Walking on to the stage at the Commercial Interior Design Awards to collect the award for Young Interior Designer of the Year 2017 was a proud moment for senior interior designer Gillian Blair. She was up against some of the industry’s best young talent but the judges singled her out as someone truly deserving of the title.
“I am both stunned and delighted with this recognition. Winning an award is always about more than just the person collecting it and I am grateful for the support and opportunities that I have been fortunate to have as part of the GAJ interior design team,” says Gillian.
For someone so young, Gillian has already made her impressive mark on the interior design stage. Graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2012 was just the first step for Gillian and she quickly gained vital experience working as an interior designer in her home town in Scotland before packing her bags and moving out to Bahrain to further her career in the international market.
Becoming a senior designer at just 23, Gillian now manages a creative design team at GAJ, under Kevin McLachlan, where she strives to empower a diverse team, demonstrating that age doesn’t matter and that it is your drive and dedication that will take you places. She encourages her design team to have a strong and compelling story behind each interior.
“A strong and compelling concept is what safeguards us from design plagiarism. It allows us to simply tell our story,” says Gillian.
Doing what she does best Gillian boasts an impressive portfolio of projects working with commercial and hospitality clients to produce exceptional work for Hilton, Starwood, Accor, Radisson and Emaar, in addition to a number of food and beverage outlets, schools, office buildings.
With her incredible eye for detail and a natural flair for complex interiors Gillian is particularly proud of her work on a luxury standalone spa in Doha where she was responsible for leading all the design phases including establishing the project vision, extensive day to day client and operator interaction, mentoring the design team and post contract site management.
Now in its 11th year, the CID Awards gathers more than 900 influential members of the Middle East’s design community under one roof, covering the whole spectrum of commercial interiors, from hospitality to retail and public sector to office, as well as recognising the people who shaped the projects.
Image courtesy of ITP Media Group.