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Meet the IDEA 2023 Designer of the Year – Arent&Pyke

Meet the IDEA 2023 Designer of the Year – Arent&Pyke


With a peerless proclivity to inject spaces with emotion and a company ethos that prioritises delivering joy through human-centred design, Arent&Pyke shines as the IDEA 2023 Designer of the Year.

Possessing a name synonymous with emotional interiors excellency, Sarah-Jane Pyke and Juliette Arent are titans in Australian interior design, delivering an aesthetic that bleeds an undeniably joyful feeling and demonstrates a tight grasp on how psychology influences design.

IDEA 2023 Designer of the Year
Sarah-Jane Pyke and Juliette Arent. Photo: Narrative Post

Recently celebrating Arent&Pyke’s sweet 16th as a practice and indulging in a generous amount of reflection and navel-gazing, director, design principal and co-founder, Sarah- Jane Pyke, has never been more ready to outline the ethos that underpins the practice’s work.

Speargrass house by Arent&Pyke with Sumich Chaplin Architects, winner of the IDEA 2023 International category. Photo: Anson Smart

“Juliette and I have spent the last two years unpacking our ethos from when we wrote our book – Arent&Pyke: Interiors Beyond the Primary Palette – which came out a year ago. We started to determine our aesthetic and ask what is the Arent&Pykeness?” says Pyke.

The pair landed on the five core design principles of joy, colour, spirit, character and alchemy, and it is evident that each of these principles is harnessed when the team develops a variety of spaces that glow and shimmer.

Arent&Pyke was highly commended in the IDEA 2023 Retail category for KODA. Photo: Prue Ruscoe

“I think when you do things for a long time or when you’ve built something gradually – which is what we’ve done with so many people and collaborators – and you then take the time to dissect it and realise, ‘Oh, this is what our aesthetic and ethos is’, it’s incredibly powerful,” says Pyke.

The practice does not just aspire to create spaces grounded in joyful imagery and expression, but also leads projects where joy is met every step of the way – for the designers themselves, the architects, the construction crew and the users of the space, whether they be long-term or just popping in for a visit.

Speargrass house
Inside Speargrass house. Photo: Anson Smart

Pyke explains that the immense privilege and honour it is to design spaces for people, who may be undergoing a period of tremendous change and metamorphosis, is never lost on the practice.

These spaces will bear witness to formative moments – periods of pain and suffering, yet also elation and personal development. This honour only propels the practice forward in using design as a powerful vessel with which to make a difference.

“We touch people’s lives in some really key moments, at a time when things are being reborn,” says Pyke.

Hearth house
Hearth house by Arent&Pyke with Luigi Rosselli Architects was highly commended in the IDEA 2023 Colour category. Photo: Prue Ruscoe

Above is an excerpt of an article that appears in the upcoming IDEA Winner’s Edition of inside magazine, out 11 December. To read the full article, subscribe now.

Lead image by Narrative Post.


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