Design with the health of the planet as a priority

Yang Di
American Clint Nagata, a 15-year resident in Thailand, is the founder and creative partner of award-winning architecture and interior design firm BLINK Design Group. 
Yang Di
Design with the health of the planet as a priority
Courtesy of BLINK Design Group / Ti Gong

Clint Nagata

Who is he?

American Clint Nagata, a 15-year resident in Thailand, is the founder and creative partner of award-winning architecture and interior design firm BLINK Design Group. Nagata’s passion for travel, hospitality and design have inspired BLINK’s story. His enthusiasm and appreciation of design shaped his early years and are now intrinsic to who he is. His constant exploration and enjoyment of the world — its diverse cultures and landscapes — have shaped BLINK’s culture and attracted and retained some of the best talent in the industry.

Nagata sets the overall strategic direction for the studio, overseeing each project from conception through to completion. Calm, approachable, and thoughtful, his character traits are now evident in every interaction and element of life at BLINK.

Tell us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of? 

Our completed projects in China, such as the Capella Shanghai. The interiors of the Capella Shanghai reflect the neighborhood of which it resides. It is residential in scale and style and reflects the heritage of the brand and the local culture. In the Maldives we also recently completed the Raffles Maldives — a 38 key ultra luxury resort with expansive private villas that manage to capture both the grandeur and heritage of the Raffles brand set in the idyllic setting of its surroundings

Are you currently involved with any project? 

We have a lot of projects in our pipeline opening this year. A few of our projects opening soon that I’m anxious about are The Roku LXR Kyoto, Regent Phu Quoc and The Fullerton Ocean Park. We have other exciting projects under construction in Miami in Dubai and just started exciting projects on the Red Sea and in Abu Dhabi.

Describe your design style?  

Our signature is to create bespoke hotels and resorts. Each design that we create is part of creating a personal journey for guests that is inspired by the land, the hotel brand and the owner’s vision.

Where are you most creative?

I’m not sure if there is any place in particular that inspires my creativity. I tend to find creativity in random places or even when at home relaxing.

What does your home mean to you?

Before the pandemic I was a travel nomad spending no more than 250 days at home.  Back then home was where I would come back to refuel and repack for the next trip sometimes flying out as soon as the following day. I always looked forward to what destination laid ahead. But, since I’ve not left the country in nearly a year, home to me is where I’m able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life whether it’s just staying in and relaxing or planning which part of the city to explore over the weekend

What do you collect? 

While I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel all over the world, I never felt the need or desire to collect physical souvenirs from where I had been. I’d rather collect memories of my travels and just spend my time deeply immersed into the various cultures and destinations that I have visited.

Where would you like to go most in Shanghai?  

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Shanghai, and there have been quite a few new hotels that have opened up since then. I always have a list of hotels to visit and to eat or drink at. I still love staying at either The Puli and Park Hyatt Shanghai. Both are still quite relaxing especially after a long day of work. And of course there are numerous restaurants and bars that are on my list as well.

What will be the next big design trend? 

I strongly believe the next big trend in design will be biophilic design. We are working on at least five projects where the designs are focused on nature from a resort in the desert to an urban hotel in a crowded city. What really spurred this trend is our current situation with the pandemic which helped us reflect on the health of ourselves and the planet in search of a way back to a more pure environment.

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