Interview With Florentina Tsakiri From United Kingdom

Meet The Judges Of The 2022 Vega Digital Awards
July 4, 2022
The 2022 London Photography Awards Demonstrates Professional Photographers of Different Categories
July 5, 2022

Florentina Tsakiri

Florentina Tsakiri is an architect with countless accolades in architecture design put them to good use in Alkebulan!

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Florentina Tsakiri

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

I’m Florentina Tsakiri, I graduated as an architect in Greece and I’m holding a Master’s in Architectural Design from the University of Sheffield.

From a young age, I participated and received honourable mentions in architectural competitions and worked with award-winning architectural studios.

Having a strong interest in interior design my focus is to create places where functionality and atmosphere are organic attributes and contribute towards holistic customer experiences.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

It feels more like it chose me, rather than the other way round! I consider myself a creative person and my passion lie in combining this characteristic with a strong inclination to design and improve the spaces where people live and evolve.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I am a member of a talented design team at TGP International, based in London and I work as an Assistant Interior Designer. I work alongside Interior Designers to deliver high-quality designs, from small takeaway shops to entire Food Halls.

4What does “design” mean to you?

It is a smart balance between form and function, art and technology. It is a tool for spatial problem solving and a recipe for creating a space, object or image that serves its purpose and also elevates the experience with it.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

Architectural design always speaks to me and helps me make sense any problem that I have to tackle. It’s a holistic approach and responds not only to questions like how, where or what something should be, but also why, for who and what is its impact on society.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

It would have to be the one that serves the brief accurately and is also aesthetically and functionally pleasing. A good design stimulates and amazes by its simplicity in expression, and its complexity in function.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

As a young designer I don’t believe I have an established design style yet. My drive is to design spaces that serve the needs of the site, the people, the environment, the client and have a clear idea of the legacy they hold.

8Tell us about your design process.

We begin by setting up and validating the brief and all the relevant stakeholders. We then proceed with the concept design, which in my opinion is the most important. Once we have a strong idea and a clear understanding of all the parameters that form the brief, we then tackle all the different attributes of the project as a holistic approach and also individually. I would call this an organic process where one element can change the overall design and vice versa. Anything we create needs to respond to the initial brief and therefore, we always go back and confirm that our design is responding accurately to all the requests.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Coming from Greece and living in the UK has certainly impacted on how I perceive the lifestyle of different cultures. As the design is serving the people, it needs to be inspired by the people and that is why it’s such a complex field.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Firstly, it is a great honour to be able to promote the rich and diverse food and artistic culture of Africa and we are very proud to share with the world our design. As a team, we are thrilled and thankful for the amazing distinction and we are looking forward to what is yet to come.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Alkebulan is a unique project located in Dubai EXPO 2020 and is the first African Dining Hall in the world. It extends on two floors with 11 offers, it has been a great success and an exclusive experience for people from all around the world.

We believe that this success is centred around the representation of not only the culinary African voices, but also the community and the creation of new opportunities for chefs, artists and musicians to share their talent with the world.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

I believe there were two challenges that we had to resolve, one being the very tight deadline that we had to face and the second being the assurance of representing an entire continent in one space. We worked with amazing people that taught us a lot about the diversity of the different cultures and the history of the people of diaspora and that reflects on our design.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

It is an opportunity to step back and celebrate this amazing achievement, but also continue to explore, test and share our designs with the world and within the design community as well. I have faith in our team and I am very optimistic that we can achieve even more, as we are always pushing the boundaries and striving for the best.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

The creativity, the social aspect, and the connection to the environment.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

The U.K. and specifically London is an international metropolis with a long history in design and a massive design community that discovers, develops and innovates and I feel grateful I am part of it.

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

With all the advancements in technology and the importance of sustainability and inclusivity, I believe that the design industry will rely on these innovations and become even more conscious about the impacts on the environment. I speculate that these elements will only result in a new era of design that will revolutionise how we live our lives.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Never stop exploring and questioning what is already established.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

Research is key to being well informed and connected to the community.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

It’s a secret!

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My father has been a huge role model for me. His flare and passion for design even if in technical terms he is not a designer, has shown me that it doesn’t matter what title you hold, the design comes from within and I admire and aspire to always find inspiration, just like him.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Quoting Picasso: ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’.

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

A massive thank you to the people I love that supported me throughout this time.

Winning Entries

Depachika The Palm | 2022


Depachika is a first for the region and is more than just a food hall. The inspiration was derived from the Depachika departments of Japanese department stores. A Depachika is the basement floor of department stores where usually food and groceries are sold. Its name came from the combination of "depa" which is the abbreviation…
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Alkebulan The African Dining Hall


Alkebulan, the oldest name for Africa, translates to “mother of mankind” or “garden of Eden” and is the only name for the continent of indigenous origin. Alkebulan is a world first, celebrating the last untapped cuisine and the world’s largest hidden gem. The African dining hall is an exploration of the rich and diverse culture consumed…
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Florentina Tsakiri

Florentina Tsakiri is an architect with countless accolades in architecture design put them to good use in Alkebulan!

Read all about our interview with Zhenan Qin and what goes through her mind when designing large retail spaces here!