Design matters: Ahmad Fakhry and Cian Corcoran of DesignGoat
‘You can have a restaurant serving incredible food, but if the space is awful it won’t work’
Ahmad Fakhry (left) and Cian Corcoran are the duo behind DesignGoat, the team behind some stylish ways to drink coffee and intriguingly experimental eating experiences
“We started the company in 2011 after we graduated from NCAD. I’d met Cian in third year and we decided we wanted to do something,” says Ahmad Fakhry.
“We got lucky designing the coffee shop, 3FE, for Colin Harmon, and that led to more. We were working from the outset and set up the company along the way. There’s a strong design community here, though it took us a while to find them. Notion Design were very helpful, and we met a lot of brilliant people through the Pivot Dublin bid for Design Capital.
“My degree show piece, Eating Objects, was a fun project that looked at different ways to explore and experience food. Ross Lewis had been a great help with that and we ended up making a special dessert place for his restaurant, Chapter One. In fact, it led to a lot of food design projects for us.
“I was intrigued by the idea of food as a material for designers and we’re creating a series of multi-sensory events around Appetite for Design – not so much dinners as eating experiences. We’re inspired by the likes of Bompas and Parr, who are also in the show. I saw a project of theirs called Alcoholic Architecture, which I loved. It was a room filled with gin and tonic clouds.
“Design is crucial to any experience, you can have a restaurant serving incredible food, but if the space is awful it won’t work.
“We also did the designs for Sister Sadie and Brother Hubbard; how you order coffee in a takeaway is really important. A good experience can change the tenor of your day.
“We’re also off to Milan for Liminal, where we’re working on a collaboration with Katie Sanderson. It’s going to be an evolving dinner that has its finale in Eindhoven in October.
“ID2015 is great because we get to do these shows and set up the collaborations, but at the end of it, it has to be more than shiny things. It has to go into education and affect how businesses think.”