Mardre Meyer is the Creative Director of Source Interior Brand Architects. Mardre is a commercial design specialist who has cultivated a talent for helping brands express their identities in physical spaces. He believes that it’s essential for young designers to learn how to understand a brand and to allow this to inform their designs.
This is Mardre’s second year as a judge for the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative judging panel.
What was your experience like as a judge on our judging panel for the 2020 PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative?
I initially found it quite a daunting task as I felt so sympathetic towards the students and what they were trying to communicate. I had to really pull myself back to the responsibility of maintaining the competition’s high level of judging criteria.
There were two major highlights for me – firstly, debating the entries with my fellow judges gave me incredible insights into how other experienced professionals think and react. Secondly, the thrill of finding the gems amongst the entries: it was a beautiful moment to open up an entry and clearly hear and see the author tell their story through their work.
What are your thoughts about this year’s brief?
The brief is complex but very exciting. I think the biggest challenge for students will be to simply get going. The task may seem enormous, but I believe once started it will roll out quite naturally.
I’m hoping to see intuitive innovations, consistent thought process and a supreme ability to present narrative.
What have you been up to since last year’s competition?
It has been an interesting year for us all. As a studio we are lucky to have been able to weather the storm of COVID-19. Through lockdown we still managed to complete various large-scale hospitality projects, including four hotels that will open in late 2021/2022. Red Radisson Dunkeld in Johannesburg just opened its doors, Winchester in Cape Town will re-open for summer and The Rockefeller will also open for the season. Radisson Blu Oceans Umhlanga will open in the first quarter of 2022.
We designed a restaurant in Kloof street, ëlgr, which opened during the pandemic and has been phenomenally successful despite all the restrictions. In fact, it was voted by UK-based Time Out magazine as one of the 21 global restaurants to visit earlier this year.
We have also developed proudly African hospitality pod concepts that are currently being prototyped for roll-out in West and East Africa over the next 12 months.