At certain restaurants in London, the design is just as much of a draw as the food. Dishoom and Bala Baya are two such places, where the interiors are even more Instagrammable than the food.
And the person behind these works of art? Afroditi Krassa, the London-born designer.
After growing up in Northern Greece, Krassa returned to the capital at the age of 22 to complete a BA in Product Design at Central St Martins. Her initial interest in graphic design was quickly pushed aside when she discovered – a natural rule-breaker – the playful approach she could apply to industrial manufacture.
She went solo in 2002 with a space in Battersea. Within a few years she had earnt collaborations with Ligne Roset, Cassina and DKNY, but it was a chance encounter with hospitality luminary Mourad Mazouz (of Momo fame) which brought her firmly into the world of restaurant and hospitality design.
Here, she tells us about her eponymous studio, her most treasured piece of furniture and what the future holds.
Can you describe AfroditiKrassa’s design ethos?
We like to design restaurants, bars and hotels that define their category, through a unique point of view and immaculate, cohesive execution.
What advice do you have for someone hoping to break into the industry?
Be a rebel and break some rules, the design industry is too congested, there is no space for me-too thinking.
What has been your most exciting project to date?
The creation of Dishoom, the much loved Indian restaurant concept. Our studio took a massive design gamble that paid off, the unexpected design and overall concept revolutionised not just the Indian dining category but the whole of the UK’s dining market.
And any coming up?
We are creating a ground breaking Asian concept for One & Only to launch in the Maldives. We are building it from the ground up, creating the whole restaurant and food concept before we move into design.
The reason they approach studios like ours is because they want a different perspective on what luxury dining could be. I love working with people who are best-in-class.