Anniversary Emma! So, tell us about your role at JOLIE? 

As a Design Lead at JOLIE, I lead the team on the interior design of our schemes from concept to completion; everything from our initial colour theory and sensory briefing, all the way to styling completed spaces.

I’ve always been both creative and academic, so I was initially drawn to Interior Design as I thought it would be the perfect industry for me to explore both; this led me to train as an architect, and then as a specialist in Interiors/Interior Architecture - and here I am!

How does the JOLIE approach feel different from other studios you have worked with? 

 At JOLIE we prioritise human sensory experience over aesthetics. We bring the end user experience to the forefront of the design process, which is a completely new approach from other studios I have worked with.

We also don’t specialise in a certain area of commercial design, so the range of schemes from small restaurants all the way through to multi-storey workspace design means we are able to work on really varied projects which is exciting and quite unique.

Where do you find your inspiration, and what are your biggest design influences?

My own style and design aesthetic draws on Danish functional design influence. This is reflected in my home and personal style which for me serves as a foundation for cultivating an open and receptive mindset to a diverse range of different design influences.  I often go to Australian design for inspiration in my work; design studios such as Flack Studio and YSG really inspire me to push my own boundaries. 

In terms of experience led design, can you think of a space that has had a profound experience on you?

I can think of a couple of spaces that felt like a pilgrimage experience for me; The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art just north of Copenhagen, and Dia: Beacon in Upstate New York. Also maybe Grundtvigs Church (also in Copenhagen!) 

What would be your idea of a dream project or client?

We recently worked on a stunning hospitality scheme in rural Surrey, F&B offerings, lounges, outdoor dining and retail spaces within a beautiful  historic Victorian walled garden, I love that sort of unique project.

I'm looking forward to working on more hotels; where we can bring in all the sensory design elements together to enhance the overall user experience from guests arrival to departure - getting a restful night's sleep through to socialising in the bar; multi-faceted schemes are so much fun to work on.

I also love working on brand guidelines for expanding restaurants; it's amazing to be part of a growth journey with our clients.

What’s the best place for afterwork drinks or food? 

We love trying our new restaurants and bars - but The Kings Arms is a great pub and it's just around the corner from our Southwark Studio, a stone's throw away with great a drink selection; we love that place!

What is your favourite JOLIE memory? 

It’s so hard to choose, we’ve had so many good times! I love visiting the Manchester studio and socialising with the team, we have a great company culture (Ad Hoc is now my new favourite bar)  I’m looking forward to growing the same great team dynamic in London.

If you hadn’t become an Interior Designer, where do you think life would have taken you?

I know that I would definitely have ended up in a creative role; at one point I actually wanted to be a ceramist. I can also imagine myself as a photographer as I find myself taking pictures constantly, and I’ve recently taught myself to use an SLR film camera.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone looking for a career in Interiors?

To be yourself! The design world can push you to define your own style and put yourself into a specific box or category of designer - I’d encourage anyone to embrace their own personality, willingness to learn and a passion for design; all the qualities that can’t be taught. 

written by
Franky Rousell

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