Interior Awards juror 2024: Dorian Minty

With a background in both fine arts and industrial design, Dorian joined Studio Pacific Architecture in 2002 after working on The Lord of the Rings. He was appointed principal in 2023 and has been the lead designer on a number of the studio’s interior design projects. Dorian has extensive experience in commercial and residential interiors, spatial design, product design, furniture design, product specification, materiality and lighting specification and design.

Tell us about an interior space that has inspired either you or your design thinking?

I guess it all began in the house I grew up in that was designed and built by my father, Alan Minty, in the late 1960s. It was a clever split-level interior that staggered up a typically steep Wellington section nestled in a bush setting. It was an amazing house to grow up in, full of wonderful spaces and a strong, honest architectural materialism of rough-sawn timber, cork and hessian interwoven with splashes of vibrant 60s’ colours. The house was somehow grand but humble, playful but functional. Looking back, it’s many of these qualities that have inspired me and my design philosophy moving forward.

Later, my mother Judy would work on interior designs for Dad’s houses so it was very much a family affair. Growing up in this environment clearly rubbed off on my sisters Amelia and Charlotte as well, as we have all pursued careers in architecture and design. One could say it’s in the blood.

Is there a particular interior project that you would like to design for someone and, if yes, who would it be and why?

I’ve been extremely lucky in my career to have worked on an amazingly diverse range of project types and equally diverse clients so it’s hard to single out an individual in a way. In that sense, it’s more about the what and why that I thrive on as a designer. Every project brings new challenges and design solutions based on the individual clients desires and requirements, be they big or small. In the end, I just strive to make the world a better and more beautiful place through design and architecture.

What are you looking forward to when judging this year’s Interior Awards?

Based on previous years, I’m really excited to be a part of the panel as we have such a wealth of talent here in Aotearoa and the bar just seems to be raised year on year. We’re a unique country and culture and I’m particularly interested in the way design is embracing the variety of challenges facing us, both here and globally. Architects and designers are in a privileged position to make real, meaningful change in these arenas, with creative thinking and the crafting of future environments that inspire and unite.


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