Tina Norden: Collaboration is at the heart of design

Skjermbilde 2023 08 14 kl 23 53 05

The renowned architect and interior designer Tina Norden has worked at Conran and Partners since 1997, designing hotels, restaurants, homes and retail projects all over the world. In September attends Designers' Saturday to participate in this year's TALKS program and is looking forward to exploring Oslo as an architecture and design destination.

My father was a landscape architect, so I got the design bug from very early on – but it became clear that I don’t have a green thumb so buildings seemed safer, Tina says. – Originally I am from Hamburg in Germany, but moved to London right after school as I fell in love with the city and its spirit. I started at Conran and Partners as a year out student and have stayed throughout my MA and beyond.

As of now Tina is one of five principals in the studio and is in charge of design teams in both the UK and Hong Kong and was instrumental in building the firms team in Asia. – As a principal my days are never the same - directing projects creatively, making sure the team in happy and working well, developing new ideas and directions. And of course it is our responsibility to work with and find new clients and projects for the studio, so we also attend many events and conferences. As our work and clients always change it has never become boring – and we have a great team in the studio that has always made it a fun place to work.

During Designers´Saturday Tina will participate in a panel discussion during TALKS. – I have opted for a conversation rather than a talk – all part of the spirit of collaboration! It is much more pleasurable to discuss subjects and allow the conversation to expand rather than lecturing to people in a vacuum. We will of course be talking around the subject of collaboration and explore what that means for me personally and Conran and Partners as a studio.

– The theme for this year's Designers´ Saturday is Collab. How does the topic affect your own field of work?

– For me collaboration is at the heart of design. In particular with the scale of architecture and interior projects, it is never about one person or even one studio. We strongly believe in collaboration in our studio as well as with everyone involved in a project. The more great minds and experience are applied the better the result will be - and it also makes it more interesting! I have been lucky enough to work across the globe and it has been fascinating to experience how different countries and cultures work, collaborate and socialize.

– Have you been to Oslo or Designers´ Saturday before?

– Unbelievably I have not been to Oslo at all - so I am very excited to finally visit and explore the city! Long overdue, I have so far only been to see the amazing fjords and more remote areas. We always like to combine culture, food and exploring the neighbourhoods by foot or bike. As an architect, seeing key buildings is obviously top of the list, so I would like to see the Opera House, City Hall and the National Museum. I also heard that Grünerløkka and Aker Brygge are good areas to stroll, and I love being by the water. If anyone has tips on great restaurants, let me know!