- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Sabine Selbach
Niche Media is proud to announce the appointment of Leanne Amodeo to the role of editor on (Inside) magazine. Leanne brings with her a wealth of experience in design publishing to the role, garnered through stints as the editor of both Monument and the award-winning Object magazine.
In recognition of her recent appointment, Australian Design Review conducted an interview with Leanne to get an understanding of where she sees design heading in the years ahead, and what role Australia’s design professionals might have in that future.
Which designer – local and international – has given you the most pleasure in the past five years?
I once interviewed Ron Arad many years ago, which was quite an experience – not pleasurable, but definitely memorable. I was so star-struck and he was so prickly. I couldn’t use the interview! I also recently interviewed Shay Alkalay from the London-based design studio Raw Edges – I’m such a fan of what they do and it was a pleasure to speak to him and gain that insight into his practice. On a local note, it’s been a pleasure to watch the career of Trent Jansen grow, and I love the work of March Studio. There are so many good local designers whose work I enjoy: Alexander Lotersztain, Hecker Guthrie and Henry Wilson to name a few.
Which key trend will define the near future of interior design?
I’m seeing a lot of non-residential spaces being influenced by an aesthetic that has been, traditionally, confined to a domestic setting. That same degree of ‘homeliness’ that we would usually associate with a residential space is finding its way into retail and hospitality interiors.
What’s your assessment of Australia’s place in the global interior design scene?
Have you seen some of the amazing work that’s been produced in this country within the past few years? We can definitely hold our own against notable international projects and designers. So much Australian work finds its way onto blogs and there’s no differentiation based on geography – it’s just about good work. We are a design nation and many of our top designers, such as DesignOffice [formerly Universal Design Studio], are receiving lots of recognition because they are consistent in producing work of a high calibre.
You are a published short story writer. Do you have a novel in you, and would it feature an interior designer?
I had to write a novel for my masters degree, which was in Creative Writing, so do I have another one in me? Absolutely! I would love to write one that included the design scene in Australia in some way, or had characters that worked within the industry. One of my all-time favourite books has got to be Tama Janowitz’s Slaves of New York, which captures the New York art scene at a very particular point in time. It would be great to do a similar thing within an Australian context.
What is the most essential skill a magazine editor can have?
I would say that diplomacy is very important.
There’s a lot of doom-talk surrounding the future of print magazine publishing, particularly perceived threats from online channels. What’s your prognosis for the future of magazine publishing?
I’m a reader first and foremost, so as a reader I answer that question by saying that as long as there are people like me out there – people who genuinely love the experience of buying and reading magazines – magazines will be around for infinity because there will still be a demand. But as someone who works within the publishing industry I have to be realistic and say there’s a possibility that the wide variety of magazines that are currently available may diminish. If advertisers and publishers don’t want to invest in print magazines because they perceive online channels as offering more value then a print magazine ever could, then this spells trouble for print magazine publishing. But what works in our favour is that, nowadays, print magazines aren’t the be all and end all; they come as part of a broader ‘package’ that often includes a downloaded app and extensive website that features extra content. It makes for a much more attractive offering.
You once wrote: ‘the Suters Practice Design Manager [Mark van den Enden] could certainly teach our Prime Minister a thing or two about building for community.’ Do you think politicians in general should be consulting with architects and designers when formulating the future of Australian cities?
Absolutely. It should be mandatory that discussions and consultations with designers occur in the very early stages of government planning and development. I’m very excited about the relatively recent developments in my hometown of Adelaide: the appointment of Ben Hewett as South Australia’s government architect and the formation of the Integrated Design Commission of South Australia, which offers professional design input to all facets of government. I’d be interested to see what changes occur within the state within the next few years as a result of the government’s recognition that design and ‘creativity’ play an important role in a city’s growth.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role as (Inside) editor?
I’ll be working with the very talented folk of Niche’s Architectural Division. It’s a pleasure to come to work every day and be surrounded by a community of creative, like-minded people. I also very much look forward to working with a great bunch of photographers, writers and illustrators, as well as being introduced to new work by Australian and international interior designers.