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Interview with GEPLAN DESIGN

What made you decide to become a designer?

Already my mother was an interior designer. She learned the profession at a time, when interior design was taught at master schools and wasn’t even a subject studied. Good architecture and interior architecture have always enthused and interested me. In addition, my brother and I grew up in a construction materials business, which had already been handed over to my father by our grandfather. We were practically born with a propensity to design and construct. Can you tell us more about your design background? After completing my industrial and interior design studies, I worked in interior design offices in Munich and Stuttgart. In 1994, I joined GEPLAN DESIGN as an interior designer and organized and managed hotel projects in Germany and abroad. Apart from planning hotels for international hotel chains and private hotels, exhibition buildings and private residences were also part of my tasks. My next station was the management of the architecture and design department at Klafs in their headquarter. Between 2005 and 2017, renowned national and international projects from Klafs were realized under my leadership. Apart from hotel spa projects, thermal baths in Germany and abroad, also spa areas for cruise ships and private yachts were among the projects I was responsible for. In 2017, I rejoined GEPLAN DESIGN, which had been taken over by my twin brother, Cord Glantz, in 2009, as the managing director. Since 1977, GEPLAN DESIGN has realized countless hotel and gastronomy projects. Currently, next to the focus on hotels, also wellness and spa projects are being realized, as well as administrative buildings for world market leaders, who have discovered hotel design for themselves.

How do you stay inspired and keep coming up with creative ideas? We live in a constructed world, which inspires us every day. Walking through the world with open eyes, travelling and looking at everything is a great inspiration for me.

The exchange with the members of the team, the intensive discussion and argumentation about draft designs and projects is fruitful, and provides new inspiration every day as well.

Furthermore, the intensive exchange with creative colleagues outside our team, who contribute other views from other perspectives, provides new impulses.

What does good design mean to you? Good design must touch all senses – it must talk to you, touch you, fascinate, excite and take possession of you.

Good design must, apart from the quality of the design, work convincingly, otherwise it does not deserve to be called design!

What is the most challenging thing in your profession? The professor, who was most important to me during my studies, kept tirelessly implanting in me that the interior designer was in charge of the consistent concept and the design. The interior designer’s task is – as a generalist – to find the best overall concept and the best design for it. And in addition, to excite all stakeholders for it and convince them of it and take them along on the road to realization. Many stakeholders in the planning and construction process have very different interests and act accordingly. Consistently implementing the design is only rarely the pursued target. The interior designer’s task, therefore, is also to consistently stick to and defend the coordinated solution up to its completion. This requires long breathing and a high degree of assertiveness throughout the entire process.

Please, explain the best project you are most proud of and why. I would like to highlight the new campus building for General Electric/Concept Laser in Lichtenfels, for which we oversaw the entire interior design planning. On a space of 40,000sqm we were able to transfer the revolutionary 3D-metal printing laser technology of GE Additive to the interior design and make it visible. Together with the architects of Schmelzle&Partner, we were able to create a highly creative New Work Campus. In the beginning, we were able to prevail in a selection process against international planning offices. Interior design is a symbiosis between the appearance of 3D-metal printing and allusions to the strong regional reference of the company Concept Laser to Franconia, Bavaria. The extraordinary creativity of the founder of Concept Laser becomes practically tangible in a mobile with more than 500 patents in the 16m high entrance hall. In the cafeteria, the long-standing tradition of basket weaving in Lichtenfels is reflected in an impressive basket light installation. The walls in the huge event hall are designed from floor to ceiling with 3D-wall coverings made of individual ropes in order to make the relevance of the three-dimensional way of working visible.

What is your biggest design career moment? How does this milestone impact your career? One very important finding in my professional life was the insight that every new project involves new challenges. No matter how many projects one has already taken on, the next one brings new tasks that, so far, have been unknown. In the process, I have learned that one must make a virtue of this fact. The working life is a constant challenge, which one must permanently adjust to, for which one has to develop a sensitivity time and again. Every project requires and deserves its very special and individual attention. And this is exactly what we derive our strength within the planning team from. We look for the new challenges, the new tasks, to find individual solutions for them. This way of working is a fulfilling task for us, day after day.

How do you learn and grow your knowledge and design skills? We work in an interdisciplinary team with architects, interior designers, communication designers, light planners, artists, etc. In our team, from trainees to best agers, all age groups are represented. We learn most from cooperating with each other every day. We always test the latest technological developments on the market and integrate the reasonable developments in our office equipment. Thus, we develop photo-realistic 3D-renderings for our clients, which are made visible by means of VR glasses. Our clients can move around in the completed building, so to speak, already with the first draft. We visit all relevant national and international trade fairs to keep an eye on the latest developments. In the same way, regular further training through courses and workshops are a fixed part of our work.

What would you say will be future of design? The design of the future will be characterized by honest, real sustainability. Currently, the subject of sustainability is only seemingly used in every project, as a label and packaging. An important aspect of sustainability – next to many aspects that can be currently read about everywhere – is the quality of the design combined with the well thought out functionality, as well as the high quality during implementation. If these aspects are convincingly met, one achieves a long service life and, thus, true sustainability. The fact that the materials used are sustainably produced and reusable should be a matter of course already today. What are your career plans for the future? To have more time for the creative activities in the office. Currently, less creative tasks are taking up much too much time in the office. Our projects are frequently characterized by complex structures, which leads to a lot of energy having to be invested to be able to work in a targeted manner. We are often moving within a stress ratio between owner and operator. Added to this are project controllers, specialist planners, etc., who represent different interests. There are many processes in the collaboration that are not target-oriented. If we succeeded in working together, in a targeted manner, as a team for the success of the project, this would be a success for all parties involved. Consequently, many unnecessary tasks would be omitted and more free space for creativity would emerge. To me, this is an important aim for the future.

Where can people find your projects and get in touch with you? Our projects can be found and experienced all over the world. For instance, in Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Austria, Turkey, Egypt, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, etc. Our projects are mainly to be found in the hotel industry, gastronomy and in the area of spas, as well as in the private sector and within the business context.

An insight into the diversity of our projects can also be obtained on our homepage or on our Instagram Account @geplan_design. Or call us at +49 711 901070, in order to get more information.


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