Isolation as Charm – Unspoilt

In Australia we know we’re geographically isolated, does this have an impact on how and what we design?

We do not have constant physical reminders of Architectural antiquity. We have an ancient landscape to draw inspiration from, our sense of scale, colour, texture and form is different and it’s alright. It’s more than alright.

When we’re not self-conscious we can be playful, clever and curious. This idea converts to designs of form and space that while respected and understood, is not restrained by historical context but by an openness to other, difference is embraced. Certainly I think that’s how we’d like to think of ourselves. Australians’ relaxed, laconic, refreshingly open and finally unapologetically clever.


Take Hobart Tasmania’s Mona gallery for example, Fender Katsalidis Architects has done a stunning job of designing a building that embraces the landscape, indeed has made geology part of the structure.


The building’s interior path ways that weave in & around multiple levels has created an internal journey. So very clever as the art showing explores an interior journey of its’ own.


While our practice is at a humbler level to our colleagues, we too embrace the challenge our Australian landscape poses and attempt to design with an open, collaborative approach.


Texture verses smooth

They say opposites attract and I’m inclined to agree. If not attract, then certainly complement. From an interior design point of view, it could be said that appreciating the qualities of things opposite is essential in designing comfortable, interesting, functional spaces.

Consider texture verses smooth for example. Texture on a bathroom floor avoids slipping, while glossy smooth wall tiles allows for easy cleaning and also reflects light back into what is usually a smaller space than rooms in the rest of the building.


Let’s look at other examples of texture verses smooth. A luxurious soft warm cashmere blanket over a slightly beaten leather couch. Perfect for snuggling up to read on a rainy day with an endless pot of tea.

Screen Capture by Snagit

Padding across cool, smooth creamy travertine floor tiles on a blistering summer afternoon to relax on a textured natural linen day bed with reduced light filtered by the chocolate blades of a bamboo shutter.

Screen Capture by Snagit

Or soft filtered light emanating from tiny golden lead-lighted panels in a cathedral’s ribbed timber cloister. A space made calm and contemplative with the use of colour, volume, and majestic detail.

Screen Capture by Snagit