It is with absolute sorrow that we share the news of the passing of Flack Studio’s Mark Robinson, on Thursday 22 December 2022. A memorial service will be held for Mark on Thursday 12 January.
One of the Australian design world’s most beautiful people, Mark was that rare person who only saw good in fostering friendships and collaboration. This was no mean feat in a world of rivalry and competition, but boy did we all benefit from his generosity of spirit as he championed artists, designers, architects and creatives across a vast range of practice. As David Flack states: “He was devoted to challenging the status quo and to giving back.”
Moreover, he was delightful to be with, always cheeky and never holding back. Seeing his smiling face through an opening night crowd was often the decider on staying at an event, thankfully his height allowed that smile to shine above the crowd like a welcoming beacon.
His role in the Flack Studio success cannot be understated. “It didn’t matter what we were designing, to create with him, was a joy. He inspired and drove me. Our shared creativity was infinite,” says Flack. Mark was moreover, an incredible driving force for the practice, always answering his phone or responding with a salient quote or piece of information. When Flack was strapped, Mark was always ready with a smile and a project.
He was also incredibly generous and pushed the studio to open the Studio Library to the public (last Saturday each month), supported the creation of the Rhonda Alexander Mentorship Program for people who could not get a foot in the door, hosted the Studio’s Plinth Drinks for local artists and makers. He was also an adamant member of the Design Institute of Australia practice group. It’s easy to imagine him poking holes in old beliefs and opening conversations towards a new way of thinking.
But, it is his love that will be most missed: “2023 without you. Well. It’s still hard to comprehend. That ‘thing’ in my throat, still very much there. My heart a bloody mess.”
“Over the last week, I have recounted a million times, your cheeky smile, your unfailing advice, our 80s transformational movie binges, McDonalds runs, business mentorship and your bloody teasing (god you were mean sometimes) and my absolute favourite. Walks and talks, arm in arm,” says Yasmine Ghoniem of YSG Studio.
When the news went out to the design community, the response was instantaneous and united in its sorrow and appreciation for all Mark embodied: “The most generous, loving, inspiring human I am lucky to have been fortunate enough to work and play with. He will never be forgotten and always be remembered with absolute love,” says Adèle Winteridge of Foolscap Studio in a statement that echoes the many, many messages posted.
Posting the Muppets song Rainbow Connection (Kenny Asher and Paul Hamilton Williams), Flack summed up the joy and generosity for which Mark was widely known. He will be so missed:
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me
There will be a memorial service on Thursday 12 January from 12:30pm at The Greenhouse, 518 High Street, Northcote – RSVP here. The service will be live streamed for interstate and international friends, this link is also found in the Humanitix link.