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5 Minutes With… David Holm

David Holm takes 5 Minutes with Indesignlive.

5 Minutes With… David Holm


March 14th, 2012

David Holm is the Director responsible for Transport and Infrastructure at Cox Architecture. With 25 years of experience in Australia and internationally, his key projects include Singapore’s Changi Terminals 3 and 1, New Delhi International Airport India and North West Rail Link in Sydney.

Holm is a tutor and mentor, sits on several architecture boards and is passionate about drawing, having published two books – ’Drawing Italy’ and ’Drawing Paris’.

Describe your design philosophy.

It starts with a deep respect and inquisitiveness for a sense of place. That is then coupled with aspirations for technical innovation and lateral thinking. It is then bound together by a desire to create places that are memorable and at their best may move us.

Top 3 influences.

Nature and natural environments, lessons learnt from European place making and working within the dynamic Cox studio culture.

The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer.

Aged 13 observing Jørn Utzon’s ethereal sketches for the Sydney Opera House.

Favourite local landmark/building.

Standing in the colonnade of the NSW State Library with the floor mosaic map of the world ahead of me about to enter the magnificent reading room. The progression of spaces is inspirational.

Favourite international landmark/building.

Piazza Marconi in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre in Liguria Italy. I’ve been there many times and drawn it from many vantages. It is a peaceful though vibrant space that is the heart of the community.

Dream project to work on – real or imaginary.

I’d like to design a soaring canopy over a public place in Australia working with Brett Whiteley set to a narrative by Tim Winton.

Dream person to collaborate with.

I guess Brett Whitely and Tim Winton with Paul Kelly at the ready to glue us together.

Favourite decade of design.


Favourite chair.

I have a Charles Eames DCM chair that i found buried in an old furniture store many years ago. I’ve restored it and continue to admire its simplicity and comfort.

Number 1 concern for the design industry in the coming decade.

We must show design leadership in the broad community in the creation of our ever increasing cities.

One item in the workplace you can’t live without.

The flat table that we sit around and draw upon on a daily basis.

The most unusual/interesting thing about the way you work.

My pot of coloured pencils. They are an essential part of our daily drawings and communication.

Cox Architecture

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