Inspiration is everywhere; it can be found by an inquisitive mind in the most unlikely places. I have presented a collection of things that excite me: things filled with charm and stories to tell, things with fine engineering and mechanical excellence, that convert poor materials into objects of tenacity, strength and beauty, things that find new ways to answer old questions.
My bespoke bicycle
Ab Rogers and Condor Cycles
An Acciaio-framed bike with Campagnolo gears and wheels and fittings painted in RAL 3010 red. I love my bicycle, it moves with great beauty because of the exquisite engineering of its light-weight steel frame. It glides through the city all dressed in red, with black highlights to emphasise its dynamic simplicity and attention to every detail – nothing extra, nothing overlooked. It takes me everywhere I want to go without the trauma of traffic or the claustrophobia of public transport. It is, quite simply, my favourite position to be in – supported by something with equal beauty and functionality.
credit Atelier Ted Noten
A Tiara for Maxima
Atelier Ted Noten
We are designing an exhibition of contemporary jewellery, curated by Susan Cohn along with the Design Museum, set to open in Melbourne on 21 April. One of my favourite pieces in the show is “A Tiara for Maxima” – designed for a modern princess who wants to drive her motorbike to public engagements. On this, form and function, ceremony and practicality, are seamlessly intertwined.
credit Anders Guggisberg
Eye in a Conch Shell
This object from Rist’s recent show is an extraordinary piece of fantastical, surrealist communication. The magic is in the combination of a conch shell – well known for containing mysterious sounds – with another recorded sound that humans can use to communicate. Pipilotti further transforms this magical shell by placing a screen deep within it, on which there is a moving eye looking out. It charms me and satisfies my sensibilities. I can stare at it for hours on end.
Free Range table
El Ultimo Grito
This was a brilliant table for the studio’s spring projects show – a vivid, powerful item all made from a single skin of poor, worthless paper, magically converted into a tough, beautiful table and given strength by the application of epoxy resin and poetic thinking. A similar table was made for Handmade at the V&A, where it was used to carry out their workshops – its tenacity was demonstrated in its ability to survive rough public handling.
credit Tim Griffith
View Hill house
Denton Corker Marshall
This house sits on top of a hill overlooking the Yarra Valley vineyards, to the north of Melbourne. It is a striking piece of architecture, with a cantilever coated in corten and sides that open up to views of the stunning landscape. The perforated steel allows dappled light in but keeps the harsh midday light out. The contrast between the building’s brutal fabric and the sensitivity of the way it opens up to the light is incongruous in its setting – a wilderness where kangaroos hop through vineyards.