It’s no revelation that Australian Design has been gaining ground in it’s own backyard but the revival we have seen has gained momentum with local design and manufacturing being actively sought after. Late last year we spoke (he spoke, we listened) with Daniel Robertshaw from Get Specified on the topic.
With your experience in the industry have you observed a revival in the collaborations between traditional craftsman and contemporary designers in Australia?
“Most certainly. I think Australian architecture and design is coming of age, and starting to really reinforce its identity. The properties of craftsmanship laid down by pioneering architects such as Boyd, Seidler, Clerehan (to name a few!) have gained value and respect in more recent years, and the approach re-applied with updated technologies and materials, by those leading the industry today.
Australian design has matured, and value is now placed on provenance and materiality to produce a truly personal design response, both in the architecture, and interior design fields.
The role of the ‘maker’ has been reinstated as a key part of the narrative of Australian design, and the collaborations with local producers influences the total feeling of a space.”
Have you seen this revival transition to the specification of products in both commercial and residential projects?
“I think there is far more effort than ever before invested in the R&D stages of a project design, to understand the story of the products within a specification. Gone are the days of copying and pasting specifications from one to the next – there is far more importance placed on the specification to deliver an individual personality to a project.
The growth of quality local product design has been a great catalyst to see the A&D community delve further into smaller artisan channels when specifying items. This focus has only increased as a result of COVID-19 as people spend more time within their homes, and find themselves relying on their spaces to deliver broader functionality. This has been further compounded by sky rocketing supply prices and expanding delivery programs for imported product. The cost of local design and manufactured product is no longer prohibitive.
The way we work and use commercial office space has undergone a significant shift in recent times. There is a merging of the ‘workspace at home’, and the ‘home within a workspace’. Both provide new opportunities for personalised and unique design responses, where the small details and material elements are the focus.”
What do you think this means for the future of Australian design and manufacturing?
“I think we are on the precipice of a new era of Australian design, one which will be recognised on the world stage. Whilst the traditional place of work, and functions of home remain challenged, designers will continue to rely on the small touch points within any design to deliver homes that are far more than places to eat & sleep, and office spaces that you merely ‘work’ within.
Names such as David Flack, Simone Haag, Kennedy Nolan are delivering deeply personal design responses to their projects – projects where every aspect & material selection is challenged, explored and resolved . The results are innovative and defining, yet immediately relatable. It is so exciting.
As Australians return to workspaces, I foresee a focus will remain on wellness, and maximising the ‘Aussie’ lifestyle. This will inform the ways spaces function, and feel. The role of the maker to deliver the deeply personal aesthetics within these spaces is more important than ever.”
Photography by Emble Studio
Image 1 – Luise from Gargoyles and Dragons
Image 2 – Laurel from HotHaus