When Sue Carr co-founded her first design studio in 1971, interior design was a mere afterthought in the overall design process. Five decades later, the perception around it has changed tremendously, and there is no doubt that Carr’s Founding Principal has played a crucial role in advancing its progress and giving the discipline the notoriety it deserves.
So magnificent is her contribution that in 2006 Sue was inducted in the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her visionary legacy. And just this year, she has been awarded an (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for her meaningful service to interior design, education and women in business.
Sue’s incredibly accomplished, influential, and frankly unparalleled career, spans over five decades. As the Carr studio celebrates its 50th birthday, we ask the designer how it all started and what led her to where she is now. Even though Sue admits she wasn’t necessarily born into interior design and only developed an interest in the discipline when she began university, her upbringing certainly informed her future passion. “My entire childhood was geared towards a life in design; a life that would allow me to exercise my two greatest passions – science and art,” she explains.
She was immediately attracted to interior design. “It was about the science of how we live and interact with one another in the environments that surround us,” she says. This importance of fusing the discipline of everyday living with the art of producing well-designed spaces is what Sue was instantly captivated by. “Design was original, different and new; it was a field full of possibilities and potential,” she recalls.
Of course, this instantaneous fascination with interior design didn’t fade away. In fact, it’s hard not to draw parallels between what Sue found so alluring about design at the start with the qualities that now permeate the studio’s original and unique designs. Encompassing an integrated interior design and architectural offering, the practice prides itself in designing buildings from the inside out, always striving to enrich people’s lives. Sue’s own home very much embodies the studio’s design philosophy. “Timeless, light-filled spaces; contemporary, thoughtful detailing; pure, clean lines and a strong, simple design that responds to our needs,” she says of her private refuge. “Quality over quantity,” she says when we ask what home means to her. “It’s not about trends and what looks good; it’s about things that make us feel great and about choices that incorporate social and environmental sustainability.”
Sue says that as our lives become busier, we want our homes to be our havens – and kitchens are at the heart of these sanctuaries. That’s why they must be not only beautiful but also efficient and practical. “Outside of one’s workspace, it’s where the majority of people spend most of their time. It is also the social hub of the home, and its purpose reveals the increased importance that cooking, food, and conversation has on our lives today.” Sue adds that the design of a kitchen should integrate with the house, so there are no obvious departures in materiality, aesthetics and design.
Many of these qualities have been reflected in this year’s Gaggenau Kitchen of the Year Design Contest submissions. “The best-designed kitchens in the Gaggenau Kitchen of the Year awards represented a composition of fully integrated appliances, streamlined, crisp joinery, beautifully detailed materials and fixtures and importantly a layout that supported the requirements of its users,” she explains. The focus on the user’s needs is intertwined with the fact that spaces are becoming less and less defined, a change Sue is noticing in the kitchen design space. “As designers and architects, we have to work like problem-solvers. It’s about creating an environment that can enhance our life and adapt to the way our lifestyles are changing,” she says. “Laundries are now often integrated into the kitchen, and kitchens are now multi-functional spaces acting as workspaces, cooking spaces, social spaces, dining spaces. As a result, spaces will have to work harder to accommodate multiple uses by multiple people.”
Sue says that as appliances have become more streamlined and integration increases in popularity, the kitchen of the future will be very different. She uses the humble dining table as an example. “It has always been at the heart of the kitchen, a place for preparing food and eating it. But as the world changes, so will our needs. That means that the table of the future will be designed to do so much more: it’s our preparation surface, hob, dining table, workbench and children’s play area.” She concludes with a positive remark on the growing role of tech in the kitchen, “Technology will play its part too, helping to make us more confident cooks, while letting less food go to waste.”
Explore some of the best-designed kitchens shortlisted as part of this year’s Gaggenau Kitchen of the Year Design Contest here.abc
Daniel Bertuccio, the Eurolinx Marketing Manager, explains that this configurator is “meticulously built with every possible scenario accounted for” and how it “gives our customers the ability to design their dream freestanding oven, visualising the product as it comes together with live pricing as you go through the build journey.”[gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="114667,114668"]
A further dimension of flexibility and creativity is permitted through using the universal RAL colour system; it is now possible to create an ILVE freestanding oven in any one of up to 213 colours. More than just a painted surface, ILVE custom colours are made in Italy using a baked enamel system, resulting in a high gloss and resilient finish. The choice of different styling in Copper, Brass, Chrome or Bronze in conjunction with the RAL colour selection, ensures that the final freestanding oven is an exciting centrepiece for every kitchen.
The configurator also allows the user to choose the required size and cooktop design of your oven, along with a matching range hood, and as indicated by Daniel Bertuccio, “From a 90cm Majestic in Capri Blue with Chrome Styling to a 150cm Professional Plus in Sand Yellow with a Teppanyaki Plate, the possibilities really do feel endless!”Whether it be choosing a professional grade oven or a bright statement piece, ILVE’s freedom in creativity and customisation allows you to design the perfect appliance for your lifestyle. This unmatched flexibility further permits individuality to shine through, allowing the appliance to seamlessly fit in any home. [gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="114665,114669"] The online configurator has a unique User experience, designed to involve minimal steps and deliver utmost efficiency. Once the stepwise configuration process is complete, a design summary is generated detailing specific requirements which can then be taken to a local ILVE dealer. Alternatively, authorised agents using the B2B side of the platform, are able to walk through the design with your customer, confirming the price in real-time and place the order directly with ILVE’s internal systems. ILVE’s recognition of our homes as an extension of our identity has led to their unique Design Your Own configurator, giving people the freedom to create appliances that truly fit their personality and lifestyle.