The Design Files | Australia's Most Popular Design Blog
The Design Files covers Australian design in all its forms – from architecture and interiors to gardens, food, fine art and craft. Regular features on the site include Australian Homes every Wednesday, Tasty Tuesday every Tuesday, and Interviews with talented local creative people every Friday.
Inside Artbank, which has just moved to an epic purpose-built warehouse space in Collingwood. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Artbank deputy director Emma Crimmins, curator Miriam Kelly, and director Tony Stephens. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Artbank is having an Open House this Saturday, 11am-4pm. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Stop by 18-24 Down Street, Collingwood, for art and music, as well as artist, architectural and curatorial talks. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Artbank is focussed on promoting engagement with Australian contemporary art. The new inner-city facility will include a cultural event space for exhibitions, talks, community events and public programs. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
‘We seek to reverse the perception that visual art is only for an elite few, seeing it is a reflection of Australian society that can be engaged with regardless of how much or little you might know about art history – telling our stories and commenting on the world around us,’ says Tony. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
The large-scale art-storage units are significant architectural objects in themselves. Collingwood-based firm Edition Office is responsible for the incredible fit-out. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
The move to expanded new Melbourne premises is the latest in a period of significant change for Artbank, which launched new premises in Sydney’s Waterloo in 2014. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
Largely self-funded for the last 20 years, Artbank generates revenue through the leasing of artworks. Fifty percent of the collection is out on loan at any one time, with clients spread across all sectors of the community. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.
When you hear ‘bank’, you think of a secure place to store funds and treasured valuables away from thieving mitts… Well, here we’re talking about a different kind of bank – Artbank. This Australian Government arts support program flips notions of exclusivity on their head, and instead welcomes the public to access a rich collection of contemporary art.
Established in 1980, Artbank is a government funded program with two key objectives – to support Australian contemporary artists by buying their work, and to promote the value of Australian contemporary art to the broader public. These operations are funded through the leasing of artworks from the Artbank collection.
Artbank has found a new Victorian home in Collingwood. Designed by Collingwood-based firm Edition Office, the large-scale purpose-designed warehouse space is dominated by a commanding steel-framed racking system, displaying Artbank’s vast collection, which would typically be confined to a back room. It also features furniture by Dowel Jones, Handkrafted Co, Project 82, and other accents from Daisy Cooper Ceramics and Armadillo & Co.
At Artbank, you can come and witness an exemplary art collection, rummage through the ‘vault’ as you please, and even take a piece away with you (via the Artbank art leasing program, no heists thank-you). In the oft-elitist art world, this concept sounds a little crazy, and at the very least too good to be true. It’s not. Director Tony Stephens explains more…
What is Artbank?
Artbank is unique and that is one of the truly amazing things about it. While it has one of the most significant and diverse collections of Australian art in the world, it is not locked away only to be seen by a select few. Rather, it is open and inclusive – we actively encourage people to rethink and reconsider how works from the collection, and art more broadly, can play a meaningful role in their everyday life.
Whether through renting a work for your home or office, or coming taking part in one of the many programs/projects we run, this a collection that is democratic and accessible by all of its owners – the Australian people!
After more than a decade operating out of a showroom and office in Armadale, why make the move to Collingwood?
A lot has changed in the world since Artbank set up fourteen years ago in Armadale. As organisations evolve and grow, they seek to represent their ideals and position their brand to mirror this shifting nature. So for now, Collingwood best emulates where we are as an organisation. We want to contribute to the existing and growing community of creatives that reside in the area and connect our non-typical stakeholders and audiences with the possibilities inherent in this approach.
Practically, being located in Collingwood also provides us better access to our clients and in turn, allows for a change in the way they engage and invest in what we do. And while we do have our collection spread between Melbourne, Perth and our headquarters in Sydney, for now, we are focused on the next stage of this project – activating our new space!
Since 1980, Artbank has been focused on providing direct support to living Australian artists through the acquisition of their work and promoting the value of Australian contemporary art to the broader community. What does this actually look like?
The ever-expanding Artbank collection comprises more than 11,000 artworks by more than 3,500 Australian artists and is culturally diverse with works by some of Australia’s best-loved artists and brightest emerging stars.
The public is able to access these works through a number initiatives, but most popularly through the art leasing scheme, where works can be leased for a fraction of the insurable value, and then installed in a client’s home or office for everyone to enjoy. Income generated through the art leasing initiative is reinvested into the program – covering operating/program expenses and new acquisitions for the collection.
Described as ‘a democratically available collection,’ in what other ways can the public get access?
You don’t need much to engage with Artbank – a well-developed sense of curiosity will suffice!
Democracy in this context is about everyone having the same right to the work; this is truly a ‘public’ collection in every sense of the word – whether you have a few dollars to spare or just some free time.
The new studio program launching in May will offer Australian creatives practising in fields related to the visual arts (including artists, curators, writers, designers and academics) the opportunity to realise projects and progress their work in our architecturally-designed space with its own laneway access; all within the increasingly unaffordable city fringe. Residents will be selected via an open-call and receive a daily living allowance, with the final program being defined by the needs of the practitioners who apply. So in effect, our program and spaces will be defined by the communities for which they have been created – a reversal of the traditional institutionally led model.
More broadly, our Open House on 24th March is an opportunity for everyone to explore and discover/rediscover the depth of the Artbank collection! Visitors will be able to go behind the scenes and explore over 2,000 artworks on display in the artwork racks, participate in free architectural talks and curatorial tours, listen to music and enjoy street food – all for free!
The collection is focussed on ‘Australian contemporary art’ what are the parameters of this classification, and does it extend to design?
The basics are you need to be alive, legally have the right to live in Australia either through birth or through traditional/irregular migration channels and have been here for more than for 12 months. And of course, you need to be a professional, practising artist with a history of exhibiting and displaying your work in public spaces.
As to the question of design – the delineation between the visual arts and design is often blurred. We collect in this ‘blurry’ space but not beyond.
On that note, we know you enlisted a number of local Australian designers to enrich the Artbank premises with locally made/designed ceramic kitchenware, tables, chairs and rugs…
We commissioned/acquired these items for our new facility because while we don’t collect design as part of what we do, in this context there is the opportunity to acknowledge and support a creative process with a different outcome.
The creatives that invested their time and energy in bringing these beautiful objects to life will add to the layers of our new building. They contribute to a sense of place in the building, which is the perfect way to complement the architectural approach of Edition Office.
Why should our readers stop by Artbank (perhaps rather than another gallery)?
It isn’t really about either or – both have an important role to play in the broader arts and cultural ecosystem. It really depends on the type of experience you are looking for and this is where the difference lies.
You may come across Artbank when you see our works hanging on the walls of a friend’s home or when you visit the doctor. Or, you might come along to one of our events and get a surprise – it’s not quiet and reserved. We encourage you to get your hands on; heave out the artwork racking and create your own journey through our collection. There’ll always be something to challenge, excite, inspire and surprise you during a visit, and we look forward to welcoming as many people as we can to all our facilities over the coming years to do just that.
The purpose of the Artbank Open House and other activities is to help reverse the perception that visual art is only for an elite few. Instead, we see the collection as something that belongs to the public; it embodies the stories of our diverse communities and helps better relate to what’s happening in the world around us.
The Artbank Open House Saturday 24 March,11am-4pm 18-24 Down Street Collingwood, Victoria
‘We always hire staff based on attitude, outlook, sensibility and diversity,’ starts Adele Winteridge, founder and director of Foolscap Studio, an independent cross-disciplinary design practice responsible for the interior architecture, industrial design, identity and cultural programming behind a host of iconic and respected global brands (think Noma, LVMH, Dentsu, St Ali, Chandon and Clemenger BBDO). ‘You don‘t want an office full of people who share very similar perspectives at every turn, you want a rich conversation.’
It’s this rich conversation that has led Adele and her team to win numerous design awards (including Best Installation Design (2017 Eat Drink Design Awards), Best Workplace Design (Belle Interior Design Awards 2013) and Small Bar of the Year (Time Out Sydney 2010)). Foolscap has become the go-to for local and international clients seeking to create spaces that encourage human interaction and connection.
Enabling diverse conversations is also central to the internal workplace culture Adele has crafted since launching Foolscap Studio back in 2009. ‘We have a non-hierarchical office environment, whereby everyone is encouraged to take part in the conversation and speak their mind. Staff are of course assigned projects, but they will be involved across a number of projects in order to share ideas and input.’
While many businesses tout the idea of open communication, at Foolscap Studio it’s become a reality, by creating regular processes that encourage conversation and connection. ‘We have ideas sessions over morning tea every single Monday, Wednesday and Thursday – Monday is a general catch up, Wednesday we will sometimes do a walking chat out or have coffee and alternate between baked treats and fruit delivered to the studio,’ says Adele. ‘Fridays we will have staff members team up and do a presentation to the group – we currently have ongoing research into various sectors, and these interactions up-skill the entire Foolscap Studio team.’
The team also catch up once a week to work on their “travel guide”, an internal procedures manual that’s kept alive and is constantly evolving through staff input. ‘We catch up once a week to stay on top of practical office procedures and protocol… but [the travel guide] also talks to the culture and approach that we hold high. It’s not a boring document that sits on a shelf, it is always evolving.’
On the cusp of celebrating a decade in business, Adele admits processes and people management haven’t always been smooth sailing. ‘Finding the right staff for the job is really tricky, we spend a lot of time trying to communicate who we are, so that when we need someone new they already know deep down if they are a fit. It’s important to make sure you understand the role and the responsibilities really well before advertising for the position. Make sure the person is the right fit for the job, but also for the greater team, for the clients you work with and your style. Above all try to ensure they have a great attitude.’ Even with the greatest planning in the world, sometimes people need different levels of managing or, in cases, they just don’t work out. ‘Being a good manager is challenging; I have had to learn how to work with different personalities and work styles,’ admits Adele. ‘I find as a designer we have honed our communication with our clients, however within our own studio great communication can be harder to achieve.’
In addition to taking on lessons learned from previous roles working at larger practices, and teaching design students, Adele has sought out advice from experts in HR and business to help her source and retain good staff. ‘It sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to get caught up in the immediacy of running a business, this is something I continually work on’ the designer admits. ‘I have had a business coach/mentor for some time and we work through HR issues and complexities together. I also have an accountant, bookkeeper, lawyer and practice manager whom I work with to make sure we are on top of contracts, reviews, new business and recruiting. I firmly believe in getting the right people for the task and not trying to do everything yourself. It is liberating once this becomes possible.’
Most of all, says Adele, creating engaged staff comes down to respecting people and their skill set, being open to hearing (and implementing) their ideas, and understanding that attitude can often be the deciding factor between a business failing or flourishing. ‘For me, someone with the right attitude will succeed over someone who has the (mainly) technical abilities; these skills can be taught and learned but attitude is a little harder.’
Read more about Adele and her team at Foolscap Studio via their website and follow their latest news via Instagram.
TIPS FOR BUILDING A GREAT TEAM
1. Figure out the gaps
When you’re building a business it’s tempting to hire people that are just like you, but for a business to scale there needs to be diversity. Before recruiting anyone, spend time making a list of all the skills currently within your business (even if it’s just your own as a solo operator) and the outputs your business delivers on. Next, review the diversity existing within your team – does it reflect your business values? Now, review the gaps. Do you need someone who understands digital advertising in order to scale leads to the website? Do you need someone with international experience to elevate your own understanding of global trends in, say, eCommerce? Are you always hiring only one gender or people from a similar background? By figuring out the gaps, you begin to see the skills, experiences and traits required for both your new recruit — and your business — to flourish.
2. Set clear expectations
Whether you’re hiring someone new or working with seasoned staff members, setting clear expectations is crucial. Without these, you set yourself (and staff) up for frustration. This may mean setting 30, 60 and 90-day goals for new recruits, or meeting with current staff on a fortnightly or monthly basis and helping them prioritise and map out the key objectives for the next fortnight, month or quarter. Always ask your staff for their input on this; a collaborative approach means better outcomes for all.
3. Share your vision
When people know the destination, they’re more likely to enjoy the journey. By sharing why you started the company and what you hope its legacy to be, you’re allowing people to opt-in to the story, share this with others and figure out how they contribute to the overall business goals. Invest the time in going through this with everyone who works with you and revisit it regularly with offsite strategy days, visible goals and values around the office, or even by asking staff in a monthly catch up for what they would start, stop and keep about the business to maintain its vision.
4. Check yourself
Whether you want it to or not, the mood of a business founder, CEO or MD sets the tone for the rest of the business. If you’re overly stressed around a project or client (or even something in your personal life), try not to spread that stress around your team. While it’s fine to share some elements (particularly if it’s a very open culture), look at discussing the major issues with someone who isn’t part of your staff — a mentor, business coach or fellow business owner. Your job, as a small business owner, is to engage and inspire your team to strive for success, not to feel stressed about their bosses’ mood swings or personal issues.
5. Work smarter, not harder
We all have limited time so if you find your staff regularly working overtime or completing work during the weekend, look at what’s not working. Can things be automated? Can one-hour meetings be swapped for a 10-min daily standup? Where can you and your staff save time by implementing better processes or ways of working? Always ask yourself, are you working on what’s most important (and aligns with your vision)? Books like 168 Hours and Work Smarter, Live Better, may help you figure out what’s getting in the way of an efficient and effective team.
Fiona Killackey is a business consultant and the founder of My Daily Business Coach, a consultancy that provides information and education for starting and growing a creative small business.
Need help with your marketing? Fiona is running a full-day workshop on Marketing for Your Small Business Sunday 15th April at Oak & Monkey Puzzle in Daylesford. Buy the last remaining tickets here.
Subtle Bodies incense was a project started out of a Carlton share house by Courtney Gibbs and Tommy Ashby. Photo – Tomas Friml.
‘One of the most challenging aspects has been trying to communicate a particular sense through alternative mediums – it has definitely been hard to express a scent through words and pictures!’ says Courtney. Photo – Tomas Friml.
‘Subtle Bodies has been an amazing opportunity for us to work with our friends, Jia Jia Chen (Melbourne) and Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner from Soft Baroque (London), who have each designed wonderful and unique incense holders for us based on their own preferred materials to work with,’ Courtney says. Photo – Tomas Friml.
Courtney and Tommy took research trips to high-end incense stores Tokyo and Tawain to take inspiration from the culture and traditions of incense. Photo – Tomas Friml.
Subtle Bodies incense is not made with any generic base wood, perfume, oil, added colour, or bamboo sticks. Photo – Tomas Friml.
‘We have put a lot of consideration into how we define our approach to this very old tradition, we are not doing anything new as incense has been around for thousands of years, but this is our interpretation and Subtle Bodies is the outcome.’ Photo – Tomas Friml.
Subtle Bodies incense uses only two ingredients: the raw wood and a natural binding agent. Photo – Tomas Friml.
Courtney Gibbs and Tommy Ashby of Subtle Bodies were living with creative friends Qianyi Lim of Sibling Architecture and graphic designer Ross Paxman when they first started taking real steps to turn their idea for a new incense brand into reality. ‘We really started to make progress when we worked with Ross in the upstairs study of our Canning street house’, Courtney explains, ‘he really helped by bringing professional structure as well as his strategy, branding and graphic design skills to the project.’
Research trips to Tokyo and Taiwan followed, where Courtney and Tommy visited a number of high-end incense shops, providing plenty of fodder for inspiration. ‘The incredible attention to detail, relentless devotion to the industry and long history directly inspired our project,’ says Courtney. It reached a point where the couple had gathered so many various products, woods, resins and all manner of esoteric incense supplies, that it was time to start something of their own.
Subtle Bodies’ Japanese-style incense sticks only have two ingredients: the fragrant wood, and a natural binding agent, and each incense stick uses a different raw wood. Careful not to use any generic wood, perfume or oil, this is very much a case of what you see (or smell) is what you get!
Courtney and Tommy got in touch with their preferred supplier and took a trip to Vietnam to visit their Agarwood plantation in the jungle. ‘We met the family and community running it, and learned more about the industry,’ Courtney says. ‘Agarwood is often harvested illegally so we wanted to make sure we were sourcing responsibly!’
Subtle Bodies continues to evolve as Courtney and Tommy learn more about incense and its values and culture. ‘Learning about the smells, the effects and developing the brand direction has been really satisfying, and is the basis for everything that we have created,’ says Courtney, ‘incense has been around for thousands of years, but this is our interpretation, and Subtle Bodies is the outcome.’
Maree’s latest neckpieces feature gold plating, supersizing and 3D-printed forms alongside the teeth, quills and feathers. Photo – Ben Swinnerton.
A box of echidna quills in Maree’s studio. Photo – Eugene Hyland.
Collected roadkill forms the basis of Maree’s kangaroo teeth creations. Photo – Eugene Hyland.
The artist and designer with her new range for NGV! Photo – Ben Swinnerton.
Maree Clarke travels home to Mildura – a large town in Victoria’s oft-forgotten north-west – regularly by car, stopping whenever she can along the way. Here, by the side of the road, she pulls teeth from the various dead kangaroos that adorn the highway, the immediate reality of Maree’s practice a striking contrast to the definitive design of her final creations.
Maree uses the teeth, alongside echidna quills and crow feathers that she also collects, in her carefully crafted neck pieces, headbands and cloaks. Most recently she has begun to combine organic materials with new and different technologies, exploring the ‘relationship between modernity and the past’; her latest neckpieces feature gold plating, supersizing and 3D-printed forms, alongside the teeth, quills and feathers.
Meditation on the relationship between tradition and modernity is a central element of Maree’s oeuvre. Her cultural practice as a Mutti Mutti/Yorta Yorta and Boon Wurrung/Wemba Wemba woman is enhanced by new technologies, ensuring that her practice is contemporary and current, and the next step in the continuum that is the oldest living culture in the world.
‘That’s what my practice is all about, it’s not about me, it’s about passing it all on,’ says Maree, clear and articulate about her life’s work. She wants to ensure that traditional cultural practices, used to create adornments and clothing, continue as contemporary culture.
She takes her nieces and nephews along with her for the long drive home, sharing her art with them. Through her work with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, she inspires other young people to take up art and cultural practice for themselves. Maree tells them, ‘you can take anything from this and make it your own.’
Maree’s legacy is apparent in the changing nature of the national Indigenous arts sector. Over the last 30 years, she has seen south-eastern Aboriginal arts come to the fore, and has had a strong hand in ensuring this visibility. In the late 1980s, she instigated support for local Aboriginal arts in Mildura; she is also credited as one of a handful of cultural practitioners pivotal in the reclamation and maintenance of local Koorie cultural practices.
Importantly, Maree has been central to bringing south-east Aboriginal arts to prominence within the national arts sector. In the mid-1990s, she mounted several initiatives that gave the likes of Reko Rennie and Bindi Cole some of their first shows, and in speaking about the work of fellow south-east Aboriginal artists and cultural practitioners her passion is evident: ‘[a lot of our art is] based on traditional designs from our own areas…[in the beginning] I saw the markings on our shields – it gave me goosebumps.’
Maree Clarke’s photographic works are currently on display as part of Colony: Frontier Wars, one of two exhibitions exploring Australia’s colonial history alongside Colony: Australia 1770 – 1861 at NGV Australia, Federation Square.
Clarke’s new jewellery collection Thung-ung Coorang (Kangaroo teeth necklace) is available in 3D-printed form exclusively at the NGV design store at NGV International and NGV Australia.
A special thank you to Hannah Presley for connecting us with Eugenia Flynn, and several other amazing writers who will be contributing to this column over the coming months.
Last month I popped over to Brunswick to share a cup of tea with one-woman dynamo Beci Orpin. In this candid conversation, Beci shares her wisdom on staying small, being a close-deadline worker, and why she’s still super excited to show up for work each day!
We’ll be joined by Rob Adam this Friday March 23rd for ‘Happiness by Design’, a TDF Talks speaker event at the NGV, for Melbourne Design Week. (Sorry, session now sold out!).
‘Postcode 3000‘ is the name given to City of Melbourne’s original masterplan to turn Melbourne into a ’24 hour city’.
The amazing Ian Dryden is Rob’s long-term collaborator at City of Melbourne, responsible for the city’s distinctive industrial design solutions (with his team, Ian has designed all of City of Melbourne’s unique public seating, lighting, magazine kiosks, public amenities and more).
Rob mentions sculptural artwork in Melbourne by Simon Perry.
The Schiavello family’s vast farm property in rural Victoria, frequented by Anton and Bonnie Schiavello and Anton’s father and stepmother, Peter and Natalie Schiavello. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
‘In the new lounge the architecture and ceiling were modelled off the existing design, where an A-frame draws your eyes towards the surrounding windows, looking out onto the gardens and Mt. Concord,’ explains Bonnie. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
An original Vladimir Tretchikoff ‘Balinese Girl’ print from the 1950s, which Bonnie gifted Anton for his birthday. Photo – Caitlin Mills..
The homestead was originally designed by the office of Walter Burley Griffin, and built in 1926. Renovations were carried out by the Schiavello family in 2010. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
The new extensions to the original homestead included the kitchen and living area, dining area, cellar and an indoor garage. Tasmanian Oak floorboards and ornamental wall and ceiling features were also modelled off the original homestead. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
‘The new windows, joinery (wardrobes, door handles, mantles), and red brick fireplaces were treated with the same colour palette, aesthetic and materials that were included in the original build in 1926’, says Bonnie. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
‘The furniture pieces and artwork throughout the homestead is an eclectic mix of furniture that Anton grew up with as a child’ explains Bonnie. These include Schiavello designed and made pieces, and also second hand pieces the family has collected from local markets over the years. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
Bonnie and Anton Schiavello in the open plan kitchen – the pair love to getaway to the country whenever possible. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
Bonnie Schiavello in the newly added living area. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
The 400ha property is located in Molesworth, in the Upper Goulburn wine region of Central Victoria’s Goulburn Murray. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
In the early 2000s, Anton’s father Peter sought out a country proprty an hour or two from the city, intended as a place the family could enjoy the outdoors. Photo – Caitlin Mills.
The Schiavello family purchased this impressive property in Central Victoria in 2006, and undertook significant renovations in 2010.
Originally designed by the office of Walter Burley Griffin and built in 1926, the home is a sprawling Victorian homestead, flanked by truly cinematic scenery! Four years after purchasing the property, Peter and Natalie were keen to update the home, and so carried out sympathetic renovations. The kitchen and living area were updated, as well as the dining area. It was of utmost importance to the family to respect the existing structure, and be informed by the original features throughout the new extension.
New windows, joinery and red brick fireplaces were treated with the same colour palette as the original building, utilising materials consistent with the original home. Tasmanian Oak floorboards and ornamental wall and ceiling features were also modelled off the original homestead. A new extension, including a modernised kitchen with marble and stainless steel details were added.
The new extension was modelled off the existing home, with A-frame ceilings and dramatic windows drawing the eye out to the rolling hills, vineyard and Mt. Concord beyond. ‘The vineyard and gardens was an important feature, allowing us to feel connected with the outdoors whenever we are inside’ says Bonnie, Peter’s daughter-in-law. The original wrap-around veranda was reinstated, and continued through the new extension, with the addition of in an outdoor fireplace for cooler nights in winter. The family’s passion for great food and wine also inspired the addition of an underground, naturally cooled wine cellar beneath the property!
At the heart of the home sits an extendable dining table, made from solid oak, which, when extended, sits 26 people! This table was designed by Peter to accommodate the generous family dinners often hosted here – a glass of wine and homemade pasta is a popular occurrence (And our crew were extended this same generosity on shoot day, too!).
The property also includes a functioning vineyard, Gioiello Estate, which recognises the past generations of the Schiavello family who worked a property named Gioiello, or ‘the Jewel’ in Italian. Planted between 1987 and 1996, it accounts for just under 9 hectare of the property.
For Anton and Bonnie Schiavello, second generation custodians of this incredible home, the family homestead provides respite from busy city life. ‘Living in Fitzroy throughout the week, Anton and I love to spend our time here on weekends. We love connecting with the outdoors, and going back to basics’ says Bonnie. Indeed, with both Peter, Anton and the rest of the family now based in inner city Melbourne, this country retreat represents a connection to nature, home-grown food and excellent wine – passions which continue to pass through each generation of the Schiavello family.
Schiavello are participating in Melbourne Design Week 2018 as part of the Open State and Denfair Design Loop programs.
Find further information, dates and times check out the full program of events and participants here.
‘We have a rare ability to meld the traditional pillars of cake baking, with our own brand of irreverent innovation’ says Nat. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Styling Assistant – Ashley Simonetto.
‘Roulades are the Seventies, speedy and scrumptious all at once!’ Nat says. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Styling Assistant – Ashley Simonetto.
The recipes we use at Beatrix are drawn from my pastry chef experience, a crazy amount of cookbooks, and nostalgic favourites. We have a rare ability to meld the traditional pillars of cake baking with our own brand of irreverent innovation.
This week’s recipe is a good example of this amalgamation: cocoa meringue roulade with toffeed fig and St David’s Dairy creme fraîche!
Roulades are the Seventies, speedy and scrumptious all at once! Don’t pass them by, as they are an agile dessert that pair happily with a variety of creams (mascarpone, crème fraiche, smooth ricotta) and fruit (berries, poached pear, passionfruit, lemon curd etc). You could also opt to switch this to a layer cake. I always love eating the offcuts from the morning cake set up at Beatrix… well before you should really be eating these kind of desserts!
INGREDIENTS for the roulade
(makes one, 30cm x 40cm)
180g egg whites (from around 6 eggs)
pinch tartar cream
300g caster sugar
50g Dutch cocoa powder
5g vanilla paste
Pinch of good sea salt
INGREDIENTS for the filling
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste – or half a vanilla bean scraped out
Zest one lemon
4 large ripe figs, each cut into three slices
FOR THE ROULADE
Preheat oven to 150˚C.
Line a 30cm x 40cm flat tray with canola spray and baking paper.
Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the stand mixer bowl, and whisk at a medium-high speed. Whisk the whites until they reach a firm peak and look creamy.
Add half a cup of the sugar gradually- around a tablespoon at a time to start with, then two at a time as the mix gets glossy and firm.
Add the vanilla.
Sift the cocoa, salt, and remaining sugar together, turn off the mixer then add all at once to the meringue at a low speed. The cocoa can fly so drape a tea towel over the top!
Scrape the mix out into the prepared tray, in a large rectangular shape, and smooth out with an offset spatula, leaving a small margin as the meringue will puff and spread when baking. Spread it all the way if using a tin with higher sides, or split the mix between two canola sprayed and lined 20cm round cake tins to make a layer cake.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top feels crunchy but not hard – like a crunchy pillow!
Cool the meringue completely on the tray.
FOR THE FILLING
Stir the mascarpone, vanilla and lemon zest.
Lay the fig slices on a baking tray and scatter with sugar blowtorch the sugar to caramelise
To fill and assemble, turn the meringue out onto a sheet of Gladwrap dusted with Dutch cocoa. Flip the meringue onto the Gladwrap so the top becomes the outside and the longest side is closest to you.
Spread the mascarpone out starting from the side closest to you and leave an un-creamed 2cm strip at the top.
Tear the toffeed figs and scatter over the cream.
Start the roll by moving along the roulade with your fingers – just tucking the first bit.
Using the Gladwrap, lift and roll the roulade until the seam is on the bottom – roll onto a platter and eat!
The dining room of Tim Hill’s Kensington home, which he modeled after a boat! The facade faces west, and is illuminated in the evenings by the setting sun. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The exterior of the family home. ‘The house looks as though it is wrapped up by a continuous piece of ‘fabric’, and the ‘seam’ is above the front door’, explains Tim. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
A sunken lounge sits underneath the guest bedroom pod, which is where the family hang out to watch movies or on a Sunday afternoon. Greenery enters the home through a pocket of garden framed by north-facing windows. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
A view into the kitchen featuring a unique, rounded island bench, recycled bricks below and concrete benchtops. ‘It’s a very raw, warm and workmanlike space – albeit wrapped up in curves!’ Tim says. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Kitchen area details, featuring distinctive, curved wood-paneled walls that run throughout the house. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
A wide view of the sunken lounge and dining areas. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Casper’s room at the top of the stairs, on the opposite side of the bridge to Tim and Virginia’s bedroom. ‘He comes pitter-pattering across the bridge in the morning,’ tells Tim. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
This corner of the sunken lounge is down at the level of the garden, looking out to flowers and lush greenery. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Tim and Virginia’s bedroom. ‘We built in the bed, which has a fixed bedhead for books, teacups, and the like.’ Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Moss-green carpet lines the upstairs bedrooms. PPhoto – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The larger of the two bathrooms in the house, featuring built-in niches for storage. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The guest bedroom / study, featuring more gently curving walls. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Looking back across the bridge from the guest room. ‘There is a door, recessed and hidden in the wall panels, which creates privacy for the room when it’s occupied,’ Tim explains, ‘we use this as a large study when we don’t have guests.’ The circular ‘porthole’ windows are used to let heat out of the top of the double height central space. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The ‘grandfather nook’ with a big afternoon lounge chair. Butterfly chair from Curious Grace. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Some homes just command attention. ‘True North,‘ as named by owner and architect Tim Hill, is one of those sorts of houses. This distinctive 3-bedroom family home, on a corner block in Melbourne’s Kensington, was featured on Grand Designs Australia in June 2017, and received a commendation in the Victorian Architecture Awards that same year. But whether you’re a discerning architecture fan, or simply a local passer-by, there’s no doubting this house is something quite special.
Tim Hill, Virginia English and their son Caspar have called this unique property home for the past three years. When the couple first purchased the narrow, tapering site, Tim considered it the perfect fit for his little family – ‘a little bigger than our first house, with room for a family to grow into, and parents and friends to visit’ he recalls.
The block originally featured a run down cottage, and an old stables (complete with barn door openings and a 140 year-old hayloft floor!). Tim and Virginia lived in the converted stables for the initial twelve months, while demolishing the cottage, and building their unconventional home.
The unusually shaped site presented challenges, but equally informed the innovative house design. Tim describes that ‘nothing about this block conformed to normal expectations’, which necessitated a re-design of what a family home could (and should) look like! The home welcomes visitors through a standard ‘front door’, but doesn’t conform to a conventional structure in layout of ‘front’ or ‘side.’ Rather than viewing the unusual site as a limitation, Tim views the resulting house design as a ‘an original solution to a unique challenge.’
While the site demanded a triangular form, the house itself is sinuous and curving. The exterior of the building is encased in a skin of pleated folded metal; which Tim imagines as like being ‘wrapped in a piece of cloth.’ This idea of an architectural ‘hug’ is echoed in the interiors, where natural finishes, curved timber lining and plywood panels conjure a feeling of warmth. For the owner, ‘the overriding feeling is being embraced by the rounded, organic shapes – people remark on the shapes and the sense of warmth and welcome.’
In Molly’s casting process of reproduction, duplicates are achieved but vary every time, making each piece one-of-a-kind. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
‘Each bag is completely handmade, they are one-off pieces, holding traces of the maker,’ details Molly. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
New bags, garments, as well as one-off latex prints (wall-hanging) are in the works.Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
The Bubbled Tote is the most covetable bag we’ve seen in forever! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
‘I see my range of bags as a way of expressing my previously used techniques and materials into a functional, useable everyday item; this contrasted and was a natural progression to my more conceptual previous work,’ explains the designer. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
‘In my teens, clothing and music became my way of creatively expressing,’ tells Molly .Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
Molly has worked with talented graphic designer Jacob Zinman-Jeanes on her branding, website and other aspects of visual merchandising. She is looking forward to seeing all elements of design around the range come together. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
‘I am looking forward to continuing creating, as I always do; exploring new techniques, forms, textures, colours,’ tells Molly. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.
Before you read on any further, perhaps consider popping on some background music. Now, to the mind-boggling bags…
Molly Younger is a brilliant, innovative artist and designer (plus she’s also playing bass on this track, if you’re listening). A talent that can turn her hand to virtually anything, Molly grew up tinkering and creating in Byron Bay, where her parents ran gallery/workshop Flying Goolie. She followed her brother to Melbourne, graduated from RMIT with a BA in fashion design, and cut her teeth at Materialbyproduct, before leaving to focus on her eponymous brand this year.
Molly started working with latex and paint back in 2011, though it might surprise you to know she has been exposed to the atypical material since childhood. ‘My Mum [Annie Younger] used to use latex casting to create her sculptures,’ she explains. ‘During this time, I became fascinated with the process of producing physical materials from liquid states, and experimenting with their possibilities.’
Her first fashion experiment resulted in a sleeveless coat, and later collections (shown at fashion weeks in Melbourne and London!) combined moulded latex with fabric. Four years later, Molly made her first bag. It marked a shift towards the design of more usable, everyday items.
Molly’s unique process begins with carefully perfecting a plaster mould – the form the bag will be cast from. Once the mould is made, she can use it endless times. ‘It is very labour-intensive, it’s manual work, involving multiple coats of equal-parts-latex-paint mix and patience,’ she tells. If that wasn’t amazing enough, there’s another artistic element to the designs too – several feature photographic prints by her brother, Jack Younger.
The designer has been testing her bags for several years now and admits she’s been pretty rough with them. ‘They actually hold considerable weight – all the straps are reinforced with embedded material, and if they get dirty, you can wipe or hand wash,’ she explains. ‘You just can’t leave them out in hard direct sunlight over long periods of time… and obviously carrying sharp objects could do damage!’
The new Range 1: Early Sculptural Forms consists of eight pieces – Bubbled Tote, Landscape Tote, Pot Bag, Lunch Bag, Landscape Shoulder Bag, Duffel Bag, Landscape Wallet Small and Landscape Wallet Large – available in seven colours. This line is the first purchasable work Molly has produced – we’re pretty sure these will be future collector’s items!
New bags, garments, as well as one-off latex prints (wall-hanging) are in the works for Molly Younger, follow her work at Mollyyounger.com.
Range 1: Early Sculptural Forms by Molly Younger Launch March 22nd, from 6pm 54 Johnston Street Collingwood, Victoria
Crossing Threads is the side hustle of Sydney-based sisters Lauren and Kassandra Hernandez. Photo – Jacqui Turk.
After taking a weaving workshop together in 2015, Lauren and Kass spent many a ‘crafternoon’ together exploring their shared love for the practise. Photo – Jacqui Turk.
Lauren and Kass’ Dad can ‘build practically anything from scratch’, including their large custom looms! Photo – Jacqui Turk.
Crossing Threads support Australian wool growers and suppliers, and opt to use high quality natural fibres that are produced locally or Fairtrade. Photo – Jacqui Turk.
Both sisters have jobs in the corporate world, and are steadily inching towards turning their passion project into a full-time gig! Photo – Jacqui Turk.
‘Since we were kids, either one of us was one step ahead and the other just one step behind. We did everything together!’ Photo – Jacqui Turk.
‘A weaving technique that we have coined and labelled is our ‘interknot’ technique, which is a whimsical array of macramé and sporadic knotting that creates varied chains that anchor our pieces and graduate upwards in an orchestrated chaos’, explain Lauren and Kass of their textural work. Photo – Jacqui Turk.
‘The idea of making something with my hands and seeing instant progress is truly gratifying,’ tells Lauren.
Photo – Jacqui Turk.
The sisters aim for zero waste. ‘All the off-cuts and scrap yarn we accumulate get sent off to a local spinner who then spins all of these fibres into new, bespoke yarn which will be used in future pieces’, they explain. Photo – Jacqui Turk.
‘I never sought out to become a fibre artist, however I continually find myself gravitating towards this practice, because of the meditative release that weaving gives me,’ says Kass. Photo – Jacqui Turk.
When Lauren and Kass of Crossing Threads decided to launch an Instagram account as a way to document their creative process, Lauren (who comes from a marketing and branding background) suggested that they ‘treat it like the real thing’ and workshop an identity to go with it. And as it turns out, it IS the real thing!
Kass and Lauren’s woven creations are textural and abundant. The sisters use their unique skills to breathe new life into natural fibres, and are committed to a ‘zero-waste’ philosophy. ‘We source up-cycled and discontinued fabrics, ropes and other non-traditional fibres’, the pair explain, adding ‘all the off-cuts and scrap yarn we accumulate get sent off to a local spinner who then spins the fibres into new, bespoke yarn.’
The creative sisters were inseparable in their childhood. ‘Either one of us was one step ahead and the other just one step behind,’ reflects Lauren, ‘we did everything together!’ Coming from a family of hard workers, they credit their own work ethic to watching their parents and grandparents, who travelled to Sydney from the Philippines in pursuit of greater opportunities. Their grandfather was a cartographer/calligraphist, and their father is an architect who ‘sews, cooks, and can build practically anything from scratch’ – including the large custom looms the girls use. Meanwhile, their Mum was a talented seamstress – ‘some of my fondest memories are accompanying Mum to source fabrics and sequins for our dance costumes,’ Kass says, ‘then watching both our parents tag-team at sequencing and beading!’
With a following of over 30k on Instagram and a growing list of clients, Lauren and Kass are ready to up the ante. ‘Working in a corporate environment can be rewarding but somewhat stressful,’ Kass admits, ‘this year I am pushing towards turning this part-time fibre art gig into a full-time career.’
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