Woody Allen was once quoted as saying that “you can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” And while some may subscribe to such a contrite and tortuous renunciation, our editorial team isn’t particularly enamoured with the thought of outliving a giant Aldabra tortoise. Which is why we took time out to speak with Lou Weis, Creative Director of Broached Commissions about which of his artefacts and objects would inevitably lead us all to a happier, albeit shorter life!
BROACHED EAST CHINAMAN’S FILE ROCKING CHAIR. DESIGNED BY TRENT JANSEN
Of the three founding Broached designers, Trent Jansen is the most adept in narrative based design. He cannot start designing until he knows the human story, as was the case with this Rocking Chair. Starting with the discovery that an overwhelming number of Chinese migrants in the Australian gold fields were men, Trent decided to create a machine that moved in the same way as a child strapped to a mother’s back; a mechanical version of the maternal embrace for tired, exploited Chinese prospectors.
BROACHED COLONIAL BIRDSMOUTH MAST. DESIGNED BY ADAM GOODRUM
In The Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes wrote that the timber for masts and flax for sails were responsible for maintaining and expanding the colonial empires, much like uranium and petroleum do today. In this table, a birdsmouth mast is reduced to an ornamental like element that punctures the table top. Created as a Chinese Chippendale style table, the piece reflected the passing of the colonial empires by reducing the main tool of their power to a delicate detail.
BROACHED EAST PALLUDARIUM SHIGELU. DESIGNED BY AZUMA MAKOTO
Australia’s love for Japanese design started in the mid 19th century, during the Meiji Restoration. That first wave of middle class consumption has never really abated, with Japan still exporting its exoticism and Australian’s consuming it en masse. The Broached East Palludarium Shigelu commission for Azuma Makoto focused on the transportation of exotic plants by drawing inspiration from the Wardian case, a protective container which transported imported plants without ever exposing them to the sea air.
BROACHED PIANO CREDENZA. DESIGNED BY ADAM GOODRUM
Desley Luscombe, Dean of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney, had one object from her childhood that she cherished above all else; a German manufactured upright piano from the late 19th century. Having long stopped playing the instrument, the upright piano proved to be far too obtuse to serve any ornamental purpose. In redesigning and repurposing the piece as a credenza, Adam Goodrum used every part of the original, thereby extending the sentimental relationship between the artefact and its owner. The Broached Piano Credenza purposefully recycled materials and established a new life in an old love.
BROACHED HOTEL HOTEL COUCH. DESIGNED BY CHARLES WILSON
Broached Hotel Hotel was the third collaboration with curator John Mcphee, who in this instance guided designers in a focused response to the works of Walter Burley Griffins. Charles was inspired by Burley Griffins’ façade designs for the creation of this structural and decorative couch arm. Made from solid cast brass, the pattern also talks directly to the geometries used by Lucy Mcrae for the feature wall at the hotel’s reception desk.
BROACHED COLONIAL TALL BOY. DESIGNED BY CHARLES WILSON
There is no Broached designer more uncomfortable with a narrative based design approach than Charles Wilson. Any initial trepidation and anxiety however is always overcome by his remarkable capacity to synthesize a range of historical design influences into a new object that emerges directly from his experience with Australian industry and design. The Tall Boy brings together a love for the makeshift agricultural structures of rural Australia, the slender lines of Biedermeier furniture and the simplicity of obelisks to create a unique object. Wilson proves that resistance is often a great starting point to a new creative path. Launched in 2011, the Tall Boy remains a popular object for Broached Commission.
BROACHED HOTEL HOTEL FEATURE WALL. DESIGNED BY LUCY MCRAE
Hotel receptions are one of the few static spaces in a broader journey of discovery. In response to this, the Broached Hotel Hotel feature wall embedded a passive fractal animation for hotel guests to gaze into whilst waiting to check in or out. Lucy Mcrae, a young master of re-engineering the body, was an obvious choice for the commission. Mcrae’s design reflects the decorative windows and light fixtures seen in Burley Griffins’ iconic buildings such as The Capitol Theatre in Melbourne.