Interview With Gabriel Murray From United Kingdom

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Gabriel Murray

Gabriel Murray is Creative Director of TGP International with over 30 years of Architecture Branding & Design in retail and hospitality!

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Gabriel Murray

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

I'm Gabriel Murray - the Creative Director of TGP International with over 30 years of experience working in retail and hospitality specialising in Architecture Branding and Design.

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

Since I was small I always wanted to be an Architect a Graphic Designer and a Designer.

I just always had it in me – I think I was always inspired by the movies and for a long time I wanted to be a set designer……….either that or a rock star!!

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

We are an International Hospitality Business and I work with the creative teams developing new concepts and design direction of customer experiences for Food Halls Restaurants and Bars.

4What does “design” mean to you?

Everything – through design I try to make the world better.

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

Graphics and architecture – they are always the first thing you see and influence a customer to a hospitality experience!

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

Something that stimulates and is memorable – something that creates a buzz and you feel comfortable with.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I don’t have a style we design for the customer the market and purpose – the ‘style’ flushes itself out to meet the commercial needs.

8Tell us about your design process.

The first thing we always do is to explore exactly what the design needs to be. We then establish the design criteria and the exact brief. Once this is completed we start to express the creative element to meet the brief.

This initial expression will then evolve over time to hone exactly the design criteria. Once the design is complete we then go to the execution phase where the design is realised in the real world. Once completed we then evaluate – to sense check the performance over time so we can gauge the success.

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


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?

It’s a great honour and we are all so proud to have recognised as part of the success of (Depachicka and Alkebulan) the design was a key element in the business success.

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?

Depachika The Palm is a Japanese style luxury food and gourmet Food Hall in the Nakheel Mall in Dubai – we decided to enter as we are so proud of its success and how it has become a local landmark for the local residents and beyond.

Alkebulan The African Dining Hall is the very first African influenced Food Hall – we selected this as we believe it is a world first and it has become the most successful food experience at EXPO 2020 being the largest footfall generator. The initial concept was underscored by Eat Entertain and Educate which became the mantra of the space. Our customer became totally engaged with the immersive experience.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Depachika The Palm – as the space was originally allocated as a pure retail space we had to design the experience so that fitted within the building infrastructures. Working closely with our MEP team we were able to effectively create a seamless transition and beautiful space.

Alkebulan The African Dining Hall – here we had to work within an incredibly short timeline. We were able to design from scratch and implement a 2-floor Food Hall experience with 11 new concepts in 16 weeks. The team here was exceptional everyone worked so hard and passionately to realise this world first.

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

It just makes us feel so proud of our work and our creative teams, their passion and commitment to design brands and experiences that really make a difference.

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

Working in the creative world is about working with great passionate people; working on great projects that are meaningful and have a purpose; seeing the engagement of customers with our design and making a difference.

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

We are lucky to work in London and believe that it is the creative capital of the world.

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

The creation of much more socially engaging space and socially aware brands for people to enjoy explore and embrace.

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

Be passionate in what you do express yourself and make the world better!

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

Express yourself through drawing – it’s the key basic element that manifests your creative through visually!

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

I play the trumpet!

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My old tutor at college, Drew Plunkett - he now writes books on design – he got me over the line!

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

Thinking things through being able the wiliness to change and explore new things and to be able to express my unique creative thoughts by drawing – I worked with the on-site architect in Dubai from London totally through live drawing online with an iPad through the Covid19 lockdown!

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)

Gabriel Murray

Gabriel Murray is Creative Director of TGP International with over 30 years of Architecture Branding & Design in retail and hospitality!

Florentina also had in hand in designing both winning entries side-by-side with Gabriel Murray. Read her side of the story here!