28 October 2011

New book alert! "INTERIORS Australia and New Zealand"

Ahoy! I see a beautiful new Aussie Interiors book on the horizon! Just in time for Christmas, INTERIORS Australia and New Zealand has sailed in and presents "a broad snapshot of the contemporary Australian and New Zealand home", as told through over 30 of the industry's leading practitioners. From coastal retreats and ecologically sustainable farmhouses, to renovated Victorian terraces and contemporary city penthouses, the variety of projects showcased reflects the region's architectural and design diversity. The highly regarded work of established design practices including BKH, Carr Design Group and Hare & Klein contrasts the innovative approaches adopted by Arent & Pyke (love them), Greg Natale Design and Multiplicity, richly illustrated through detailed photography and extensive profiles. Consider it on my wishlist!

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to ask Author Mitchell Oakley Smith a little about the book:

This follows your first book on Australian and New Zealand fashion designers. Is the region's design industry of particular interest to you?
I strongly believe we have a lot of talent in our corner of the world, and though we are geographically isolated from the major cities that dominate trends, I hope that creating these books helps to elevate our position in the global market. I have just returned to Australia from New York, where I lived for the past six months researching a new book (more on that to come), and Australian design is something people thirst for; the creatives here have such a unique way of interpreting ideas, which is something to be revered.

 (above and below) Hare + Klein Residence, Coledale NSW

What is the process of putting together a book like INTERIORS Australia and New Zealand?
It's a lot of hard work! Unlike a fiction book where you're dealing with only your own mind and an editor later in the process, this book includes the work of over 30 designers; that's over 60 projects (with each home featured needing to be approved by the owner) as well as over 40 photographers. I started by requesting five projects from each of the selected designer, which I then edited down to two I thought best represented their vision and added something unique to the book. Then it was a matter of choosing exactly what images would be included. It's a long process, but I can't complain - I'm fortunate to be able to look at such beautiful work on a daily basis.

(above) Designer David Hicks Residnce Melbourne

How on earth did you decide which projects to include?
My publisher, Paulina, and I were very conscious that we represented all areas of Australia and every type of contemporary home. Of course, this was dictated by what was available, but we made it possible with some creative selecting of projects. A review of the projects featured in the book has prompted many questions about what defines local design. It's a question that inevitably returns to our way of life. There are several structures recognised as Australian - the Queenslander, the rural woolshed and the beach house - given they evolved in response to our climate, history, place and identity. These designs utilise local materials and emphasise space and light, as well as a connection to the landscape. A number of these residences are featured in the book, but they do not dominate the selection - an indication these icons do not necessarily epitomise Australian design. 
INTERIORS Australia and New Zealand by Mitchell Oakley Smith (rrp $79.95) is published by Thames & Hudson.

I'm guessing it's on your wishlist now too, right? Happy Friday Tonic-ettes!


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