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buenos Aires a designer’s guide

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milan furniture fair STORIES FROM THE WORLD’S LARGEST FURNITURE FAIR


design quarterly issue 42 AUTUMN 2011

inside word DQ Editor Alice Blackwood dq@indesign.com.au Art Direction

Deputy Art Director Bronwyn Aalders bronwyn@indesign.com.au Senior Designer Lauren Mickan lauren@indesign.com.au Junior Designer Frances Yeoland frances@indesign.com.au

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Alice

Production Manager Sarah Djemal sarah@indesign.com.au Advertising Traffic / Office Administrator Hannah Kurzke hannah@indesign.com.au Online Manager Rish Raghu rish@indesign.com.au Online Coordinator Ramith Verdheneni ramith@indesign.com.au Web Developer Richard Roberts rich@indesign.com.au Online Account Manager Eunice Ku eunice@indesign.com.au

design quarterly people products parties saturday in design sydney pre-event guide pG 49

piero gandini charismatic leadership service design creative thinking for business buenos aires a designer’s guide

2011 Winter $9.00 aud $9.00 nZd

ince re-designing DQ it feels as if our mission – our whole point of ‘being’ – has crystallised. There is no other magazine which engages, quite the way we do, with people; that is, face to face, in person, in conversation, in a collaborative exchange of information which is captured and conveyed through the printed page to you. It’s a unique forum which can take the shared experience of personal interaction, and communicate it with equal charisma and dynamism through print – and herein lies our strength. This issue we really take it to the people, engaging with designers right across the spectrum on topics of practice, profession, opportunity and achievement. It’s an issue rich with the voices of our community, and promises to absorb at every turn of the page. I really enjoyed exploring the practice of Andrew and Mark Moffitt, for example. They are identical twin brothers and business partners. What must it be like to share the same profession, skills and interests, to have studied together, lived together and now work together? They’re friends and business partners bound by blood, they share the complicity of brotherhood, mixed with the brutal honesty of business savvy, and the story they share with us makes for a memorable narrative, on page 32. Working within this same context of conversation with community, we take the opportunity to dig deeper and find out what people really think about the state of design in Australia and abroad. In particular, our interviews with Geoff Fitzpatrick of the Australian Design Alliance, and ADA Patron, His Excellency Michael Bryce, offer a unique insight into the machinations of government and where design places, when brought up against industries of technology and science, for example. I’ll say no more – you can read the verdict on page 71. Lending voice to the international design scene is our coverage of the Milan Furniture Fair, which saw myself and three colleagues head to Italy for (what can only be described as) a five-day design bonanza. The sheer size of the fair is enough to stop anyone in their tracks, but we survived, thanks to a healthy dose of interviewing and showroom visits. The best thing about the fair is the coming together of so many different design communities in the one place. It allows us to bridge that ‘tyranny of distance’ so acutely felt in Australia, and connect with the people (and the products) we often only see in magazines and on blogs. With this in mind, our coverage of the Milan Furniture Fair gives you a first-hand insight into the product releases, the installations, and importantly the thoughts and views of some of design’s most recognised faces. Before I go, I want to draw your attention to the Saturday in Design Pre-Event Guide on page 49. It’s a special foldout, and is a pre-cursor to what is going to be a great event (something like the Milan of Australia!) in Sydney, 19 – 20 August 2011.

Advertising Enquiries / Online Advertising Enquiries Dana Ciaccia (61 2) 9368 0150 dana@indesign.com.au

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‘Pura Vida’ range from Hansgrohe Photo: Dieu Tan Alice portrait photo: Michael Gazzola, Studio 11 Correction – DQ#41 We’d like to clarify that ‘Aquaribbon Venus’ by Hotbeam, pictured on page 20 in DQ#41, is a waterresistant, salt tolerant, nodot LED strip with medium brightness for indoor and outdoor lighting.

Contributing Writers Anne-Maree Sargeant, Annie Reid, Ben Morgan, Collette Swindells, Frankie Unsworth, Kristian Aus, Lisa Kappell, Mandi Keighran, Mark Gambino, Monique Friedlander, Ola Bednarczuk, Paul McGillick, Peter Sackett, Sam Eichblatt, Toby Horrocks Publisher/Managing Director Raj Nandan raj@indesign.com.au PA to Publisher Leanne Rogers leanne@indesign.com.au Editorial Director Paul McGillick editor@indesign.com.au Operations Manager Adele Troeger adele@indesign.com.au Financial Director Kavita Lala kavita@indesign.com.au

Published under licence by Indesign Publishing Pty Ltd ABN 96 101 789 262 Sydney Head Office L1, 50 Marshall Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 (61 2) 9368 0150, (61 2) 9368 0289 (fax) info@indesign.com.au indesignlive.com Subscriptions subscriptions@indesign.com.au AUSTRALIA $25 (inc GST) 1 year / $50 (inc GST) 2 years INTERNATIONAL $50AUD 1 year / $100AUD 2 years DQ is a wholly owned Australian publication, which is designed and published quarterly in Australia. DQ is available through subscription, at major newsagencies and bookshops nationally. Subscriptions – never miss an issue by subscribing online at indesignlive.com, faxing us at (61 2) 9368 0289, or emailing subscriptions@indesign.com.au. Design Quarterly is a quarterly publication fed by who is doing what in the design industry, championing the personality behind design. It aims to promote and create the next generation of design as well as supporting those designers who are more established. The Editor accepts submissions from writers/photographers/illustrators for editorial consideration. We encourage those working in the design industry to submit news and announcements, so we can keep readers abreast of your new developments. Editorial submissions should be made out to the Editor alice@indesign.com.au. Any digital images should be supplied on CD at 300dpi with a minimum width of 15cm. Please also supply full contact details and captions with images. Contributions are submitted at the sender’s risk, and DQ cannot accept any loss or damage. Please retain duplicates of text and images. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any other means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise. The publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions or any consequences of reliance on this publication. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the editor, the publisher or the publication. Magazine Stock Our printer is Environmental Management System ISO14001:2004 accredited and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certified. Printing inks are vegetable based. Paper is environmentally friendly ECF (elemental chlorine free) and recyclable. Printed in Singapore. Print

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Online

Events

Accounts Gabrielle Regan gabrielle@indesign.com.au Darya Churilina darya@indesign.com.au Irina Davydova irina@indesign.com.au Online Editor Ben Morgan ben@indesign.com.au Events and Marketing Kylie Turner kylie@indesign.com.au Laura Sue-San laura@indesign.com.au Tegan Richardson tegan@indesign.com.au

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DESIGN QUARTERLY ISSUE 42 WINTER 2011

contents

25 industry 89 PARTIES Inlite Great Dane Space Matrix Euroluce Herman Miller Osborne & Little Rogerseller Cavalier Bremworth Corporate Culture

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REGULARS 12

Open Forum

14 News 16

News Bites

20 Products

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26 emerging talent

104 DIARY

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ON THE MOVE

“ Three years ago

features 31 PEOPLE Andrew & Mark Moffitt Piero Gandini Adele Winteridge Todd Bracher Melanie Katsalidis Henry Wilson The Hansen Family

everyone realised that it needed to calm down, the world of design was getting a

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little bit nuts� Jaime Hayon speaking at the Milan Furniture Fair, page 55

51 EVENTS Milan Furniture Fair 2011 International Furniture Fair Singapore Penthouse Mouse 65 BUSINESS Report: At Your Service Industry Comment: Australian Design Alliance Corporate Culture Inlite Rogerseller

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79 Discovering Buenos Aires 85 Objectively Speaking

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NEWS 02 02 INTERACTIVE LIGHTING DESIGN

Flynn Talbot fills the middle ground between product and installation with his work ‘X&Y’.

01 01 SURFACE DESIGN

Sir Peter Osborne chats with Ola Bednarczuk about Osborne & Little’s Spring 2011 range. In the words of company founder and CEO, Sir Peter Osborne, the Spring 2011 range is “the best in a long, long time”. This set of 13 collections is the company’s biggest yet. Among the standouts is ‘Athlone’, a range of stripes and checks representing a tough Celtic tradition, and ‘Karavansara’ which features rich patterns and Indian embroideries in silver thread and takes inspiration from the caravans that travelled the Silk Route. The ‘Grand Tour’ collection provokes Venetian connotations, arising from the tradition of the well-to-do 18th Century English gentleman travelling to Italy. Founded in 1968, Osborne & Little came out of a time when, as Sir Osborne explains, the standard of wallpaper was quite abysmal. “There was an expression – porridge – which meant that everything was beige

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and oatmeal,” he recalls. “We started these hard-edged, strong designs with a lot of gold – tigers leaping through hoops, zebras riding into the sunset.” The company has stuck to its tradition of arresting, highly decorative design. One pattern in the Spring 2011 collection arose from a photograph of Dorchester House in London’s Park Lane, spotted by an Osborne & Little designer in an issue of Country Life. The house’s interior was transposed onto metallic paper, creating a holograph effect. With each new collection Osborne & Little continues to create a vibrant, striking set of designs inspired by all manner of muses. “If we have a house style, it really has to be described as eclectic,” Sir Osborne says. “You wouldn’t necessarily look at a product and say ‘that’s Osborne & Little’. But that doesn’t bother me; it gives us a wider scope.” Wider scope indeed – Sir Osborne already has the September 2011 collection safely tucked up his sleeve, his focus now turned to the next product launch, which is set for January 2012. SENECA (61 3) 9529 2788 senecatextiles.com

“ We started these strong designs with a lot of gold – tigers leaping through hoops, zebras riding into the sunset” Sir Peter Osborne

Flynn Talbot brings new meaning to the word ‘interaction’, producing a lighting project that urges contact with the product as well as with one’s own mood and emotional standpoint. The Perth-born lighting designer’s ‘X&Y’ project has been released in a limited-edition series named ‘White and Gold’ – a range of spherical lamps that asks users to control colour and intensity by touch. Able to achieve the full colour spectrum, the range’s exhibition ‘Helmrinderknecht’ saw the globes making up an ever-changing installation. Though, Talbot instructs, these works of art were produced for domestic use. “Many, many people are doing interactive works, but not truly interactive products,” he explains. “I believe ‘X&Y’ is the middle ground between the installation and product world.” Containing no dimmers, switches, remote controls or instructions, ‘X&Y’ relies on the user rotating the hand-blown opal glass sphere in any direction and settling on a desired colour or lighting effect. All of the product’s LED technology rests discretely within its polished brass base. Currently based in Berlin, Germany, Talbot’s work is being embraced by the European market, where his Australian viewpoint and stories captivate his audiences. So much so, that Talbot was recently named Young Lighting Designer of the Year, by Philips and the PLDA (Professional Lighting Design Association). Upholding the philosophy that rather than study design he “learns in the real world”, Talbot has injected his products with this exact mentality, allowing them to interact with the world, grow from personal connections and be inspired by people and surroundings. Flynn Talbot (49 0) 1706 216 452 flynntalbot.com

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03 INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Lisa Kappel catches up with Vert Design to learn about products with voice. From eyeglasses to boats to decanters to coffee cups, Vert Design has a special knack for imbuing products with characters so real they seem to keep their users company. Led by industrial designer Andrew Simpson, Vert Design is responsible for the production of the romantic boats made for the Balmain Boat Company. Created to be built by a father and son as a sort of bonding project, these rowing boats can be assembled in anywhere between four and 10 hours – or two fun weekends, proving true the product’s motto, “making dads look like legends”. Meanwhile, their 3D-printed glasses exude a definite air of confident coolness and can be custom-designed to suit the style and personality of every wearer. While the current model (available as

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optical or sunglasses) is based on the bold spectacles of poet Phillip Larkin, the next range already in development takes inspiration from the wacky late-1980s flick Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Across Vert’s complete and varied series of products, one note remains constant: adherence to design that incites emotion, a look that ignites response and an execution of craft that instills excitement in its users. Vert Design’s Mitchell Brown agrees, “I design works that are apparitional and provoke feeling. Our coffee cups make people reflective, the boat makes people feel proud, our decanters give people a feeling of control and the sunglasses make people feel confident.” Remaining loyal to their design aesthetic of “honest and elegant not shiny and novel,” this month sees Vert launch a range of quirky dog bowls, as well as the sailing version of the father-son row boat, allowing users the ability to quite literally drift away with the magic of design. Vert Design (61 2) 9698 7770 vertdesign.com.au

04 04 INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Sustainable can be attainable, Yves Béhar tells DQ. “I’m always out to prove an idea with a project,” said fuseproject’s Yves Béhar while in Sydney to promote his ‘SAYL’ chair for Herman Miller. The idea driving the industrial designer’s recent projects has been to prove that sustainable products are not out of a customer’s reach. “It’s this notion that attainability and sustainability are contrary ideas,” Béhar explains. “People think that eco is more expensive. I’m out to prove it isn’t.” While in Sydney, Béhar met with emerging designer, Adam Cornish, for a mentoring session – Cornish’s prize for taking out Herman Miller Asia Pacific’s Yves Béhar design competition. The competition sought

to reward a design which makes a positive difference in the world. Cornish’s ‘Wooden Hammock’, made from plantation-grown plywood, is right up Béhar’s alley, and their oneon-one solidified Cornish’s own belief that “designers must become more environmentally conscious with their approach to design”. Béhar recognises his work is inspirational to a new generation of designers. “I do like the fact that some of the projects we’ve worked on not only make a huge difference,” he says. “They [also] influence non-profit companies to see the efficiencies and the promise that design fulfils; they influence designers; they influence everybody. It’s exciting to be seen as somebody who opens new doors for thinking and solving some of the important issues that we have.” herman miller info_au@hermanmiller.com hermanmiller.com.au

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PRODUCTS 02 01 Natura Combining cork and glass to intriguing effect, ‘Natura’ is not only sustainably made but its warm and friendly shape exudes a bubbliness not often found in lights or vases. HÉctor Serrano (44 0) 207 193 7792 hectorserrano.com

02 HidrÌa These elegant terracotta jugs are intelligently designed with a large base for water particles to settle to the bottom. A narrow neck allows the surface water to be maintained at source temperature. Diamantini & Domeniconi (39 0) 721 716 334 diamantinidomeniconi.com

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03 Mrs. K A bench for the garden, Mrs. K was originally conceived as a wedding gift. Easy to stow away, the legs slide inside the seat’s I-beam structure.

04 Bottle Screws These colourful silicone ‘bottle screw’ stoppers are an indispensable doodacky for both your toolbox and favourite bottle of vino! Dishwasher-safe.

Conscious Design (64) 2146 4525 consciousdesign.co.nz

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Ototo (97 2) 77 911 0148 ototodesign.com

05 Drapilux Intelligent, practical, high-end decorative fabrics are hard to come by, but with Drapilux’s eye-catching new range now available, the answer is here! Drapilux (0 25) 72 9270 drapilux.com

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06 130 Deep into winter, it’s nice to be surrounded by summer colours and insightful designs like the ‘130’ chair. Available in Beech and Oak with upholstered seats and back rests. Thonet (49 0) 8131 92011 thonet.eu

07 IMGS Specialising in custom wallcoverings, the IMGS creative studio designs and prints wallpaper to any size or budget to accurately capture the story of every space. IMGS (61 7) 5478 6611 imgswallcoverings.com

08 Softline Made. send out positive vibes by encouraging people to “embrace the curve!” ‘Softline’ is inspired by 1980s aesthetics, stepping away from sharp square edges of regular kitchens. Made. (61 3) 9421 0707 madeliving.com.au

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09 AIR LINER Lightweight and durable, ‘Air Liner’ by Adam Goodrum makes you feel as if you’re floating on air. Available as a sun lounge with side table, with or without arms. TAIT (61 3) 9419 7484 tait.biz

10 ZIP HYDROTAP ALL-IN-ONE

The Zip ‘HydroTap All-In-One’ is a world first, delivering boiling/ chilled/hot/cold fi ltered, crystalclear, great-tasting, healthier, water instantly from a single tap.

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ZIP HEATERS 1800 638 633 zipindustries.com

11 PEBBLE Featuring round or obscure tabletops, the ‘Pebble’ range is beautifully handcrafted from Spotted Gum to create an air of eccentric elegance. COVEMORE DESIGNS (61 2) 9624 1011 covemore.com.au

12 GAGGENAU Gaggenau’s new range of ovens and steam ovens offers professional quality appliances with a stylish brushed stainless steel finish.

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SAMPFORD IXL 1300 727 421 gaggenau.com

13 MUNICH Designed by an architect (who, based on this piece, should take up full-time furniture design!), the ‘Munich’ chair is all about merging luxury with modern tastes. ANIBOU (61 2) 9319 0655 anibou.com.au

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PEOPLE Melanie Katsalidis

Creative Destiny When gallerist, jeweller and creative Melanie Katsalidis opened Pieces of Eight, the parts of the puzzle all fell into place, she tells Mark Gambino.

Celebrating 25 years in Australia ... with over 50 years of international design excellence

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he choices you make in your life, deliberate or not, have the potential to define your very existence. While that concept is as old as humankind itself, today, more than ever, we feel a growing sense of our own purpose and potential. Indeed, even the simplest act of contributing to society can impact greatly on our culture. For Melanie Katsalidis, Director of independent jewellery and art space Pieces of Eight, making an impact on the Australian and international design community was not a driving ambition. It was simply destiny. The humble start to her story came when Katsalidis opened her first gallery and jeweller’s workshop in North Fitzroy, Melbourne, with a living space upstairs. And while this may seem like a dream for many emerging artists, for Katsalidis it was just life. “I grew up in a pretty creative family,” she begins. “With my dad being an architect, and family friends who were all artists and ran galleries as well. So even though I never trained to run a gallery, it all just fell into place and felt very natural.” Now, five years on, Pieces of Eight has moved into an architecturally designed gallery and workshop space in Russell Place, Melbourne. Situated just off the boutique shopping strip of Little Collins Street, Pieces of Eight now incorporates a store space and exhibition display, as well as a consultation room for design commissioning. Designed by Katsalidis’ father, Nonda Katsalidis, with project architects Fitt De Felice, the space is fronted by an enormous iron portal. Your first experience of it can’t help but be one of discovery, as this giant window affords one a view of the treasures hidden within. More than just a wearable art store and exhibition space, Pieces

of Eight is now the nexus for an ever-growing list of collaborations between Katsalidis and interior and industrial designers, as well as architects. “It’s not just about retailing,” she says. “It’s about working with visual artists and artists who make jewellery, and moving beyond the contemporary jewellery world.” For this year’s State of Design Festival, Pieces of Eight featured an architecturally designed window installation by Luca Lana, as well as an exhibition of Melbourne-based interior designers-turned-jewellers. “The people selected for the exhibition are mostly women,” says Katsalidis. “And most went through RMIT University, where there was a real push in the interior design department to think about and make jewellery objects or very small spatial constructions. So while they all make very different types of work in their own practice, they all have that fundamental beginning ­– and I think it’s really interesting to see, because they came from a different place to other jewellers who may have learned at art school or have a craft background.” That same sense of exploration has now led Katsalidis to open X Marks the Spot. Situated next to Pieces of Eight, X Marks the Spot is an online gallery with a physical presence. The first collaboration is an exhibition of set, limitededition pieces from sculptor Kate Rohde, who recently started making wearable jewellery. “Working with her is a bit different to working with a contemporary jeweller,” says Katsalidis. “She knows what she’s doing with design and what she wants to achieve as an artist; we’re just offering assistance and guidance with the technical side.”

And it’s this approach that underlines every relationship Pieces of Eight develops – like an openended design brief to challenge the tight vision of other contemporary jewellery galleries. “I’m interested in a broader engagement,” says Katsalidis. “It’s just part of living for me; part of the human experience. Not thinking, ‘I can only do this’. Why can’t you have an architect exploring what wearable art can be? Or, why not engage a sculptor to create jewellery works? I think the results will be really intriguing and exciting.” From making and selling her own jewellery while studying an arts degree, to operating and collaborating with top architects and designers, there is no denying that Katsalidis has left an indelible mark on our artistic culture. The fact that she’s accomplished this in five short years makes it all the more remarkable. Pieces of Eight (61 3) 9497 8121 piecesofeight.com.au

Clockwise from top left » Necklace by Meredith Turnbull » ‘Irregular shape’ acrylic sculptures by Phillip Low » Pieces of Eight gallery in Russell Place, Melbourne » Melanie Katsalidis, Photo: Ben Glezer

Designed by Konstantin Grcic Three exclusive designs, created by Konstantin Grcic, achieved by embedding SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in the laminate surface: the crystals morph on Black or White backdrops, from the pure lines of “Ray” to the exquisitely simple geometry of “Peak”, to the firmament of lights of “Bling”. The groundbreaking manufacturing process maintains the crystals intact notwithstanding the process high pressure (90 kg/cm2); this symbiosis with the incredible brilliance of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS creates this exquisite and refined collection. Individually hand-crafted, each panel of Crystaline is as unique as are SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

Unlimited selection

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EVENTS MILAN FURNITURE FAIR

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ou could spend months preparing for the Milan Furniture Fair and still not be ready for the pandemonium of visual information that lies in wait. It all depends on how you approach it: You may come equipped with a list of stands, showrooms and exhibitions, ready to be checked in and checked off, and a line-up of key meetings for moments in-between; or (like us) you may opt for a ‘conquer all’ approach – which requires perseverance, determination and a commitment to no sleep and lots of ‘see’. One thing is for sure, no matter how you plan your week, you’re in for a lot of walking, train catching, taxiing and surreptitious map scanning. This year saw the fair in a state of evolution. The fair grounds themselves (a 45-minute train ride out of the city) were reliably strong, showcasing the International Lighting Exhibition, Euroluce, plentiful in its offering of all the best brands, spread across four sprawling halls. A golden warmth emanated from the Euroluce buildings where world leaders in lighting (FLOS, Foscarini, Artemide, Pallucco, Cassina, Vibia, Zumtobel and more), expanded on their

Clockwise from top left » Colourful streets in the Brera District » Crowds swarm into the fair grounds » Playing with products, at the fair grounds Photos: Sue Stubbs

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established collections with new ranges conceived in collaboration with the likes of Jean Nouvel, Arik Levy, Ross Lovegrove and Marcel Wanders. Much of this new work saw architectural lighting taken to new levels with increasingly decorative outcomes. Vibia in particular appears to have followed in the footsteps of FLOS’s Soft Architecture with a collection of WALL-ART – ornamental and customisable modular lighting pieces by designers including Ramón Esteve and Arik Levy. Centrepiece lighting was also a strong point, exploring form, material use and effect with works such as ‘Planet’ from Foscarini, ‘Woods’ from Arturo Alvarez, and Lzf’s paperfine pieces. Each year there emerges six-orso halls which become the go-to for all the major furniture brands. Kartell, Edra, Sicis, Moroso, Andreu World, Magis (to name a few) became draw-cards for fans of universally popular designers like Patricia Urquiola and Philippe Starck, and it was interesting to see their signature styles subtly adapted to suit the various brands with whom they’ve worked. Media and enthusiastic fans positively swarmed around

“ Much of this new work saw architectural lighting taken to new levels with increasingly decorative outcomes”

CAMPANA BROTHERS AND BOLON SISTERS ON THEIR ‘ARTISAN’ RANGE “We met each other during Milan last year. We stayed in contact and found we could do something together. Here is the start and we don’t know where the end will be.” – Annica Eklund “We share a passion for design, but it also has to feel right in the stomach and the heart – that there is an honesty in the collaboration.” – Marie Eklund “I don’t see the wall like a floor, but like furniture. [Bolon] is a beautiful material that I would like to investigate to create furniture. It’s amazing the possibilities you can do with the material.” – Humberto Campana “It’s flexible at the same time as it’s rigid. So, we can create a lot of structure.” – Fernando Campana

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EVENTS INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR SINGAPORE

STANDOUT PRODUCTS AT IFFS 01

01 EMPTY Using a minimum of materials, this chair has an open ‘empty vessel’ feel, allowing users to interpret the piece as they wish. It was on show as part of Naoto Fukasawa’s ‘Design Inevitable’.

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JARROD LIM DESIGN (65) 6440 0067 jarrodlim.com

02 DRAPE Nathan Yong exhibited as part of No Boundaries. He is best known for his pieces made using Malaysian timbers. This new body of work, which includes the ‘Drape’ table, is beautifully refined, and finely detailed.

“ The D’Space area was a glowing focal point with an exciting diversity of products and experiments”

NATHAN YONG (65) 9663 5239 nathanyongdesign.com

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03 AXIS Air Division continues to be an outstanding Singaporean firm. They launched a number of new products, including the ‘Axis’ coffee table, pictured here. AIR DIVISION (65) 6296 9272 airdivision.com

04 CASCADENCE ‘Cascadence’ is part of a range of ceiling lights and floor lamps made from natural materials such as rattan, Mulberry tree bark, unprocessed silk cocoons, raw silk and hand-cast polymer. The results are astonishingly beautiful and elegant. ANGO (66 0) 2873 0167 angoworld.com

05 STAR This flat-packed coat hanger by Aesthetic Studio is made by hand from a single piece of Ash wood. It’s a standout piece which follows in the footsteps of award-winning work, such as the ‘Juno’ lamp. AESTHETIC STUDIO (66 2) 278 4244 aesthetic-studio.com

06 SPROUT A petal-shaped bookmark cheekily sprouts from this table. The reader has only to slot their book into the sprout, to mark their place. ‘Sprout’ was on show as part of the Furniture Design Award. SHARINA BI ABDUL RASHID seezer_15@hotmail.com

INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR SINGAPORE What: 28th ASEAN Furniture Show When: 9 – 12 March 2011 Where: Singapore Expo, Singapore

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SPACES corporate culture

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he new Melbourne showroom for Corporate Culture, which has decamped from its narrow, prior quarters on Flinders Lane, breaks new ground in old territory. It’s on the upper reaches of Elizabeth Street, where the city empties northward into the estuary of The Haymarket roundabout before splitting into the residential neighbourhoods of Royal Park and Carlton. Recently, this stretch had become a nebulous enclave of car dealers, quick-service printers and discount boating equipment shops. Richard Munao, Corporate Culture’s helmsman, needed more space, and found it in the empty Evan Evans building, a four-storey edifice with proud, blue-collar roots; it once housed the landmark flag manufacturing business. “Our old location was very good from a trade perspective,” Munao says. “Architects and designers, they could just pop in. But I realised that for the residential market Flinders Lane is [no longer] the place to be. The car parks, the one-way streets; it’s quite difficult for people to get there.” Though unfettered by heritage restrictions on Elizabeth Street, Munao used a light touch with

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renovations. On the façade, he repainted only where paint lay previously. The quiet facelift consists of little more than three horizontal strokes of dark charcoal grey, with the balance of weathered brick left unconcealed – the equivalent of laying fresh pinstripes over trusty bib overalls. Inside, furniture circulates through capacious rooms of brick and timber over three floors, which have been pierced and strung together by an immense steel staircase that pools in rectilinear holdfasts of concrete plinths at each level. The plinths serve both as showcase platforms and to help parse the warehouse-sized rooms into more digestible, wall-less zones. For the most part, rooms appear spare and pure, but Munao found reasons to preserve swatchy remnants from the structure’s earlier days instead of scrubbing them from his fresh canvas. “This square over here,” he explains, pointing to a patch of raw, uneven brick-and-mortar on the floor. “They were going to cover it over, but we have outdoor furniture, too, and it’s great to have this as a platform for it.” The warehouse, in its shapeshifting anonymity, can be anything

to everyone. “Some of our products are classics; they go back to the 1950s, back to the 1920s,” Munao adds. “They might work beautifully in an old Federation home, but just as well in a slick, modern glass box.” For a time, Munao wrestled with what to do with the old Evan Evans sign, still attached to the storefront. “I decided to leave that history there instead of replacing it with our own brand,” he says. “I think it’s probably a nicer thing to say, ‘Just look for the Evan Evans building’. A lot of people know this place.” Text by Peter Sackett

corporate culture Address: 680 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000 Phone: (61 3) 9066 1177 Showroom Opened: March 2011 Designer: Corporate Culture design team, with Universal Design Studio (designers of the steel & concrete staircase) Size: 1,200m2 » corporateculture.com.au

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FEATURES DISCOVERING BUENOS AIRES

Discovering Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is at the heart of the South American design scene. Frankie Unsworth makes the move from Australia to Argentina, and discovers the kind of creativity that money can’t buy.

A Clockwise from top left » Shoes by Lucila Iotti » The colourful La Boca district, Buenos Aires, Photo: Gustavo Prince » Brand identity work for Pehache 1418 by Bunker 3022 » Scene from the Home Hotel

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rchitecture and design are everywhere in Buenos Aires (BA), whether in the colourful street art which decorates the crumbling walls of its 19th Century buildings, the cool typography on the public buses or the retro graphics on the ubiquitous spice tins. It is a city that proves that design is more about creativity than cash. Just a decade after recovering from a crippling economic crisis, BA has transformed itself into one of the most creative and dynamic developing design centres in the Southern hemisphere. Many credit the crisis as the breakthrough for the design industry, encouraging Argentines to looking inwards rather than out. The year 2005 was a milestone when UNESCO recognised BA as the first Capital of Design and since then the BA government has been pumping money into creative industries to boost the design scene. To uncover the city’s designscape, I turned to three distinct

design barrios to get a flavour for the burgeoning industry: Palermo, the city’s well-established creative hub; Barracas, the industrial underdog and home to the Metropolitan Design Centre; and Puerto Madero, the city’s regenerated dock district and stage for ‘starchitects’. PALERMO Palermo is the city’s trendiest neighbourhood and design district par excellence. While the government has pumped in money to regenerate the city’s poorer barrios, this sprawling barrio has enjoyed a more organic fate. What it lacks in crumbling charm and authentic bodegones, it makes up for in tranquility and shopping. Fifteen years ago, I’m told, it was barely on a bus route, and property was as cheap as a choripan, making it an affordable option for start-up design studios like Lucila Iotti, a now established shoe designer whose

designs featured in the Sex and the City movie. Now, as the rents rocket and boutiques buy up houses to convert them into stores, the neighbourhood has lost its locals; but to visit Palermo is to experience the breadth and creativity of the porteño design scene. The award-winning Home Hotel opened in 2005 and was a pioneer of a now well-established design boutique hotel scene in the area. “Tourists flocked to Palermo, where the creative energy post-2001 crash could be felt in every bar, restaurant and shop, where the new generation of porteños found their identity after the ‘meltdown’,” says Patricia Shea, Founder of Home Hotel. Design patriotism is prominent in BA, not least because of heavy import taxes. Design store Pehache 1418 showcases some fine examples of Argentine design, ceramics, textiles and furniture, in an elegant conversion of the classic chorizo

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house – a long, sausage-shaped terraced home with the rooms leading onto an open patio. Graphic design studio Bunker 3022 were called in for their strong brand identity, which mixes illustrations, photographs and typography to create a visual campaign for the eclectic store. “In Buenos Aires the difficulty you may encounter is that clients tend to be conservative and find it difficult to choose an avant-garde or bolder design,” Alexia Silva Mascarenhas of Bunker 3022 tells me. But Palermo, it seems, is the designer’s playground, where the cutting edge reigns over conservatism. BARRACAS The most obvious testament to the government’s ambitions to transform the city into a design hub is the multimillion-dollar Centro Metropolitano de Diseño (Metropolitan Design Centre). Inaugurated to the public in

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PARTIES GREAT DANE

THE DANISH DIVISION

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“Two Great Danes stood at the doorway, welcoming guests to the launch of the Great Dane Contract division” 01

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GREAT DANE What: Launch of Contract Division Where: Sydney & Melbourne showrooms When: March 2011 Guests: Architects, designers, media Contact: (61 2) 9699 7677 » greatdanefurniture.com 09

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01 Pascale Deguire, Meg Campbell 02 Michael Kilkeary, Sylvia Weimer, Marita Leuver 03 Christine Amorose, Mckay Brown, Esther Assaad 04 Claudia Pickering, Misha DeMoyer 05 Enjoying the evening at Great Dane 06 Sarah Rupley, Anton Assaad, Mandi Keighran 07 Marc Schamburg, Luigi Vignando 08 Basking in the warmth 09 Kerstin Braun, Viki Schneger, Danielle Lloyd 10 Great Danes greeting the guests, Photos: Sydney launch

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4/05/11 12:09 PM


Design Quarterly issue 42 out 20 july Click here to subscribe to DQ magazine

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This issue we really take it to the people, engaging with designers right acrossthe spectrum on topics of practice, profession, opportunity...

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