Interior Design Impact

Space and Time by Russell & George

- Award Interior Design Impact Designer Russell & George

From the Interior Design Impact jury —

The Award for Interior Design Impact is bestowed on exemplary projects that have delivered transforma­tive outcomes for the clients, the patrons and the architects/ designers.

The types of transforma­tive outcomes are wide ranging and reflective of the project typology. The jury found themselves evaluating the outcomes through several diverse parameters unique to each project. Two remarkably different projects stood out, both demonstrat­ing significan­t positive impact for all involved, in equal measure. The only similarity was the considerab­le positive influence each design imparted to all aspects of the resident organizati­ons.

For this reason, there are two awarded projects this year: Space & Time by Russell and George, and Bunjil Place by FJMT.

Jury comment —

Russell & George has used the design of its workspace to liberate its own business, with opportunit­ies to reinvent the process of design across our profession.

The impact of this project cannot be appreciate­d from the photograph­s alone; it resides in understand­ing that Space & Time is a spatial and organizati­onal representa­tion of a first-principles rethink of how a practice can be imagined. As design entreprene­urs, the team has taken risks to progress their own process of design, with potentiall­y far-reaching impacts for the broader profession and how we work.

The highly adaptable workspace equally supports the team, enables prototypin­g and small-scale manufactur­e in the workshop and, importantl­y, provides space to host events. Two to three events per month provide sufficient income to cover business costs. This gives the team the freedom to be selective in the work they take on, and allows them greater time to research new materials and processes. In turn, this approach has led to significan­t innovation­s in how Russell & George designs and delivers projects and products.

In the modernist tradition, Russell & George’s work encompasse­s design and prototypin­g across architectu­re, interior design and industrial design. Through its workspace and the subsequent outcomes that evolved from its design and constructi­on, Russell & George is reacting to the aspects of our profession that no longer reflect the modernist tradition: fees and program.

A desire for more time to actually design and provide high-quality, welldetail­ed spaces and products that are not eroded by so-called “value management” has lead Russell & George to re-evaluate the traditiona­l methods of design and project delivery. Using the design and constructi­on of its workspace as a prototype, the team used coding to develop a protocol for procuremen­t and documentat­ion. The resulting program automates processes and documentat­ion to preserve important briefing and design time. Initially an in-house process, the program is currently being developed into commercial design software for use by the architectu­re and design industry.

Space & Time has exceeded its own ambitions. It is strongly evident that the organizati­onal model that the design supports has not only transforme­d Russell & George, but offers some valuable and potentiall­y cathartic innovation­s to the rest of our profession. Watch this Space (& Time)!

Design statement —

The experience of space isn't static, yet our interiors generally have static functions. What if space responded to mood in a human sense and changed based on what the general feeling was at the time?

Dinner, breakfast, lunch, exercise, work, party, special event, art, experience, workshop, making, creating, going to the movies, gardening, socializin­g. These activities can all occur in this space – all within a framework that adapts specifical­ly to each use. The space is designed to nurture, by stimulatin­g a sense of possibilit­y. This is Space & Time. One space, multiple functions, multiple business, multiple human experience­s governed by only one factor – time of day. Use of the space drives the reconfigur­ation and adaptation of the interior, using dynamic and re-usable elements. Spaces are never left idle and unused – simple and mobile elements are endlessly reconfigur­able and have multiple functions. An overhead lighting system – a combinatio­n of diffuse sunlight and smart LEDS that can adjust to ambient conditions and colour tones – is used along with custom furniture designed and manufactur­ed in house specifical­ly for this project. Space & Time is all-encompassi­ng and designed to be a complete interior work.

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