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Getting to know IDEA 2021 Designer of the Year finalist Travis Walton

Getting to know IDEA 2021 Designer of the Year finalist Travis Walton


In celebration of the 2021 IDEA Awards, ADR is taking a sneak peek into the people behind the design magic, with Melbourne designer Travis Walton now taking the lead.

As a Designer of the Year finalist, Travis Walton Architecture has two projects shortlisted in the Residential Single category and one in Workplace under 1000sqm category.

Winners are set to be announced at the 2021 IDEA gala in Sydney in late February next year.

To receive regular updates about IDEA, including details of how to enter next year, subscribe to our newsletter.

Travis Walton

Established in 2010, Travis Walton Architecture is a full-service design firm that specialises in bringing to life unusual and innovative design projects with style and imagination.

Passionate about fine detail and inspired by the unexpected, the Melbourne practice’s design philosophy guarantees a unique and vibrant design solution for each new subject and space.

Caulfield North office by Travis Walton Architecture – shortlisted in the Residential Single category. Photo: Elisa Watson.

What would winning IDEA mean to you?

Being 10 years in, winning IDEA would be an incredible recognition of our body of work and acknowledgement of the practice’s evolution. We’ve steadily refined our ethos and design processes, so the award would an opportunity to celebrate our projects and the collaborative spirit of our team.

Why did you enter?

The IDEA awards and associated publications have always been a strong point of reference for the design community, and a solid platform to reach the public. We are always honoured to have IDEA’s support – it is a wonderful accolade, an opportunity for exposure and a vehicle for both the industry and public to discover quality design.  

Carlton North Residence by Travis Walton Architecture – shortlisted in the Residential Single category. Photo: Elisa Watson.

If you win, where will the trophy go?

We’re currently designing a new building and studio for our team with special moments to display awards, alongside pin-up and collaborative spaces. If we’re honoured with an IDEA award, our trophy will be displayed with pride in our new home – it’s always an aspirational touchpoint. 

How has the COVID-19 global pandemic affected your business? How would you ideally like to emerge on the other side?

Thankfully, our residential projects have remained strong due to the amazing support of our clients. Remote working has demonstrated the adaptability of the team, and there has been a shift in mindset with designers working to milestones, rather than time. We’re looking forward to reconnecting face-to-face as a team and with our extended network of craftspeople and collaborators while maintaining that sense of flexibility and trust.

Albert Park Residence by Travis Walton Architecture – shortlisted in the Residential Single category. Photo: Elisa Watson.

What advice would you give to emerging designers who want to follow your path?

Every project, big or small, can have something special about it, so look for the opportunity in every brief. I also believe in great photography to capture the essence of a project so it can be beautifully catalogued and shared.

Looking back, what is one thing you are proudest of?

I’m most proud of creating a team of like-minded and talented designers. Our company culture is driven by a shared passion for high-quality design. Every person has a role in bringing the project to life – so to be proud of the outcome, is to be proud of the team.

Albert Park Residence / Photo: Elisa Watson.

How would you describe your outlook for the future? What do you want to see for the design industry?

I am feeling optimistic – Covid has created an opportunity to be introspective, while also hustling to remain busy. In Victoria especially, I anticipate a lot of activity across hospitality, entertainment, outdoor and living spaces, so it’s an exciting time for design across all categories, with new opportunities and parameters. There’s a greater awareness of our home environments in regards to privacy, flexibility and comfort, and with climate concerns, there is a move for designers to explore the intersection of sustainable and luxurious design.

Caulfield North office / Photo: Elisa Watson.

Explore more from the 2021 Designer of the Year finalists and other award categories on the IDEA website.

Last year, we covered Travis Walton Architecture’s minimalist design of Sibling Espresso in Seminyak, Bali. The Melbourne designer brought the “nonpareil finesse of Australian coffee culture” to the stand-up espresso bar, taking home the IDEA 2019 award for Best International Design.


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