Page 1

globally local: Interface _

26 “we put a lot of emphasis on speed to market,” daniel keas, DDK _ 87 “The notion that there are cultural barriers is nonsense” AESOP _ 66

digital branding twitter two-ways clever campaigns online etiquette _ 28 designpreneur stewart brown of chairbiz _ 30

inside word | ISSUE 47 spring 2012

welcome to the new DQ – new look new size new focus


esign Quarterly (DQ) has always aimed to be responsive to the needs and interests of our readers and the market. We like to think that we have always adapted quickly and flexibly to the constantly changing design environment. This issue continues that tradition of ongoing evolution with what we think is a bold response to the challenges and opportunities of a dynamic, even volatile, market. In the new DQ, your issues are our content. We hope that the new format and look will allow us to better meet your needs and connect in a fresh way to offer you your quarterly resource of information, ideas and debates about your profession. It is not just the look that has changed. We have completely rethought the content of DQ as well. This is a major refocus which will explore the gamut of creativity to include not just the end products, but also how the design profession manages its relationships with clients and suppliers. In these challenging times for the design profession, how can we get more creative in managing our business, in creating added value for our clients and in forging the most effective communications with our suppliers? The new DQ offers more than just ‘point-andshoot’ style coverage. We’re going in-depth on the operational side of the companies and practices, large and small, who specialise in architecture, design, retail and supply. So, in the spirit of innovation we are introducing the DQ DESIGNPRENEUR series, profiling the most successful architecture and design entrepreneurs and finding out how they do it. To launch the series, DQ meets three DESIGNPRENEURS – Fiona Lyda of Spence & Lyda, Stewart Brown of Chairbiz and Domenic Alvaro of Woods Bagot. We also welcome Byron George of Russell & George as our regular opinionist, whose quarterly column aims to provoke, inform and stir up discussion. We also provide behind-the-brand insights into some of the architecture and design profession’s best-known brands – think Interface, Aesop, Viabizzuno and EcoSmart Fire. The new DQ is for and about you and your business as a creative. It is your resource and your forum for discussion and opinion. We sincerely hope that the new DQ really speaks to you. If it does – even if it doesn’t – write to us, tell us what you think and join the discussion –

The team at

DQ Editor Alice Blackwood, Art Direction Senior Designers Emma Warfield, Lauren Mickan, Designer Frances Yeoland, Junior Designer Alex Buccheri, Production Manager Shannon Smith, Advertising Enquiries / Online Advertising Enquiries Laura Garro – Southern States (61) 423 774 126 |

page | 6

Contributing Writers Byron George, Elana Castle, Freya Lombardo, Jenna Reed Burns, Kiara Pecenko, Mandi Keighran, Marg Hearn, Nicky Lobo, Ola Bednarczuk, Patricia Nelson, Peter Sackett sub-editor Graham Lauren CEO / Publisher Raj Nandan, PA to Publisher/Advertising Traffic Elizabeth Davy-Hou, Editorial Director Paul McGillick, Operations Manager Adele Troeger,

Financial Director Kavita Lala, Business Manager Darya Churilina, Accounts Gabrielle Regan, Jana Kralikova, Online Editor Owen Lynch,

ON THE COVER Interface in collaboration with Motherbird for The Project at Saturday in Design Melbourne 2012. Pictured is Chris Murphy of Motherbird with concept board, in response to Interface’s brief asking designers to work with their new Urban Retreat collection. Photo: Scottie Cameron image credits Page 6: Raj Nandan and Alice Blackwood Page 8: Top left image, Photo: Dianna Snape

Online Radu Enache, Ramith Verdheneni, Gareth Parker, Ryan Sumners,

correction DQ#46, page 24, product 32: The Campfire Paper Table by Turnstone is available from Steelcase,, (61 2) 9660 5511

Events and Marketing Tegan Richardson, Hannah Kurzke,

DQ#46, page 16, story 2: For correct images of the Graph chair from Wilkhahn visit, (61 2) 9310 3355

contents | ISSUE 47 spring 2012


byron george

do australians work too hard? _ 18

Alex Ritchie Online is the store of the future

_ 63




jasper morrison





the ‘super normal’ designer _

making its australian debut _



how universal design studio became designoffice

The story behind instyle’s new campaign

_ 64

_ 36

round table discussion Is the trade fair dead?

_ 84

Stewart Brown Chairbiz

_ 30


steelcase celebrating 100 years in Australia

_ 100

“The story is the engagement point, and what we’re looking to do with the experience is move it beyond product”

Domenic Alvaro Woods Bagot

Aesop the company culture behind the global brand

_ 66

cover story – interface | 26

Fiona Lyda Spence & Lyda

EcoSmart Fire’s new Sydney showroom

bolon roadshow to launch the Create range

_ 51

_ 52

design feature

where specifiers and suppliers connect and create _

_ 83

_ 103

Embracing change surviving a shifting economy

| 87

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, faxing us at (61 2) 9368 0289, or emailing 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 Any digital images should be supplied by email, downloadable link, or on CD at 300dpi, minimum 20cm wide. 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. Printing inks are vegetable based. Paper is environmentally friendly ECF (elemental chlorine free) and recyclable. Printed in Singapore. Published under licence by Indesign Publishing Pty Ltd ABN 96 101 789 262 Head Office L1, 50 Marshall Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 | (61 2) 9368 0150, (61 2) 9368 0289 (fax) | | MELBOURNE Suite 11, Level 1, 95 Victoria Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065 SINGAPORE 115A Commonwealth Drive 05–18/19, SINGAPORE 149596 | (+65) 6475 5228, (+65) 6475 5238 (fax)

page | 8

source | heidi stowers

on the move

>> an advanced diploma in business management paved the way to a partner role for interior designer Heidi Stowers.


ecently appointed Partner at Gray Puksand, Heidi Stowers started her career “literally on the drawing board” as an architectural draftsperson. Her first roles were in small companies, exposing her to a broad experience of client liaison, business and design. From here Stowers added interior design to her sheaf of qualifications, along with business management and office management. “I have an unusual set of skills for an interior designer,” she says referring to her documentation, building and construction background. “These are what got me employed with Gray Puksand in the first place.”

Stowers has now been with the architecture and interior design firm for nine years. Moving up through the ranks and making that transition from project work into a managerial role has been something Stowers has really enjoyed. “Gray Puksand have a very supportive career progression structure,” she comments. “The shift is something I’m enjoying, and finding I have natural skills in. I can manage people and time lines – which my management qualifications pointed me towards.” In her role as Partner, Stowers hopes to contribute to extending the company’s profile to include large scale workspace projects. “Even if I can be step number

one and be part of a change that facilitates that new direction,” she suggests. She highlights working with people as a source of great enjoyment, and has a unique ability for facilitating user group workshops as part of the design briefing process. “I have good empathy and I can read people, which enables me to guide a conversation so you can find the real problem or concern and workshop the solutions.” Text by Alice Blackwood Gray Puksand (61 3) 9221 0999

page | 13

source | a perfect 10

a perfect Zenith’s Celia Quattrociocchi presents a ‘tasting plate’ of products from 10 of Zenith’s leading brands.

“We no longer sit still, but move continuously. Be chair by Formway offers freedom of movement and support”

03 Lottus Chair

06 open chair

DESIGN | Lievore, Altherr & Molina MANUFACTURE | Enea, Spain

DESIGN | PearsonLloyd MANUFACTURE | Allermuir, United Kingdom

04 Buzzitiles 3D

DESIGN | Sas Adriaenssens MANUFACTURE | Buzzispace, Belguim

“Sprint has personality. It’s friendly, quick and light on its feet like the Vespa scooter classic ‘Sprint Veloce’ it was named after”

07 Rumba Workstation


09 Sprint


01 Be chair

DESIGN | Formway Design MANUFACTURE | Formway, New Zealand

10 tipo chair

DESIGN | Taku Kumazawa MANUFACTURE | Aichi 02 Glass collection

05 pebble

08 wb stool

DESIGN | Keith Melbourne MANUFACTURE | Keith Melbourne

DESIGN | Schamburg + Alvisse MANUFACTURE | Zenith

DESIGN | David Walley MANUFACTURE | Yellow Diva

page | 24

ZENITH (61 2) 9125 6700



what is the cost of a poor work-life balance? Byron George reflects on long hours and personal priorities.

This page » Byron George Photo: Peter Bennetts page | 18

ow many times have you been in the office past 8pm in the past two weeks? How many weekend days have you given up to complete something on a deadline, or just popped into the office to file paperwork on a Sunday or write some quick emails? If you work in the design industry, this seems to be a common thing. I’m sitting here in my office, it’s after 8pm on a Monday, and most of the team is still here. Admittedly, most of us also have a glass of wine on our desks but we are still here, nonetheless, giving up our personal time. Why do we do it? Is it bad time management? (Perhaps, in my case.) Too many emails and distractions during the day? A sense of worth in the work you are doing? Maybe all of these things, and maybe none of them. Philippe Starck’s office is rumoured to ban emails in the mornings to allow people to design and work freely without constant distractions. 3M in Minnesota pioneered a policy where staff are allowed to spend part of the day daydreaming, in the hope that the downtime will allow the creative impulses that lead to innovation. If you look at the record of this company, it’s a policy that works. It’s also been emulated in many companies around the world. Activity-based working is also on the rise, allowing the individual and the work (and not the workplace), to dictate where and how a person works. All of these things are positive. None of this would, however, stop me working late or on the weekend, for the simple fact of the joy that comes from doing what I do. And it seems I’m not alone. Australians – and probably to a greater degree Kiwis – have a worldwide reputation for being hard workers, particularly in the design industry. But, is this a good thing or are we just diddling ourselves out of our lives? The model country for work/ life balance is without a doubt Italy. Having opened a small studio space in Italy, I can’t argue with this. We share space with Illuminami, a lighting and interior design showroom we designed in Rome’s Fellini-era EUR district. They start at 10am and work until 1pm. They then break for a couple of hours and then work again until after 7pm. Family and food are always around. People promenade on the street with three generations of family

“The model country for work/life balance is without a doubt Italy. Having opened a small studio space in Italy, I can’t argue with this”

members. The children are indulged and the oldies are in charge. Work is not so much the driver of life as the part that pays for everything else. The funny thing is, when I work there, although I feel guilty because it’s 9am and I haven’t started work yet, my shoulders start to come down from my ears and I actually get more than six hours’ sleep a night. I go out and enjoy the little things about living, and do so without the thought of what I should be doing back in the office. The Italians do business a different way to us. Living comes first. There is, however, a cost to this. In Rome at least, the infrastructure and roads are completely broken, the economy is in the toilet, and trying to get something through the bureaucracy is painfully slow (it makes our town planning process seem streamlined and efficient). Things are changing, though. Rome has been there for thousands of years and weathered things far worse. It’s a little bit like an Italian soap opera. It’s melodramatic, bipolar and badly acted. But you know the story line will be resolved in the end. Byron George along with Ryan Russell are directors of awardwinning architectural studio, Russell & George. RUSSELL & GEORGE (61 3) 9038 3240

designpreneur | stewart brown

a breakaway moment saw Chairbiz take control of their category. director Stewart Brown defines that moment.


n addition to Chairbiz’s Melbourne showroom, the enterprise has outposts in Sydney and Brisbane and utilises a streamlined, shrewdly managed website. But the nucleus of its competitive arsenal resides in a warehouse in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. (Nothing sinister here: just a large inventory of furniture pieces. But that has made all the difference.) For years, managing director Stewart Brown explains, his company traded with reasonable profit in “me-too” products. “We sold the same chairs that the other companies carried,” he says. “It was like, ‘Oh, you guys carry that model? Me too’.” There was little to distinguish it from the rest. The breakaway moment for Chairbiz arrived when it became a dedicated supplier of European designs, importing its furniture in its component parts – a base, posts, rails, arms and casters, for example, instead of the fully assembled chair. It lowered shipping and storage costs and gained it a margin of competitiveness that has kept it a nose ahead of others. It allows for a large and uncommon measure page | 30

of customisation, too, in the way it assembles and finishes the products for clients, who can select from a range of Australianmade fabrics and upholstery options, for example. Down Under, where customers are inured to limited choices and delays for almost everything from overseas, Chairbiz offers a gratifying alternative – delivery within the month instead of weeks that can stretch into the double digits. “Because of Australia’s small population, it’s hard to produce something unique here – like an unusual leg or base detail – and recoup the money it took to invest in that,” Brown explains. “But Chairbiz has a huge amount of stock, and that enables us to create fabric and component variations, produce in a short time, and do our part to add to the local economy.” More recently, Brown and his national sales and marketing manager, Simon Duerdin, have established exclusive distribution agreements with Boss Design, in the UK, and Italy’s MaxDesign. Both see substantial benefit in partnering with a company that can deliver quickly to a selective

Clockwise from top left » Stewart Brown » Swing chair by Boss Design

market, with more options and competitive pricing. They’re also attracted to the notion of Chairbiz functioning as their manufacturing base for the Asian market, out of the relatively nearby Melbourne, instead of on the opposite side of the globe. “Their dealers in Asia don’t stock the product, we do,” Duerdin says. “They’re just a storefront, waiting 16 weeks to get the goods.” But Brown is cautiously optimistic about what needs to happen before Chairbiz overtakes the slow boat to China. “It’s exciting; they want volume, we want volume,” he says, “but we won’t be doing it until we get it just right in Australia.” Text by Peter Sackett

CHAIRBIZ 1300 888 434

“The global financial crisis, coupled with shortages of research and development funds, has spawned some intriguing new creative directions. Watch out for designs that hybridise timber frames with already popular plastic seat configurations”

Stewart Brown

Poster: Graphics by Coöp

source | local start-ups

big opportunity countered by big risk can reap rewards says broached commissions’ lou weis.

What makes your mode of operation so unique in Australia? Broached Commissions has applied the research and publishing model of conceptually oriented architecture firms to product design. What is unusual about Broached in the global marketplace is our primary concern to develop our pieces through historical group research. That we do this with experts in the historical moment is not simply self-led research, it’s also highly unusual. The big opportunity and the big risk was being the only conceptual, bespoke-made, gallery-presented furniture and object design brand in Australia. Sales have proven that our rigorous approach to the development of works and beautiful craftsmanship has won us support from discerning collectors in Australia. Also, we are seeing interest from entrepreneurs who understand

that narrative-led innovation is important to communicating with an audience. Our pieces have a great story but can be engaged with at face value. What is the story behind your recent commission with NewActon Nishi? Broached has been engaged to create a suite of pieces for the Nishi development in Canberra. Here, John McPhee, former deputy director of the National Gallery of Australia, has written an essay about the history of highdesign commissions in Canberra and this has provided a starting point for each design response. We are looking to provide a set of pieces that creates an implicit relationship to the best in design since Canberra’s inception, starting with the Burley Griffins and finishing in the late 1960s with a range of commissions for modernist designers such as architects Harry Seidler and Roy Grounds.

What can we expect from the next Broached collection? The new range, entitled Broached East, focuses on the Australia-Asia relationship during the gold-rush period, which ended with a massive recession in the late 19th century. During this period, Australia participated in the largest migration of peoples across the planet in human history. Our interest is in the patterns relating to our Asian neighbours that emerged during this period. The collective is working with Tokyo-based guest designers Azuma Makoto and Keiji Ashizawa, Beijing-based Naihan Li and three Australian designers. The collection is set to launch in early 2013. Text by Elana Castle BROACHED COMMISSIONS

page | 20 DQ47_CafeCulture_QP1.indd 1

24/07/12 3:22 PM

undisputed origins

Q 01 eco light

02 a beautiful line

DESIGN | David Houbaer and Alec Balcombe supplier | Dhab Studios (61) 408 999 632

DESIGN | Adam Cruickshank SUPPLIER | Adam Cruickshank

03 fatso


DESIGN | William Dangar supplier | Robert Plumb (61 2) 9316 9066

DESIGN | Pierre and Charlotte Julien supplier | Pierre and Charlotte (61 3) 9329 4414

05 fernlea


DESIGN | Paper Hangings supplier | Paper Hangings (61 3) 9818 1208

DESIGN | Nook Nook supplier | Nook Nook (61) 435 917 388 DQ47_CafeCulture_QP1.indd 1

uintessentially Australian yet far from single origin, Au.thentic is the initiative of Christey Johansson and Marcus Piper. Acknowledging that creatives are rarely unidisciplinary, Au.thentic creates the space for celebration and acknowledgement of Australian designers working across a multitude of disciplines. “We feel creatives don’t need to be pigeonholed, and most find creativity through various means and media,” says Johansson. Consequently, Au.thentic facilitates collaborations between supporters and members, promoting these through events, publications, social media and

news. Recent initiatives include the release of two books published by Au.thentic Press: Belco Pride by Lee Grant, and Citizen featuring the Citizen Series of portraits by photographer Ingvar Kenne. Tying in with the release of Belco Pride was a launch and exhibition in late September; similarly Citizen will be launched alongside an exhibition (2 November – 27 January 2013) at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. [Text: AB] au.thentic press (61 2) 4267 5115

Stefan Sagmeister, Photo: Ingvar Kenne

native australian – consider these products by six successful australian brands and designers

page | 21 24/07/12 3:22 PM

profile | jasper morrison

why do all the major design brands want to work with Jasper Morrison?

JASPER WISH LIST 01 Lightwood chair / Club chair for Maruni 02 Plywood chair / Hal chair for Vitra 03 Hi-Pad chair / Thinking Man’s chair for Cappellini Air-Chair for Magis Tagliatelle chair for Alias 04 Glo-Ball for Flos 05 The Country Trainer for Camper

page | 42

Clockwise from top left » Jasper Morrison » Club chair for Maruni (left), part of the Traditional Series » Hal chairs for Vitra


n first impression, Jasper Morrison is a self-contained, rather reserved person, which appears somewhat at odds with his outwardly expressive essays, articles and books, as well as his “Super Normal” objects and furniture items. The term Super Normal – an important part of Morrison’s philosophy – suggests the possibilities for enhancing the design of everyday items. And this becomes the frame of reference for Morrison’s practice, which focuses on designing furniture and objects for atmosphere and mass-producing objects that offer quality at affordable prices. Morrison’s design reasoning is seemingly complex, yet the outcomes are effortless; he has

the ability to fuse a brand’s unique values seamlessly with his own philosophies, producing work that is ultimately expressive of a brand, while staying true to his own design motives. Interviewed by Fumiko Ito, at the 2006 Super Normal exhibition at Tokyo’s Axis Gallery, Morrison said, “the design world has drifted away from normality… and the basic notion that we designers are supposed to take care of the man-made environment and try to improve it.” Super Normal “bridges” this disparity, and while it offers no clear formula to follow, he said to Ito, “as designers, we can aim at achieving [it] by being less concerned with visual aspects of an object’s character, by attempting to anticipate the object’s likely impact on the

atmosphere and how it will be to live with.” For Morrison, design is all about atmosphere, the result of form, materials, finishes, character and expression. He readily experiments with new materials and industrial techniques, yet works off what he describes as a, “pretty basic palette of materials. And I enjoy thinking of ways of combining them which will bring something new to the product.” Morrison’s Basel chair for Vitra, for example, reworks an old European café chair comprising a wooden frame with a plywood seat and back. “In my reinterpretation I changed the plywood to plastic which gave the chair a much fresher look and also made sense in terms of manufacturing.”

“It’s exceptionally rare to have a chance to work with such a level of skill in manufacturing”

His expert eye for improving the manufacturability (and thus the affordability and usability) of objects has attracted many a major brand to Morrison’s doorstep. Consider his collaboration with Japanese furniture company Maruni, headed up by creative director and long-time friend, Naoto Fukasawa. Fukasawa invited Morrison to visit the Maruni factory in Hiroshima and see the facilities, which ultimately led to the reworking of a key Maruni piece, the Lightwood chair. “One of the problems of [producing furniture] in solid wood was the seat,” he recounts in a 2011 interview at the Milan Furniture Fair. “To make a solid wood seat is very expensive and heavy. The idea came to me to make a frame for the seat and use different materials for the mesh; this makes it very light and affordable,” he says. The relationship between Morrison and Maruni is an exploration of culture, craftsmanship and skilled manufacturing. “You just have to touch a Maruni chair to sense something special,” Morrison says. “It’s exceptionally rare to have a chance to work with such a level of skill in manufacturing.” Thoroughness underscores everything Morrison does. It comes down to, “being sure that a product is really better than what’s already out there,” he says. “It’s very dispiriting to launch a product which doesn’t perform well, so I take a lot of trouble to ensure we have thought of every possible problem in how our products will perform. “Seeing something you designed 20 years ago still performing well provides a lot of energy for what might otherwise seem a repetitive task,” he says. That energy and high standard of output also comes down to the sensory stimulation of travel between his studios in London and Paris, and regular trips to Japan. “Design is a visual reprocessing of what’s around us, and the more variation in our surroundings, the more material there is to work with,” he says. “I get a lot of inspiration from seeing and experiencing a broad spectrum of everyday life.” Text by Alice Blackwood

page | 43

profile | schiavello Clockwise from top left » Climate by Schiavello » Keti Malkoski

the modern workplace needs to address workforce and company culture, observes schiavello’s keti malkoski.

page | 48


he whole workplace fit-out, including its furniture, needs to be relevant to the workforce, Schiavello workplace research psychologist Keti Malkoski says. A qualified organisational psychologist, Malkoski assists clients and the broader A&D community to think about people dynamics in workplace development and how that can be the most successful. “Workplace development is not one-size-fits-all – every client is different and organisationally they’re different – made up of different teams and different individuals,” Malkoski says. “It’s about understanding the workforce so that we can create a workplace that matches – now, and what that will look like strategically in the future.” Embedding the changes of a new workplace within a client’s workforce and culture is another facet of Malkoski’s role. “Communication and training is critical when you’re moving individuals from an allocated seating position to a neighbourhood of people that they don’t know – from both a work perspective and a psychological and social perspective.” It’s here that dialogue about what employees are losing, relative to what they’re gaining, helps to ease fears. When “push back” is encountered in relation to the psychological implications of activity-based workplaces,

Malkoski contends, “While acknowledging the importance of personalisation and connectivity, we are developing workplaces to foster team personalisation and cohesiveness.” Working collaboratively to develop Schiavello’s Climate® workplace program (launched in August, 2010), Malkoski’s influence on product development takes a user-centred perspective. The Climate platform is the consummate example of a malleable system, and has a psychology-based philosophy that addresses the diverse needs of the individual and teams. The premise is that malleable product gives control back to the user, and people who feel empowered tend to be more motivated at work. Malkoski has observed a workplace evolution in which people and technology have become very malleable and mobile. In response to this, Schiavello products are becoming more team oriented, flexible and modular, offering elements that allow individuals or teams to form an instant connection with their workspace, whether that’s for a few hours, a week or beyond. Text by Marg Hearn

Schiavello twitter @Kmalkoski

personal preferences office furniture and accessories to suit the individual’s tastes



BRAND | Humanscale supplier | Schiavello 1300 130 980

BRAND | Profile Systems supplier | Profile Systems (61 2) 8090 7761

03 float

04 sayl in ritual fabric

BRAND | Sancal supplier | KE-ZU 1300 724 174

BRAND | Herman Miller; fabric from Woven Image supplier | Herman Miller (61 2) 8211 0480


06 Atelier

BRAND | HÅG supplier | DAL Seating 1300 559 985

BRAND | Team 7 supplier | Popcorn Interiors (61 3) 9421 1000

07 ope

08 induplo

BRAND | Miniforms supplier | Café Culture (61 2) 9699 8577

BRAND | Erik Jørgensen supplier | Corporate Culture (61 2) 9690 0077

CLIMATE CASE STUDY Is the sun bothering you? Prefer not to eyeball or hear a colleague on the telephone? Not only are users of Climate empowered literally to shift their desk a little, so too a raft of different accessories, all moveable, such as dual monitor slide, light slide, power slide, magazine holder, modesty blanket, acoustic soft boundaries and personal storage, can be chosen to support the resources an individual wants at their workpoint, and where they would like them. In workplaces where the user doesn’t occupy or own a particular physical position, Climate invites individuals and teams to express their personality and identity. A choice of modular markers (screens), for example, from the sculptural, more open Lava (designed by Chris Bosse), corporate veneer, or Japanese origamiinspired Akira Isogawa sleeve with built-in “extra real estate” for storage or display of bits and pieces, each considers an individual’s varied work and psychological requirements.

Schiavello’s undertaking of a pilot installation of Climate for a team at Deloitte reported that employees found the program to be more supportive of their diverse personal and work needs compared against a traditional fixed workplace. Team-member sentiment held that they could get more work done at their individual Climate workpoints, both private and collaborative, and shift more easily between the two modes. The notion of pulling up next to someone to work collaboratively as needed, and the ability to screen off a workpoint into a mini meeting area, lessened the need to use formal meeting rooms. Meetings were cited as being easier, more constructive and efficient, flowing naturally without time restrictions. “Overall feedback from employees was that they felt more valued, that they weren’t just a number, the workstation wasn’t just a cost and that someone had invested time into thinking about what they needed,” Malkoski says.

page | 49

FOLIO | HOSPITALITY Clockwise from top left » Claude’s, Photo: Caroline McCredie » Claude’s, detail, Photo: Caroline McCredie » Pascale GomesMcNabb

tight budgets require smart project planning. Pascale GomesMcNabb designs for diner experience. page | 58

You’ve designed many hospitality venues - including the famous Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co. in Melbourne. What do you see as being key to a successful fit-out? If you have been hired it is a lucky opportunity as the client obviously regards design highly and understands the benefit of it as a branding tool. Listen to your client, as they know their product, [but] challenge them occasionally. Use practical planning, create comfortable spaces and add relevant details. Provide a changed luminosity on arrival; an impact or sense of theatre, where, following initial greeting, ambience, service and offer are sustained. What’s the best way to tackle a low-budget brief? Dose the design with a bit of fun and whimsy using colour, lighting and materiality as an overlay to good planning. What makes Australian hospitality environments unique? As Australians we are able to use outside influences selectively as our sense of identity is strong but

still fairly pliable. Our product and offer is still affordable, of a good quality and unintimidating. Plus, we can do things on shoestring budgets by comparison. How do you tackle gaps in product and design supply and services in Australia? I tend to use what is at hand or get something made to fit a particular purpose... There are always [gaps]. Part of the design conundrum is making them bigger and then finding solutions. Tell us about your most recent project, Claude’s in Sydney? The client brief was to create two distinct dining places that visually portrayed the new dining experiences on offer. The new design incorporates a relaxed but edgy downstairs bar and bistro and an upper level dining room with a more traditional and luxe ambience. Without changing the integrity of the existing built context, the idea was to add elements to visually alter the overall perception. The key design elements are paint as a visual effect, well-orchestrated lighting

and simple joinery pieces in interesting materials and shapes. Tell us about the bespoke joinery elements at Claude’s? The bar has a black mild steel fascia which has been acid treated and a brass benchtop. The waiters’ station upstairs is clad in brass sheet and the screens are made from brass flat bars, brass tubing and thin timber posts. Interview by Elana Castle and Alice Blackwood Pascale Gomes-McNabb (61 3) 9326 5175

profile | designoffice

Clockwise from top left » My Catwalk fit-out » My Catwalk fit-out detail » Corporate Culture staircase Photos: Dianna Snape » From left, Damien Mulvihill & Mark Simpson



he establishment of DesignOffice signals the end of Universal Design Studio in Australia, and the dawn of a new cohort of companies that sit, as sisters, alongside one another. Integral to this are Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, founders of interior and architecture firm Universal Design Studio (UDS) and product design agency BarberOsgerby (BO). DesignOffice however, has a different set of founders – Mark Simpson and Damien Mulvihill, formerly directors of UDS in Australia. Launching UDS Down Under in 2008, Simpson and Mulvihill set out to widen the studio’s global reach, enabling them to drive Australian projects, while still tapping into their London-based workforce. This relationship worked both ways, and continued to function quite page | 64

seamlessly up until 2011, when it was unanimously decided that Simpson and Mulvihill should take ownership of the Australian arm. “It didn’t feel like the natural step to own Universal Design Studio Australia,” Simpson says, and so DesignOffice was born. “It was a very fluid shift,” he expands. “I was in London and we were talking about how well things were going here and in London.” UDS in London has grown exponentially, now with a team of 40 (compared to its original 10 – 15), while BO has really come into it own with regular assignments for Vitra and the recent London Olympic Torch commission. As for UDS in Australia: “we were operating as an Australian business, most of our clients were here, the work we were doing was local and we were working as a reasonably autonomous team.” The “shift” works well for Simpson and Mulvihill. Both like a hands-on approach to projects. “In a larger firm you tend to get away from that when you become a manager,” says Simpson. “We like our size, our team of 10 is quite good. We’re across all projects and really involved.” In terms of their project work, the studio has experienced hands-

down success with retail – Mud Australia and MyCatwalk feature among their more recent work. “But we also made a decision a year ago to do more hospitality work,” Simpson says. For the newly christened DesignOffice team, the one necessity for any project they take on is an interesting brief. “Corporate Culture is the best example – we were literally asked to design the staircase. The functional brief is about moving people through the space and connecting four floors of retail through an architectural device.” The team is also working with Molonglo Group in Canberra, rethinking (among other things) the function of the conference centre. And they’re aiming for more commissions in workplace design. At the very crux of it, says Mulvihill, is a desire to “do good work, enjoyably, with nice people, and successfully, for interesting clients.” Simpson agrees: “It’s quite simple really!” Text by Alice Blackwood DesignOffice (61 3) 9417 0001

event | saturday in design

australian suppliers AND specifiers join forces for SATURDAY IN DESIGN in melbourne 2012

» Jardan’s pop-up space in Fitzroy/Collingwood, Photo: John Doughty, Spy Photography


ost suppliers will attest to the fact that it’s hard to get architects, designers and specifiers out of the studio and into the showroom. In turn, designers on deadline find it equally challenging to visit and engage with supply and retail brands one-on-one, on a regular basis. Over the past 10 years it’s been the annual Saturday in Design (SiD) event which has provided that vital forum for suppliers and specifiers to vitally connect, and showcase their products and creative prowess as part of SiD’s festival of installations, launches, inshowroom brand experiences and networking evenings. In Melbourne this year, the event expanded to two days, running 17 – 18 August. Complementing the many installations, showroom and product launches, was the announcement of the inaugural Saturday in Design Awards, recognising on-day exhibitors for their creativity and commitment

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feature | embracing change

Embracing change Text by Marg Hearn


This page » Nic Moore

ith certain sectors of the Australian economy booming while others contract, the inevitability of persistent and increasingly rapid change is a condition to which all businesses must adapt. And while this poses challenges, remaining competitive can only stem from the ability to evolve and change. In an interview screened on ABC News 24’s One Plus One (6 July 2012), KPMG partner and demographer Bernard Salt said, “Constant change and upsetedness is the new normal.” In the face of such relentless upheaval, resilience and the ability to bounce back are now the future’s essential personal qualities, Salt said. For some, he said, the need to embrace change must come through re-skilling and searching for new opportunities. We present here four players from diverse sections of the A&D community – from architecture, Australian manufacturing, professional services and in-house public relations – who are positively embracing change. Each shares their unique approach to navigating a dynamic market in which making considered, informed decisions is key to staying relevant and abreast of change. page | 87

social media | saturday in design

THE SATURDAY social network





saturday in design




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01 Skye Healey Ward, Ulf Jarneving, Mark Andrews 02 Snapped on arrival 03 Kathleen Pomeroy with guest 04 Toasting with bubbles 05 Mandi Keighran, Trent Schatzmann, Tanya Hillman, John Bechini 06 James McWhinney, guests 07 Fleur Bouw, Wilhelmina McCarroll 08 Arriving in style



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09 Paul McGillick, James Calder, Joanna Szeszycka 10 Raising a toast 11 Susan Tait, Nikolai Kotlarczyk, Hannah Kurzke 12–14 The design community gathers 15 Jacqui Wagar, Aaron Zorzo 16 Flavio Bonomi, Kylie Turner 17 Snapped on arrival 18 Olivia Dick, David Granger, guest 19 Saturday in Design Awards trophies 20 Dana Ciaccia, Ross Didier 21 Kobi Trickett, Emily Chuon, Michael Trudgeon, Gabrielle Chamberlain 22 Kirsten Brown, Stevie Mills 23 Pascale GomesMcNabb, Daniel Valewink, Photos: John Doughty, Spy Photography

What VIP networking evening Where TwoTonMax, North Melbourne When August 2012 Guests International guests and VIP members of the architecture and design community Âť (61 2) 9368 0150



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12 Special thanks go to – venue partner TwoTonMax; styling by 360Style; Missoni ‘pink’ entrance flooring provided by BOLON; feature lighting by Christopher Boots; florals from Wunderplant; food by Ed Dixon Food Design; refreshments courtesy of San Miguel and

14 Prominence Wines; gin and tonics mixed by Westwinds Gin; sparkling chilled filtered water courtesy of Zip; FAB fridge courtesy of Smeg; door prizes from Aesop and Kikki K, and artworks by Geoffrey Carran and Rowena Martinich.









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