CDG provides ‘spiritual nourishment’ at Casa FOA

Conran Design Group is creating a permanent space at Argentinian interior design exhibition Casa FOA, which is the first time a non-Argentinian consultancy has been invited to participate.

Casa FOA, which has been running since 1985, works by refurbishing a listed building in poor condition and auctioning temporary spaces inside to architects and designers. This year’s project is the renovation of the Santa Catalina de Siena monastery in Buenos Aires.

CDG is the only group to create a permanent space. It is designing interiors for the office of Father Braun, the monastery’s priest. Braun is reopening Santa Catalina in October as a city centre retreat for the public.

According to CDG creative director David Chaloner, Ca<sa FOA is ‘like an upmarket Ideal Home’.

‘[Father Braun’s] office space will be cool, calm and neutral, with spiritual relevance.

‘Busy people will be able to drop in free of charge to relax, eat and drink, sunbathe or seek spiritual nourishment,’ adds Chaloner.

The consultancy was appointed on the strength of its work for the Design Council’s Millennium Products show in Buenos Aires in January. Chaloner gave a talk on British design and generated ‘enough interest to be invited back’, he says.

A series of conferences will accompany the exhibition, featuring talks by Chaloner, Design Council chief executive Andrew Summers and Inflate creative director Nick Crosbie.

Inflate is introducing its products to Argentina’s answer to Habitat, Morph, which will start appearing in-store within the next month, says an Inflate spokeswoman.

Summers and Chaloner will deliver six conferences in three venues in two Argentine cities on the ‘virtues of contemporary British design’, according to a Casa FOA spokeswoman.

The Design Council is backing the exhibition, alongside the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, the British Council, Trade Partners UK and Land Rover Argentina.

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