- Article by Online Editor
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This issue of inside is a very special one as it marks the 20th year of our magazine. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday that Kate Stewart, inside’s first editor, was introducing the inaugural issue to the architecture and design community and now, two decades later, the magazine is stronger than ever.
Reading through some of the back issues, the editorials and articles, some things seem to be very much the same. Conversations about government contributing (or not) and collaborating with design, how to ensure the success and recognition of Australian design, and how to safeguard the rights of Australian designers were hot topics back in the mid-1990s. And, yes, they still are today. These are issues that it would be gratifying to have put to bed many years ago, but still we have these challenges. Leafing through the pages of projects in each issue reinforces what we all know – that Australia has an abundance of talent. Projects over the past 20 years still have the ability to wow the reader – amazing houses, restaurants, cafés, workplaces, public projects and everything in between. Style and creativity were the passwords of a great design 20 years ago and we are glad that in this there is no change. The projects in this, the 92nd issue of inside, speak of a design aesthetic that is sophisticated and mature, inventive and innovative.
As with any 20-year-old, growing from baby to adult, our magazine has organically changed over the years. At the age of seven inside’s IDEA (Interior Design Excellence Awards) came into being under the stewardship of editor Ewan McEoin. The idea was as grand as the name: it was a good idea and is an even better IDEA in 2016. This year marks the greatest number of entries ever received, with practices embracing the awards and the ideal of IDEA. It will be a fabulous party in Sydney on 18 November and another night to well and truly remember, as we pay tribute to this year’s winners and indeed to all who entered the program.
So what has changed over the past two decades? The design industry is strong and has become stronger, weathering financial storms and the ebbs and flows of design fortune. This is not to say that it has been easy, but practices have formulated a vision of the future and have reinvented the way of doing business. They have become lean, more collegiate, more individual and more independent. Many, many designers work overseas, diversifying their offering with a more complete package for clients. What was once solely an interior design commission now becomes a project that works with architecture for a unified design, with the possibility of providing bespoke furniture and objects, graphics, wayfinding and branding. Technology has seen the rise of instant design gratification with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and all the rest as vehicles for self-promotion and general awareness. The community is linked by smartphones, tablets and computers, and the world is just a few keystrokes away from information overload.
‘Real time’ is ‘now time’ with designers realising projects in time-frames once thought unrealistic (and perhaps they still are). Australian product designers are finally being accepted for the stunning talents that they are. Australians are embracing their object designers and it’s cool to have Australian design at home and not just the European brands. Acceptance has been a long time coming and it’s still not perfect, but understanding and appreciating home grown design is way more evident than it was two decades ago.
We are proud to have the opportunity to be a part of inside at this very auspicious time in the life of the magazine. Together, we have been contributing to inside over many years and in many forms. As assistant editor, editor, Sydney editor and writer, and now as co-editors, the last two and half years have been a joy.
We would like to thank everyone in the design community for your support and goodwill and for giving us the opportunity to showcase your work and lives to the greater community and your peers. Without you there would be no inside or IDEA and it is an honour to work with each and every one of you.
– Jan & Gillian