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Zuster at Galleria.

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Mafi Timber at Galleria.

 

This year, industry event “Saturday Indesign” was renamed “Sydney Indesign” with the program spread over three days from Thursday to Saturday. Having been to the Melbourne event several times, this was my first time attending Sydney’s. Despite the name change, I found out the hard way that the event remains, very much, centred on the Saturday. I visited most of the showrooms on Friday and was left a little underwhelmed. Many showrooms had sparse guests, business as usual styling and a notable absence of drinks and snacks (which really hurts when you’ve gotten up at 5.30am to fly in for the event). I hate to sounds like a princess demanding  show ponies and soft cheeses but compared to previous years, it seemed to be missing the same sense of occasion. Admittedly, I probably should have cast my eyes on the program as a few showrooms were hosting special events, all of which I seemed to miss.

 

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Habitus Pavilion at Galleria.

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James Richardson with Daniel Dall Riva at Galleria.

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Ella Table Lamp by Studio Make Made. Launch Pad Winner.

 

First stop on Friday was Galleria, which housed a variety of exhibitors under one roof. After being burnt by many a design trade fair (the last one I spotted velour, the word “HOPE” and diamontes crammed onto one cushion), the standard of work was definitely higher than your average trade event. Many exhibitors went all out on their displays, with the lush greenery of the Habitus pavilion and the multi-coloured dividing wall by Karton demanding the most attention. The stand out piece for me was the Ella Table Lamp by Studio Make Made, which was winner of this year’s Launch Pad.

Yet I’d have to say that the actual venue, a spot at Eveleigh’s Old Rail Yard was the hero of Galleria. The lucky exhibitors who nabbed a spot around the perimeter, managed to use the architectural backdrop with great success, in particular, Mafi Timber’s curving skate ramp.

 

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Bolon tent in front of Galleria.

Kris Coad for Planet at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Live porcelain throwing by Kris Coad at Planet.

Kris Coad for Planet at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Freshly formed porcelain by Kris Coad at Planet.

 

Despite my whinge about Friday, there were a few standouts for me. Stack filled Cafe Culture’s showroom with clusters of pine trees. The pines alerted the nose first before pleasing the eyes- a welcome sensory experience at the end of a long day. The pairing between Designer Rugs and Arthur G felt like a match meant to be, with a frenzy of colour and bold prints marking a celebration of both exhibitors. Planet welcomed ceramicist Kris Coad, who was throwing porcelain live in their front window.

 

Stack for Cafe Culture at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Lee Broom at Cafe Culture.

Arthur G and Designer Rugs at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Arthur G and Designer Rugs.

Arthur G and Designer Rugs at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Arthur G and Designer Rugs.

Arthur G and Designer Rugs at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Arthur G and Designer Rugs.

 

The energy picked up several notches on Saturday, with showrooms filling with significantly more bodies and fortunately for the grazer that I am, more snacks. Talks and activities also ramped up and the usual buzz of Saturday Indesign began to show its face.

First stop on Saturday was KE-ZU, who collaborated with Yellowtrace. You’ve heard of Yellowtrace, right? Sorry. Dad joke. Dana and Nick inserted a fabric screen in the space, with an image of a Milan interior printed on the surface. The screen was illuminated by the windows behind, giving the impression of a dappled projection. The three sided screen essentially created a 1:1 impression of another space and transported it into KE-ZU’s showroom. The installation explored the limits between real and imagined spaces, particularly in terms of the design process. Clever or clever? Nice one team.

 

Yellowtrace for KE-ZU at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Yellowtrace installation at KE-ZU. Photo by Nick Hughes for Yellowtrace.

Yellowtrace for KE-ZU at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Yellowtrace installation at KE-ZU. Photo by Nick Hughes for Yellowtrace.

Urban Future for Inlite at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Urban Future Installation at Inlite. Photo by Jenna Rowe.

Urban Future for Inlite at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Urban Future Installation at Inlite. Photo by Nick Hughes for  Yellowtrace.

 

Inlite’s DJ tent by Dirk and Ed at Urban Future which was not technically part of the official “The Project” series but it definitely rocked my socks.  Simply using gold emergency blankets and a fan, the space was given a shot of electric energy which shifted with as the movement of bodies as they interacted with the force of the fan.

 

Christopher Boots for Inlite at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Christopher Boots at Inlite.

Hassell for Living Edge Commercial at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Hassell Installation at Living Edge Commercial.

Hassell for Living Edge Commercial at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Hassell Installation at Living Edge Commercial.

 

Jardan’s showroom was particularly photogenic, as I had expected. Natural light and considered styling were their strongest weapons. Launching what seemed like a tonne of new products, I’m starting to feel that Jardan are defining the Australian aesthetic in furniture design. Big call?

 

Jardan at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Jardan showroom.

Jardan at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Jardan showroom.

Jardan at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Jardan showroom.

Jardan at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Jardan showroom.

Zuster at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Zuster showroom.

Zuster at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Zuster showroom.

Corporate Culture at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Corporate Culture showroom.

Corporate Culture at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Corporate Culture showroom.

Corporate Culture at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Corporate Culture showroom.

Spence & Lyda at Sydney Indesign  |  Yellowtrace

Spence & Lyda showroom.

 

Whilst I enjoyed the event overall, my memories of past Melbourne Saturday Indesign events seem more energetic in comparison. Remember this one? The Sydney showrooms generally presented beautifully but rarely did I feel as if they were transformed to stage an event. I did see much less on Saturday so perhaps I just played my cards all wrong. There may well have been all sorts of awesome exploding some place outside of my chosen itinerary.

Nonetheless, it was great to get away from the ol’ computer screen and see products in the flesh. I’ll still be back again next year for sure.

Text by Ella Leoncio for Yellowtrace.

 


[Photography by Ella Leoncio for Yellowtrace unless otherwise noted.]

 

About The Author

Ella Leoncio
Contributor

Ella is a design obsessed architect from Melbourne and author of the blog 'pages from my moleskine'. She specializes in residential architecture and currently works in a senior design role with an equal focus on architecture and interiors. Things that really float Ella’s boat include; designs that frame an experience, innovative material explorations, textures and light, clarity and simplicity. She is addicted to learning through making and doing. Her free time is spent sewing, knitting, knotting, folding, moulding, shaping, dyeing... Contemporary dance is another great life passion of hers. In fact, Ella is convinced that dance and architecture are two dialects of the same language.

9 Responses

  1. nixsheth

    Gorgeous photo’s – they really capture the essence of this years event! Although, I think the focus of ‘Sydney Indesign’ was on education of the design industry & products (rather than food/drink) – which is what these events should be about!

    Reply
  2. Sophie S

    I, for one, revelled in the renewed approach to the Saturday in Design format. The new three day program meant less of the student and home decorator’s cramming spaces and more opportunity to actually get to the showrooms to see what I wanted to see. I did miss the presence of some of the big players of previous years who for some reason weren’t taking part this time around…. on the whole though I think that when consulting the program/hand book it was easier to know where to be and when to be there. I can do away with the “vibe” and the cheese if it means that I can see my suppliers and actually connect with people I want to see. Not wanting to sound elitist but in previous years all the ‘celebrating’ was getting in the way of the what I was there to do. I;ve been to these events in Sydney and Melbourne for years and the whole thing began years ago as an industry event — I felt like this time around it was actually getting back to being a architect and design industry focussed.

    Reply
  3. Ella Leoncio
    ella

    True true Nikita and Sophie. I was lucky to catch the morning talk at KE-ZU, which was great (although a bit hard to hear from the back). Unfortunately I didn’t catch anything else. I was a bit fixated on trying to visit all the showrooms so didn’t plan to stay at any showroom for too long! Next year I’ll make sure I check the program and actually plan my day to catch more.

    Most of the showrooms I visited on Friday felt like business as usual, which did mean I could see products but really, I’m not sure how it made it different to any other day.

    Reply
  4. Ke-Zu Showroom Installation by Yellowtrace for Sydney Indesign 2013.

    [...] Sydney Indesign 2013 is well and truly behind us – you may recall Ella’s fantastic recap of the event back here in which she briefly touched on the Yellowtrace installation for our friends at KE-ZU. If you’ll allow me, today I’d like to tell you a bit more about this project, and share some of the great images we’ve received since the event. [...]

    Reply

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