Sydney Indesign 2017

Exploring Alexandria at SID17 – August 2017

Sydney Indesign (SID) was on again and Dorte headed over to Alexandria to experience the latest design trends. The area was bursting with activity from the hub that is the Grounds of Alexandria to the open studios and showrooms of SID17.

One of the overarching trends across the 30+ exhibitors was an emphasis on quality and simplicity paired with a focus on tactile natural materials and finishes such as timber, brass and leather. These were exemplified by products such as the Pieman Chair (Tom Fereday for Dessin), the Halm chair ( jehs+laub for Brunner) and Tala Voronoi pendant lights (Tala). There was also a continued trend towards modularity and customisation of corporate spaces through configurable furniture systems such as Schiavello’s new Toku collection designed by Gavin Harris.

There was also a great sense of fun with collaborative “projects” offering interactive, engaging and immersive experiences. Two of my favourite experiences were The Tunnel of Light and the Mafi Ski and Health Chalet. The Tunnel of Light, a collaboration between Acme&Co and LightCo, led people through a “tunnel” panelled with mirrored floors and ceiling and walls that pulsed with strips and patterns of moving, colour changing lights. The experience made it challenging to know which way was up or down while the moving choreography of lights were quite hypnotising. In contrast, Mafi + Kebonny by WOODOS in collaboration with Billy Blue Design School, converted a showroom into an Austrian ski chalet complete with massage therapists to relieve your aching muscles after a day’s skiing (or pavement pounding in my case), signature scented wood panelling and tasty Austrian fare. A feast for all the senses and great way to entice travellers to stop and stay awhile.

It was clearly evident that more than ever brands recognise that their products do not exist in isolation but form part of a larger ecosystem and that to be successful, they must contribute something unique and human to their environment.

Here are a few pictures from the day – enjoy!

Clockwise from top left: Tunnel of Light installation at LightCo, The Grounds of Alexandria, Tala Voronoi pendant lights, Pieman Chair by Tom Fereday.

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Dorte Bell

Dorte brings over 10 years of design research, product design, design management and user centred design to Scintilla and has worked in a variety of industries including public sector, children’s products, gaming, medical, consumer, safety and technical market sectors. Dorte strives to place people at the heart of any design in order to create meaningful experiences that delight and encourage ongoing engagement. Underpinning her design approach is a strong research philosophy to truly understand the user and their context in order to reveal insights that drive sustainable solutions. Dorte also tutors design students at UTS.