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Public space designers need to ‘own their impact’ – Interstudio

Public space designers need to ‘own their impact’ – Interstudio


Tonight is the night we announce the IDEA 2020 winners! In the finale of our talking trends series with a few of our favourite industry leaders, we catch up with Interstudio.

Interstudio was relaunched in 2012 to showcase fresh, contemporary designs from emerging European, Scandinavian and local Australian designers.

Interstudio recently worked with BKK Architects, Second Story and the ACMI team on the reopening of ACMI at Federation Square. Photo: Shannon McGrath.

The Australian company works across the full spectrum of commercial and contract furniture.

Its Melbourne showroom showcases a selection that features Emeco, Actiu, Jonas Ihreborn, Engelbrechts, Flokk, Offecct, Magnus Olesen, By Klip Klap, Skagerak, Frost Design, Prostoria, Pedrali, just to name a few. 

Australian designers such as Matthew Sheargold, Ross Didier, Keith Melbourne, Charles Wilson are also well represented.

Importantly, Interstudio has a bias towards working with companies that produce designs made from recyclable components, that have a commitment to the United Nations 17 points of sustainability and that have received international recognition of their commitment to sustainability. 

The company also happens to sponsor the IDEA Public Space category, which includes any project funded by a public body and/or that are dedicated to public use. A vast category, it always stands out for its sustainability merits – a key consideration for each year’s judges.

Like everyone else in the A&D community, I’m eagerly awaiting to see who will be crowned this year’s winners at the IDEA Gala tonight, 19 February 2021 in Melbourne. Tickets on sale now.

But in the meantime, I thought I’d talk all things trends with Interstudio’s owner and ADR friend Michele Kearney.

Michele Kearney at last year’s IDEA awards.

ADR: Hi Michele! Welcome to ADR! Can you tell us a little about Interstudio?

Michele Kearney: I relaunched Interstudio to foster design innovation and present a range of products for all styles of interior design.

My passion is really to customise solutions for architects and designers and it is this, coupled with excellent customer service that is at the core of Interstudio.

What is your favourite thing about the IDEA Gala?

MK: The industry coming together as one and supporting each other in the industry.

What design trends have you noticed in this year’s IDEA Public Space entries?

MK: The use of sustainable materials, which has helped drive the progress we as a country are making in sustainability, along with the grandeur of public spaces and use of raw materials.

What would you like to see designers doing in public spaces in 2021?

MK: I’d like to see them ‘own their impact’.

Through the materials you use, you own your impact on the environment.

COVID-19 has taught us that we have to be responsible for our impact on the world. It’s our responsibility to set an example for the wider community on how we can make a difference through the use of public spaces.

We should also be recognising the significance of community again.

To refresh your memory, here are the projects shortlisted for this year‘s Public Space award.

The #IDEA2020 Gala Party in Melbourne kicks off tonight at The Timber Yard at 7pm! Stay tuned as we update you live with all the winners… and if you haven’t got your tickets yet, grab them now!

Lead photo: IDEA 2020 Public Space finalist The Geelong Performing Arts Centre by Hassell. Photo: Rory Gardiner.

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