Feature Posts

Chat In A Chair

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

What a treat to introduce Sydney artist Lisa Cooper of DOCTOR COOPER STUDIO. With that alabaster skin, untamable jet black hair and intricate floral tattoo she embodies the still lives she so intuitively constructs. If you’ve ever had the luck of meeting Dr Cooper you would recognise that mischievous twinkle in her eye always present in truly gifted individuals.

With a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Arts she explains her studio work “as embodying human emotion thru art practice” using flowers “the greatest medium for human emotion”.

Cooper’s work is commission-based, whether it’s a floral expression for an individual, crowns for the Sydney Theatre Company or golden wreaths for Tiffany & Co. She is inspiring with her sense of social inclusiveness and is not only open to diverse briefs but excited by the challenge of left fieldness. Subscribing to her depth of soulful beauty you could approach her with any brief and she would return it with a considered, grand, yet fleeting floral testimonial.

We always feel uplifted when we see her van around knowing that we in Sydney have someone special in the fold that understands the need for personal human expression. It is a well-known fact that Dr Cooper brings such a sense of intimate joy to all that have the pleasure of working with her.

It’s no surprise then that her chair of choice is a sentimental one that has seen her through this incredible journey. A 1940’s sturdy timber chair with robust blood red upholstery and with a strong sense of history and comfort for Cooper. It’s where she sits in her St Peters studio every day conjuring up the stuff of our dreams.

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

In Out - Chat in a Chair: Lisa Cooper

Tell us about your chair? What it it’s story?
I’ve had this chair for about 15 years. It was given to me by another student at The College of Fine Arts, he was apparently ‘upgrading’ to another chair and as I had expressed affection for his chair he offered it to me. That was second year of undergrad. I have had it as my work/studio chair ever since, I’m very attached to it and intend to have it all the days of my life, god willing. I have developed all of my projects and made much of my work with its physical support. It is comfortable and ergonomic in ways that are particular to its era which I would put around 1940?

Biggest glory-moment career-wise?
My book deal. My van. The signage on my van. The first flower order from someone i didn’t know. Tiffany and Co. commission. First job for the Sydney Theatre Company. First funeral. At christmas my van was parked in Bowral and someone left a note on the windscreen that they like my work. My business card. Art Month. The MCA. Toni Maticevski. The phone call in tears because she loved the flowers so much. The ones who say they remind them of their nanna. They’re all equal.

The Doctor thing… Tell us about it.
I have a PhD in Art: ‘A Metaphysics of the Annihilation of Self in Video-Portraiture (Imaging mediations between the Human and Divine)’ – a document that speaks both of my art practice and the work that I have continued to produce with flowers as my medium. I worked very hard to achieve this degree and so the word doctor figured in naming my flower work: DOCTOR COOPER STUDIO the inclusion of my title both honours my work as an artist and academic and positions my flower work outside of the usual ‘floral’ names given to flower businesses which is useful in conveying my distinction.

Why flowers?
They are the most captivating and effective medium I have found for the expression of human emotion, which has always been the central tenant of my work.

Blundstones or RM’s?
Blundstones for work. RM’s for going out.

What gift do you give to a florist?
Bath salts, a crystal or one of Elise Pioch’s candles. Hermes.

Describe your ideal studio soundtrack
ABC FM (except when the crazy jazz comes on, I can’t abide the crazy jazz – then silence)

What is the most treasured tool of your trade?
My gold secateurs and my printer (which is why I employed my assistant Sophie, she knows how to work the printer – she’s very good)

If you could holiday for a year straight where would you go?
Marseille

What I know about people who give flowers is…
That they shall inherit the earth (the good souls).

Credits:
Photography by: Ben Pyke

CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOCTOR LISA COOPER

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & Alistair

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & Alistair

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & Alistair

Nicholas Mesiano and Alistair Knight are seasoned regulars on the vintage furniture scene in Australia. Their Melbourne-based gallery Nicholas & Alistair which retails original 20th century antiques and vintage furniture, decorative objects and applied arts is a regular haunt for us at Arent&Pyke. Over the years we have been captivated by the carefully-curated rare European objects sourced by the gentlemen on their frequent trips abroad.

Mesiano & Knight’s enviably balanced work/life routine of travelling, collecting, curating and reconditioning vintage goods from across the globe is nothing short of a dream. The pieces sourced are those of impeccable craft and extraordinary quality with a legacy like no other. It is a brave and passionate vision by the pair to bring such objects to the Australian market.

Their Chat choice of chair is a pair of very rare 1950s armchairs by Italian architect & industrial designer Gio Ponti for Cassina.

With the sharpest eye gleaned from their shared backgrounds in Interior Design and Fine Art, these enigmatic gentlemen are In/Out’s first ‘Pair in a Chair’.

We are proud to kick off a brand new year of Chat in a Chair and hope that you enjoy a year of wonderful Chats with us in 2014.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & AlistairIn/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & AlistairIn/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & AlistairIn/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & AlistairIn/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & Alistair
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & Alistair

What is your favourite chair & why?
Tough question! So many amazing chairs have been produced and it is impossible to choose an absolute favourite… however, this pair of armchairs by Italian designer Gio Ponti are definitive 1950s, über stylish, and particularly rare.

Why not Alistair & Nicholas? Was there a coin toss involved?
No coin toss. Someone had to go first….

Very best country for sourcing vintage?
We specialize in European furniture and decorative arts, which means we spend a good part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a great challenge for us to find the best pieces, and we cross many borders looking for them.

Proportion of finds you can’t part with?
While we would love to keep everything for ourselves, obviously this is impossible. We see our role as caretakers and curators, and genuinely get great pleasure in offering the best pieces to our clients.

Scissors, paper, or rock?
Paper.

Bowie or Buble?
Bowie – Groundbreaker.

Breakfast involves….?
Breakfast always starts with coffee. We’ve been collecting vintage coffee machines for years, and at the moment are really enjoying using our La Pavoni. It makes a killer espresso.

India or Indiana?
Italy!

Colour or monochrome?
Colour is an amazing thing. A powerful communicator, thought provoker, a mood changer … although monochrome can be those things also…. Can we say both?

Hunter S. Thompson or Thomas Hardy?
Hunter. Hardy transports you, but Hunter catapults you.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Nicholas & Alistair

Credits:
Photography by: Ben Pyke
Videography by: Jill Schaeffer

CHAT IN A CHAIR: Nicholas Mesiano & Alistair Knight

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In design circles, Lucy Feagins is a lady who needs no introduction.

The Design Files (TDF) began as a hobby for Feagins and in little over a year it became recognised as one of the world’s top 50 blogs by The Times (UK). TDF has since cemented its place as an authority on design, craft and creativity in Australia and receives over 1 million impressions a month from across the globe. It is hardly surprising to know that it is Australia’s no. 1 design blog.

TDF is a part of our daily routine. We love it and use it as a dynamic reference point, a catalogue of creative inspiration for our professional practice and personally as designers. Wednesday’s home tours are a particular favourite (Juliette Arent’s home was featured last year) and we love the insights we get into the creative practice of other designers and makers.

What is most inspiring about The Design Files for its legion of daily readers is the seemingly endless talent Feagins uncovers. She is the great pioneer of discovering and supporting the work of Australian craftspeople, designers, artists and creative professionals. Features on up-and-coming creatives sit side by side with great Australian design icons young and old. What TDF does day by day, is share with the world the voice of the collective Australian design community.

Feagins’ editorial eye is meticulous, and consistently inspiring. The carefully curated daily features have an editorial bent for colour, pattern, boldness and freshness, for handmade quality, and for inspired, unique and passionately executed craft. Feagins’ warmth and generosity shine through the content on TDF. She has a kindness, a passion and energy that is absolutely infectious. She is also relentlessly hardworking (just check her Instagram for proof!).

We caught up with Lucy for a cup of tea and a chat in her brand new, freshly painted studio when we were in Melbourne earlier this year. In a Gorman tee, Converse kicks and signature up-do Lucy sat down in her favourite chair, the Tropicalia Chair by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola for Moroso.

Our regular readers will have seen this chair before. It is not hard to understand why this is Lucy’s favourite – the Tropicalia is all about colour and craft. Thermoplastic polymer threads are woven around a metal frame, speaking of long standing traditions of handcraft and designer Urquiola’s continually feminine way of experimenting with materials, shapes & details. It is a piece which layers colour and geometry yet it is simple and truthful in its materiality and its sense of construction. It is exceptionally high quality, playful, bold and beautifully crafted and the same can be said for Miss Feagins. Lucy, a true honour to chat with you.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
What is your favourite chair and why?
My favourite changes all the time, but one chair that I have always loved is the Tropicalia chair by Patricia Urquiola. I love the way Urquiola uses traditional techniques like weaving in such a contemporary way, and the chair looks like a giant lolly which always helps.

Describe your own interiors style in 3 words:
Classic, colour-loving, and quirky.

Prague or Provence?
Provence. I plan my holidays based around food, and you can’t go past French cuisine!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An airhostess. When I was young it seemed very glamourous, now it looks like the hardest job in the world. Upmost respect to all flight attendants!

How many hours a day do you work? Be honest!
15 hours. I work all day then dinner is my lunch break, then I go back to work.

Birthday or Christmas?
Christmas, as it’s the only time I close my laptop.

Can’t say no to________?
Loving Earth Coconut Mylk Luvju Raw Organic Chocolate. We’ve become obsessed with these in the office, they really deliver when in need of a 3pm pick up.

Vegetable smoothie or Veuve Clicquot?
Veuve Clicquot. I’m all for a health kick but you would have to be certified insane to choose a green smoothie instead of a glass of French champagne, which I firmly stand by.

Can you have too many cushions?
Yes, you can have too many at one time. It’s good to rotate them and not have them all out at once so you can freshen up your look.

Promise to keep blogging?
Yes, I have no backup option!

The Design Files Open House launched in 2011 and opens its doors in Melbourne tomorrow and then again in Sydney on the 5th December. The Design Files Open House lets us touch and buy what we read about on The Design Files every day. It is a simple concept – the ultimate Australian home – with the added bonus of everything being for sale.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Lucy Feagins
The Design Files Open House – Melbourne
9a Westley Street
Hawthorn East
Thurs November 21st to Sun November 24th
10.00am – 5.00pm

The Design Files Open House – Sydney
Sydney address to be announced
Thurs December 5th to Sun December 8th
10.00am – 5.00pm

Credits:
Photography by: Ben Pyke
Videography by: Jill Schaeffer
Melbourne Open House photos by: Eve Wilson
Sydney Open House photos by: Sean Fennessy

CHAT IN A CHAIR: LUCY FEAGINS

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
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On a rainy Melbourne day some months ago we were rather wonderfully welcomed into the home of Melbourne artist Miranda Skoczek and her young son. Dressed enviably fabulously in washed-out slouchy jeans, a loud metallic sweat, leopard print pumps, a swish of bright orange lippy and her signature tortoiseshell spectacles the woman truly embodies the warmth and creative genius that is her self, her work and her home. It is with great joy that we bring to you her Chat in a Chair today.

Chat in a Chair tells about the endless importance of collecting objects and enlightens the reason why it is so for each and every one of us. Chatting with people such as Miranda celebrates not only the extraordinary breadth of work of creatives in this country but their own stories, their homes and their most treasured chairs.

Miranda’s work of course, needs no introducing. Her beautiful paintings have gained her a legion of avid collectors, passionate supporters and lifelong friends. A symphony of much-loved historical and cultural influences inspire her layered, collaged and painted works, an extension of a whimsical and opulent imagination – in her own words “loaded with positivity”. You would undoubtedly recognise her trademark abstracted wolves, birds, zebras and owls colliding with a geometric kaleidoscope of pitch perfect palettes and “gestures towards fantasy”. Miranda is currently working on a new body of work for her show coming up in November at Edwina Corlette Gallery.

It is with great joy that we also launch, with Miranda Skoczek’s Chat in a Chair and video, our new INSTAGRAM COMPETITION to win a walnut Herman Miller Eames® LCW chair from Living Edge. Competition details are below.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
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In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek
Miranda’s favourite chair is nothing short of truly iconic. The Herman Miller Eames® LCW chair, a classic, collectable treasure of 20th century design was designed with technological valour and continuous to be produced with the legacy of love of husband & wife Charles and Ray Eames since 1946. It uses technology for molding plywood that they developed pre WW2 – an absolute revolution in its time. Now a design classic, the Herman Miller Eames® LCW was named by Time magazine as the Best Design of the 20th Century. Miranda’s own chair, like the lady herself is washed in a bold shot of colour. Hers is the Aniline Dyed Green which was produced by Hermann Miller in limited edition from 2009 – 2010.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Miranda Skoczek

The Herman Miller range is available in Australia through Living Edge – and thanks to Living Edge we have one to give away! To celebrate Miranda’s Chat in a Chair we are asking our readers and likers to get creative with the colour green. See green, be green, put your green eyes on and show us what you’ve got.

We are thrilled that Living Edge who carry the Herman Miller Eames® collection will generously be making the competition winner the proud owner of their very own Herman Miller Eames® LCW chair in walnut.

The competition will be judged by Miranda Skoczek, Living Edge and Arent&Pyke.

Tag your instagram photos with @arentpyke_inout @mirandaskoczek @livingedge and #chatinachair

THE RULES
1. You must follow @arentpyke_inout @mirandaskoczek @livingedge on Instagram
2. You must tag your entry with @arentpyke_inout @mirandaskoczek @livingedge
3. You must hashtag your entry with #chatinachair
4. Competition opens 6am AEDST on Wednesday 16th October 2013 and closes at midnight AEDST on Monday 21st October.
5. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 23rd October 2013 via In/Out design blog & Instagram. The judges’ decision is final.
6. Delivery of the chair is only available Australia wide.
7. Full T&C’s are available here

Miranda Skoczek ‘Historical Panorama’
Edwina Corlette Gallery
November 12 – 30
2/555 Brunswick Street New Farm, QLD 4005
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm or by appointment

Credits:
Photography by Ben Pyke
Videography by: Jill Schaeffer

CHAT IN A CHAIR: MIRANDA SKOCZEK

Chat in a Chair, Arent&Pyke, interior design, Tropicalia chair, Patricia Urquiola, Hub, Moroso, colour, Lover,

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

Chat in a Chair is as much about the person as it is about the chair. The joy is in the story behind the chair, the treasured chairs of old and the lustful wishlists for the future. So often the story behind the chair tells us something really special. It tells us about sentimental moments and collected memories, of big life decisions and salvaged (or monumental) investments. Or it tells us about of the importance of collecting objects and enlightens why this is so for each and every one of us. Today we would like this Chat in a Chair to be as much an introduction as it is a chat.

This is our Senior Designer, Dominique Brammah. Now an accomplished interior designer or ‘lapsed architect’ (as she likes to call it), Dom made the jump to interiors to join us in early 2012. Immediately we knew she was meant to be a part of the Arent&Pyke family. She shares an aesthetic and an energy much like our own. She is a clever designer, a notable colour freak with a sharp eye and a whimsical mind. Most importantly, for the readers of In/Out, Dominique is the eyes and ears of our blog, bringing all these beautiful artists and creations to your attention.

Her favourite chair today is the embodiment of the girl herself – bold, colourful geometric details wrapped around a classic frame. The Tropicalia chair by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso, shows a tubular steel structure with complex geometrical shapes, embellished with a clever weft of intenstely coloured threads that alternates solids and voids. The Tropicalia chair is an interplay of pattern, colour & optical illusion executed with the meticulous attention to detail spiked with a sense of playfulness so loved by Dominique and so characteristic of Urquiola’s work. Dominique’s true wish is to own ‘The Cocoon’, a hanging version of the chair she sits in – gusty, bold and whimsical chairs – much like our Dom.

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

In/Out - CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

Favourite chair – and why? Draw it.
The Tropicalia chair by Patricia Urquiola is my pick. It really represents a professional lightbulb moment in life for me. I saw the hanging version of the Tropicalia in a house in Fire Island designed by LA & NYC based interior designer Alexandra Angle when I was working as a graduate architect. The image of the chair represents such a moment of realisation – I knew there and then I needed to ditch the black skivvy. I jumped and happily landed myself in the wonderful world of Arent&Pyke. It’s been a sparkling sequin of a colour-popping year of such happiness. But seriously, this chair represents the most profound sense of professional fulfilment for little old me. One day I’ll own it (the hanging version) and I’ll swing on it every day with hair in the wind and joy in the heart. For the moment i’ll nick this version from Hub Furniture if you please.

If your world were only one colour – what would it be?
Pink. Red. Orangey red. Pinky orange. Redy pink. I am trying to escape it’s grip but it is proving near impossible. I pity the chap who has to deal with it in his life forever. Diversify? With what? Maybe seriously bright blue?

Pants or skirt?
I don’t do pants. I do jeans. And I do occasionally do a skirt but I do prefer a dress. I’m not sure if it’s lazy but the standard outfit is dress and boots.

Dinner or dessert?
Dinner then dessert but I insist on sharing dessert. I don’t do one to myself because I get cranky if the other person’s dessert is better than mine. And it’s DESSERT everyone. Not DESERT (that is in Africa).

Matching – yes or no?
Matching sheets and pillowcases – yes. Matching fingers & toes – yes. Matching socks – never.

Marimekko or Mulberry?
Oh tough one. To upholster my sofa in – Marimekko makes my heart flutter and my eye goggles fly off my face with excitement. To drape over my arm – Mulberry. GIMME AN ALEXA in floppy brown leather. Not the weird tiny one. And not the giant one that I would fill with my whole world of crap. The perfectly brilliant middle sized beauty please sir.

Diary or digital?
Diary. Diary. Diary. If it’s not in there consider me absent. I am notoriously terrible at life administration. If I was rich I would have a man servant just to pay my bills on time for me. I would also have another one to drive me around in my bashed up Toyota Echo so I would never have to look for a park again.

Hair up or hair down – literally and figuratively?
Hair down wash day one. Hair up with dry shampoo the next day. Hair down for grunge. Hair up for priss. Figuratively speaking – I’m a half up half down. I think i’m a feather in the breeze but then I realise I’m actually more conservo than I think.

Music – male or female vocalist?
Female generally. I have naturally daggy DAGGY taste in music. I rely on friend Jo who I rather brilliantly named ‘The Gig Guide’ to keep me savvy. That said, when I hear a warm honey golden syrupy man-voice I go to mush and listen to it constantly – I am currently doing this with the song on the Pure Blond ad, a re-do of Steve Winwood’s ‘Higher Love’ by James Vincent McMorrow. LISTEN TO IT. THEN LISTEN TO IT AGAIN. Damn ads stealing my cool. Same thing happened with the Schweppes ad with The Cinematic Orchestra and the Sony ad in San Francisco (with all the coloured balls rolling down the hill) with Jose Gonzalez. I did know the Cello Song by Nick Drake on the Vittoria coffee ad before I saw it on the tele (still got it).

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Dominique Brammah

Credits:
Photography by Luisa Brimble

CHAT IN A CHAIR: DOMINIQUE BRAMMAH

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Earlier this year Arent&Pyke were working on a very special house in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. A very special house requires very special furnishings – and one of our favourite inclusions was a bespoke coffee table crafted by industrial designer Daniel Barbera. It was a magnificent piece, fashioned lovingly and artfully out of marble and bronze. Originally designed as a dining table, it was actually customised to be a coffee table for the first time just for us, which was exciting.

So, on our recent trip to Melbourne, it was pretty much essential we meet this man, and see his creative space. It is safe to say we were charmed from the get-go. A lovely man, so humble and generous – with both his time, and his thoughts. After shooting and chatting, he sliced up oranges for us all to eat together.

Each Barbera piece is bespoke, and made by hand – he is an artisan of truly masculine yet elegant materials. Daniel fulfills orders of his trademark pieces for residential spaces, but is also very busy working on bespoke commissions for bars and restaurants.

His workshop is a reflection of the man – ordered, meticulous and complete with some boy toys!

His favourite chair is a Cassina ‘Cab’ chair designed by Mario Bellini in 1977 – a quietly confident and manly chair made of leather upholstery zippered over a steel frame. It’s a chair which speaks of the traditional techniques of slung leather on a steel frame of other iconic chairs such as the Knoll Spoleto chair (the favourite of florist Simone Gooch, our first Chat in a Chair). It is this particular technique that Daniel is employing in a chair he is current developing. The ‘Cab’ has a honest tactility, a legible sense of assembly, and a beautiful sense of flexure in both of its materials. The zippered legs ask you to unzip them to investigate the chair’s primary structure. It softens over time and develops that natural shine of leather where the hand touches it. It’s a piece to treasure and we agree with Daniel, it’s a perfect choice.

For the very first time on In/Out, we are so thrilled to share with you all a one minute short film of our Chat in a Chair with Daniel. It is an extra special insight and we hope you enjoy it (if the video is being a little sleepy please refresh your browser).

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What is your favourite chair & why?
I actually don’t have ‘a’ favourite, too many variables.. I could have a favourite if I knew how I was to use it.. As a pragmatist I would have to choose a chair that is useful and not just good looking, actually I would never choose a great looking chair if it didn’t work for me. But getting back to the point, if I were to choose a chair, I would choose a chair I can live with everyday, so it would maybe be a CAB chair. Why I love it is the simplicity of two main materials, steel and leather, both used very effectively, and I love how the leather changes over time and just gets better with age.

Order or chaos?
I think I like orderly chaos, which seems very dichotic, but essentially I don’t think it’s ever black or white, and I like constraints with freedom in between.

Chairs or tables?
Depends what for.. hmmm. If I was stuck on a desert island alone, probably a chair, if I was stuck on an island with friends, then a table.

Melbourne is home because…
I was born here, love the culture, food, and lots of specialist industry that I work with that merge with my design practice.

Marble or metal?
Marble if I wanted to create something that could never be melted down to create something else.

Dogs or cats?
I love cats, I like dogs, but only live with cats. I don’t have the time I would want to give to a dog.

Trivial pursuit or monopoly?
Monopoly, makes you feel like you are in primary school.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise, I always have intentions, but rarely get up to see them.

A designer who inspires you?
Ross Lovegrove, for his love and pursuit of the sciences.. I love science too and it plays a big part in what I do, and how I see objects not only from the outside, but thinking like nature ‘inside out’.

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Credits:
Photography by Ben Pyke
Videography by: Jill Schaeffer

Chat in a Chair: Daniel Barbera

chat in chair, le corbusier, tom ferguson, arent&pyke, interior design, thonet, colour, pattern

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

This week we put the ‘Arent’ half of Arent&Pyke in a chair for a chat (you can see the ‘Pyke’ here)! Co-director Juliette is pregnant with twins, soon to become a mumma for the very first time. This chair takes Juliette back to a another very special time when when she gave it to her husband Matthew, as a gift for their first anniversary.

Matthew is a designer of a different kind – as co-director of creative agency Squad Ink. And, he is also a twin. Matthew was at the time becoming acquainted with all things interior design and he said he loved the classic Bentwood No.B9 Le Corbusier chair. Keen to nurture Matthew’s burgeoning interest in interiors, Juliette felt this chair was a fine gift indeed. It is now a much loved piece, and takes pride of place in the recently refurbished Squad Ink studio designed (of course!), by Arent&Pyke alongside the Mondrian Blue No.18 Thonet chairs that surround the meeting table. What a lovely daily reminder of their love…..ahhhhhh.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

It is also a very special chair to all of us at In/Out as it was the winner’s prize for our first Chat in a Chair Instagram competition.

Credits: Images courtesy of Tom Ferguson Photography

Chat in a Chair: Juliette Arent

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In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to meet Tom Dixon at an intimate dinner held by our special friends at dedece, for the unveiling of his new range. Arent&Pyke have a long-standing relationship with dedece, and we covet the iconic Tom Dixon design pieces that they vend. So, to be privy to such a special event was an opportunity not to be missed. Even better – we got to have a one-on-one chat (in a chair) with him the next day – which was quite the treat given that he flew in and out of Sydney in just 48 hours!

To celebrate all of this, we thought it would be a scandal not to mark the event with a special giveaway. Team Arent&Pyke all have a fondness for the Tom Dixon Offcut Stool… so we had Tom sign one for us, in the Tom Dixon signature fluorescent orange, and we are going to give it away to one of you! Read on…

Fresh out of high-school Tom formed a disco-punk band called Funkapolita, but after breaking his leg in a biking accident turned his attention to repairing and welding bikes, which was where his burgeoning love of transforming metals was born. And he hasn’t stopped.

With one hand Tom industriously celebrates centuries of manufacturing tradition (traditional & industrialised processes), while with the other he’s quietly experimenting to create new processes to create unique new products.

While wide ranging in design, style and function, all Tom Dixon products are imbued with his trademark personality. Despite the seriousness of their design, and the processes they represents – they carry a sense of nostalgia and fun that makes them seem more accessible. Case in point is the Jack – a symbol for which Tom Dixon is so well known, and also one that conjures up the innocent fun of childhood. This award winning ‘sitting, stacking, lighting thing’ was first launched to make a point about manufacturing and production methods. There is always this kind of deep consideration behind his pieces over and above their bare aesthetics.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

We started by asking Tom about the Jack Light, as it is such a recognisable symbol of his brand.
IN/OUT: We’ve photographed you here with the Jack Light. It’s both a seat and a light. Was it always meant to be both?

TD: It’s a bit chicken and the egg. It’s a symbolic object for me, as it was my first move into industry in ’94, to show industrial manufacture was still possible in the UK at that time. The initial thought was to replace a lamp that was made out of paper, and constantly damaged in transit… so yes, I guess it did begin as a lamp.

IN/OUT: We know it is hard to but can you name a favourite piece from your own work?

TD: My favourite pieces are often the pieces that I am making next, rather than what I have already done. It’s even hard to talk about the current range, which is already a year old to me. I always find it more interesting to think about what is coming up next.

What I’ve noticed – with some of my slightly more successful pieces – is that people see them in a very different way to how I did when I designed them. It’s kind of nice when people put their own reading to it. What someone might view as very ‘60s, another sees as space age, or masculine, or more feminine. My departure point might have been more about the mathematics and geometry.

IN/OUT: How many Tom Dixon items do you have in your own home?

TD: As few as possible! I think I spent a lot of time living in the studio – so it is nice to be surrounded by things from other worlds, objects from travels. And definitely a lot of things that have great memories for me – like my grandmother’s furniture. She had a small collection of intricate 18th Century furniture. These are amongst my favourite things.

I try to coach my staff to go and see more art – it can be dangerous to be surrounded by too much of your own work.

IN/OUT: At the concept stage, do you like to work alone or do you rely on your team.

TD: In the main, I quite like working alone on concepts. And then, later, I like working with a team, as it can be good to work in opposition to what everyone else is saying. It’s good to have an argument. I work with a team – but I have strong ideas about the product design. I can sometimes spend a bit of time battling to bring people back to where my ideas started from in the first instance. Working in creative teams, people will always have their own ideas.

IN/OUT: You seem to spend a lot of time representing your self and talking about your product. Is it important to you to do that?

TD: I travel a lot. I am as much interested in the manufacturing of my work as I am the design – so I travel to India, China, and all over. This is one of the most interesting parts of the job. Then of course, the marketing is also important. I am the brand, and the principal, so I do need to talk about what I am doing.

IN/OUT: The new Eclectic range, it seems, is everywhere in Australia. Was that the aim – to make it more accessible?

TD: It is good to have the more solid pieces as a substantial base. If we had started with accessories, things would not have played out the same way, and our aesthetic would say something else. I see the furniture and lighting as selling to professionals, and the type of buyer who ultimately owns their home. The intention was definitely there to offer smaller, faster moving objects with Eclectic. There is a plan; we are doing it one building block at a time. Next, it would be great to do surfaces – floors and walls. This is just the beginning, and it is exciting.

IN/OUT: If you could click your fingers and be anywhere in the world – where would it be?

TD: I’m quite happy here! I always prefer seeing things and places that are new to me. So, giving it more thought – I’ve never been to Mexico. I’d like to be there. I’d also like to go skiing in Kashmir – it’s a bit hot in Sydney. Or Iran. I’d quite like to go there too.

So, now about that stool!

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

We have an original Offcut stool signed by Tom Dixon himself to give away. All you have to do is Snap Your Space. We’d like to see where you would put this stool if you won. Get creative and clever – and show us a little corner of your house, office, studio or a special sunny spot that could use a bit of Tom Dixon sparkle. Easy, right?

Our special judge will be superstar photographer Luisa Brimble, who captured these great shots of Tom (as well as most of our Chat in a Chair series). She is also a regular contributor to Kinfolk Magazine and is the founder of the soon-to-be-launched Alphabet Family Journal. Luisa has an eye for intimate detail and is as obsessed as we are with getting a glimpse into the lives of people and their creative spaces. Who better to decide on where this stool will reside in the future we say!

THE RULES:

1. You must follow @arentpyke_inout and @luisabrimble on Instagram
2. You must tag your instagram photos with @arentpyke_inout and @luisabrimble
3. You must hash-tag your photos with #chatinachair and #snapyourspace
3. You may enter any number of times
4. Competition opens 6am AEDST on Wednesday 22nd May and closes at midnight AEDST on Monday 27th May 2013.
5. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 29th May 2013. The judges’ decision is final.
6. Delivery of the chair is only available Australia wide.
7. Full T&C’s are available here

Chat in a Chair: Tom Dixon

chat in a chair, rachel castle, castle & things, neon, screen print, embroidery, Sydney, artist, Arent&Pyke, Fritz Hansen, Arne Jacobsen

Rachel Castle is a long-time friend of Arent&Pyke. Anyone familiar with our projects would likely have spied a Rachel Castle original or two in the mix. For the unfamiliar, Rachel is an artist, well known for her whimsical (and quite often cheeky) hand stitched felt work, colourful hand printed screen prints and covetable paintings. And then there is all that gorgeous bed linen, cushions and beach towels. And we should also note her fun collaboration with fashion label Gorman that put a lot of love in the coconut and cha-cha-ing about town. Rachel is not just clever, she is also bloody funny – so we needed no excuse to visit her in her sunny studio to have a chat to her in her favourite chair.

We love the tale of her favourite chair too – her answer was immediate! Rachel selected the Model 3107 chair by Arne Jacobsen – a pink 3107 no less. Gifted to her by her husband on their first anniversary – a gesture just so terribly romantic. This chair, first designed in 1955 is fashioned out cleverly bent plywood, and now produced exclusively by Danish furniture design company Fritz Hansen.

We really love producing the IN/OUT design blog – but we especially enjoy our Chat in a Chair feature. It is an exciting undertaking to find out the story behind people’s favourite chairs. There is always a story. It is such a privilege to uncap an area of passion in these inspirational individuals lives, and share something about them we might not otherwise know. People universally love chairs – this we well discovered through our Chat in a Chair Insta-challenge promotion last year, and we love being able to uncover these little gems for you.

WHAT A WINNER! Because Rachel is such a generous cookie, she has very kindly gifted us a gorgeous Sunny tote bag (RRP $120) to give away to celebrate today’s glorious Chat in a Chair. All we ask is for you to put your thinking caps on and comment below telling us who you would like to have a ‘Chat in a Chair’ with (living or dead) to win! We also ask that you share the love and subscribe to the blog (if you haven’t already!). So, get creative! You have a week to comment and the winner will be announced on the blog, on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday 1st May.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

Credits: Photography by Ben Pyke Photography

Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

Laura Jones - Chat in a Chair

We might be biased, and we might just have snapped up a couple of her paintings already – but it would be fraudulent of us not to rave about Laura Jones just a little. To celebrate the opening of her exhibition ‘With Flowers’ at the Maunsell Wickes Gallery in Paddington (1 – 14th March 2013), we had to have Laura in for a bit of Chat in a Chair time.

Laura is the whole package – her paintings have that quality that makes your eyes not know where to rest. Her relationship with colour is enviable and her palettes magical. Laura knows a things or two about flowers – and this shows not only in the way that she paints them, but also in the way that she selects her subjects. Her studio space is almost as beautiful as her art – and as a person, they don’t come any nicer. The best part of our Chat in a Chair series is getting up close and personal with the talented subjects that we feature, and seeing them in their own creative spaces. Our photographer would have shot every square inch of this space, had she been given the chance! It was that good.

While the focus of Laura’s ‘With Flowers’ exhibition is obviously floral, she also has a weighty back catalogue of beautiful portraits and still life. Flowers were chosen, says Laura, as she was inspired by the beauty and the colour of the flowers and wanted to bring that to her viewers through her work. She has inspired us all.

What you might not know is that Laura also designed some fabrics for Edit. Her chair today is covered in one of her favourite fabrics, also from Edit! As a thank you from Edit, they gifted her a dress made from the same fabric – in case you were wondering.

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

In/Out - Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

Credits: All images by Luisa Brimble

Chat in a Chair: Laura Jones

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