Founder & Co-CEO, BLINK Design Group, Bangkok
Clint Nagata is Founder and Co-CEO of BLINK Design Group. Based in Bangkok, Clint has spent more than two decades at design’s cutting edge, developing his knowledge and insight into the hospitality business, while winning critical acclaim for his distinctive designs. His rigorous approach, combined with the collective expertise of the BLINK team, has led to unique hotel spaces characterised by subtle personal touches and a harmony between form and function that highlights the spirit of each place. A Gold Key finalist in 2013 and 2014, his projects have also been recognised by various industry accolades including Asia Pacific Property Awards and Hospitality Design Awards.
Director & Founder, Katharine Pooley Ltd, London
Founded in 2004, Katharine Pooley Ltd has become one of the world’s most renowned international interior design studios. The company has offices and boutiques in London and Doha with more than 45 staff members. Projects outside the UK include private homes in Moscow, luxury chalets in Italy, properties in France, Monaco and Mumbai, as well as a large apartment in the centre of Singapore and a hotel and clubhouse in China.
Pooley has also been the recipient of many industry awards and is consistently featured in the Andrew Martin Top 100 international interior designers. In 2017 Katharine released Journey by Design. The book explores the creative processes and diverse inspirations behind 19 of her projects.
Principal, Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design, London
London-based architect and interior designer Nick Leith-Smith grew up in Hong Kong, trained at the Mackintosh School of Architecture (Glasgow) and the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London) and began his career working for Rem Koolhaus at OMA. He now divides his time between projects around the globe. Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design was founded in 2000. The studio’s portfolio encompasses luxury retail design, high-end residential and hospitality work, working alongside internationally recognised brands, including the Design Museum, Grainger Plc, Grosvenor, Harvey Nichols and Liberty and enjoys an established relationship with Manolo Blahnik. Throughout its long-standing collaboration with the brand, the studio has designed stores in more than 35 locations worldwide.
Partner, Champalimaud, New York
Jon Kastl, LEED AP, Partner at Champalimaud has more than 20 years’ experience in hospitality, residential and restaurant design, as well as well as a resume populated by some of the world’s most exclusive hotel properties. Kastl has an ability to transform a grand, complex design vision to a reality at a five-star level, giving thorough consideration to what luxury hotels need from interior design as well as an operational standpoint. His successful completion of the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, which received several hospitality and international design awards, is one of his proudest accomplishments. Kastl received his BSc in Design from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati.
Founder, Bensley Design Studios, Bangkok
Gardener, fisherman, architect, interior designer, wide-ranging explorer, landscape architect, lover of all things natural, Bill Bensley was hatched in Orange County in 1959, California – when orange trees grew there. The Harvard graduate was invited to work in Asia by classmate Lek Bunnag: “I had a burning desire for adventure, so I left the day after graduation,” he says. By 1990 he met his long-term guiding light Jirachai, and started BENSLEY’s Bali branch. With his team of more than 150 talented individuals, Bensley has designed more than 200 resorts, hotels and palaces in over 30 countries. Despite their success, Bill still believes that BENSLEY’s best work might appear when he grows up.