My interest in the design field began with visual arts exploring painting, printmaking and sculpture initially and then evolving into installation art. Interior design then became the next logical step for me as I was more interested in exploring a person’s interpretation of their environment and how they come to assign meaning to their experience of it.
I graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2000 with a Bachelor of Built Environment (Interior Design) and Graduate Diploma in Interior Design. I then worked in interiors for a variety of Interior Design and Architectural firms and also Government both in Brisbane and Sydney on projects big and small, which eventually led me to my current passion for sustainable design.
What do you love most about being an interior designer?
Interior design is a collaborative process of a series of ideas, constructs and decisions about function, aspirations, culture, cost, time and carbon among others that have a very tangible built environment outcome. I thoroughly enjoy seeing how this unfolds in its unique way on every project like a puzzle or a maze.
Who or what inspires your design? Do you have any influences?
Influences and inspiration that affect my thinking come from a mix of sources that are mostly sustainability, popular culture and technology based.
Some of these include the ReNew and Sanctuary magazines, Dezeen online, Indesign magazine, Australian Institute of Architects’ EDG newsletter, GBCA publications, newsletters and events, Design Institute of Australia’s Artichoke magazine and Spark newsletter, CSIRO’s publications, blogs and newsletter, Meetup environment and sustainability group’s events, and a host of sustainability vlogs.
Walk us through your design process, how do you create an interior clients love?
My design process begins with getting to know the client, their brief and the project background so that I can understand the main drivers for the project and what really matters to both the client and end users of the interior.
Next, I explore the specific sustainable design possibilities and challenges that can be influenced. A project-specific strategy of ideas then emerges to align the values and drivers of the project with its functional requirements and the desired sustainability outcome. The rest is negotiation and teamwork.
What has been your most favourite project to design?
Rather than having one favourite project, I tend to enjoy bits and pieces from various projects, such as:
Incorporating beautiful daylight and sky views in a fitout with no windows through the use of solatubes
Achieving just the right “quiet in the zone’ feel at the work pods in a co-shared workspace space
The way reflected sunlight shines and sparkles off the mirror splashback tiles in a breakout space
Achieving just the right feel of quiet and ‘in the zone’ sense at the work pods in a co-shared workspace space together with the sparkly mirror splashback tiles
Reading that violence is down, and staff-inmate relations have improved in a prison project I worked on; and
Getting away with specifying only ESD certified wall cladding for a large townhouse development
To name only a few!
What would be your dream design project?
Anything where sustainable outcomes are valued, and we don’t have to demolish what is there to build it new again.
What is your top interior design tip?
Reuse, recycle and reduce of course!