The brief behind rEvolve was to design not only the space, but the business that would occupy the space as well.
As a final year student, I found that there was a distinct lack of collaboration and support for up-and-coming designers. I wanted to create a business where students and freelance designers could obtain professional support in their growing careers, but also provide a professional service to their clients. The space and the business plan were designed with mentorship and collaboration in mind.
I built rEvolve on the basis of the revolution and subsequent evolution of the design industry in Sydney. I designed the space to provide support from working professionals in the field, as well as having bookable meeting rooms, work spaces, a sample library and archive and a designer profile system.
The meeting rooms consist of 2 long tables in the back room of the building. There are 3 sliding walls that can be positioned in such a way that a meeting room can occupy 2 people, all the way up to 8 or more people if you were to book the entire space. This would provide freelancers and other designers a beautiful designed but socially neutral space to meet with clients. The sliding walls are made up of varying sustainable wood veneers in varying shades, to maintain a warm feeling. Each wall has a white board, and a slide up door that allowed you to position the wall at any point along the table, or in the centre of the room, to allow for privacy. (See Perspective – Meeting Rooms)
The sample library was designed to house the latest ranges of participating suppliers, be they fabric, paints, tiles, carpets – whatever finish you desired. When a new range came in, select pieces from the old range would be moved upstairs into the sample archive area, which was made up of sliding bookcases. This would mean designers had easy access to not only what was the most up-to-date finishes in the industry, but also to a range of older styles to discuss with their clients and draw inspiration from. (See Perspective – Sample Archives)
The work room upstairs features 2 vintage drafting tables, as well as one long farmhouse table equipped with multiple power stations. It is located just off the owners design studio upstairs, and was designed so students could work in a space where they had easy access to finishes and mentors, and freelancers had a space they could work in free of charge. A tech centre by the stairs would provide scanning, printing and binding services.
Lock and Key design studio is located upstairs, and was designed as the owners work space. It would be available to any professional working in the field willing to work within the building and offer mentorship and advice to budding designers. The feature in this room is the repurposed dentists light utilised above the desk. (See Perspective – Designer Studio)
The space utilised a polished concrete floor as a nod to the buildings history as a warehouse. The walls and ceilings were kept white, to allow the designers utilising the space to work unimpeded by distractions. The furnishing were wood and steel, and all were repurposed, from the solid wood bench top in the kitchen, to the recycled stained glass doors in the bathroom.
Both the business plan and building design were very well received by my teachers and peers, and the idea is one I would like to pursue in the future.