In the Mood


John Hitchcox, founder of Yoo, reveals which countries are leading the way in world of residential real estate design. By Serena Templeton

Where do you sit on the ‘form versus function’ role played by design?  

It’s an important lesson to learn in training, but in today’s crazy multivalent design world, it might struggle for attention. Personally, it is still one of my guiding principles and allows me to set the canvas for any potential drift from the straight and narrow.

Does great design always have to start with a great idea?

Without a great idea then I doubt there could ever be great design. Location can help but great design often flourishes through adversity. Having said that, it’s important to always add local soul to our design concepts and take local culture and styles into consideration when designing a project.

How would you define the evolution of your work?

I think we’ve been very careful trying to maintain a clear vision in each project and not to be pulled by the excitement of trends and fashion, which is something that is at the core of the YOO brand and something we are quite proud of as it has allowed us to stay true to ourselves. We aim to achieve a timeless quality in all work -  that might sound a little pompous but it’s more about long life and care for the end user, hence our name YOO (about you) not US.

What key note changes in design for improved quality of life do you see coming to the fore?

I sincerely hope we can really move towards a less energy intensive culture, be less throw-away and slow down a little. The level of information exchange and general seasonal fashion changes in every walk of life seems to be creating a world of surface glitter and no depth. It may be a cycle in our evolution that will pass but it doesn’t seem to have peaked yet!

What’s in store for YOO going forward?

We’re preparing for the launch of a few more YOO2 and YOO collection hotels around the world and are also in the process of launching two exciting new projects at the Lakes by YOO in the Cotswolds, so watch this space. There are also a few other major commissions we are working on that we can’t talk about yet nut are thrilled to be doing so. YOO has always been and will always be a brand that is constantly evolving, moving with the times and adapting to market needs and demands. In general terms, we will keep doing what we are doing best: to create communities of like-minded people around the world brought together by original design that enhances life.

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