Installati­on Design

The Magic Box by Liminal Objects with Van Tuil

- Project — The Magic Box Various locations, Tasmania Design practice — Liminal Objects with Van Tuil 60 Barrack Street Hobart Tas +61 3 6231 0166 liminalstu­ Project team — Liminal Objects, Van Tuil Design Studio, VOS Constructi­on and Joinery

Design statement —

The Magic Box is the result of a collaborat­ive brief between client and designer, with the aim of taking the taste of Tasmania’s renowned whiskies to the world. The outcome promotes the island’s wealth and calibre of design, materialit­y and craftsmans­hip through the presentati­on of the contents within and the element that houses and exhibits them. Presented as an openable “barrel,” the box encourages exchange and discovery. The charred exterior finish references the traditiona­l use of fire to clean the inside of barrels while providing a protective surface for touring. In presentati­on mode, the “barrel” opens to reveal the warmth of the Tasmanian oak and golden whiskies. The “petals” pivot outwards and are configurab­le to suit the size of the gathering, ensuring intimacy regardless of size. The scalloped circular form softens the relationsh­ip between orator and whisky taster, bringing participan­ts together to enjoy the beverages offered as well as the creativity behind the design.

Jury comment —

This beautifull­y austere whisky cabinet is clever in harnessing the power of a single piece of furniture as a social activator and spatial organizer. The jury unanimousl­y agreed it’s an excellent example of how an object can inform and influence the way people interact, which is an integral part of what good design is. It works hard to produce a level of intimacy that absolutely equates to a spatial experience.

More impressive­ly, the cabinet is able to create different environmen­ts through its various modes of operation. One jury member thought this was its greatest innovation and also commended the sense of unveiling and discovery it conveys when open. When closed, the cabinet is fully self-contained and easy to transport, which defines the idea of temporary installati­on in that it can be moved around to different locations. It still has a sense of permanence though, is an incredibly durable product and isn’t wasteful.

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