DESIGNERS & MAKERS → MARK BITHREY

Mark Bithrey

Founder & Design Director, B3 Designers

DATE

2022

LOCATION

United Kingdom

Working on many challenging projects over the years has given me the robust sense that there is a solution to every problem.

Tell us about yourself

Designer, creative director, married with two budding creative proteges trying to fill my boots!

How was B3 Designers born?

Before B3, I worked at a small hospitality design company and absolutely loved it, realising that I’d found what I wanted to spend the rest of my design career doing – designing for memorable immersive experiences. 

I loved the idea of people sitting around the table eating together – and what better way to be involved in people’s experience of life, than to get to design beautiful spaces. A client who was in desperate need to launch a restaurant within 4 month reached out to me, so I took on the challenge and that’s how B3 was born, in 2002.

What childhood experiences have influenced your outlook on design?

At the age of 7 I realised I had a passion for creativity, and wanted to do something in the arts. However, I never thought I’d be an interior designer and didn’t know a lot about it until I got to my foundation course. Strangely enough, I knew right away I wanted to design for hospitality, even though I didn’t put a finger on it as a direction.

Do you have any design idols?

Carlo Scarpa is one of my all time favorites. He worked on such beautiful projects with intricate detailing, and when I analysed the Brion Cemetery, I was blown away with the layers of thinking and reasoning behind everything that was designed.

“There’s always an answer. It just needs to be worked through and considered!”
MARK BITHREY
FOUNDER & DESIGN DIRECTOR
Where in the world has had the biggest influence on you?

Every time I go anywhere, I’m always inspired by something – local architecture, the entrepreneurial spirit of the local people. However if I had to pick one place that has had the biggest influence on me, it would be IItaly, without a doubt. I worked in a warehouse for 9 months to save money for a gap year I did there after my degree. I always remember the contrast between having worked the night shift under fluorescent lights for the best part of the year, and then landing in Florence in the middle of summer to an explosion of colour and sunlight – it was like someone had turned a light on. I spent the rest of summer in a mediaeval town in the heart of Italy, taking in and learning so much.

How does design influence your way of life?

Design is all about resolving things. Working on many challenging projects over the years has given me the robust sense that there is a solution to every problem. There’s always an answer. It just needs to be worked through and considered.

Do you have an item which is priceless to you?

I would have to say my family.

What are your simple pleasures?

A good cup of tea!

Describe your style

Others would say it’s “blue”, and I do love blue. But I would say it’s the antithesis of bling.

Good or bad, do you have any habits?

Bad habit – being a designer, and coming across so many beautiful things, I tend to hoard them. Good habit – I’m always looking for the best in people

If we could make any item of furniture for you, what would it be

It would be a chair that holds a cup of tea, and my phone, and a light, and a book, and has a plug!