Grace Park project by iredale pedersen hook in collaboration with Beatrix Rowe.
Over the past 10 years, Beatrix Rowe has established an exemplary, and quite discreet, reputation for her striking work as an interior designer. In firmly facing the stark truth of what can often be an emotionally cold space, she has developed a style that is imbued with charm and personality. Working closely with architects and clients from the commencement of each project, Rowe’s expertise is a key part of the big picture. Serving herclients well with the beauty of design’s minutia. — interview Gillian Serisier photography Peter Bennetts
GS Unlike most interior designers you have been working in close collaboration with architects from the beginning of projects, for example, with David Neil Architects for Monomeath and Wood Marsh for Flinders. How has this shift from a secondary aesthetic to a primary aesthetic worked in your practice? BR I think first and foremost we endeavour to make the architecture flow through to the interior so it is not a jarring transition. We find out from the architect what their intention is and work that through to the interior. Next is the client, and we deal with all the pragmatic stuff – find out who you are designing for, a family, a couple or single person for example. It is imperative that we find out about our client and how they live so that we are creating that emotional content, as well the architectural and interior design. I enjoy the process of working with an architect and think the result is very strong because of it. We approach it in a different way. GS It seems a very positive process. BR It is, I think it is a bit of a blurred line between where they stop and we begin so it’s quite a fluid and interactive process. It’s not straightforward and many times our role is not easily defined. We like it to be a close collaboration between the architect and us and the client, where we bounce everything off each other and everything is blurred. GS And what have been the negatives of such close collaboration? BR There’s not much that is negative. The only thing I have come up against is some architects want full authorship and ownership over a project and it’s sometimes hard for them to give that up. To be honest though, we haven’t come up against that much. We are fairly flexible and work in a contemporary architectural dialogue, which suits most architects and we’re not so inflexible that we can’t work with people. If an architect has a very strong idea we are happy to work within that framework. GS Was ‘Grace Park’ also a collaborative project? The wooden ceiling would suggest so. BR It was. iredale pedersen hook were the architects on that project and we worked closely with them – it was fantastic – a very successful collaboration. GS How does a collaboration come about? BR Generally, we are invited into the project by the client, so it comes about because of that awareness from the client about valuing the role and input of an interior designer. Since I have been working that has increased, that collaboration and exchange. It used to be the client and architect, with the interior design coming in later, and we have filled that middle void. I think they understand the benefit of having an interior designer; we look into the minutia where others wouldn’t – it works very well.
GS How do you approach your client relationship with a new brief in collaboration, is your relationship with the client separate… more intimate? BR Just by the nature of the time spent together, the relationship with the client becomes the stronger of the relationships as the project progresses. In essence we spend more time directly with our client so it becomes the stronger of the two, while keeping the architect closely in the loop. We take a detailed brief on how our clients like to live and how they use the spaces – such as where a family might want to come together to share activities and where they want to be apart and what each space requires for that activity – and then we look at how they want to feel in each space – that is our main focus. We have a very close initial relationship with the architect and a satellite relationship with the client. As the project develops the balance shifts and it’s almost like we present our ideas to the architect, but the relationship with the client grows continuously and becomes the main one. GS Tell me a bit about assessing your client’s taste in terms of fulfilling their needs? BR I think generally they come to me because they know what I do. We work in a contemporary framework, but very collaboratively with the client and what they already own. We value what they already own and are emotionally attached to, like furniture or art, and try to incorporate it into our design. We interpret the client’s taste while still making it relevant to the architecture and the overall design intention. A client might be driven by the environment, so you help them make choices based on that, or they might be very creative. Kinkora Road [Kinky House] is owned by a very creative family, so we wanted to incorporate music and art into the house, where there are ‘performance’ areas throughout their home. The client’s personality drives that a lot. You just probe into the client really – nothing is private with us!
and reinterprets it in a modern way. It might be quite a high-tech manufacturing process but it looks like it is made by hand. I like the way she translates things into a new way of thinking. The Bouroullec brothers [Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec Design] always come up with those ideas where you wish you had come up with it. They shift your way of thinking of design so it’s not a re-interpretation of an old idea, it becomes a new and original idea. But mostly I love Patricia Urquiola and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for the simple reason they design beautiful things! GS What is your scouting process beyond the usual channels? BR The world is so small now; a lot of it is searching the internet. We contact Italy directly for example about things that are not available here. Anything is possible. We can contact them and overnight they will let us know how to import it or where we can source it in Australia, it’s great. We also love to design furniture ourselves, it is an extension of the cabinetry we do, we have done chairs and sofas and sideboards, it is a big part of what we love to do. GS What materials or new technology inspires you at the moment? BR That’s an interesting question because you would think the new things would be the hightech materials, but it is the old materials that we love the most and using in a contemporary way – timber and stone – the raw materials. GS You have mentioned that art plays a big part in your client’s lives, how does it fit with your interiors? Are you working with existing collections or fostering new ones? BR It’s a bit of both. A lot of them are art savvy anyway and have a strong idea of what they like, others we point in the right direction and curate a bit of a collection for them. Thinking about it,
GS The furniture you choose is quite specific but not predictable, what are your drivers here? BR We have a lot of classic pieces, but also that left-of-centre quirkiness. Our clients tend to have a lot of art and like things to be unpredictable. We use a neutral palette with punchy colour that might come through a piece of art or a sideboard, and that jolts you out of the mundane. So we are straddling what is classic, with what speaks about the owners of the home. GS Who inspires you in contemporary furniture design? BR Patricia Urquiola – every time I fall in love with something I check the name of the designer and it is her work, she is just amazing. I love the process she goes through, where she is inspired by an object around her and translates it into a piece of furniture or adopts an old process
Beatrix Rowe by Shannon McGrath.
r e c r e at i o n in 
Over the years (inside) has worked with some amazing architectural photographers, and almost all of them are based in Australia. We admire what these people do, and what they bring to our collective effort in creating each issue. There’s just one thing that can get to us sometimes: the reality that much of architectural photography can look the same at times. In our case – and even more so in that of the architects’ – this sort of work serves a very specific and clear purpose to highlight a given design project. They certainly help bring out the unique qualities that might exist, but indeed, architectural work
Recreation in Scope
does tend to look the same. There is little denying that. The irony, of course, is that these photographers capture so much more in the span of their creative careers than we can ever show. Given the freedom to roam and capture at will, the resulting imagery, albeit for their own unique perspectives, can be very, very different. With this in mind, we decided to look into their more personal work, searching for what other things these 16 photographers are naturally compelled to document by creative impulse. What we came up with is a remarkable range of contemporary photography.
Venice Beac h series
t ob Y di xo n° Sydney-based photographer. He began taking photos as a way of documenting his nomadic upbringing. His images have also appeared numerous times in (inside), Artichoke, Indesign, Archive, Capture, Australian Creative and Venue. Wherever Toby’s work appears, it is driven by a desire to capture warmth hidden beneath a rough exterior.
Recreation in Scope
tokyo , 2008
B r e t t G o l dsmith ° Melbourne-based photographer. “For me this photograph has a great balance of lines, colour, subject & the Japanese ethos of duty to one’s job. I observed the parking attendant deep in thought, sitting in the same position without the slightest movement for 20 minutes. Cars came and went and he did not flinch a muscle.”
d e t a i ls
Proving simple design and clean execution go a long way, March Studio has delivered an appealing fitout for artisan baker D. Chiricoâ€˜s new retailing nook in the heart of Melbourneâ€™s Carlton. d e s i g n M arch St udio p h o t o g r a p h y Pet er B en n et t s t e x t Leann e Amodeo
photo by Liz McLeish
M A R K E T L A NE marke tlane .com.au In their second Market Lane venture, this time bordering Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, Fleur Studd and roaster Jason Scheltus bring great coffee to the discerning market shoppers in need of a jolt. The small, bright, double-fronted café can be identified by its distinct window signage. “We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it.” These guys are onto a good thing, and we can see that in the design qualities reiterated from the original in Prahran. Similarly, the space is light, open and clean. With a white painted brick interior, banquette seating against the walls and front window, a T-shaped coffee station stands as the centrepiece of the room. There are no tables here, but you don’t really need them. After all, you’re only here for coffee, and more importantly, the market. Studd and Scheltus worked on the design and layout with some help from their friends in the US, Jenni Bryant and Ben Kaminsky. Designers Swearwords did the branding and Claire Larrit Evens worked on the styling of the space and selection of the materials. The focus here is on the retail aspect of selling beans and, as in the flagship Prahran venue, the team is dedicated to teaching their customers about coffee and how to properly brew it at home.
photo by Murray Fredericks
M S. G'S ms-gs.com The food is what ultimately made Ms. G’s famous, with chefs Dan Hong and Jowett Yu in the kitchen, who become known for turning out a sort of New York spin on Chinese/Korean street food. The aesthetic impression, created by Akin design, is nevertheless unmistakable, if slightly jumbled with the same kind of excitement. Naked light bulbs hang overhead, while graffiti on the wall somehow complements the chilli sauce bottle on your table. The overall vibe is a bit bottom-up in feel, with the bar and the kitchen in the basement and four open levels all looking over each other as you move up the loft. Each level is a little different aesthetically, but again, that’s part of the whole idea here. We always enjoy this place when we’re in Sydney. It’s an eclectic mix of style that characterises the food, and in this case, well reflected with Kelvin Ho’s playful approach to the environment created. The soundtrack to it all is a steady stream of 90s hip-hop and rap. Consider yourself warned.
Broached Commissions t e x t G IL L IA N S ER IS IER
Founded by Lou Weis, Vincent Aiello and some of the best designers in Australia (Charles Wilson, Adam Goodrum and Trent Jansen), Broached Commissions is effectively a core group of designers working within themes from Australia’s heritage under the direction of Weis. The process, however, is not limited to the three key designers. Rather, it is devised to include different Australian and international designers, plus a curator for each project. And while Weis is the director, he is not alone; the very specific talents of Vincent Aiello of Euroluce have been added to the mix, that is, the golden advice most can only dream of: the practical nuts and bolts of manufacture and strategy. The approach Weis takes is highly structured, with himself as director, advised by Aiello. Subject and curator are predetermined by Weis before the group invites three external designers to join the project – only then does the briefing and curation seriously begin. With a 12-year history of creating conceptual briefs for designers, Weis feels his approach, which has roots in filmmaking, lends itself to the visual dynamic of design. “They are almost like scripts, screenplays, the stories that form can be developed from,” he says. This particular talent led him to understand this model as a means for instigating the creation of ideas in a fluid and responsive manner. “I saw it as a way of translating what is a very cumbersome and slow process of creating large architectural scaled things to creating small products to sell that were no less conceptually driven, no less about a relationship to design,” says Weis. Broached evolved organically from a single idea of using heritage timber from the Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens within a high design application of limited edition, referencing its colonial heritage. Despite this idea being rejected by those with permission to use this timber, it remained sound. Opportunely, while the idea was still fresh, Goodrum and Jansen approached Weis for assistance with an exhibition. This was something Weis considered without much enthusiasm, until the two ideas merged and became the impetus for shifting to a whole new brand. Aiello was the next to join and, at his suggestion, Wilson, for whom Weis already had a very high regard. In short, this is a very tight group with a very specific set of skills.
A new high-end, limited edition design brand is employing a novel collaborative method to turn the insular world of Australian product design on its head.
Under John McPhee’s curatorial direction, Broached Commissions’ inaugural exhibition, Broached Colonial, explores the highly active design period from 1788 to 1840, when the Industrial Revolution made itself known in Australia. As Weis explains, while he alone selected McPhee for the task, it was as a guide befitting key objectives rather than dictatorial. “It was important to everyone that we looked outside the existing cliques of the product design world in Australia, which is very small, very insular. [We needed] someone with a really deep knowledge, not just of product design, but of Australian history and applied arts,” says Weis. “John was just unbelievable to work with. I mean, there was not a single idea that any of the six designers came up with that he wasn’t able to respond to with a book, a reference or an entire lineage of practice. And they were all startled by that.” McPhee apparently astounded them all by commencing with an exhaustive lecture on the subject. “All the guys at that point were just engrossed,” he says. “That was it. They were hooked.” The invited designers (in this case Max Lamb, Lucy McRae and Chen Lu) are holistically selected, based on the specifics of the project, rather than saleability or kudos. “Max Lamb is perfect because he uses such simple mechanisms to create his work, which is all the colonials had at their disposal when they first arrived here. He turned out to be an awesome collaborator: a mixture of fastidious, optimistic and curious. It was a killer combination.” One of the signifying differences between the Broached design team and others is the strict adherence to their own vision, whereby each designer has stayed within their own milieu.
In effect, the work is guided collaboratively through ideas and response, but from there each designer has pursued their own path. And rightly so, says Weis. “Adam, Charles and Lucy are intuitive designers, and Chen, Max and Trent are researchers – more conceptually led designers – but even within that they have very different emotional and professional mechanisms that enable them to arrive at their design outcomes.” Within the overriding concept of colonialism, the delicate cabinetry of Wilson’s precariously angled Tall Boy is very much in keeping with his aesthetic, while the introduction of colour to Goodrum’s Birdsmouth Mast Table is similarly consistent with his oeuvre, as is the quirky take that Jansen brings to his Brigg’s Family Tea Service. The invited designers, Lamb, McRae and Lu have also embraced this direction with wholly unique solutions specific to their style. McRae’s Prickly Lamp is a particularly pleasing response and an entirely desirable object. In another rather interesting move away from traditional structures, each of the guests is invited as a shareholder. This initiative, instigated by Aiello, shares not only the fiscal rewards of the group, but also the responsibility and motivation for its success. The immediate application for this project is as an exhibition with works for sale and generating future commissions. Moreover, commissions can take myriad forms, from installations suitable for architectural scapes, to bespoke curatorial explorations and private commissions. Regarding the work itself, while it may be responding to a concern, it is imperative to understand its stand-alone position as design. As the only high-end, limited-edition design brand in Australia, it was important – and the outcome of much debate – that the group structure comprise designers, rather than a core of designers with the occasional artist. In so doing, the group’s strength is undiluted and maintains the niche depth that is central to the particularities of its talents. This, in unison with Weis and Aiello’s business acumen, positions Broached Commissions as an exceptional and interesting model. However, the proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating, and what becomes apparent at a glance is the absolute success of the designs, which are engaging, desirable and innately Australian. (inside) www.australiandesignreview.com
TALL BOY by CHARLES WILSON Lou Weis: Although an enthusiastic participant from the start, Wilson was probably the most uncertain as to whether his investigation of the historical premise would result in a design outcome. Generally, Wilsons work follows an efficiency rationale as to how a product could be improved. In this instance, the tall boy typology was chosen because it provided the opportunity to have a special place for storage of small pieces (clothes, jewellery or documents) that broke down the ubiquity of modern wardrobes and cupboards. Once Wilson had a typology that was relevant to the Australian colonial period, he then set about accumulating local and international references that could be seamlessly synthesised. He prefers formal consistency, and that is why we wanted him as part of the team. After a few afternoons with John McPhee, the Tall Boy had one key influence confirmed: the makeshift craft traditions of bush furniture and agricultural structures, such as 19th century water tanks. Wilson then looked for a way of refining the seemingly random use of timber, and decided to use the gentle tapering lines of Biedermeier furniture. To bring harmony between the fine legs and bulk of the seven drawers, Wilson used Macquarieâ€™s Obelisk as the main reference. With this, the overall harmony of the piece was confirmed. charleswilsondesign.com
PRICKLY L AMP by LUCY MCRAE
GROWING A NEW SKIN FOR AN OLD BODY, A D A P T I N G T O A N E W E N V I R O N M E N T, IS A PROCESS THAT REQUIRES GREAT CARE AND ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS OF YOUR SURROUNDS.
Lou Weis: Lucy and I met through a family friend of mine, who was not entirely sure what either of us did, but knew it was tangentially related. We immediately clicked and have been in a collaborative dialogue ever since. Although I have secured a few clients for Lucy, Broached Commissions is the first project we have collaborated on directly. The Prickly Lamp is the first permanent object Lucy has created â€“ all previous work being made for presentation in photography or film. Our dialogue for this commission started with an investigation of living conditions for women in the first decades of settlement. John McPhee provided some early examples of convict handicrafts and we also sent over excerpts from books that detailed the intense exploitation of women that occurred basically from the moment they stepped ashore in Australia. We initially looked at objects from the period, such as rotoscopes, that provided Lucy with the opportunity to still work with images and not make the sudden leap to objects. Some months passed and then Lucy took a few days of testing â€“ where she chose objects that could adjust in size and had joints that moved in a humanoid fashion. This enabled her to apply a skin to an industrial object to make it appear polymorphous. The slow and intimate process of dying and applying the small pieces of wood to the found objects illuminated the simple point of the piece: growing a new skin for an old body, adapting to a new environment, is a process that requires great care and attention to the details of your surrounds. lucymcrae.net
space perform to
TAKING STYLISTIC CUES FROM THE GLAMOUR AND DECADENCE OF A BYGONE ERA, UPSTAIRS BERESFORD IS BRINGING THE SHOWMANSHIP BACK TO SYDNEY’S NIGHTLIFE CULTURE. d e s i g n Kerry Phelan D esign Office (K.P.D .O.) p h o t o g r a p h y Sh ary n Cairn s t e x t D an a Tomic Hughes
A NEW BAR IN ONE OF MEXICO’S OLDEST NEIGHBOURHOODS MINES THE RICH CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE OF ITS SURROUNDINGS FOR INSPIRATION – YIELDING A SPACE THAT IS AS LOADED WITH COMPLEXITY AND CONTRADICTION AS THE CITY ITSELF. d e s i g n Emmanuel Picault + Ludwig Godefroy p h o t o g r a p h y R amiro Chaves t e x t M arco Sepulveda
 Original volcanic-stone panelling, installed and handmade by Picault's 'army of craftsmen'.
 The LED recessedlighting system scales upwards along a tapered ceiling, arriving at an end point of copper tone panelling.
 The copper panelling continues throughout the private quarters, where the recessed lighting effect becomes all the more striking.
 Bold tables are complemented with even bolder throne-like chairs, finished with rustic leather nailed to the mahogany frames.
“ T HE R E ’S NO T HING R E A L LY L IK E T HI S HE R E . I T I S N ’ T S OME T HING T HE Y R E A L LY WA N T OR C A R E F OR ... T HE P Y R A MID S A R E S T IL L M Y S T ERIOU S, A ND I T HINK P E RH A P S JU S T B EC A U SE I ’ M F R EN CH , T HE Y ’ V E A L L O W E D U S T O AT T E MP T S U C H A T R AV E S T Y OF C ONC E P T, K NO W ING, O F C O U R S E , T HE R E I S S E R I O U S R E G A R D F OR W H AT W E ’ R E A C T U A L LY R E F E R E NC ING.” — Emmanuel Picault, Chic by Accident
— C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S As t h e result of our annual competition, the Interior Design Excellence Awards issue is an (inside) editorial tradition. The program chronicles the collective output of Australia’s design profession over the course of a year. This act of recognising the year’s most outstanding work helps document what I consider to be the ongoing evolution of design – or perhaps, if this highminded language is a bit much for you, its on-going ‘work in progress’. This evolution has many facets to it, but the IDEA program is specifically focused on the aspects that relate to our built environments. Regardless of the industry’s ‘superficial’ connotations, designers respond to demand for a new world, a better future, and the challenge of inventing these environments, the places where we work and live day to day, is a huge responsibility. Thanks to surveys and competitions such as [idea11], their progress in this respect becomes clearly evident. The sustainable strategies and creative solutions, the innovative processes and collaboration – core principles that have been championed within Australian design for so long – are documented and celebrated by competitions such as this one, perhaps encouraging greater innovation. We’re not the only ones taking notice of this fact. This year’s inaugural INSIDE World Festival of Interiors (hosted in Barcelona) culminated with a handful of prestigious awards, and, to little surprise, Australia held its ground at the very top of final contention – tied with the UK, Japan and China for the most shortlisted entries. Sixty countries were represented in total. We should take pride in the fact that as a new decade has presented itself, challenges and all, so have these new standards of design and its evolution as a practice. You are all part of this progress, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate it in 2012. — Domingo Antonio Robledo, Editor, (inside)
J U R Y R E P O R T 2 0 11 “COMPETITIONS BY THEIR VERY NATURE RAISE THE STANDARD. I THINK IT’S ALWAYS A GREAT THING TO HAVE YOUR WORK EVALUATED BY YOUR PEERS, BENCHMARKED. IT ENCOURAGES US TO DO BETTER, AND ANYTHING THAT BRINGS ABOUT A BETTER RESULT IS WORTHWHILE.”
— JEFFERY COPOLOV, IN REACTION TO THE 2011 JURY SESSION
The [idea11] jury – comprised of Sue Carr, Jeffery Copolov, Sam Spurr, Hannah Tribe, Toby Horrocks, Sioux Clark and Domingo Antonio Robledo – convened to review the best of shortlisted entries in the Melbourne showroom of Corporate Culture this year.
text Maitiú Ward
2011 has been our most successful year of all. Four hundred and sixteen entries were submitted to the competition this year and, as a result, the calibre of the shortlist proved to be exceptionally high. The jury’s task, needless to say, proved to be particularly tough. Much of the premiated work this year was produced by Australia’s more established practices, but, despite the wealth of competition, it was refreshing to see a number of lesser-known or new names also receive recognition, a testament to the ingenuity and ability of Australia’s emerging generation of designers, promising great things for the future.
Given the sheer quantity of projects submitted to [idea11], it’s difficult to identify any defining tendencies or commonalities in the work. Natural finishes and environmental features played an important part in many projects, however, even while some of them could arguably have been more ‘green’ in appearance than green in principle. It was interesting though to see a number of adaptive re-use projects receive honours this year, together with evidence too of a growing appreciation for more robust, unfinished material palettes. A grittier, more ‘honest’ reaction to the excesses of new millennium glam? Possibly. It certainly made for a refreshing change.
SINGLE RESIDENTIAL The three most noteworthy projects in this year’s Single Residential category make for strange bedfellows – being on the one hand exemplars of a highly refined modernist elegance, almost ascetic in their austerity, and on the other a raucous celebration of colour and individuality. The odd one out here is Andrew Maynard’s Mash House, which while it divided the jury for its of-the-moment interior design, was unanimously seen as commendable for the incredibly clever way in which potentially disparate spaces were woven together.
Noxon Giffen’s spectacular Manning Road House also drew a commendation for its highly sculptural approach to spacemaking, which rather than rely on showy finishes or a preponderance of signature furniture for effect, deploys a pared back minimalism that emphasises the composition of internal volumes to achieve experiential richness. It was ultimately Ian Moore’s Strelein Warehouse that most impressed the judges, however, a project that while a masterful example of adaptive re-use, is anything but gritty. A highly restrained design that exudes tranquillity without becoming too sterile, the building has already attracted a swathe of accolades and attention this year, and it is easy to see why.
MULTI RESIDENTIAL The jury was concerned to differentiate the criteria by which the Multi-Residential category is judged from its single residential counterpart. Rather than clever, bespoke solutions to individual demands, the jury was looking for designs that developed an innovative address to challenges of economy and repetition – generally the two most important considerations in the developer-driven context of multi-residential housing. In this respect, the jury was unanimous in
There were two commendations awarded for this category – one went to Smart Design Studio for the interior design of Jean Nouvel’s Central Park West project in Sydney, the other to emerging designer, Anthony Gill, for the fitout of an apartment in a Harry Seidler building in Potts Point. Both designs were considered to be clever, readily replicable multi-residential solutions.
MAJOR COMMERCIAL BVN dominated the Major Commercial category this year, taking out both the top honours and a commendation, perhaps unsurprising given its widely acknowledged mastery of workplace design. Its own studio in Sydney drew praise for its gutsy commitment to minimal intervention and raw materiality, noted as particularly refreshing given the somewhat clinical quality common to most contemporary workplace design. It was BVN’s AECOM project in Brisbane, however, that took out top honours, drawing praise for its coherence and the elegant means by which natural finishes were handled in a commercial context.
COMMERCIAL under 1000sqm Historically, the Commercial Under 1000 square metres category gives smaller practices the opportunity to showcase their abilities in a commercial context, and this year was no exception. Two commendations were awarded this year: to Snell for its Insight Advertising Agency project, and to Georgia Novak for her Edward Street DJ studio. The warm spaces and well-handled scaling of space in Snell’s Insight Advertising Space were seen as particularly noteworthy, as was the remarkably innovative use of unconventional materials – including a vaguely Moorish screen made of black plastic underground water tanks. The jury was also highly impressed with Georgia Nowak’s DJ studio, finding it to be a beautiful integration of program and design. The deft and yet apparently effortless means by which seating, shelving and workspaces merge were seen as bringing exceptional clarity to the design.
WH ILE P RES ERVI NG TH E H ISTORY OF THE BUILD IN GS , W I LS ON AR C H ITE C TS HAS TU RNED TH IS H IG HLY COM PLEX C O LLE CTI ON OF IN TE R IO R VOLU M ES IN TO A C OHERENT, AND V E RY BE AUT I FU L, W HOLE.
Ultimately, though, the top award fell to a more established practice this year in Wilson Architects, which won for its own studio/office in Brisbane. An extraordinary transformation of two neighbouring residences into an office, it impressed the jury with how delicately the merging and retention of these two buildings has been handled. While preserving the history of the buildings, Wilson Architects has turned this highly complex collection of interior volumes into a coherent, and very beautiful, whole.
A H IG H LY R ES T RA IN ED D ES IG N T H AT EX U D ES T RA N QU IL L IT Y W IT H OU T B EC OM IN G T OO S T ERIL E, T H E B U IL D IN G H A S A L R EA D Y AT T RA C T ED A S WAT H E OF A C C OL A D ES A N D AT T EN T ION T H IS Y EA R , A N D IT IS EA S Y T O S EE W H Y.
presenting Neometro the Multi-Residential award for its Harper Lane project. The project was seen to offer a very clear resolution to the challenges presented by multi-residential development, no easy task given the constraints common to the typology. Harper Lane offers a basic but well-considered and, importantly, affordable response, where the building’s architectural elements both frame and form the interior.
By its very nature, Institutional tends to be the most eclectic category, and this year was certainly no exception, with everything from police stations to primary schools making the shortlist. It was that most glamorous and soughtafter of commissions, however, an art gallery, that took out the top honours. Kerstin Thompson Architects’ Monash University Museum of Art is both a nod to the tradition of the flexible ‘white box’ gallery space, and a counter to it. While the project does feature plenty of white exhibition space, it is far from hermetic, countering these qualities with a robustly treated circulation and services spine, exposing the structure and workings of the gallery to the public eye. It is the tectonic language here that serves as decoration, subtly but masterfully handled. As Hannah Tribe says of the work, “The dark spaces play counterpoint to the white box galleries – a clever architectural palette cleanser in the gallery experience.” Commendations this year were awarded to two projects: McBride Charles Ryan’s Penleigh and Essendon Grammar – Junior School for boys and Spowers and NMBW’s RMIT Building 88 (levels five and six). Much like several other noteworthy projects in this year’s awards program, Building 88 follows a principle of minimal intervention, where a robust but highly refined tectonic language is deployed to define interior qualities. Penleigh and Essendon Grammar also makes use of humble materials, but in a fashion that
photo by James Geer
J A N N E FA U L K N E R A M
FROM TELEPHONES TO TISSUE PAPER, AND DOMESTIC KITCHENS TO CORPORATE OFFICES, THERE ARE VERY FEW DESIGNERS WHO HAVE HAD AS WIDE RANGING AN INFLUENCE ON THE AUSTRALIAN LIVING ENVIRONMENT AS JANNE FAULKNER. TOBY HORROCKS DETAILS THE PHENOMENAL CAREER OF THIS YEAR’S GOLD MEDAL WINNER, ONE OF THE FIRST DESIGNERS TO CHAMPION A TRULY AUSTRALIAN APPROACH TO DESIGN.
photo by Christian Capurro
text Toby Horrocks
NEW010 exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), space planning by Nexus Designs (2010). ART: What You Bring with You to Work by Fiona Connor 2010 (foreground) and Medea by Alicia Frankovich 2010 (background).
WINNER WILSON ARCHITECTS OFFICE b y Wilson Architects
lead designer Hamilton Wilson project team Nick Lorenz, Lauren Cameron, Phillip Lukin photography Christopher Frederick Jones
“THIS PROJECT IS AS MUCH ABOUT INTERIOR DESIGN AS IT IS INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE — IT’S OBVIOUSLY ALL ABOUT THE USE OF MATERIALITY, HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND CLARITY WITHIN A DESIGN, AS WELL AS REALLY CLEVER SPACE PLANNING.”
— JEFFERY COPOLOV, 2011 JURY
In response to a growing workforce, Wilson Architects expanded into an adjacent 1860s worker’s cottage next door.
Separated from the original office by an 1800mm gap, this former division was absorbed. Wilson Architects wanted to shift from the existing strong association with the old residence and play with the idea of developing a distinct entrance around this often-neglected interstitial space between the two buildings. To the right of the main entrance a group-focus and brainstorm area allows staff and clientele to meet and discuss works in progress.
The foyer created by the void is floored in grey sandstone (Stone House Creations), which extends into the kitchen and outdoor area (toward the back), and reappears on the second floor landing. In effect, the corridor between the buildings has been turned into a channel of cross-ventilation cooling the remainder of the building. The charred-black struts (treated and reinforced in Japanese fashion) and the highlighted brickwork pays ode to the firmâ€™s history and longevity.
â€˜Contemporising the Countryâ€™ (page 040). Work by Greg Hatton - Photo Ben Hosking
68 Retreat “If we were to look among the wealth of our vocabulary for verbs that express the dynamics of retreat, we should find images based on animal movements of withdrawal, movements that are engraved in our muscles.” — Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space I tend to agree with this idea. There is such animal instinct to the act of finding or creating a retreat. These ‘movements’ are a part of our human experience, and often it’s this instinct that draws us to the most interesting places. ‘Engraved’, as Gaston Bachelard once put it, is our propensity to react against the routine of a daily life. The retreat, be it seasonal or life changing, calls us to roam freely and discover new pastures. We do this, as animals do, to find or create a new form of comfort and wellbeing. A holiday house is simply the built manifestation of that urge. It’s a place where we can rest and indulge in the sensory experience of being surrounded by nature. Bachelard quotes a favourite artist of his, Maurice de Vlaminck, in his classic text: “The well-being I feel, seated in front of my fire, while bad weather rages out-of-doors, is entirely animal. A rat in its hole, a rabbit in its burrow, cows in the stable, must all feel the same contentment that I feel…” (inside) 68 takes a look at the design aspects that go into making the ‘alternative’ home of the retreat a reality. Be it a small shack, dusty as a nest, or a holiday house as opulent as the Ritz, the most important thing is that it is a place of escape. Inevitably then, the notion of the retreat also carries with it a connotation of remoteness. As retreating relates to the idea of being detached, being in a remote location is often the whole point. Running with this concept, this edition of (inside) explores a contemporary definition of retreat in New Zealand, Sweden, Spain and a few other locations, both local and distant. On a completely different note, this issue of (inside) also features the shortlist for our 2011 Interior Design Excellence Awards, which can be found as a supplement on the reverse of this issue. Let your nose lead you where you like. // Domingo A. Robledo, Editor
Inside the pod of SelgasCano, Spain.
Busy Peas Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano has made significant progress as a design practice, despite the tough economic times the nation has endured. From the team's Madrid office/pod, Jose Selgas shares his current outlook with us.
text Gregory Don Nasser photography Iwan Baan
Offices of SelgasCano in Madrid, Spain.
On seeing the striking office of SelgasCano, curiosity immediately beckons the viewer to find out more about this design practice. SelgasCano is a small architecture firm founded by Jose Salgas and Lucia Cano, comprising just the two principal architects and a supporting team of six others. In 2009 they decided to redesign and build their new headquarters on the outskirts of Madrid. The result was not only a clever workspace solution, ideally nestled within bush and shrub, but a rather impressive job at self-promotion and publicity – even if the latter of the two wasn’t really planned for. By early 2010 the new office space had quickly gone viral thanks to a collection of photographs by Iwan Baan and a blog post on Treehugger. However, design blogs generally offered minimal coverage with little insight beyond Baan’s photography and a short, poorly translated, brief by the practice. We were charmed but left hanging, curious to know more of the practice's work.
Now judging by its most recent achievements, and plenty of impressive projects currently underway, SelgasCano is still up to good things in this self-made bubble of creativity; a warm yet comfortable environment surrounded by pleasant trees and plenty of daylight. The curved acrylic glass is a massive shield-turned-tubular bunker that lies within a secluded patch of foliage, found in La Florida, a suburb in the far north-west of Madrid. Enclosed in the openness of a wellgroomed natural landscape, the office has not only endured the seasons physically but figuratively as well – a rough few years in Madrid, in particular. Within this pod, SelgasCano have maximised the potential of the small practice, shaping it into one of the country’s most notable architecture firms. “We don’t work for the critics of architecture – although they have been very nice to us,” says Selgas. “Instead we work for people who really need architecture. We are driven by the social demands of our contemporary culture, and it’s the modesty
Designer Greg Hatton at his 'Butterland' workshop in Newstead, Victoria.
contemporising the country K e e p in g h im s e l f b u s y in t he c o u n t r y s id e o f c e n t r a l V i c t o r i a , a ‘c r a f t-o r ie n t e d ’ f u r ni t u r e d e s i gne r , fa s c in at e d w i t h r aw m at e r i a l s a nd u p c y c l in g s e t s u p s h o p o f f t he u s u a l b e at e n pat h – o f f e r in g a l o t m o r e t h a n c h o p p e d w o o d a nd y o u r t y p i c a l b e d-n-b r e a k fa s t. text Domingo Antonio Robledo
Driving through the heart of rural Victoria on a slightly rainy-cum-sunny day, I see the undeniable charm that Greg Hatton has fallen for. Considering the sort of furniture he’s been creating for the last seven years, not to mention a naturalistic DIY mentality as a designer, Hatton couldn’t help but take the opportunity that was given to him. It was a chance to own and refurbish an old building known as the Co-Op Butter Factory in Newstead, Victoria (established in 1904), something he humourously calls ‘Butterland’ these days. A compelling project and investment, the site is now Hatton’s reclusive countryside home and furniture workshop. Upon his return from a fouryear stint through Austria, where he applied himself as a selfmade designer, he stumbled across the ignored building that was for up sale. It struck him as a new project with serious potential to be explored. Chipping away at it slowly, he’s turning the place into something quite special, but he’s got a way to go. Lucky for us, he’s a man willing to share his experience, and there’s more than enough space to wonder and get dirty. If you enjoy the more rustic side of country life, even if for the plain experiential qualities, he encourages to ‘come as you are’... The space, however, wasn’t always this inviting. A lot of work has gone in it, and there’s a lot to keep working on. The decision to move into a run-down building in the middle of nowhere was undoubtedly tied to Hatton’s strong connection to nature – a great inspiration found in almost every aspect of his work, whether that’s creating furniture, a clever landscape design, or even a new bed-n-breakfast concept, which he hopes to realise by the beginning of 2012. When it comes to the varied nature of his work though, Hatton isn’t exactly
your average design prodigy. He’s a bit rough around the edges you might say, but an interesting designer to take note of. He has all the talent you could bet on for creating a dynamic and well-rounded project, certainly including some interesting furniture, but the true essence of his design ethos shines through in his naturalistic method of upcycling – keeping things pure and simple – as with the raw materiality of the works themselves. He creates everything with his own hands – most of it in his new workshop. Unlike most designers, those often well rooted within the modern, urban settings of the city, Hatton is a man best suited to work within the hallowed comforts of the Victorian countryside. “It’s an ideal place for me to work, at least most of the time,” he says. “You definitely get a lot more solitude, I suppose, and you get to know a different gang of locals, but it’s also about creating a balance. It’s one of those things where, I’ve been up here for a while now, I’ll be working on things madly in the workshop, then go and do a landscaping job somewhere, then return right back to my place, where I can keep on with what I started.” He admits he often comes back to a workshop that looks as if a bomb has just hit it, but that’s also the beauty of it. He has the creative space that allows him to go ‘mental’ with projects, and there’s no one even close enough to complain about his mess (no one but his girlfriend at least). He also has all the natural surroundings to supply him with the sort of material resources he needs to create most of his work: ample loads of discarded wood, branches and leaves. “The goal this year is to build two apartments within the structure, and then furnish the whole place with about 50
A small showcase of Greg Hatton's upcycled offerings, everything made from recycled timber. Photo: Ben Hosking
Vincent Dubourg He likes to be called a ‘child wolf’, which might help to explain some of the hostile and slightly violent movement in his works – the Nouvelle Zeland collection being a case in point. Nourished by modern cosmopolitan cities, such as his native Paris and beloved London (where he exhibits work via Carpenters Workshop Gallery), Dubourg is a veteran artist. He says he is inspired by ‘the immanence of nature’ and how it creates overwhelming beauty, powerful enough to destroy a man-made world. His work brews in the more artistic realm – isolated, he says, ‘in a hollow space’. It’s a bit dark. vincent-dubourg.com / cwgdesign.com
Napoléon à trotinette - (2007), Bronze edition of eight
Images Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
Plancher Nouvelle Zeland (2010)
Buffet Nouvelle Zeland (2010)
s u s ta i n a b l e p r o j e c t There is only one criterion by which submissions to the Sustainable Project category are assessed, which you would think would make the process simple. When the criterion in question, however, is sustainable performance, it is anything but. There are many ways by which the design of an interior can positively affect its impact on the environment, from sophisticated technological solutions through to adaptive re-use, and consequently the projects seen here represent a diverse range of approaches. All of them, however, seem to offer promise that Australiaâ€™s designers have a considerable amount to offer our communities in the push towards a more sustainable way of life.
Green Skills Centre of Excellence
Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel
design practice Artillery Interior Architecture
design practice Blomquist + Wark Architects
design practice BVN Architecture
photography Andrew Iser
photography Rachel Gedye
photography John Gollings
Housed within a 5 Star Green Star building, the interior fitout supplements the buildingâ€™s green credentials. Large, open-plan work areas are located near windows to take advantage of fresh air intake, with built elements at the centre of the floor plate. The fitout targeted a 90 percent waste reduction. Individual switching controls energy consumption, while reduced lux levels in the open-plan and carefully selected white goods, appliances, furniture and workstations contribute to a more sustainable interior.
Designed to achieve a 5 star GBCA rating, the project features photovoltaic cells, solar hot water systems, geo-thermal heat exchange and daylight harvesting. The building utilises natural ventilation and light zoning, helping to reduce peak energy demand by 30 percent. Materials with low VOC and formaldehyde levels are used alongside FSC certified timbers, ecological concrete made from recycled aggregate and GECA certified products. Rainwater is harvested to irrigate landscaping.
The project achieves a 20 percent improvement on energy targets for non-office buildings, equivalent to a 4.5 star ABGR rating. Water use is monitored by a building management system, which is linked to a regional utility management system. 70 percent of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfill. Materials are appropriate to a public building, selected for their durability: zinc, stone and FSC certified timber. Mixed mode ventilation with operable windows and ceilings and high-performance glazing assists thermal comfort.
design practice Hare & Klein
design practice Breathe Architecture
design practice Ian Moore Architects
photography Jenni Hare
photography Ben Hosking/ Andrew Wuttke
photography Iain D MacKenzie
The home is built for clients that are passionate about living in a sustainable home. Certified or recycled timber is used along with non-toxic underlay joinery, locally sourced bluestone and reused sandstone and raw “bush” furniture made from willow, silver birch and recycled timbers. Supported by the builder’s strong ethical approach, the project includes energy efficient lighting, a sewage recycling system, custom extraction system to control air temperature and a self-cleaning, chemical-free fresh water swimming pool.
The existing warehouse shell is exploited, with a design intervention made from salvaged materials designed for flexibility. Cyclone wire fencing and timber framing are detailed with donated, found and salvaged items including doors, windows, metal cladding, plywood sheets, corrugated iron and textiles. Constructed with a hands-on collaborative approach, the design was produced by Breathe Architecture working with students and artists. Individuals control ventilation, natural light and acoustics using studio partitions.
AECOM Brisbane Workplace
The home is naturally ventilated, with new insulation and high-performance comfort plus glazing installed within the existing building fabric. A new clerestorey window provides additional natural light to the interior, with only LED light fittings used. The timber doors, windows and stairs were recycled, while the bricks and sandstone from the original building were reused in the construction of retaining walls. The new steel structure is recyclable, and the new floor is 100 percent natural rubber.
design practice Architects EAT
design practice BVN Architecture
design practice futurespace
photography James Coombe and Albert Mo
photography Christopher Frederick Jones
photography Danial Nash
The project is clad in a second skin of retractable timber slatted screens, providing shelter from the direct sun yet allowing daylight into the interior. Together with Kwilla louvres, these enable the residents to control the airflow inside the house. The project also utilises rainwater storage, solar electricity, insulation and double glazing to help achieve a 5 star rating. The 30,000L water tank services the toilets and is then processed onsite and used to irrigate the front yard.
Lighting and air conditioning is zoned and separately metered, while individual workstations are each given a ‘green switch’ giving users control over their individual energy consumption. The ventilation system provides 50 percent more fresh air than the average commercial building. Waste collection is fully integrated, with recycling collected in central locations and worm farms in staff kitchens managing organic waste. Working in consultation with the client’s Green Office group ensured all green office policies were fully integrated and user friendly.
Designed to meet a 5 star green star rating, the project includes services metering and monitoring, with zoned areas to reduce energy consumption. Over 80 percent of construction waste was recycled, while operational waste is managed with recycling stations in communal areas. Certified materials, finishes and furniture were specified to reduce VOC and formaldehyde levels. Daylight glare is controlled in the open-plan office, with high frequency ballasts specified for lighting in 95 percent of the tenancy.
Home of art and soul A view on collecting art for your home – not your ego.
An interior may reveal wonderful detailing, finishes and fixtures, cleverly combined lighting, furnishings and floor coverings, but these are never the ‘finishing touches’ that make a space unique and truly memorable. Artworks, artefact objects and sculpture can reveal much more about those inhabiting a space. It is often the art that enables the guest to have an emotional connection (or reaction) not only with the space itself but with the actual people who care to host and value such art. The details of art in space can reveal something of a patron’s own story and, in turn, imbues a given home with history. Sydney art gallery owner Iain Dawson lives life surrounded by art. His Oxford Street gallery showcases contemporary works of emerging Australian artists in a crisp, clean-lined interior. Memorable for its high-profile street frontage, the gallery’s minimalist interior styling is no surprise. Once inside, the white walls and polished concrete floors of the main gallery space are adorned with a group show to herald a new year. The stockroom, beyond burgeoning, with works stacked at floor level, leaning casually against the walls and perched on shelving, is framed by a glazed wall that reveals a typical Paddington courtyard. The window floods the stockroom with natural light. While the gallery is stylistically minimal, there’s nothing precious about the space or the relationship with the works on display, a nod to art being intrinsic to Dawson’s life. By contrast, his beach-side cottage is another story. It speaks wordlessly of his life as a collector. The walls of each room are teeming with paintings, edgy contemporary photography and clever shelving – the window ledges burst with artefacts collected on travels, artisan objects, sculptures and other collectable treasures. His collection was acquired, like any, over a long period of learning the qualities of his own particular taste and style, but he began swapping works with friends at art school at a very young age. He then acquired more
text Anne-Maree Sargeant art Courtesy of Iain Dawson
Gallerist and Sydney art guru Iain Dawson talks about his own journey in art collecting, and shares his insight on the balance of art and space at home, and how to collect with your gut. Art is about understanding yourself, as much as your own physical space. during an incarnation phase working for prominent gallerists (Ali Yeldham of Art House and Tim Olsen). The acquired works now sit alongside the work of artists in his own stable. “I look at an empty space; it may have beautiful lines and detailing, but, until the space has artwork, it’s not finished. Artwork injects personality and allows one to react to the space. It’s what engages us,” Dawson explains. After growing up on the far south coast of New South Wales in a creative family that had made a sea change of their own in the ‘70s, Dawson went on to study at ANU’s (Australian National University) School of Art in Canberra. Initially fascinated by painting and sculpture, he delved into printmaking, but ultimately studied photography. “I was in love with David Hockney photo collages and heavily influenced by
Warhol portraits,” he says. “Photography, to me, was about collecting. Collecting events and people throughout a life’s journey. This segued into a more abstract approach within my practice.” Explaining his own style, he continues, “I’m motivated by beauty, which remains at the heart of my involvement in the art world, both as a gallerist and as a collector.” After living in Paris and London, Dawson relocated to Sydney, and around this time acknowledged his expertise as a conduit in the art world, utilising his strong connections with artists. “What’s most exciting for me now is showcasing the rich vein of emerging talent from all over the country, and getting them in front of collectors – established and new, private, corporate and institutional.” Dawson continues, “The works end up in such a variety of spaces. Contemporary works are placed in as many modern interiors as more classical or eclectic interiors. “Collecting experiences throughout your life and surrounding yourself with them are the finishing touches to any room,” says Dawson. “It lets the space speak to you. It’s the personal expression.” As an art student, he began exchanging works with others, which became his own foray into art collecting. “My first purchases were relatively inexpensive and still tend to be so,” says Dawson. “Works on paper, prints and photography are a great way to start any collection and such works make up the majority of my own collection. I bought a Monique Auricchio lithograph once and purchased it through Australian Galleries Works on Paper; they let me pay it off over three months. The piece next to it is by Manhattan-based Australian painter, Benedict dos Remedios. His work excites me.” Investment? The work at the time was purchased for around $1000, from an early exhibition. Dawson later discovered the Australian Government initiative Artbank bought the remaining works in that series. It was a sure-fire barometer of an artist’s collectability. (inside)
Iain Dawson Gallery in Sydney (Paddington). Expect to encounter a range of various artists at IDG. Photo: Michael Wee
Kevin Tran Kevin Tran is a 24-year-old Sydney-based artist, illustrator and graphic designer. After graduating in visual communication at the University of Technology, Sydney in 2008, Tran held his first solo show Between Two Worlds in February 2009, followed by group shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and California. In March 2010, he was granted an artist-in-residency at Newington Armory, where he created his most recent body of work, Strobe. Tran breathes life and energy into his compositions by layering acrylic, chalk pastel, watercolour, gouache and Indian ink. He then balances these gestural marks with intricate patterns and detailed pencil-line work.
‘But I Can’t Shuffle In These Shoes’ (2010) chalk pastel, acrylic, guache, watercolour, indian ink and pencil 26 x 19cm
Mike Chavez Chavez’s work consistently infuses heavy political commentary with meticulous artistic skill. He was recently nominated as ‘one of the top 20 artists under 35 in Australia’ by an independent panel of curators and arts writers assembled by Art Melbourne, and hung as an Archibald Prize finalist in 2009 for his portrait of Richard Bell at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. His recent exhibition, Live Fast Die Young adds to his significant repertoire of work, but in this case looks at the social affections of cockfighting as a brutal, but still cultural, sport. It retains notable popularity, and hence legality, in the Philippines still.
‘First Blood’ (2010) screenprint, spraypaint & acrylic to perspex 100 x 100cm
motives On a trip to the new headquarters of Globe International, we discover an unconventional corporate enterprise reconnecting with its Melbourne roots, not only establishing a new creative hub â€“ with multiple purposes â€“ but also re-establishing its core values within the boarding industry.
text Domingo A. Robledo photography Stu Morley
The Salford Lads Club
It’s amazing coffee, food and people – just in a place where people rarely hang out, unless they work there. Seeing as how the Seven Seeds [cafe] or Auction Rooms (in North Melbourne) were a bit distant, the Hill brothers decided to work with Greg Saunders to make this place a reality. Suanders practically placed ever brick on this lovely floor. Now, the whole gang gets a morning fix (or lunch) as it might be within a few steps from the office. Suggestion: Order your coffee and ask them for a word about the menu — the food changes daily. Delicious.
3 Deep Design D esi g n an d B ran d i n g A g en cy M el b o u rn e — “The project has taken me to some unexpected places. Footscray is not normally perceived as a creative hub, but there’s definitely a lot of things happening there and I enjoy seeing agencies like 3 Deep Design setup shop there.”
D a n i e l Emm a
He’s an enigmatic industrial designer/pop star. Based in Hong Kong, with one foot still planted in his hometown of Sydney, McCarthy is able to create a surprising range products and music that reflect an interesting sub-cultural aesthetic. Ben first caught my attention with his Poincare Lamp during Ventura Lambrate last year. Its remarkable diffused treatment of light within a glass dome on a honeycombed metal base set it apart from everything else I saw in Milan. His response to The Other Hemisphere is conceptual; three parts, each of varying materials, created in various cities of the world, converge at the exhibition for the fist time to form another elegant lamp – ‘Lateralis’.
You will know Daniel To and Emma Aiston as the kids who took everyday desktop objects and reinvented them into playful geometric forms, making them as desirable again as they once were to us in our first days of school. Based in Adelaide, but a recent fixture on London’s 100% Design scene, their aims are quite international and well worth the attention. I particularly liked the idea of seeing what Daniel Emma would come up with in response to the brief. They’ve already won us over with their Shapes + Solids. Let’s see what they’ve got to show us with Hemispheres.
Emm a E l i z a b e t h
Already a bit of a design superstar, Talbot looks the part, and has recently been deemed the 2010 Philips Young International Lighting Designer of the Year. Flynn is firmly grounded in the realm of conceptual, interactive lighting. He has lit the walls of London’s White Cube Gallery, and his wall of light ‘Horizon’ has toured the world. Hailing from Perth, he is currently living in Berlin where he has been teaming up with Icelandic studio/artist/ designer Olafur Eliasson to create work for The Other Hemisphere. It was actually Flynn and I that first hatched the plan to take our work to Ventura Lambrate in 2011. He wanted to turn his hand to a lighting product for domestic application that embodied his wide-scale conceptual approach. Previous work has relied on interaction between user and lighting, with distance between the two. ‘X+Y’ is about coming very close to the light source to control it, to the point of actually touching the light itself.
She’s leapt into the design consciousness with her globetrotting reports via designvlog.com. (If you haven’t tuned in yet, there’s a healthy backlog of interviews to be watched – with much more come). Having studied interior design in Milan, and at the ripe age of 26, she is already a seasoned exhibitor at the Fuorisalone. I met Elizabeth when she turned up on the doorstep of the Australian Design Museum exhibition, which I curated at Shapiro Gallery last year. Making her first ‘vlog’ there, she caught my attention. Not long after that we were showing work together at an exhibition of international designers at Zona Tortona in Milan. Then with new work, we had a collaborative show during Sydney Design Week. Her circular floor rugs, produced by Designer Rugs, are tailored perfectly to fit The Other Hemisphere and I predict they are going to be a smash hit.
B l a k e b r o u g h + K i n g (b+k)
A life-long design project between Ben Blakebrough and myself, b+k is a matter of design and discovery. We live and work in Moss Vale, just outside of Sydney, where we design and produce our own range of products. The latest of which is the Detour Range of candelabras – available through Space furniture and Chee Soon & Fitzgerald. I can’t throw a party without wanting to be part of it, and I genuinely think that Ben is a genius. How many people do you know who have single-handedly designed and built a vertical flying machine/hovercraft – that seriously flies – just to see what they’re capable of designing and creating?!?! He can make a reality out of any surreal idea that either of us dreams up.
I don’t know a lot about Ellliat Rich, except that she is an industrial designer based in Alice Springs, which seems pretty exotic to us southerners. I had seen a youtube movie of Elliat’s work ‘Two-way’ and felt that she managed to incorporate an interesting concept into a product using new material technology in a sophisticated way, avoiding tokenism. She has applied this similar combination to create ‘Amber,’ a new way of monitoring energy consumption in the home. It also shares a quality that a few of the works in the exhibition have – that of peering into something as though pass into another world; essentially, another hemisphere.
Mark Va arwerk
Pl astic Fantastic
With casual effort Mark picks up a cigarette butt on his way to work, distills the pigment out of it when he gets there, and uses it to tint his latest un-expanded polystyrene artefact. Genius. He uses a jeweler’s precision and an alchemist’s determination, not to mention the caliber of experimentation, to alter the molecular structure of refuse and creates something so new that it’s unrecognizably great. He also does this with just enough humour to keep it from taking itself too seriously. He’s a Supercycler – designers and thinkers who take things that are no longer being used, reclaim them, and instead of throwing them into the great pacific garbage patch, they make something beautiful, clever and useful once again. It’s about active and immediate re-use, without sending the stuff to the processing plant. A website is devoted to unearthing the best supercyclers on the planet (see supercyclers.com or supercyclersarego.blogspot.com).
Essentially Liane Rossler and myself making sparks with our thoughts and ideas, Liane has become an ambassador in the design world for green living and making. As the next logical step after Knitty, Gritty and Loopy, Plastic Fantastic is a semi-permanent, experimental, hands-on, repurposing refuse workshop experience… For me, it’s a very cool collaborative project, and I look forward to many more good things with Rossler. Creating sophisticated and desirable objects from waste is a challenging objective, but it’s also something Plastic Fantastic has set out to address cleverly. We will exhibit some of the results of our experiments into melting plastic, taking the processes of recycling into our own hands. Our intention is to highlight this aspect of DIY (doing it yourself), hoping others will be inspired to join – as well as reiterating awareness into the great plastic garbage mess we have made in our oceans.
 W ooden Carpet (2009) Textile, material: mixed wood, silk /cotton mix —  Phone Bench (2009) Bench & Textile, materials: found furniture + mahogany wood
Branching out beyond the world of product design, in 2010 Strozyk collaborated with a Brazilian fashion designer, Maria Bonita, on her spring/summer ready-to-wear collection of women’s clothing and accessories. Continuing her exploration of wooden textiles, Strozyk’s most recent collaboration with artist Sebastian Neeb resulted in the Accordion Cabinet, which was shown at imm Cologne in January of this year. As the name suggests, timber doors on the cabinet can be folded and stretched in a manner similar to an accordion. Each of the laser-cut pieces of wood is hand-fixed to a flexible textile base (similar to Lycra). Flexible accordion doors wrap around a rectangular base and hide the shelves within when they are pulled closed. Having such a strong collection of highly imaginative products, it is not surprising that Strozyk is no stranger to exhibitions and awards. In 2010, she received the Marc Charras Award and a prestigious German design award for newcomers. As well as exhibiting Accordion Cabinet at the ‘D3 Talents’ at imm Cologne and a string of other exhibitions in France, Netherlands, Italy, the UK, Poland, Korea and Japan. And her Wooden Carpet was included in ‘Future Map 2009’, an exhibition celebrating 25 of London’s most talented emerging designers at Hoxton Square Projects. This year, Strozyk is participating in the Internationale Handwerksmesse in Munich and the prestigious Salone Satellite at the Milan Furniture Fair (her second consecutive year of exhibiting in Milan). This will, no doubt, firmly place her on the world design map as an exciting young designer on the rise. Embraced by design blogs and mainstream media alike, Strozyk has a justifiably strong following. If the quality of her work to date is anything to go by, her developing skills, experience and wider exposure in the design industry all point toward a single outcome – Strozyk as a bright design star in the making. (inside)
 W ooden Textiles (2010) Textile, material: maple wood, elastan/cotton mix â€”  Accordion Cabinet (2011) A collaboration with artist Sebastian Neeb Material: mixed wood, wooden textile
Continuing her exploration of wooden textiles, Strozykâ€™s most recent collaboration with artist Sebastian Neeb resulted in the Accordion Cabinet, which was shown at imm Cologne in January of this year.
Artist and designer Jaime Hayon was recently invited to take on an interior design project. The result of his logic is now a studious zone of digital information — within the context of modern art. Immersed in Hayon’s whimsical environment, visitors of the Groninger Museum in Amsterdam explore a new kind of ‘info centre’, offering not only purpose but interactive appeal in its design.
Furniture designers who dabble in interior design sometimes never get beyond a collection of disconnected pieces that don’t add up. In the case of Hayon, however, the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts.
 Bench seating in the theatre portion of the info centre, this area offers a select viewing of informative, artistic and mini-doc film clips. —  The iconic purple armchair, originally from the ‘Showtime’ collection, was designed by Hayon for Spanish company BD Barcelona Design.
 ‘Mega Vase’ adorns the reception area. It plays off ‘The Tournament’ collection of ceramic pieces, once exhibited for the London Design Festival in 2009. —  The desk area allows for individual focus, but the design is clearly intended to engage visitors from a distance — alluring with a ‘rain’ of Copa Cabana T lights.
is why they were selected for the new interior spaces. In fact, Jaime Hayon’s Mediterranean Digital Baroque (2003) installation is featured in the new permanent exhibition – where it is paired with Andy Warhol’s Flowers (1970). While revamping the building, the museum also took the opportunity to bring its information systems more in line with the expectations of today’s public. As you enter the museum, you are issued with a so-called GM Collector, a small personalised disc less than half the size of a credit card and attached to a key ring. With this disc you can scan pads placed on the wall next to many artworks. Information about the artwork is then uploaded, via the disc, to your personal collection on a specially created personal webpage. You can then forward your collection or parts of it to friends by email, leave a comment about a work that others can read (the digital equivalent of the conversation among visitors in front of an artwork) or view your collection again later on the internet. And you can add to your personal collection with each visit to the museum.
The GM Collector is a “smooth connection between the world of the museum visit and our everyday use of the digital world and social media,” says Raimond Reijmers, concept director at IJsfontein, the Amsterdam-based interactive media firm responsible for the museum’s new information system. After visiting the exhibitions, you can then explore your personal collection of the selected work in depth on one of the computers in Hayon’s Info Centre or read the explanations on your phone on the journey home. With all this computer wizardry around, it’s a wonder you don’t see a single cable as you walk around the museum. The odd thing about such digital databases is that while they may be all-pervasive today, they are often invisible and lack any physical presence in the concrete world around us. Jaime Hayon has given us that. It has been said that he ‘draws like Picasso, makes furniture like Gaudi and is just as crazy as Dalí’. It would be crude, however, to see in Hayon nothing but a flamboyant Spanish spirit. His Info Centre in Groningen reveals him to be more than an artist and designer. We can now add interior designer and master craftsman to that list too. (inside)
The air-purification system designed by Paris-based architect Philippe Rahm loves his Parisian wood, in this case it ‘reconstitutes chemically and mechanically the geology and atmosphere of [the air] in Paris prior to such pollution brought on by the late 19th century.’ Images: Courtesy of Philippe Rahm
engaging elements of design and purity Considering three interesting designs that have taken the added step to beautify the process of purifying our elements, Lou Weis highlights the effective balance of aesthetics and purpose in this particular niche of environmental production design.
text Lou Weis
We have created a planet defined by a series of interconnected cities and industrial zones, each containing the standard mix of polluting industries and activities. The air is full, not just of (potentially) too much carbon dioxide, but also with toxins that are the byproduct of our industrial systems. Although legitimate and authoritative reports (like the ’99 CSIRO report) revealed that most interior dwellings in Australia do have acceptable levels of interior air quality, there is still much to improve. Anyone who has worked in a bog standard commercial space or smelt the ‘new smell’ of contemporary apartment blocks knows that improvement is still required. What’s more, the closer a space is to a major road or industrial area, the greater the need for purification strategies. A number of designers and manufacturers are looking to make the reduction of toxins in our air and water not only an effective process but as much an aesthetic experience that adds to the charm of our interior urban spaces.
Recently, the Berlin-based design studio Elegant Embellishments has created the prosolve370e – a tiling system that nullifies some of the more harmful toxins emitted by automobiles. The system was designed to ensure the maximum capturing ability of the surfaces, while also creating a striking pattern that breaks down the monotony of many of the façades that dominate high traffic areas. In the studio’s own words, “The new, non-orthogonal grid creates a seemingly non-repetitive, tiled pattern, resulting in visual randomness – a desirable aesthetic that is typically achieved through bespoke design and expense. The modularity of the system also enables complex architectural shapes to be accessible, benefiting from economies of scale.” A second version of the prosolve370e has also been created to make it usable as an interior screen or attached to ceilings. The tiles are basically coated with the nano-photocatalytic version of titanium dioxide, which is widely known for its
 R DAI enlisted an elite crew of craftsmen and artisans, each commissioned specifically for the restoration of tiles, as well as the on-site construction of the pods. —  The pods are meant to concentrate particular areas of the retail experience. The lightness of the wood structures are both open and free of any end-point closures. —  From almost every angle and perspective the formations play off each other, creating a charming visual play in the overall space. —  A view from underneath reveals perhaps the most alluring detail in all of the woodwork — a grand staircase that flows and opens to the base level.
“In terms of the architecture, we first looked at the problems posed by the immense empty volume and approached the project from a volumetric angle to inhabit the space. The huts are ‘houses within a house’. Their supple and light form refers to nomadic architectures…”
gallery owner Heinze was his inimitable self. “This is a space age place where the astronauts come to recharge, to become strong. Imagination, dreams, visions, light, power, water, the essence of life,” he exclaims, before adding, “Mensch ist Mensch – that’s what it’s all about.” It’s anyone’s guess what that means, though my understanding is that we need more than water to survive; we also need stimulation to be human and among humans. But perhaps it explains the opening exhibition of portraits of famous people caught in private moments. Whatever the case, we can certainly expect the unexpected from the artists that come through the new gallery. Suddenly my tour with Maus is interrupted – by a call from the riot police. Up to 2500 of them will turn up in battle gear later this evening in an operation to evict a particularly determined bunch of squatters from a nearby house… Apparently all these commandos will need to, “Uh, relieve themselves at some point during the lengthy proceedings later on, and would be very grateful if they could use the hotel’s toilet facilities.” The prospect of all these heavily armed action heroes queuing up to use a row of Rashid-designed lollipop-coloured blobby sanitary fittings is comical, but it is nonetheless a sharp reminder of the hard edge to life in parts of Berlin. Rundown, bleak and windswept is the overriding impression of Friedrichshain, this former industrial district of East Berlin where the hotel is located. Then again, it’s difficult for any district to look its best on a wet and windy Berlin morning in early February. But things are looking up in this part of town. While the epicentre of the city was in the West when the Wall came down, it’s been steadily creeping eastwards ever since. Once impoverished districts in the former eastern, socialist half of the city now undergo upgrading and gentrification in a process that is erasing the scars left by years of division and neglect.
 Adorning the public areas on the ground floor are various items of furniture and sculpture by Karim Rashid. —  Programmed in cooperation with the Seven Star Gallery, the bareconcrete art space contrasts with the rest of the hotel. Upstairs is a multipurpose zone that can host fashion shows and other cultural events. —  Greeting guests upon arrival is a huge amorphous sculpture, finished in high-gloss pink fibreglass, containing reception and concierge desks.
â€œThis is a space age place where the astronauts come to recharge, to become strong. Imagination, dreams, visions, light, power, water, the essence of life...â€?
Studying and even isolating the desires that can often spur new trends in design, Genty Marshall looks closely at the social factors that are shaping our personal spaces and inspiring our designers today. As she explains, a shared table is enough to explore how communities and personal relationships are challenging old conventions, offering a new sense of charm in simple solutions. It’s a fresh cultural perspective in design, but the origins are of olden times.
Nostalgia. Shine Shine (fabrics) shot in the context of cultural inspiration. Styled and distributed by Emily Ziz (Australia).
We Are Family text Genty Marshall photography Dirk Pieters
t is predicted that within the next 20 years, over 30 percent of homes within Australia will be single-person households. Amazing and odd as that might sound, the reality is this startling shift, already underway, is having profound effects on our built environment – both interiors and exteriors – and on the social cohesion of our cities and suburbs. In this sort of context, asking the question, “who is family?” becomes increasingly difficult to answer with a simple, or single, definition. The nuclear family, the single-parent family and the extended family are being augmented by the idea of families of friends, shared homes, cohabiters and community clusters. Typically seen as an option only for students, single adults of all ages are beginning to opt for the social, practical and economical benefits of a more communal-style living environment. As a result, our daily routines and the allocation of tasks are open for discussion as traditional roles of gender, familial hierarchy and cultural rituals are negotiated in these open and shared spaces. Urbanism gurus and interior architects are now rising to the challenge to meet the personal, societal and environmental demands of these new collectives. More importantly, the demand reflects a fundamental desire of the human being: a sense of place and welcomed embrace. Flexibility and customisation are not new in this case – they’ve been imperatives in design for a number of years as these needs have emerged – but what we’re seeing now is a new requirement for personalisation within the home as a shared and common space for not just one but several people. The
need for the acknowledgement of moments of personal or family significance must find new expression through new rituals. It is here that we see examples such as the revival and personal adaptation of non-religious ceremonies such as ‘high tea’. There is a sense of security that comes with personal ritual and personal place, from having your special things: a plate as a child (Bunnykins in my case) to the simple pleasure of enjoying the same café and sitting in the same seat. We might even take things a bit further and put ourselves in the place of another human being, and what their sense of place is. Imagine that. Are there common elements? Call it monotony, but it’s our habitual nature as humans to want this sort of comfort with the things that surround us, and to share it with others. As designers aim to address this human need, a striking trend is seen in the production of ‘families’ of objects: sets of chairs, glassware, ornamental décor and general household items that both unite and distinguish at the same time. In a country where mixed-faith and multicultural partnerships are common, cultural traditions are often transformed to suit new relationships. It is important to each of us that our rituals of faith – whether they be personal or that of organised religion – do not erode completely. As a result, the personal interpretation of traditions, symbolism, manners and meanings are creating a variable patchwork of personal styles and influences and can be seen in both what we celebrate and how we do so. The revival of the ‘Biergarten’ concept (increasingly becoming ubiquitous outside of Bravaria), for example, reflects a social trend of humility, yet colourful and playful at the same time.
Seven Practices in Prime Projection for 2011 edwards moore Matt Woods March Studio Foolscap made by Cohen Nest Architecture Tribe Studios
hen I think of 2011 and look at the bright prospects I’ve come to know in this industry, I can’t help but get a little excited. Regardless of the “doom-and-gloom” era we find ourselves in (globally), the reality is that Australia, in comparison to much of Europe and the US, is now in the midsts of a very fortunate time in its own history. Things are on the up, and if there’s ever been a more opportune moment to innovate and create with a fundamental sense of design thinking, strategic planning – and dare I say it – a fair dose of austerity, well this is clearly a moment for Australian designers to shine, and demonstrate what they’re truly capable of. With this timely factor in mind, the forthcoming segment is intended to profile and acknowledge a handful of interesting designers that have been on our radar for the last few years. The ‘7/11’ concept is quite simple, really. The seven featured practices, and their talented collaborators, are all in a prime position to define (to a certain extent) what their near futures will entail. The only reason they can do this, and perhaps the reason they stand out to us in this case, is because they have a vision of what they wish to create. It’s not just one project, or a singular vision in the literal sense of foresight (although in some cases they clearly show a sensibility for that as well). Rather this is about a more open and intuitive force of inspiration, something that allows these practices to offer a very unique service. In some cases we might talk of the creative services and approach
offered by such bespoke designers, such as Edwards Moore, Matt Woods, March Studio, Nest Architecture and Made by Cohen. In others, we might talk of the ‘public service’ that Hannah Tribe and Tribe Studio are after, bringing their practice and expertise to a social forum of sorts – enabling healthy discussion and encouraging dialogue in regards to the architecture and design industry at work within Sydney. In her own way, Adele Winteridge is also hard at work, doing things in Sydney that further develop the cultural discussion of design and the social value that comes with it (whenever done properly with the right developers and patrons). So to kick off this new decade, we proffer these seven for 2011. A story is shared within each of them, a perspective and approach in what they do, and they talk about these things with a driven passion for good design. They are all pragmatic thinkers, and they work with ambitious goals in mind, yet there is an air of independent creativity at work here. Each project they complete seems to reflect this, and it simply leaves me to wonder: in time, what sort of mark or impression will be left by these Australian designers? A new decade is here, and the time is, perhaps as always, just right to play smart with design. While there might be plenty more of where this work came from (within a growing Australian design community), these are simply seven that stand out brilliantly, and they make the future look quite interesting. – Domingo A. Robledo
The 2009 Aesop Singapore store nestles inside a shroud of locally-sourced coconut husk string, exploring the design possibilities of this humble material. Photo by Edward Hendricks.
text Alexa Kempton
W ith no excus e f o r t h e sort of heroi c f o r m a l i s m of yesteryear , M e l b o u r n e ’ s M arch S tudio i s w e l l o n its ow n path, a n c h o r e d by practical material application and expanding c o n c e p t u a l w h i m s y . Ro d n e y E ggleston and A n n e - L a u r e C avigneaux ta k e t h e t i m e to share a few o f t h e i r principles.
arch Studio is a practice that describes its work as a combination of the experimental with the pragmatic. The young firm, established in 2007 by Rodney Eggleston and Anne-Laure Cavigneaux, prides itself on the craftsmanship of the five individuals that form the core of the practice. With materiality and rigorous processes at the very backbone of its innovative approach to interior design, everything is hands-on from the start with a March Studio project, from the prototyping to the actual installation and building of a new space. Making the most recent use of March Studio’s holistic design process has been the skincare company Aesop – a brand well-known for its retail design aesthetic, both in Australia and Europe. As expected from a firm that likes to nurture an enduring partnership with such a design-conscious client as Aesop, March Studio stresses the importance and integrity that is always invested into its client relationships, but Eggleston confesses it’s not a one-size-fits-all. “We don’t do marketing for people,” says Eggleston. “It’s a design adventure.” “We’re trying to find a new vision of what spaces can do, and so we ask our clients to take a risk with us,” adds his French partner, Cavigneaux. “We can’t deliver something that looks like something else we’ve already done.” In this sense, each project develops organically. The process of uncovering the quirks and interests of the client informs the direction in which the project may travel. It is clearly important to March Studio that the relationship delivers something meaningful for its team in return. Their ongoing partnership with Aesop is a relationship that began when March Studio and the small skincare boutique
 The skeletal structure of the reception desk. —  An open work platform/ station offers playful room for foot traffic and dialogue, while supplying storage space in the edge of the timber structure. —  The meeting room, in close relation to all work platforms, offers staff members privacy when needed – the excessive use of doors in this case playing quite literally with a concept of 'closeddoor discussion'.
of Rotterdam can be a pretty grim and depressing place. Over the second half of the 20th century, in response to the increasing size of ocean-going vessels, harbour activity in what was once the world’s biggest and busiest port gradually shifted westwards towards the North Sea. Left behind were docks, quays and warehouses deemed too small to serve any role for the shipping industry in the age of the super tanker. Urbanists and architects responded with urban renewal proposals to develop the once thriving waterfronts and quaysides. Abandoned industrial structures were converted to house new functions, or simply demolished to make way for something else.
One notable example of a disused industrial structure that has survived, infused with new life, is the HaKa building. Completed in 1932, to a design by architect Herman Mertens, this imposing structure was built as the headquarters of the Handelskammer (hence the abbreviation HaKa), a cooperative wholesalers’ society set up in 1914 to supply affordable and good quality foodstuffs to the working class. The HaKa building housed not only the society’s offices, but also the facilities for producing, packaging and dispatching the goods. Details such as the stained glass windows in the stairwells clearly reflect the confidence of the Dutch cooperative movement. Even the concrete-framed structure was the first of its kind in the Netherlands. The narrowness of the available
â€œC l o s ing m at e r i a l c yc l e s on a c i t y a nd b uil ding s c a l e i s a s u s ta in a bl e s t r at egy t h at, w he n c o up l e d w i t h in t e l l ige n t de v e lop me n t mode l s, c a n r e d u c e C O 2 f o o t p r in t s, ge ne r at e s oc i a l eq ui t y a nd s t imul at e t he l oc a l ec onom y." â€” Eline Strijkers
site (just 15 metres wide) sandwiched between the road and the quayside prompted the decision to cantilever all upper floors by 2.3 metres on both sides, thereby increasing the width of the 100-metre-long building by 4.6 metres. Conveyer belts, lifts, slides and chutes carried goods from the factory and packaging spaces to the storage areas on the ground floor, which is level with the loading height of the freight trains that used to stop right in front of the building. For three decades, the wholesalers operated from the building, but by the 1960s such companies that served the needs of workers were in decline as the modern day supermarket started to emerge and replace the corner grocery stores everywhere. The society ceased operations in 1962 (inside)