About Carlos Prio-Touzet
Carlos Prio-Touzet has an extensive background in design for a wide range of project types. He has worked on projects throughout the United States, Western Europe, Asia, and the Americas. His experience includes architectural design, interior design, master planning for projects that include entertainment, hospitality, retail, office, institutional, and multi-family and single family residential.
He has lectured in the United States, Europe and Latin America, and has occasionally served as instructor and guest critic at the University of Miami and at Florida International University. Carlos also brings many years of experience in the South Florida area, where his commitment to design and understanding of the local market have been further enhanced by involvement in community and City organizations.
Q&A with Carlos Prio-Touzet
Where do you find design inspiration?
We find a lot of design inspiration from Nature. We love both the beauty of the natural forms, materials such as wood, bronze and stone. We also love the mathematical relationships and proportions found in nature- we spend a lot of time observing patterns, geometries, materials and forms found in the natural environment and then translating them for our man made environments.
How do you approach the design process?
Our design process varies depending on the project. We listen very carefully to our client’s brief and from that we try to really get to the heart of what they want and what would make their spaces work best. We look at their unique personalities and their aspirations for their space and the way that they live. We try to approach the design from a variety of different perspectives - the desire for beauty and meaning balanced against the requirements of functionality of the spaces and the realities of daily life. It is important to us that the spaces and objects we design be both beautiful and functional.
We love it when our clients tell us how well the space we designed works for them and how it increases their enjoyment of that part of their lives. We love art and history and draw much inspiration for our initial concepts from there (for example – in this project we researched the origins of kitchen’s themselves- specifically the early estate kitchens in France and England). We typically explore several iterations until we find the best solution. Once we have a concept we like, we do a lot of intensive research into materials and technology to help find the best possible solution, and we build mock ups if required, or models. We spend a lot of time detailing and researching how to put the kitchen together. Craftsmanship is every bit as important as the initial concept.
What makes your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers?
We try not to follow trends or design things that are fashionable and what everyone else is doing. We spend our time considering each project individually and designing a solution which is unique and addresses the needs of that project. We believe in designing things that are beautiful, well-constructed and that are lasting. We are known for our detailing, our attention to craftsmanship and the timeless elegance of our designs. We design spaces that are “modern” and of their time, with the latest and best technology we can find- but using craftsmanship and careful detailing that give our designs interest and richness in their materiality. We try to design spaces and objects that are worthy of the investment of resources. To us, designing spaces that are beautiful and built to last is the ultimate way of being sustainable.
What is the greatest value you provide to your clients?
We spend a great deal of time with our clients initially, trying to understand what their needs are and what their aspirations are. Many times we bring a space or an idea to a client that they never would have thought of and will completely transform and elevate the way they live in or use a space. Increasing the enjoyment of their daily life through a well-designed and well-crafted space is truly one of the most satisfying aspects of what we do.
The kitchen we designed for this family, for example - is now the true centerpiece of their home life. They tell us all the time how much they and their children love being in their kitchen and all the myriad of ways they have used it. Not only is it a well-designed, functional kitchen a chef a caterer would love- it is also the center of many creative projects and experiments that this particular family really enjoys and is very much designed especially for them. It can also rapidly transform into a beautiful and elegant space, perfect for entertaining. We love designing spaces that can be transformed and re-used in many different ways. We think that is a tremendous value.