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Ben and Juliet, congratulations on being shortlisted for the Designer of the Year award for IDEA 2011. What have been the most enjoyable projects for Edwards Moore this year?
This has been a busy year for the EM team, and we have completed a diverse range of projects. It’s hard to single any out, as we are very fortunate to be in a position whereby we love what we do, even the projects which at the time take us to the edge… They are often the ones we look back on with a smile! It is the diversity of the projects we do and the journey itself that we enjoy the most. That said, our personal favourites would have to include the Arnsdorf store, simply for the success of what seemed to many to be a crazy idea.
What have been your more challenging moments for 2011?
Running a small business is a challenge no matter what the field, but the unfaltering belief in what we are doing has made it possible to persevere through harder times.
Your projects this year include the Fringe Furniture and Modern Craft exhibitions, and the Arnsdorf Concept Store you mentioned earlier. Each of these projects uses simple materials in a clever and playful way. How do you approach these projects and are materials often the starting point?
Materials do not drive our design process; the design process is driven by the brief and the desired outcome and design solution. Once we have a clear vision of what we are trying to achieve, we then experiment with materials to find one best suited for the result. A strong conceptual basis is important, as well as questioning and learning/understanding the particular qualities of the material. This can lead us to some diverse places, and we’ve met some very interesting people in our search for materials. It is a part of the journey we both enjoy, the excitement of not knowing where the next project may take us. It’s not always a successful outcome either, and we are lucky to have a large studio that we can fill with our ‘experiments’…
Your practice is still very young, but you’re already getting plenty of attention for your work. In the long term, which direction do you want to take the practice in?
For us there is no goal, it is all about the journey. That said, as our portfolio grows hopefully the projects we become involved with increase in scale, meaning we will get the opportunity to collaborate with a wider range of creative practices and industries, locally and internationally. Pursuing a consistent conceptual rigour and execution, and working small within an international context, are important to us.
What other projects are you working on now, and what do you have lined up for next year?
2012 is shaping up to be a big year with a number of projects on the books, including smaller installation projects and event design, as well as venturing into set design and production for the film industry. There are also a number of exciting new houses and residential refurbishment projects, some very exciting prospects in the TAFE sector, as well as a boutique retail fitout. We are looking forward to another year as exciting as the last.
Edwards Moore are one of six firms shortlisted for the Designer of the Year: Judges’ Award at IDEA 2011, sponsored by Corporate Culture.