A day in the life: Mark Landini

Retail and hospitality design specialist Mark Landini talks about running his small Sydney studio.

What work does your design studio do? We design “places for people,” primarily in retail and hospitality spaces, often combined.

How big is your team? Twelve to fifteen people: graphic and interior designers, architects and strategic planners. At this size we can do anything but don’t have to buy work. I’ve always liked the Pentagram model. Each partner runs a team about this size. Any larger and the quality suffers, plus then it’s a job rather than a rewarding hobby.

A blackboard sketch of the Hilton Brisbane Bar and Restaurant.

A blackboard sketch of the Hilton Brisbane Bar and Restaurant.

Where are your design projects located? Australia-wide but increasingly overseas. Last year 50 percent of our work came from Canada, London, the UAE and Asia. My air miles are magnificent!

Do you prefer to draw by hand or by computer? By hand but increasingly I’m drawing on an iPad. As creative director, my job is to ensure that our work has a “singular vision.” As such, much of what I do involves thinking and talking with my team and our clients. Drawing sometimes helps these conversations.

Are you a left- or a right-brain designer? I can drive on either side of the road but I think in “similes” and favour “lateral thought and intuition” supported with, and post rationalized by, a “rigid logic.” I had thought that my team was more left-brained than me, however we did a test yesterday and it seems that they are both, just better organized.

Which project are you best known for? I really have no idea. Jurlique, Loblaws in Canada, Westpac, Woolworths, Leon London, Jones the Grocer? All of these projects combine graphics and interiors, which is really our thing.

What’s your favourite finished project so far? Different ones for different reasons. I’m a big fan of the “classic” so longevity is something that I admire. [I like] any job that we did fifteen years ago that’s still there. Vintage Cellars, Awaba cafe in Balmoral, some stuff in London and Paris for Harvey Nichols and Lanvin, for example.

What do you wish you did more of? Work in Australia, run, sleep, eat, sing and dream.

Landini Associates
+61 2 9360 3899



Published online: 17 Oct 2012


Artichoke, September 2012

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