interior and spatial design 2011

This is a collection of works and words; inspired by the UTS Bachelor of Interior and Spatial Design Course. Work that isn't mine is credited, under the link.
24th Aug
27th Nov

Lets take a moment to appreciate some spatial branding.

Patrick Norguet is designing the new architectural/spatial identity for the McDonald’s fastfood chain in France. Yes, really the photos come from McDonald’s restaurants. The scheme uses lots of clean whites, and similar styling to existing restaurants but with a more grown up and family feel.

images from Dezeen

2nd Nov
Terrible quality, but i wanted to put what i’m working on currently up so you don’t think i’ve gone completely awol. This semester we’re focusing a lot on hand drawing and lead renderings. Personally, the drafting process if pretty okay by me, but the whole rendering techniques and stuff is new territory, something I’m very unsure of. But, I’m pretty stoked with how it’s all coming together actually. I just hope my tutors like it.
17th Sep
the internal spaces created by empty industrial spaces are often the most beautiful.
the height. the materiality.
15th Aug
Wire Frame Model - Suze Chang
1st Jun

Week Twelve: Anthony Gill

Today’s IS lecture was by Anthony Gill, of Anthony Gill Architects, a Sydney-based firm, who ran us through a few projects in his portfolio, focussing on the detail of joinery within his interior spaces. In his lecture, Gill introduced us to three particular projects, the restaurant Vini, in Surry Hills; Berta bar and restaurant in the city and an apartment in Potts Point.

Gill started the lecture by introducing the Vini project, talking about how the limitations of usable space started to define the relationship between storage space and usable space in order to maximise the space available. Gill outlined then, how they came to the idea of using joinery to create storage walls, or open shelves, from which staff would be able to access wines which were also on display through this openness of the usable walls. The material, as Gill revealed was just a cheap coated plywood, called form ply, a helpful material in keeping the costs down for such a small venture. Gill went on to discuss the expansion of Vini, in an untraditional way, that is, they were given the back hallway and an old loading dock to expand the space of Vini. Gill talked about how they used wooden detailing to visually connect these two rooms together. In the original space that housed Vini, Gill discussed what the owner had outlined as successful features he wished to see in his own restaurant, such as it’s primary focus as a wine bar and a changing menu, shown on a blackboard wall.

“Vini is a trattoria in Surry Hills. The concept was to create a working wall of wine and food that would be active throughout service. The small kitchen slides out from under this wall on one side while the bar floats in front. WIth economy essential, the main space is built entirely from form-ply. Vini expanded into the loading dock where we created a room within a room, inserting a shipping container into the space, allowing all the existing services to remain.”

- Anthony Gill, on Vini

Gill went on to discuss Berta bar, an offshoot of Vini and also an interest of the City of Sydney in its Laneways campaign. Again, because of the narrow front façade and it’s small interior space, Gill employed the use of the useable shelves in separating the kitchen from the walkway and the seating area. This storage space however was far longer then the original useable shelves as found in Vini, and therefore was also used by kitchen staff to stack crockery. This openness allowed patrons to observe the kitchen staff as they worked, through the gaps within the shelving and it’s objects within. Gill also talked about the problems of grease traps within the space which helped to lift the floor surface of the dining area, which then worked well with the space in creating a comfortable height to include window sill seating, and incorporate the joinery used to separate the dining and bar areas.

“Berta is a restaurant and bar on the fringe of the city and is located on the ground floor of a re-developed warehouse. The space revolves around the central open kitchen, clearly defined by a working wall of suspended shelves which begin just inside the entrance and help draw people through. The openness of these shelves is carefully controlled limiting the kitchen’s exposure while the bar floats in front. The restaurant is divided into a bar and a dining area with subtle changes in level and materials. The externally framed windows capture an urban outlook.”

- Anthony Gill, on Berta

Lastly, Gill introduced his former home, an apartment in the Harry Siedler building in Potts Point, where he and his wife redesigned a small one bedroom apartment, using this similar idea of useable shelve joinery to create a space for themselves and their daughter. This joinery was used to separate the apartment into different spaces, such as his daughter’s bedroom and the kitchen. This idea of useable shelves turned into a separating bookshelf wall, and then in the kitchen into a system, similar to Vini and Berta, in its use as a pantry.  The apartment, although very small was in the end able to accommodate a kitchen, living/dining room and two sleeping areas. Through this interaction between joinery and space, Gill was able to use the small space to create these distinct spaces, such as the inclusion of a pull-out bed to save space in the small environment.

“The project involved the redesign of an existing 38sqm one bedroom apartment in a Harry Seidler Building in Potts Point. The aim was to create a space that would suit a couple with a young child. The existing joinery (not original) was demolished leaving only the masonry walls to the bathroom which remains untouched. A new joinery element was inserted to re-configure the space, addressing the issues of privacy, storage and a lack of living space inherent in an apartment of this size.”

- Anthony Gill, on the Potts Point Apartment

Overall, the use of form ply as a material in such a way as in these outlined projects was interesting to see. The idea of expanding space through ‘useable’ walls is one I would love to use in my own projects or see more of, instead of hiding away frequently used objects in our homes and restaurants, these objects should be embraced and displayed whilst also being in use.

Quotes and Images taken from;


22nd May

Week Eleven: Dustings, Vacuum Cleaners, Machines and the Disappearance of the Interior

Teresa Stoppani, an Architect with degrees from the University of Florence and the University of Venice, gave today’s Interior and Spatial Lecture; Stoppani currently lectures on Architecture at the University of Greenwich in London, and has also published works on dust and it’s role within Architecture and Interiors, the topic of her lecture today, along with the machines which have direct influence on dust within interiors.


“In the passages, the in-between spaces of public interiors, dust is charged with meanings of obsolescence. It covers the redundant, that which is old or no longer viable or useful but remains purposeless available. It materializes oblivion, blanketing over that which lies forgotten. It produces an opacity that in concealing protects, but obliterates as well, eliminating the differences of things. Dust becomes one and all with the forgotten objects that in the passages gather: discarded by the interests of the commodity market, former novelties become dust, in a slow whirlwind that inexorably swallows not only the objects, but also the architectural space that displays them. In interiors, dust records and gathers traces, measures time and indisputable linear history, it is a garment that ‘one cannot turn’ linked to boredom and to the monotony of the gray, dust seems to condemn space to stillness and inexorable decay.”


- Teresa Stoppani, A Dusty Project Abstract


To begin with, Stoppani introduced the question; what exactly is dust? To which she then proceeded to answer as being precise particles of former matter, usually indicating the prescence or absence of an object. Stoppani also discussed Greek mythology and it’s portrayal of dust; especially in the mythology of Danae and Zeus, where Zeus appears to an imprisoned Danae and impregnates her as a shower of gold dust.  Stoppani used this portrayal of dust to discuss the gender of dust and also the gender of the vehicles used to contain and extract dust, that is; the vacuum cleaner. Through the introduction of the vacuum cleaner, she began to also talk about attitudes towards dust in interior spaces; such things as the importance of the controlled interior through the removal or display of dust within any given space.


The idea of vacuum clears as ones which are used to remove such dust from interior spaces was also explored by Stoppani in this lecture, with examples of vacuum cleaners in modern art to show the roles of those who clean and the relationship between the vacuum cleaner and gender roles. The idea of the vacuum cleaner being almost genderless, or even a hermaphrodite was an import one in looking at these gender roles; while traditionally cleaning is a feminine activity, the introduction of a vacuum cleaner with such a phallic symbol of the nozzle to clean is one which also noses it into male territory; whilst the ‘sucking’ action of the vacuum cleaner is more of a female sexual trait, rendering the humble vacuum cleaner a sexually ambiguous object.


Other Links;

A project about dust and noise;


20th May

Tham &amp; Videgård Arkitekter - Kalmar museum of art, 2008.
15th May

Week Ten: The Ecology of Occupation

Michael Trudgeon, an architect and lecturer at RMIT, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, gave today’s Interior and Spatial lecture. Trudgeon co-founded the successful, inter-disciplinary Crowd Productions company in 1983, which went on to design and create the Hyperlounge digital cinema capsules for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square (2004); the Hoyts Blacktown Flagship Cinema (2006); and the National Australian Bank retail bank concept (2006). In his lecture, Trudgeon addressed three key points within the Ecology of Occupation; the history of occupation, the idea of the envelope of occupation and case studies related to the Ecology of Occupation. He also drove the point of “form as a verb”, rather than a noun, stressing how form is an action, rather than an object.


To begin with, Trudgeon adressed the history of design and the French influence in the design ethos.  In particular he discussed the role of the French within social design, such as fashion, restaurants and tableware. This social design ethos was the precursor to the beginning of the discipline known as Interior Design, which looked at designing for a clientele rather than these beautiful facades from past decades. Trudgeon also briefly introduced the Figure-Ground perception, and how the Figure is the point of focus in the visual hierarchy and the Ground is everything in the background or not in focus. This point was utilised in order to focus on the Figure-Ground capacity, to illustrate how the French viewed spaces as the Figure and the building itself as the Ground. Trudgeon introduced the idea of past homes being a one-room home, where people went about their daily lives in the one contained space, rather than the multitudes of space we see in today’s homes. Within this time, around the 13th Century, even the rich, whom lived in chateaus had but one room known as a grade sale, a chapel and a tower. Trudgeon talked about the different histories of occupation in residential spaces, starting from this previous one roomed house of occupation, to the 14th Century development of program, and the inclusion of comfort and amenities within space, leading to bedrooms and the idea of a four-poster bed as a status symbol, in such a way as a Bentley is today, all the way to 17th and 18th Century apartments, which became complex programs focussed on individuals. The idea of a Salon, that is an intellectual or social gathering, was also discussed in this lecture; Trudgeon introduced the idea of the tradition Salon as both a social event as well as a space in which this event was held, which led into the idea of the Hôtel particulier, an urban “private house” or place within the city where members of the upper class would come to hold social gatherings, often formed around courtyards. Salons in the 18th Century were a very important avenue for radical theories and political rumours to be discussed. In fact, many French etiquette books encouraged men to become friends with the hostesses of those salons, as they could be more powerful than the officials in the court. The French’s society was a way of creating a city that could contain and help to control this society.


The idea of poche space, or the concept of everything within the walls between spaces, was also introduced by Trudgeon. The relativity of wall thickness and what it could contain, also entailing the hierarchy of space, through organisation and scale. The manipulation of poche space, especially in the baroque period, helped to create different spaces in interiors: a space of experimentations. The use of poche space now, is different to its former definition, with designers using poche space to create alcoves and hidden spaces within walls and larger spaces. Trudgeon extrapolated uponthis usage of space in terms of the organisation of space relating to people’s movements and use of space. On the topic of wall space and designing walls, Trudgeon was concerned with the use of windows within French façades, noting that they brought light and atmosphere into room, which made these interior spaces lovely to inhabit, now a common feature in the walls of houses. Trudgeon then shed light upon Le Corbusier’s work in the Villa Shodhan, drawing attention to the notion of his uniting the French way of thinking about space with the modernism of his time. The concrete domino plan of this space where every floor became a different façade, based on the interior occupation of space which then became the exterior wrapping of the space.  Trudgeon also talked about the idea of the free plan and free façade of this space, discussing the metastasis of this site, that it could be changed to accommodate and respond to the actions happening inside, that this site could be modified to its owners’ will.

Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan 1951

Trudgeon then led into the idea of the envelope of occupation, or the idea of the container of occupation. He introduced the notion that we, as interior designers are immersed in the wrapping of these occupiable spaces, shaping the roles of those who live in our ‘theatres’. The environment as more than passive wrappings, but membranes, that is, living forms which enrich and function to serve the purposes of the occupants inside. Trudgeon talked about this as a metabolic transistor, an object of change and flow, circuits and social order especially in the flexibility of occupation within these envelopes of space. He proceeded to define architecture as a language of creating controlled systems for artificial realities, that we design spaces for events or actions that may or may not occur to the exact way we designed them for.


To end his session, Trudgeon talked through a few cases of environmental occupation, including;

-       James Turrell’s Works; and the way in which Turrell uses the occupation of cosmic and sky space. Our way of understanding and relating to eternity and the universe through reflecting on and inhabiting the spaces of sky.


James Turrell and Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects’ California Skyspace

-       The Blur Pavilion (2002) by Diller and Scofidio, constructed for the Swiss Expo in 2002, and the water bar, with different types of imported waters. Trudgeon used the blur building as a way of talking through our use and experience of space could be radically different based on the interior of the space. In the blur building, visual perception was dimmed, so that one had to rely of other senses and how this dynamic process helped to shape the way in which people though about water and it’s other forms.

 Diller and Scofidio’s Blur Building, 2002 


LeAmon, Simon, 2011, How We Create, accessed 14 May 2011


Hanover College Psychology Department, 2005, Hanover College Psychology Department, Figure-Ground Perception, accessed 13 May 2011


Benet Davetian, 2010, BDavetian, The History and Meaning of Salons, accessed 14 May 2011


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2002, Blur Building, Diller Scofidio, accessed 15 May 2011


Blache, Matt, 2005, Blache87 Architecture120, accessed 14 May 2011