On the eve of the first Sydney Design Files Open House - the dramatic interior transformation of a converted warehouse in Surry Hills - Elana Castle sits down with Lucy Feagins to chat about this unique Australian design event
The Design Files, arguably Australia’s most popular design blog, ventured into “real-time” when its founder, Lucy Feagins, launched The Design Files Open House, a curated design event in Melbourne in 2011. Essentially a showcase of the many products featured on the blog, the TDF Open House also functions as a retail space, providing visitors with the opportunity to purchase any of the items on display.
Elana Castle: Tell us about the genesis of the Open House concept? What inspired you to go beyond the sphere of online blogging?
Lucy Feagins: I’m conscious that I’m primarily an online presence and that I spend most of my time sitting behind a computer screen. When I thought about what The Design Files might look like in a physical sense, I imagined a beautiful Australian home filled with many of the things we’ve profiled on the blog – but all under one roof!
EC: How has the event grown since its inception in Melbourne in 2011?
LF: It’s gotten bigger every year. The content and the houses! We now represent over 70 Australian designers. We also have a few commercial sponsors on board now.
EC: What determines what is included in the line-up?
LF: The whole process is quite intuitive and represents the things that I love. I just wish there was space to include more products.
EC: What did you find the most challenging aspect of the process?
LF: Balancing the commercial and independent sides of the event. I started off with an indie blog and I really want to retain that kind of content as well as the blog’s tone and integrity. However, it’s difficult to stage events like these without commercial support. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to work with complimentary brands that really understand the concept and are happy to worth within The Open House requirements.
EC: What do you love most about The Open House?
LF: I started The Design Files at a time when there wasn’t very much online coverage of Australian design, so it’s great to see how much that has changed. I also love that we’ve been a part of the growth and development of a number of the start-ups that we’ve featured. It’s probably one of the most exciting aspects of what I do.
The Design Files Open House
5-8 December 5-8
5 Bennett Place, Surry Hills
10am – 5pm