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Issue #76 / Australia $16.50 / New Zealand $17.50 / Singapore $12.95 / U.S. $21.99

A professional resource for the design curious.

Time To Shine, INDE.Awards Innovation Precinct, Warren and Mahoney Melinda Huuk, The Studio* Collaborative INDESIGN Luminary Jon Goulder The Imprint, MVRDV The ‘Workplace Evolution’ Issue.

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IN SHORT

Retro Tropicalismo

There’s nothing more engaging than a hospitality interior with a clear design narrative, especially one that manages to make you smile. Often times these fit-outs have a strong colour scheme, use a select suite of decorative motifs and incorporate a well-considered materiality, all of which results in an immersive environment that transports the customer to another world. It makes for a memorable experience and that’s why they keep coming back. Personifying an interior with the character of a well-known individual has been a popular narrative of late. We’ve seen it with the renovation of Kingsleys in Sydney by Richards Stanisich (re-visit Indesign #74 to see which Hollywood leading man was the inspiration behind this fit-out), and most recently with a newly opened sushi restaurant in Valencia. Kaikaya’s interior design is the work of Spanish creative consultancy Masquespacio, established by Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse in 2010, and it perfectly exemplifies their contagiously bright and energetic signature aesthetic. The restaurant’s fit-out embodies all the spirit of Carmen Miranda and in truth, the designers were inspired by the Brazilian artistic movement of Tropicalismo, a nod to the client’s own Brazilian heritage. A 1970s-flavoured colour palette of green, burgundy, pink and black provides the backdrop for tropical foliage and custom parrot lamps. The use of timber and raffia elements borrows from traditional Japanese interiors to not only temper the scheme’s exuberance, but also to respectfully represent the fusion of two distinct cultures. It’s a playful outcome guaranteed to ensure a fun night will be had by all.

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Branching Out Jon Goulder recently pulled up roots at the Jam Factory and moved office to a share-space with international architectural practice, Snøhetta. Two to three days of every week he works as Snøhetta’s senior designer and maker, the rest he devotes to his own studio, located in the same building.

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“Fiona Lyda and I found that we really enjoyed one another’s company. When I come to Sydney I like to go straight to the Spence & Lyda showroom, home base, have a coffee and enjoy that relationship.”

During Goulder’s four years at the Jam Factory the landscape changed as local designer–makers began to access hi-tech woodworking technology. It enabled them to produce affordable, highly crafted products. This Goulder saw as a major threat because it took away “the niche that I’d held for so long – woodworking – designing objects from wood that others could not produce here in Australia. “That was the driver,” he explains, “to look at other materials and how I could evolve as a craft practitioner. Forming leather – and the integration of that into my practice and into quite large-scale forms – was the answer. It started out as Maggie’s Basket [for food writer, Maggie Beer] and then it went to the Settlers Chair and now it’s the Innate Chair.” The Innate Chair is part of Goulder’s Innate Collection for Spence & Lyda. It is already into its second iteration and is the result of a hugely satisfying collaboration with Fiona Lyda. Using all-Australian materials (Tasmanian oak and blackwood ), it is a uniquely Australian product which also proved to be a big hit in Milan in 2018. “When I look around at the [design retailer] landscape I have had opportunities to get involved with many of them, but I don’t think many of them suit my practice. I always cherished my relationship with Uta Rose at Anibou and I was looking for a similar kind of [partnership]. It is more on a personal level, more of a human collaboration,” he says. “Fiona Lyda and I found that we really enjoyed one another’s company. When I come to Sydney I like to go straight to the Spence & Lyda showroom, home base, have a coffee and enjoy that relationship.” But that is now just one half of what must surely be a perfectly balanced professional life because friend, Kaare Krokene, from the

trail-blazing integrated Norwegian and international architectural practice, Snøhetta, recently invited Goulder to join the practice in its Adelaide-based Australasian arm. They are “cohabiting” in the city where Goulder has an office in Snøhetta, but also his own studio in the same building. He is senior designer and maker with Snøhetta, integrating product design into projects and bringing “a crossdisciplinary skill set in-house”. He divides his week to work two or three days at Snøhetta and runs his own practice the rest of the time. With Snøhetta being an international firm, Goulder sees the potential to look at cross collaborations through its offices all around the world. And he also sees his collaboration with Snøhetta as the beginning of a deeper understanding of his chosen vocation. “After sitting in their office you start to realise just how self-indulgent we craftspeople and product designers can be. And I’m definitely one of them. Working in an architecture firm such as Snøhetta and seeing the turn-over and time frame [on the projects that they are doing], and the community and collaboration within that design studio... it’s quite amazing and humbling for me to be part of it.” Within the growing diversity of his design practice, Goulder gives the impression of being quietly but confidently relaxed having developed what he calls “an inherent design language”. “I think it takes 20 years to really get a language, a vocabulary and a history. And from that you can draw and design original work. I think it’s about maturity.” jongoulder.com

Page 64: Innate Coffee Table Night (foreground) and Side Table Night (background) for Spence & Lyda, photo: Felix Forest. Page 66-67: Jon Goulder in his Adelaide workshop, photo: Ryan Cantwell. Opposite: Innate Chair for Spence & Lyda, photo: Felix Forest. Page 70: The Settlers Chair in detail, represented a new direction for Goulder’s practice, photo: courtesy of Jon Goulder.

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Celebrating Relationships Dispersed throughout the Westpac spaces are stories from past and present. “This is a company that is proud of its past yet very future-focused,” says The Studio* Collaborative’s Melinda Huuk. Ante spaces, like the Executive Zone Concierge, showcase Westpac’s relationship with the Indigenous community, with custom rugs designed in collaboration with the National Aboriginal Design Agency and Westpac, taking the designs developed by Indigenous artist Suzie Evan.

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Designed to super-charge co-working and collaboration, Auckland’s Innovation Precinct is the new mecca for freelancers, start-ups, small businesses and corporate teams. Could this be ‘the’ case model for hybrid working?

Break The Model Innovation Precinct, Auckland by Warren & Mahoney & GridAKL tenancy by Jasmax Words Andrea Stevens Photography Various

Opposite: The third building in the Innovation Precinct is a six-storey commercial building, photo: Simon Devitt. Page 93-94: This is situated across the laneway from the heritage Mason Bros building, opened in 2016, photo: Simon Devitt. Page 96 and 98: The GridAKL tenancy by Jasmax defines a strong culture within the Precinct, photo: Jason Mann.

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Urban Oasis The base building’s hard edges are softened by mesh curtains that vary in weight and texture depending on their location across the hotel’s many spaces. The curtains create playful shadows across the rich timber floors, and contrast beautifully against the rigid structure of the concrete envelope.

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Velvet Underground Formerly the building’s garbage disposal room, The Stella Collective has transformed this zone into a plushend of trip facility, known as ‘Zephyr’. Combining sumptuous textiles with a rich, dark palette and gold accents, it blends the best elements of commercial and corporate design.

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Taking cues from Bistro Guillaume, the iconic French restaurant and patisserie that moved into the space in 2016, the grand lobby is a mille-feuille of layered details translated from the visual vocabulary of hospitality design. Gone are the hard lines, monochrome palette, and harsh fluorescent lighting often associated with contemporary corporate spaces. In their place is a picture of contemporary luxury that combines striking pieces – a brass bench, a smoke glass-topped coffee table – with comfortable furniture, atmospheric lighting, and a granular focus on detail. Oxblood accents add a further touch of sophistication, as does a dense, high-piled carpet in cool grey veined with pearlescent pink. In Hakim’s own words, the space is a “desert-at-dusk landscape” whose sensitive, understated approach belies its nature as a bold, radical breaking of the corporate mould.

Still, she speaks modestly – if enthusiastically – about the project, explaining that for The Stella Collective, the goal was not subversion so much as finding the best way to address the client brief in a fresh and functional way. “Our goal was just to make people feel amazing in the workplace and set the tone for creativity,” she says, acknowledging that Memocorp represents a new breed of client whose embrace of the power of design enables a flexible approach. As Hakim puts it: “I have definitely seen a leap of faith in terms of clients now believing what design can do for people. They’re now a lot more trusting.” With good reason. If the grand lobby of 259 George Street is anything to go by, the menu for corporate design is changing fast – and we can’t wait to see tomorrow’s specials. thestellacollective.co

Page 108-111: ‘Zephyr’ brings underground cool to end of trip facilities. Opposite: Furniture and accessories were meticulously curated to craft a welcoming space. Above: Gold-tinged furniture and classic design lines echo the nearby Bistro Guillaume. Page 114: Comfortable armchairs invite people to linger in the lobby and savour the space.

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Cremorne on Melbourne’s inner-urban fringe is known for its authentic industrial edge, the gritty backdrop to a fleet of trendierthan-thou cafés and meticulously curated furniture showrooms. With old private allotments butted up against vast heritage warehouses, it is a precinct of predetermined spatial oddities. After completing the architectural design of K&K Industries’ office building, the ArchitectsEAT team was engaged to create a bespoke workplace for K&K within a 300-square-metre top floor tenancy. Having collaborated with K&K before, the existing relationship between ArchitectsEAT and its builder client enabled a kind of creative professional shorthand. “There was a common understanding of how the design should sit and what it should do,” says Eid Goh, director at ArchitectsEAT. “And the fact that the client was also their own client was beneficial, because decisions could be made with a level of agility.” Being a long, narrow property, not unlike a Victorian Terrace home, the office was starved of natural light in some areas. ArchitectsEAT addressed this by making full use of passive solar exposure, using a boundary courtyard to introduce daylight into glazed meeting rooms. “We aimed to create an environment that is quite uplifting and open. Of course it had to be aesthetically pleasing, but the design should appear timeless. Not like a trend that might come and go,” says Goh. “We controlled the palette quite firmly for that reason.” Embracing its concrete interior shell, a paired-back scheme of render, grey trim, neutral timber tones and black steel, the only colour within the scheme is a bold blue representing K&K’s corporate branding. “The design took on board their company presence, but we didn’t want to just splash a bucket of paint on the wall – it’s more of a subdued presence in the office space,” says Goh.

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The largely utilitarian material palette is punctuated with precious metal accents, turned up to luxe levels in the director’s lounge. Facing the MCG cricket ground, the executive suite includes a boardroom and meeting room and a low lounge with tan leather seats, finished with a plush red carpet and brass trimmings. The director’s quarters also houses a hidden bathroom ensuite, concealed behind a black steel bookcase. “You push on an element which pivots and rotates, taking you into his personal bathroom,” says Goh. “That was one feature we designed in so that the space could become a home away from home.” Outside this Get Smart-style room, the staff work area can also be considered a spatial sleight of hand. “It was all about controlling what you see and what you don’t see, while ensuring the functionality is not compromised,” Goh says. Electrical services are integrated seamlessly, with lighting placed within black channels in the ceiling. Desks appear to float, with columns rather than legs supporting their weight. Since some workstations would be shared by pairs of K&K’s mobile staff, ArchitectsEAT created discreet storage pockets enabling each person to stow their own documents in hidden compartments, giving their teammates a clean slate to return to. “The nature of the business is that people come and go, and you will probably not get everyone in there at the one time – apart from Friday drinks,” explains Goh. “There’s been very good feedback from the client in terms of the usability of the office, for the nature of their business. It was their own building and space, and it was done with a lot of care.” eatas.com.au

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“The ability to source and manage the right AI tools will be a sought-after quality, and each of us will need to cultivate many of the same skills that characterise successful entrepreneurs today.”

Day-to-day, our decision-making as workplace designers is generally based on qualitative data and “what we think is happening”, says Jerad Tinnin, workplace interior design leader, Woods Bagot. But with the dawn of apps like Strava – which enables amateur athletes to collect, analyse and share their personal activity stats – we’re seeing an appetite for tracking our “quantitative self”, he asserts. “For the first time, we’re starting to get a real picture inside our brains and our bodies – giving us insights to make decisions that are right for us.” In the workplace, it’s the current “fixation on the routine activities – at the computer pumping out stuff, how many widgets we make per hour”, that are now most prone (in professional roles) to being succeeded by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, Tinnin says. Disruption of the legal fraternity by ROSS Intelligence (built on IBM Watson’s cognitive computing platform) is one example of a routine research task and service offer, upended by AI. And within the next five years, Dennis R. Mortensen, CEO and founder of x.ai scheduling software, predicts thousands of single purpose AI software solutions will hit the market. He believes that, “businesses in different industries and most likely down to individual job functions and actually specific processes within them, will be affected – from no effect to being fully replaced by AI.” Many of the tasks being replaced are not core to our jobs and distract us from our real work, instead “the software will augment our own intelligence and make us even more capable of doing the job we were hired to do”. Tinnin envisages roles that explore the idea of “what makes us human” will be less affected. This new frontier* will see a “shift towards the more strategic work that’s about engagement with people, building connections, helping people solve their problems and centred around emotion, empathy, consultation and creativity,” he says. “We will need to rethink what work is and how we measure what we’re doing. “With the rise of AI and automation, we will need to be more strategic, to design environments where people feel inspired to be creative. Only through understanding what the future tasks will be can we start to develop the work settings that support it.” Already there have been changes to workplaces with more breakout and collaborative spaces, but we don’t know that they will serve the future skills required, contemplates Tinnin. There’s limited evidence to “validate” a particular environment as being a ‘creative’

one, he says. However with apps measuring workplace comfort and engagement beginning to enter the market: “Capturing and understanding feedback of one’s own physiological and psychological responses to an environment will enable us all to choose environments conducive to our future work,” he says. Work effectiveness is currently tied to the notion of routine tasks, traditionally performed at workstations and measured as productivity. If those routine tasks are overtaken by AI, Tinnin says, “productivity is no longer a relative measure of effectiveness. Could this spell the death of the desk? “Measuring productivity can be like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. People are moving, there’s a blur of activity, but is it meaningful? Is it going in the desired direction?” In the future, he says, work effectiveness will be measured through an individual’s emotional connection with their work. An “overwhelming” amount of data will be generated by Industry 4.0. “While it carries the risk of being used to manipulate people, designers will embrace it for creating better experiences,” Tinnin forecasts. This use should always return a benefit to people, he cautions. “As designers we therefore have a real responsibility to help figure out what to do with the data – to make the right decisions and be a part of the evolution of these systems.” To allay concerns around data use, he says one scenario could give individual workers the option of maintaining their data, and choosing what (if any) they wish to share. That may involve indicating where in their workplace they feel really engaged, stimulated, happy, creative or downright depressed. “We can then start to build a quantitative dataset that tells us what type of environment is needed,” he says. For those designing workplaces, as routine work becomes more automated, Mortensen believes “the ability to source and manage the right AI tools will be a sought-after quality, and each of us will need to cultivate many of the same skills that characterise successful entrepreneurs today.” Likewise, Tinnin says the role of the designer will also need to evolve “to help clients to understand their new premium”. * McKinsey Global Institute, Jobs lost, jobs gained: workforce transitions in a time of automation, December 2017. woodsbagot.com, x.ai

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“We wanted to create a space... where conversation is the main activity and everybody feels welcome.” Mia Feasey

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Collection indesignlive.com/collection

Powering projects with the best design products. The IndesignLive Collection is your gateway to the best design products in the world. We put the simplicity back into commercial specification by cutting through the clutter and prequalify the best performing design products available, offering you a smarter way to specify.

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Co-working seems to be the golden arrow for enterprises looking to improve productivity and collaboration. What makes it an effective and successful working model? Words Paul McGillick Photography Various

learning to share

The Australian workplace is forever buzzing with new catchwords to label the latest shifts in workplace design. True, Australia is widely regarded as among the most innovative countries in the world when it comes to workplace design. But this disguises the fact that it often entails little more than a fresh set of fittings, furnishings and finishes, turning the office into a kind of business class airport lounge. This is not sleight of hand on the part of designers, but a failure to own the problem – namely, to understand the business in question, its culture and aspirations and only then to devise an appropriate physical environment. It is, says Gijs Nooteboom from Veldhoen + Company, a failure to discern the difference between a workplace strategy and a project methodology. Veldhoen are workplace strategists, not designers, and insist on putting the horse firmly in front of the cart. In other words, get the workplace culture right before you install the furniture. While they introduced activity-based working (ABW) back in the 1990s, their Australasian operation does not even work from an ABW dedicated office, but from Spaces, an inner Sydney co-working facility – surely sending a signal about where they think the workplace is heading. So, what is co-working, what are its benefits and are there any potential pitfalls?

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The Veldhoen base in the Netherlands was the first “office without desks” which, says Nooteboom, had to accommodate their three dynamics of socialising, knowledge-sharing and project management. But, he points out that they had to apply change management to themselves if they were to advise clients. “We felt we needed to change, to re-discover our own ways of working,” he says. “We thought that if there was one co-work location we should test it was Spaces. We can bump into like-minded people believing, as we do, that sharing is the new norm. We are an ‘outgoing’ company because most of the day we are with clients, but we need a place where we can work in a very focused way, but also work in a very collaborative way. We are also too small – just 10 people – to have our own space in an economical way, as are many companies. So, why not share the costs of a bigger space with the right facilities?” So, there it is in a nutshell. But co-working is really part of a bigger picture because, on the supply side, developers are now starting to respond to a changing marketplace. As specialist workplace consultant James Calder points out, “There is a whole range of new shared services that are starting to emerge… it is not exactly revolutionary, but I think it could be quite powerful in the market and in how people use space.”

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Profile for Indesign Media Asia Pacific

Indesign - Issue 76 Preview  

Indesign - Issue 76 Preview