OPEN SEA­SON

Pro­gres­sive in­te­ri­ors shake up the sta­tus quo and change our per­cep­tions of space

VOGUE Living Australia - - CONTENTS - By Dana Tomic´ Hughes @dot­comme @ishizuka_aus­tralia @space­and­timeco

Hu­mans are a funny breed.

We have a fun­da­men­tal need to de­fine things by putting them in boxes. This is how we make sense of our world. Sub­scrib­ing to a view and be­long­ing to a tribe makes us feel com­fort­able. Hav­ing the vi­sion and courage to sep­a­rate our­selves from the pack and em­brace things that don’t im­me­di­ately make sense is a rare trait. Un­sur­pris­ingly, our re­la­tion­ship to in­te­ri­ors fol­lows the same logic. Mel­bourne has re­cently wel­comed a new crop of pro­gres­sive in­te­ri­ors that are boldly re­defin­ing what a shop, a restau­rant or a work­place ought to look like. The types of spa­ces that can’t quickly be la­belled. Oc­tavius La Rosa is a fashion col­lec­tor ob­sessed with avant-garde Ja­panese la­bel Comme des Garçons, among oth­ers. As the pur­veyor of an on­line store spe­cial­is­ing in col­lectable fashion, the young Mel­bour­nian is re­lent­less in his care­ful research of gar­ments from the 20th and 21st cen­tury and has amassed an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of some 3000 pieces. Re­cently, La Rosa’s on­line store man­i­fested into Dot Comme Col­lec­tion, a unique re­tail in­te­rior de­signed by Sib­ling Ar­chi­tec­ture.

The de­sign team be­gan with a clas­sic white cube syn­ony­mous with gallery spa­ces. They ex­pertly trans­formed the flat sur­faces into sculp­tural sil­hou­ettes, much as cloth­ing de­sign­ers treat their gar­ments. This di­rec­tional con­cept store ef­fort­lessly blurs the bound­aries be­tween arte­facts and mer­chan­dise, fashion and art, vir­tual and dig­i­tal. Lo­cated in the base­ment of an un­mem­o­rable build­ing in one of Mel­bourne CBD’s many laneways lies the dis­creetly hid­den fine-din­ing jewel by To­mo­taka Ishizuka. The ac­claimed chef’s epony­mous restau­rant show­cases the rar­efied world of Ja­panese haute cui­sine known as kaiseki. With an enor­mous sense of theatre, the all-en­com­pass­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is fur­ther height­ened by de­sign firm Rus­sell & Ge­orge’s cut­ting-edge in­te­rior. The de­sign is stripped to the ab­so­lute es­sen­tials, ex­ist­ing on the op­po­site end of the aes­thetic spec­trum to most fine-din­ing des­ti­na­tions we have come to ex­pect. A translu­cent co­coon-like struc­ture adds a strik­ing but sub­tle el­e­ment of whimsy rem­i­nis­cent of Ja­panese pa­per lan­terns and veils the ex­clu­sive in­ti­mate set­ting. Per­haps the most orig­i­nal ex­am­ple of non­tra­di­tion at play is Space & Time, an­other re­cent scheme by Rus­sell & Ge­orge, where the stu­dio acts as both de­signer and client. This in­fin­itely flex­i­ble, fu­tur­ist pro­ject crosses the dis­ci­plines of ar­chi­tec­ture, in­te­ri­ors, prod­uct and in­dus­trial de­sign. De­vised to change the way we think about space, the in­te­rior can be con­fig­ured as a work­place, events space, restau­rant, gallery or show­room. Each spa­tial con­fig­u­ra­tion has an un­mis­tak­able char­ac­ter, uni­fied by an ar­rest­ing ceil­ing con­tain­ing thou­sands of coloured LED lights that can be ad­justed to suit any oc­ca­sion. Space & Time’s chameleon-like en­vi­ron­ments makes for a gen­uinely in­trigu­ing pro­ject that’s su­per rel­e­vant for to­day’s in­creas­ingly com­plex world. This con­cept of open­ness taps into the very essence of cre­ativ­ity and in­vites unique and in­spir­ing ex­pres­sions that gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment and di­ver­sity. A de­sign ap­proach that shakes up the norm not only en­riches our in­te­ri­ors, our build­ings and our cities, but also our lives. Now that’s an idea worth open­ing your minds to.

FROM TOP Dot Comme Col­lec­tion, de­signed by Sib­ling Ar­chi­tec­ture, and Ishizuka restau­rant, by Rus­sell & Ge­orge, both in Mel­bourne’s CBD.

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