The Australian - The Deal - - Trends | People | Events -

Great de­sign is about far more than fab­u­lous form and func­tion. It should have the power to stir some­thing emo­tional within us, to ar­rest, re­lax or push a busi­ness and its peo­ple to achieve more than they’d imag­ined.

That’s the phi­los­o­phy of lead­ing Aus­tralian de­signer Kerry Phe­lan (above), who has worked on a raft of award-win­ning com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial in­te­ri­ors, in­clud­ing the Ivy in Sydney, the Botan­i­cal and Bistro Guil­laume in Mel­bourne and the JIA Bou­tique Ho­tel in Shang­hai.

“When a per­son walks into any space, they have an emo­tional re­ac­tion, whether it’s pos­i­tive, neg­a­tive or am­biva­lent,” she says. “I aim to cre­ate elo­quent spa­ces that res­onate with peo­ple, that make them feel in­spired, awed, play­ful, med­i­ta­tive.”

Phe­lan, pre­vi­ously at Hecker, Phe­lan & Guthrie, es­tab­lished Kerry Phe­lan De­sign Of­fice in 2010 and is in de­mand, cre­at­ing stylish spa­ces in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles, as well as in Aus­tralia. One of her big­gest com­mis­sions is de­sign­ing Gro­con’s new head­quar­ters in Sydney, an off-grid, biogas-pow­ered build­ing aimed at help­ing es­tab­lish the con­struc­tion com­pany’s brand in NSW.

“We’re very priv­i­leged to cre­ate in­te­ri­ors that func­tion beau­ti­fully – and res­onate emo­tion­ally,” Phe­lan says.

Sue Wil­liams

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