grow. : grow - Edition 4 - May 2017
grew up. I grew up in a really beautiful house designed in the early ’70s. “My father was an interior designer and joiner, and my mother was highly artistic, so for us, it was just a natural thing of how we were.” That nature and nurture has become professional and creative instinct, which is reflected in her approach to client briefs. “If say, for instance, a client comes in and we’re talking about a potential brief, that’s when I start thinking,” she says. “The ideas are coming then already. It’s not like you take the brief and then go away and look at some books. “For me it doesn’t happen like that – it’s an immediate response to a brief from a client, the situation and the thing itself: if it’s a beautiful Victorian house in Caulfield, it’s at that point I start to get the ideas.” Winning the Gold Medal is, for Phelan, recognition of her unrelenting battle to keep improving. “We talk to each other in the office about always trying to raise our own bar,” she says. “Every new project has to be somehow a learning curve. “At the same time, I’ve been thinking a lot about everything we’ve done and how to continue that along: does every new project have to be a significantly new thing? Or can we have a stream of consciousness that rides through each project?” KPDO is not one to rest on its laurels, but Phelan does get time to reflect on the impact of her work. “Creating environments for people is a really special thing,” she says. “When we do people’s homes or hotels or hospitality, it’s about trying to make a space that people will love to be in. “That in itself is a really nice thing.” ⚫ www.rockend.com.au www.propertytree.com “DESIGN MEANS A WAY OF MAKING THE WORLD BETTER FOR EVERYONE. IT’S A CREATIVE PURSUIT ASWELLASA BUSINESS PURSUIT.” Image. Richard Powers.
grow - Edition 3 - January 2017
grow - Edition 5 - August 2017