Design immersion, emerging design

A seminar space called The Happy Place and a glamorous bar provided some memorable settings at Designex (14–16 May 2012) in Sydney.

Design Office is a Melbourne design firm whose work is underpinned by a left-of-centre, exploratory approach. This willingness to let the imagination run free is nowhere better on display than in a recent project called The Happy Place, an “architectural insertion” that acted as a seminar space at Designex 2012. The space was constructed with – believe it or not – doonas. Yes, the same ones that we sleep under at night. Doonas were chosen for their ability to create “familiarity and tactility,” according to Design Office’s Mark Simpson: “The environment was conceived to create an inclusive and uplifting ephemeral setting for engaging in discussion about the relationship between design and emotion.” After the event the doonas were donated to a homeless shelter.

In another key part of the exhibition’s infrastructure – the bar, designed by Daniel Dalla Riva of 6 Hats – the walls evoked the porousness of honeycomb. The pattern was used in two large, semi-transparent screen walls, which were set against a mesh “ceiling.” A black colour palette tied the project together and created a sense of it being architecturally solid despite its transparency, as well as a feeling of night-time glamour. Bar seating was complemented by small, grouped lounging chairs on circular rugs. The bar was designed to “touch the earth lightly,” with key architectural components designed for reuse.

The 2012 Designex also celebrated emerging design through the Australian Graduate of the Year Awards (AGOTYA), a program run by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) for final-year students of university design programs across the country (judges included Architecture Media’s Jan Henderson). Similarly, the Hettich Design Challenge supported emerging design – four designers were asked to design an object using Hettich products, each working at a desk behind glass at the fair, fishbowl style. At the end, three judges gave feedback and awarded a winner.

Source

Review

Published online: 1 Sep 2012
Images: Damian Shaw, Peter Bennetts, Scottie Cameron

Issue

Artichoke, September 2012

Related topics

More review

See all
A new entry and exhibition space for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2004) connects an 1890s post office with a 1939 planetarium. A distinctive sunshade flutters in the wind and shades the glass. Collaborators: Perkins Eastman (architect of record), Ned Kahn (environmental artist). The architecture of the everyday

Koning Eizenberg’s colleagues, peers and collaborators to speak to the practice’s diverse portfolio of sensitive and thoughtful public projects.

The space between architecture The space between architecture

Russell Fortmeyer reflects on Koning Eizenberg Architecture’s decades-long transformation of the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles.

Hank and Julie's own home, 25th Street House in Santa Monica, California, features many moving parts that open it up to the outside. Obscured by landscape, the house only offers glimpses of itself. At home in LA: Koning Eizenberg

Aaron Betsky surveys the private and public work of Koning Eizenberg Architecture and identifies a distinctive expression suited to the messy vitality of Southern California.

Footpath Library by Jonathan Goh. Modernist pools and a micro library: 2019 Brisbane Open House editor’s picks

While it’s tricky to narrow down a must-see itinerary for Brisbane Open House from the 99 buildings on the program, the following sites are a …

Most read

Latest on site

Calendar