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Technogym Talks in Milan: Kelly Hoppen interviewed by Luca Dini

Archistar Kelly Hoppen’s design heart to heart with EIC Luca Dini, of AD Italy
Our homes have never been more important. Bigger isn't always better, with equipment and machines becoming a natural part of the Design. Wellness is our Silver Lining

Design guru Kelly Hoppen MBE, one of the world’s most celebrated interior designer around the world and longtime Technogym collaborator as well as a wonderful fitness ambassador, sits down (virtually) with Luca Dini AD Italy’s Editor in Chief to discuss how the Pandemic has automatically changed the way we all view Design and our homes, with the secret silver lining being Wellness.

At the front of the global  design industry, Kelly Hoppen is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and sought-after interior designers in the world. She also happens to an early bird, hard- core dedicated Fitness Enthusiast, and longtime Technogym cheerleader. With her work being featured on a regular basis across the globe in renowned publications and as one of the  most prolific and decorated  archistars out there, we all want to know the secret to her success: "My secret weapon? Wellness!" A mantra considered to be a sacred and vital part of how she approaches and views her work as a designer and space.

Luca Dini: Kelly, I’m incredibly happy to have the opportunity to sit down face to face even if virtually as I’m a big fan of your work and design. One of my first big questions to you today is how in light of the current events with the Pandemic do you approach the Design Process (within the home, the office and wellness), what are the trends, and where do you see it going in the future?

Kelly Hoppen: “Home, the office and Wellness areas have never been more important in our lives. Design has become a main focus for all us, sometimes without us even realizing it. Because we have been spending more time at home, our spaces have intertwined with the gym. Many don’t have big areas or spaces to dedicate, so their gym equipment has become a natural part of the design and area. Technogym has the most beautiful and aesthetic designed machines, on top of the actual fitness element. For example, it is so superb to see the Technogym Wellness balls in a home… or even there right now with all of you at the  Technogym Milan flagship showroom. Not only beautiful to look at and makes you feel good training your core and glutes,  the balls – They almost look like pieces of art – sculptures spheres. Just so cool.”

Commenting on the impact that the Pandemic is having now on design, she also emphasized that there is always a silver lining to the difficulties.

Kelly Hoppen:   “In terrible times people create great music for example, so I think great design will come out of all of this. Technology will surpass anything we could have imagined. This time will become especially important. In terms of approach when I am designing, the Pandemic has given me that push to become more creative with space. I view home, office, gym as one and that the space even though limited can be exciting and different if we use beautiful pieces of equipment like Technogym’s machines.”

Adding:With less travel, I think people look inward and accept where we are, the new normal. What was normal before will never happen again. We will just have to get on with it.
Collaborations will be important and design communities, whether it is around space (like what I do) or with machines (that Technogym does), it will become increasingly important that collaborations happen. People have to support people. There has to be positives and we have to change with the times and hopefully come out on the other end better for it.”

Wellness is an extremely important factor in my daily life.

Luca Dini: That’s so true Kelly. And how do you design specifically in this combined home/office/Gym space that we are all dealing with now?

Kelly Hoppen: “I love merging all the equipment throughout. I think it looks brilliant to see a running machine in the living room just as one would view a beautiful piece of furniture. Technogym has an incredible affinity to making aesthetically pleasing machines that also happens to make your feel good. If you are going to place a piece of equipment in the middle of a home, it makes all the difference for looking out into an aesthetically pleasing area instead of the dark hidden away corner. Wellness is an extremely important factor in my daily life. During the lockdown, since we were not travelling to the office but that our offices became part of our homes, I told my staff to take advantage of that extra hour every day one saves from commuting and start working out. It not only makes you feel better it allows one to thrive on a professional and personal level. It's my daily motto, my state of mind. It gets me going and I consider it to be one of my driving forces as a creative.
So back to space; for example, you don’t need a big area and you don’t need big machines.
Technogym’s designs fit my ethos. I get excited when challenged with these kinds of changes and movements in design approach.
The amount of exercise from just one of the Technogym products is simply crazy and wonderful. Plus, the design lines look great, make you feel good and get you into shape. Juxtaposing with different textures and spaces and remains at the heart of my design process, as it brings life and energy to any interior. I love to explore the boundaries, so I see it as my silver lining.”

Luca Dini: What’s your view on the future for Public Gyms now during these Covid times, what’s in store for the future in these spaces?

Kelly Hoppen: “As a designer again, it’s a great creative challenge but I see the trend being that people will mix both home gym and public workout areas because even though we are making more use of our personal space we still like the social aspect. With Public Wellness areas, there is the opportunity now to create semi-private areas within a public area to work out. Semi partitions that have this wonderful design, almost Pod-like with equipment that have curved lines, even curved screens.”

Luca Dini: So, we can all agree that Home Wellness is not the end of the Public Gym.

Kelly Hoppen: “Yes absolutely! They live in harmony and they both follow a common trend. Home residential spaces use to hide things like a TV for example. Now we want to show off the state of art screens like pieces of art. And with Public fitness area. Pools and the gym areas used to be put in the basement of hotels or spas. Now they are on rooftops or prime locations. The common factor here is that Design and Wellness have become an important part of our lives and we need to celebrate it."

Luca Dini: Last question Kelly. As you know Technogym heavily invests in merging technology with its design and equipment. It's part of their natural ecosystem, recently launching the new multiplatform Technogym Live and placing everything on a cloud. How important is Technology to you as an Interior Designer?

"As a designer it's fundamental as it’s the key to bettering our lives, our experiences, our abilities and the beauty that surrounds us.
Take this example-n that we are actually having this great virtual conversation. I’m at my home office in the English countryside, you are in the Technogym Milan Flagship showroom.  It’s an end to a means and just like Wellness in Design it’s here to stay.”

Technogym continues the conversation with its three-episode design webinar series in the pursuit of translating Wellness into the most luxurious, seamless and satisfying experience for all. Bringing the Gym into the living room, adapting its context is anything but simple so this hybrid evolution into Wellness Design has made the challenge all the more exciting.

Catch the full conversation with Kelly Hoppen and Luca Dini

Watch the event

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