October 01, 2017

Beachroad talk design with Paul Bishop, CEO of Bishop Design the people responsible for Waka, Boa, Fauchon, Little Black Door, Bazxar and many more beautiful venues.


NAME? // Paul James Bishop.

YOUR FIRST JOB?/// Designing the TV station for Abu Dhabi National TV which was the first in the UAE.

YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Founder & Owner Bishop Design LLC and ‘Rogue by Bishop Design LLC’ which is coming soon!

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN DUBAI? Al Sufouh 2, Jumeirah Beach Road.

WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO EAT, SHOP, SOCIALIZE IN DUBAI? // If I am not out trying one of the Bishop Design designed F&B projects, I would usually socialize at home with good friends and home cooked food – one of my passions! Shopping always depends on the occasion and I don’t limit myself to one mall or area for shopping, I would usually venture into the high end fashion venues for special events.

YOUR TAKE ON DUBAI AS A CITY AND ITS RAPID CHANGES? // Dubai is such a cosmopolitan city! I have been here for over 21 years and it is one of the most fast paced, eclectic, exciting, adventurous and diverse cities I have experienced.

WHY SHOULD SOMEONE VISIT DUBAI? // Dubai is one of those multifaceted destinations as it caters for all means and all walks of life. From the young to the old, this city has something for everyone where you can go skiing in the morning to dune bashing in the desert in the afternoon – Dubai provides an all-around plethora of excitement not forgetting its deep culture and heritage.  

WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE DESIGN SCENE IN THE UAE? // The design scene in the UAE, like most industries, has developed at a rapid pace over the years establishing iteslef as a global design hub through all works of design ideologies. It is exciting, creative, spontaneous. The Design scene here caters for all and the caliber hasn’t even reached its peak yet!

WHO ARE YOUR DESIGN HEROES? // There are too many! I have never been limited to just one area of design some of which include Vivienne Westwood, Ettore Sotsass, Carlo Scarper, the deconstructivist movement in ID & architecture, Marcel Duchamp, Ron Arad, Jamie Reed

AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALISE THE DESIGN WORLD WAS FOR YOU? // My journey into the design world didn’t start with interiors. From a young age, I was always interested and passionate about art at school and when I made the decision in my teenage years to go to Brighton School of Art, I immersed myself in as many areas of design as possible; fashion, textiles, graphics, theater, furniture design & product design. (I had actually aspired to be a fashion designer in those days!) Interior Design didn’t really exist in my younger days – it was there and those who dabbled were making waves in the industry – however it wasn’t until I had found myself studying furniture and product design during my time at Kingston university was when I started recognizing that Interiors was where I wanted to end up.

WHERE WOULD YOUR DREAM DESIGN STUDIO BE LOCATED? // Dubai is of course, Bishop Design’s home, but as an advocate for following dreams – Miami or LA are undeniable design destinations and hopes for the future!

BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB? // As I mentioned, I have been working in Dubai for over 21 years and I still get that same excitement I did back then of walking into the office in the morning and knowing that every day would be different. The challenges we face in our industry, whether design or site related, being an interior designer is not a standard 9-5 job – I get to be creative every day, work on a multitude of projects and be amongst amazing Clients with visions that are yet to be determined – its inspiring!

WHICH PROJECT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? // I wouldn’t even begin to try and single out my biggest challenge as all projects in their various ways are – most recently, I have had the opportunity to design Torno Subito, a new Italian restaurant on the Palm Jumeirah headed by the world renowned Chef Massimo Bottura. Designing for such an inspirational, creative mind such as his although we were very compatible. We had to animate and present his vision to him without him knowing what this was which I believe was the biggest challenge. All projects have challenges but this is what makes life and a designers life so exciting!

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START BISHOP DESIGN AND ANY CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY? // It wasn’t the right time to do it in the slightest – which was of course the best time to do it! I had been in Dubai for a few years working as a design director for various companies, taking on such amazing projects however, I was offered a job in Singapore and I thought to myself – do I want to leave Dubai? It was either take the risk of starting something under my name or continue working under someone else’s – risk taking is not something which comes natural to me, but in terms of design – this was.

YOUR FAVOURITE AUTOMOTIVE BRAND? // That’s incredibly difficult! First thing to my mind a vintage Porsche 911 due to the shapes/lines of the body, it’s more my favorite due to the design more than anything. I think that a Vespa or a Lambretta is more my style. Everything about these works of art is about style, design, culture and a way of life. It is more about what they represent – I have three of my own in the office!

YOUR FAVOURITE CLOTHING / FASHION BRAND? // I would say I have a multitude of favorites – For suits I am Prada or D&G man, for sunglasses definitely tom ford, For shoes; golden goose and my closet is never complete without a selection of Anthony Thomas Melillo T shirts, Moncler and Seven for All Mankind Jeans.

YOUR FAVOURITE FURNITURE BRAND? Again, this is really difficult! I like the classics – Eames, Le Corbusier or even more recently Moooi and Tom Dixon (represented locally by Superstudio). As a designer, there is so much choice in the market and the fun comes in having a plethora of choice at your fingertips.


YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // Life…and maybe food!

YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // The Unknown. Its exciting, its scary, its an adventure – what more could make life greater!

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // There was a time when I was living in London as a toddler, my mother had let me off the reigns. I of course took this to mean FREEDOM and ended up running in the road and coming about 4 cm away from being hit by an ambulance (useful, right?) - maybe not the best memory but definitely the earliest!

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // When I was younger, one of my passions was middle-distance running. My role model was Steve Ovett, British Olympian who used to run for the same running club as I did. As an athlete growing up, I ran for Sussex – he was such an inspiration to me at that time where one year, I had qualified to represent the English Schools but I became seriously ill and missed my shot at competing. I remember receiving a letter from him saying that this is so much more than a dream, it is a passion and that is not something to give up on. You pick yourself up and keep going, as a runner, that is all you will ever need to do – this has stuck with me throughout my life.

IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY DESIGN LEGEND WHO WOULD IT BE? // Jean Paul Gautier in his early days! “the enfant terrible”


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CHILDREN? // Always follow your dreams and never stop. 

YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Perfectionist. 


WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? Robert Downey Jr. // Mark Ruffolo.


LAST RECORD / DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // On vinyl – Tears for fears - Songs from the Big Chair.

FAVOURITE BOOK? // Down & Out Paris & London by George Orwell; On the road by Jack Kerouac.

LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Questions of Space by Bernard Tsumi.

THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Probably the ambulance event and pneumonia.


LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Does anyone have a least favorite destination? I think there are too many places that I have still not yet been that would allow me to decide.

HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Cooking.

ARE YOU SPORTY? // I used to be, unfortunately this had taken a toll on my body and I am unable to be as active as I once way. 

BEACH OR DESERT? // Neither.


CATS OR DOGS? // Cats.

COFFEE OR TEA? // Coffee.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // Could be the most mundane or weirdest – spontaneous moments. 

WHATS MAKES YOU CRY? // Watching movies on planes – what is it about 35000 feet?!

YOUR MESSAGE? // Life is too short to not enjoy every minute and moment.


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