Following a successful inauguration at last years Sydney Indesign (2013) Melbourne premiered its very own Galleria experience – with a distinctive Melbourne flavour no less.
August 28th, 2014
Where Sydney’s lavish locomotive factory presented a more serious atmosphere, Melbourne’s Galleria was far more community-focused, where the warehouse venue created an atmosphere more akin to a creative share-house than trade show; earning its place as the jewel in the larger crown of the Melbourne CBD precinct.
This personalised feeling was well matched by the 40-odd exhibitors whose activity took advantage of the experiential nature of Galleria. Reece Bathrooms with 6 Hats, Signature FloorConcepts with Geyer and Interface with Loop Creative for example, leveraged the themes and concepts of their recent products to produce highly engaging spaces that bonded the user with the various products and brand stories. Interface with Loop Creative was certainly a stand out, producing a two-room walk-through installation equipped to hit all five sensory touch points to immerse users with their recent Human Nature collection.
Others approached the task with a more artistic bend by way of preening (so to speak) at their stands. Brands and designers including Ontera Modular Carpets, Luxxbox, Mother of Pearl & Sons, Satelight Design, Stormtech, PGH Brick & Pavers, Ross Gardam, mafi and designer.line to name a few, inhabited the space with installations including cardboard box lighting walls, bent timber floor lounges, street-style carpet graffiti and multi-dimensional brick sculptures to attract attention from specifiers, architects and designers – and with great success I might add.
Many however, chose the old “show and tell” method, where demonstration and product ‘touch and feel’ tactics played a large role in engaging the market. Brands including Healthezone, Integ, Herman Miller, Scandinavian Business Seating, Polytec, Dezign interiors and Briggs Veneers invested in creating a no-nonsense approach to showcasing the functions of their product, coupled with brand and product experts equipped with all the technical information you could ever want about a task chair, and the ability to talk some industry shop.
While some were quite daring and ostentatious in their display, others chose to let their work speak for itself, rather than compete with the adjacent noise and chaos. Designers Ross Didier and Tom Skeehan were among the more refined and tame of the bunch, speaking to their demographic of the more subdued “no bullshit” design market.
Suppliers such as SeehoSu, Enoki, Savage Design, The English Tapware Company, Archilux, CIBO Design, Khaos Australia, Envoy, KISJN, Monier Roofing, Novus Luxe, Urban Edge Ceramics, Vorwerk, Youmans, Zip, The Textile Company, Viabizzuno, Page Thirty Three, Pop Concrete and Own World were also quick to adopt and demonstrate the famous Melbourne chilled-out personality to express their brand culture, and as such, strategically attracting the right audience.
Outside of the Galleria, the Melbourne CBD precinct played host to some major industry heavyweights including the recently rebranded CULT, Stylecraft and DAL BRAND with Konfurb.
Here is a precinct of suppliers who understand the value of experiential marketing and brand storytelling in attracting key market players. CULT was one of the most successful showrooms of the event. For instance, they very cleverly chose to focus on more than their amazing product offering, instead leveraging the value of two of their partnering designers: Adam Goodrum and Sebastian Wrong. Hosted insitu at the stunning Adam Goodrum apartment within the Melbourne showroom, visitors had the opportunity to get the real story about Australian design right from the horses’ mouth during Q+A’s with Goodrum and CULT director Richard Munao.
The space also welcomed international guest Sebastian Wrong (WRONG FOR HAY) in Q+A’s throughout the weekend, playing a large role in bridging the gap between Australia and the global design world, in addition to catering for the middle-market sector. Finally, CULT was also the Major Sponsor for this years Launch Pad program; a move which further solidified the brand’s commitment to walking the walk; fostering a more cohesive and supportive local industry.
CULT also maintained its partnership with floor textiles company BOLON for the event, hosting a display of the new ‘Silence’ collection by the Swedish brand.
Stylecraft also presented a strong showing of brand activity, most importantly with its “Local Talent Time” campaign launched several months prior. In a highly-engaging – not to mention entertaining – way of showcasing it’s impressive collection of Australian designers (think Ross Gardam, Helen Kontouris, Keith Melbourne, Alexander Lotersztain and so on) visitors were able to rub elbows with some “local talent” and in doing so, create a direct relationship with Stylecraft as a champion of Australian design product and industry.
Lastly, Business Interiors by Staples introduced themselves to the Melbourne scene with a popup space at art gallery 45downstairs, where they displayed their range of commercial seating and workstations.
Photography by: Fiona Susanto Photography
For more coverage of Melbourne Indesign 2014 visit: indesignlive.com/category/articles/in-review/mid-2014
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