Adelaide’s Unique Design Opportunity

Adelaide’s eating and drinking venues are currently developing and diversifying at a rapid rate and, as a result of this, there is a strong desire, emphasis and need for new, stimulating and energetic spaces.

South Australia undoubtedly has an established and incredibly reputable food and wine industry that sets the Adelaide hospitality scene in good stead to offer something authentic. Over the past 10 years, Adelaide has undergone a vast cultural shift in the way we socialise and the hospitality industry has responded to it through a progressive and nurturing approach.

The result of this has, in turn, enabled the social demographic of people that like to ‘go out’ to expect a certain quality in their culinary experience coupled with the hope for a promise of a journey for the patron, and preferably an unpredictable one.

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The impact of design can be a very subconscious experience, one that is driven by memory that can evoke certain emotions leading one to either accept or reject a space. A lot of what we do and feel is driven by memory. It can not only be triggered by our sense of sight – recognising spatial themes such as texture and light – but also through smells and sounds.

This is not usually translated into words, and as a consequence, we often have very little awareness or even discuss our perception of the space. People will be aware of the aspects of a space they are drawn to, or likewise reject it but have no conscious realisation of why they react to it in that way. Rather they have a sense of ambiance that modifies their mood and facilitates their social engagement.

Our innate need to celebrate, socialise and nurture one another is played out on the platform of ceremony. It engenders story sharing, feasting, playing music, dancing – authentic moments that have brought people together for centuries. It is this ideal of placemaking and the connectivity of people that drives my desire to construct and translate these themes into hospitality venues.

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There is a complex journey between vision and reality to be able to imagine what a space might be. Design concepts are a way of storytelling. They incite a sense of curiosity and intrigue. The notion of providing a form of escapism for the user of the space is what inspires the design ideologies behind hospitality venues created by architects and interior designers.

Through research, one can gain a social understanding, a cultural understanding and a connection with a space that drives the underlying themes, assisting to establish a rich, multilayered, and authentic experience. It is these stories and the history that showcase intricately detailed and multidisciplinary mediums that inspire the concept and bring it to life.

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As Australians we have a Eurocentric view of history, architecture and design. In the modern age of travel and the revolution of the internet, what we need to grasp is that societies like ours harvest and produce synthesised design. We have an adaptability unencumbered by tradition and we do have the talent to take the world to new places.

As a culture we are perceptive, youthful and open in our outlook to new possibilities and we are not weighed down by the long history of European culture. The Australian climate has created a unique opportunity, in that the quality of produce and global recognition of our chefs and wine culture has revolutionised the hospitality industry.

It is vital for Adelaide’s growth that we continue to create spaces that inspire, and to be able to work among people who are passionate and appreciative of design and its experiential role.

Claire Kneebone is an interior designer known for her design work at Bread & Bone, Udaberri and 2KW among others clairekneebone.com.au

Photos: Jonathan van der Knaap, Jacqui Way

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