Now in her own practice, Phelan and KPDO are working to raise the bar and set a new benchmark for their design. The work is textured and detailed, originating initially from the brief and the site, and subsequently the design is brought to life with style and impeccable taste. Collaboration and communication are integral between directors, staff and clients and, with each project, KPDO’s intention is to make a creative design that has a new level of creativity, constantly asking questions about the process. These questions include: is this good enough? Is there another way to make this design happen?
The South Yarra residence, photo Derek Swalwell
The studio doesn’t follow the crowd or social media for inspiration; instead it strives to be individual, citing travel and the traditions of the recent past as drivers. Its deft touch when designing a home, whether large or small, is invented and reinvented with each project. Themes and imitation are never considered and this is one of the reasons that KPDO is forging ahead. Perhaps others in the design industry are not aware of the projects from this practice, but the developers, residential clients and repeat supporters are keenly cognisant of the work that is being achieved.
In fact, with many commissions on the books yet to be started, KPDO is expanding and the office that has been home to the practice for the past seven years is soon be replaced with something more spacious to accom- modate staff. KPDO, however, doesn’t see itself as a juggernaut with multiple branches. Phelan and Javens agree that they can achieve global brand recognition just staying where they are and keeping the creativity contained to the Melbourne location – and these days a quick flight to Hong Kong is all in a day’s work.
As form follows function, success follows hard work with the correct amount of knowledge, inspiration and, of course, talent. Phelan and Javens are committed to best practice, their own best practice, and the work they are doing through KPDO is to be enjoyed and admired, not just by their clients but by everyone who relishes beautiful design.
INSIDE 90 is on newsstands now, and available through Zinio.