Walking into the new Compound Interest Centre for Applied Arts in Keele St Collingwood is an uplifting experience. Although this area of Melbourne is well known for its sports clothing outlets, there are a number of artists, designers and architects who also call it home.
Pin-Up Project Space takes up a big portion of Compound Interest – designed by architect Martyn Hook. I met with Martyn, who is also the co-curator (with Fleur Watson) of The First Show for Pin-Up gallery, which is (surprisingly) the first show for the new gallery.
“Fundamentally the idea for the gallery emerged out of a series of projects that Fleur and I have been working on for some time,” explains Martyn. “[Together we developed] a position that was very much about communicating architecture and design to non-architects and non-designers.”
In their work for architecture and design magazines the pair set themselves a diffuclt taks; “It was about not dumbing it down so much that the professionals would be offended, but also not discussing it at too-high a level where it would become infinitely boring and filled with incidentals and in jokes.”
The First Show attempts to draw in the public by offering a range of different interests in the Compound Interest space. “How do you get the people walking up and down [Smith Street], and buying their cheap Nike sneakers from the place on the corner, to come down into the space. That certainly is the challenge.”
“It’s not a standalone room, it’s actually in a venue which has [something] for people interested in illustration, photography, printmaking, building fantastic motorcycles; so immediately we’re trying to expand the agenda through location and collaboration from day one.”
The First Show includes installations by:
John Wardle Architects
Harrison + White
Universal Design Studio
Chase and Galley
Phoebe Porter & Blanche Tilden
Anthea van Kopplen
“Architects don’t just design buildings, furniture designers don’t just design furniture and fashion designers might be interested in more than just a garment and a body on a runway,” Martyn explains.
“Perhaps this might give some opportunity to open up those pre-conceptions about what those various disciplines.”
Find out more on the Pin-Up website here and check out the pics from the opening below.
The Pin-Up Project Space
Exhibition design by Universal Design Studio and Chase & Galley. Photography Tobias Titz.