Late last year, Grand Design’s Australia predicted that blurring lines between indoor and outdoor would be one of the top four design trends of 2013.
Blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor is a well established and quintessential aspect of living in Australia. Whether realised through the courtyards of Melbourne or the sprawling verandas of our warmer States and Territories, our penchant for the great outdoors is firmly fixed in our collective psyche as an extension that is seamlessly integral to the whole. And while these spaces have benefited from design to some extent since time immemorial, the swing towards a truly created environment has evolved with particular verve over the past decade.
In particular, this shift is evident in the way commercial architects and designers activate outdoor areas for both work and play by addressing similar concerns of flow, usage, scale and longevity as they would for an interior space.
The Australian Financial Review recently highlighted that the demand for outdoor rooms is increasing with many architects not only making the most of the exterior but also using natural light to add to the aesthetics indoors. Ivy Pool Bar in Sydney and Queensland’s North Leagues and Services are great examples of venues that have combined the two spatial dynamics seamlessly. Read more Esque 4.
Norths Leagues and Services Ivy- Pool Bar
Bringing innovative products that helps interior designers and architects, whilst maintaining design aesthetics and cost efficiencies has been the premise of Baresque. To this end, we announced that we’d bring Slate-Lite, an innovation in modern architecture to Australia as sole distributors.
When we met Slate-Lite’s parent company in Germany, we were fascinated to hear about how this innovative product is less than 2mm thick and made of real stone – giving any surface a real stone finish. From design viewpoint, real stone has been regarded as a premium building material that reflects unique character, stability, grandeur and a natural / eco-friendly environment. Variations of natural stone’s broad range of colour pattern and texture also make it visually interesting to spaces.
However, using real stone has always been challenging from versatility, limitations owing to size and cost effectiveness perspectives. And this is where stone veneer Slate-Lite fits in. The product range has real stone surface and light weighted back and can be used for indoor cladding as well as furniture design suited for a range of projects such as office foyers, receptions, airports and universities. The properties of real slate on one side combine with flexibility and the light weight of the back to allow for the most amazing projects to be made possible.
More information on Slate-Lite is available here.
L to R: Slate-Lite in California Gold, Slate-Lite in Argento Auro, Slate-Lite in Arcobalino Gris
Learning and education spaces are moving away from their traditional beige walls, white boards, brown benches and teachers. Education spaces now aim to be centres of inspiration, innovation and birthplace of entrepreneurship.
Canberra’s newest cultural institution Questacon recently moved into a new premises and is busy preparing the Questacon Technology Learning Centre for a 2013 grand opening. According to an article in Canberra Times, the institution hopes the new education hub will inspire young Australians to invent and innovate. Areas within the centre are being specifically designed as open creative environments to encourage maximum inspiration and exchange of ideas.
BVN Architecture’s ‘Learning Space of the Future’ for Victoria University using IdeaPaint is a great example of providing means for experiential learning well beyond the classroom. Following the brief, they have created an interactive learning environment that encourages both teachers and students to rethink learning paradigms. BVN explored possibilities for using high-tech solutions within an intrinsically experiential and flexible environment including striped bean-bags, bright yellow wall, hidden technology and floors and walls that can be written on!
Offering flexibility and engagement, the new age education centres provide learning experiences that are individual and yet, all-encompassing. They build a brand and tell a story while facilitating the absorption of information. It will be interesting to see how these spaces change in the future.
BVN Architecture’s ‘Learning Space of the Future’ for Victoria University using IdeaPaint
Muted colours and sombre tones is one of the biggest trends in 2013. We saw it in Europe at the international shows Heimtex (Frankfurt), Maison de Objet (Paris), IMM (Cologne) and Bau (Munich) recently, and also in the product orders we’re receiving. This is a big shift from the bold hues and strong features that dominated the design board’s last couple of years.
We believe that the increasing emphasis on cost consciousness might be influencing this trend as, in a tight market; people want things that last longer, are easier to match and more neutral. Dovetailing the focus on simplicity will be softer lines, personality and statement furniture to offset the muted palettes.
Here in Australia, we can expect to see these trends really kick in next season. But, we’ve already had strong initial interest for muted colours from architects and interior designers, as apparent from the large amount of specifications for our Lightblocks Board Smokey Topaz product which is extremely popular at the moment.
Images were taken at IMM Cologne – showing the softer colour palette and simplicity of design
Baresque’s Lightblocks Board Smokey Topaz used as screens and table top
You might already be aware that late last year, Baresque launched IdeaPaint CLEAR in Australia – giving people the opportunity to turn any surface into a ‘whiteboard’ of any colour. Since then, the product has been getting great reviews from designers, partners and even the media (check out the write-up in Building Product News).
IdeaPaint CLEAR is a fabulous product that gives businesses a great way to stay organised and encourage creativity. The reception we’ve had since launching the product proves that it is ideal for creative forward thinking, collaborative work environments and work flow mapping across a range of industries.
The fact that IdeaPaint CLEAR in Australia has just achieved Global GreenTag GreenRate Level B certification is just another feather in the cap. Look out for some case studies that we’ll share on how people have used IdeaPaint CLEAR to transform surfaces.
Until then, stay tuned and invite your friends to do so as well.
IdeaPaint CLEAR executions