A MAN OF STYLE

June 27, 2013

Right up to the time of his death in 2005 Philip Johnson remained a contested figure in 20th century architecture. The man who coined the term ‘International Style’ to define the Modernist aesthetic was, throughout his seventy year career, accused of being a stylist at best, a plagiarist at worst. But last weekend I was sent a vintage 1972 edition of Thames&Hudson’s very excellent monograph dedicated to Johnson’s oeuvre (and luckily published before his kitschish post-modern AT&T skyscraper of 1984). The brilliant essay by Charles Noble traces the intricate and symbiotic relationship between Johnson and his mentor Mies van der Rohe from their first meeting in Berlin in 1928 through to their intense working relationship once van der Rohe had immigrated to America, along with Walter Gropius and Marcel Brueur in the wake of WWII. It’s an incredible story of the way knowledge and aesthetics can be channeled from troubled Old World source to …

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IDEAS WORTH SPREADING, EVEN FURTHER…

June 21, 2013

If anyone tried to call us here at Tobias Partners yesterday late morning, chances are you went straight to voicemail. We’d decided that, having spent months intensely focused on our folios, our computers, our projects, it was time to broaden our focus, and our minds. So we gathered together in the meeting room for a mini-TED conference. The Technology, Entertainment, Design symposia – fronted by the likes of Bill Gates, Larry Page and Chee Pearlman – began in the mid-1980s as a kind of high brow gab-fest, and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. Yesterday, the team here curated a selection of three video talks to stimulate thought and discussion. ‘Mathemagician’ Arthur Benjamin wowed us with his lightening speed calculus; Jon Ronson demonstrated just how psychopathologized contemporary life has become; and social scientist Amy Cuddy gave us some revealing insights into body language (suffice to say, we’re all sitting differently today…) So, what does …

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THE ART OF PARTIES

June 13, 2013

After a few days at the Hong Kong Art Fair, a lot of the art posse headed off to the Venice Biennale and then on to Art Basel. By the time they get back from their European jaunt, things will be really warming up for the inaugural Sydney Contemporary Art Fair. Yep, Sydney is about to dip a toe into to the increasingly choppy waters of the international Art Fair circuit! And as an Ambassador and member of the Advisory Council – along with such local luminaries as gallerist Rosyln Oxley, art consultant Mark Hughes, collectors extraordinaires Sue Cato and Dr Dick Quan, among others – I am proud to rally behind our fearless leader Barry Keldoulis to make this an event to remember. To date, more than 75 galleries from around the world have confirmed their presence; that’s a massive vote of confidence in the vitality of the Sydney art scene and the …

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AND THE WINNER IS…

June 3, 2013

Doing great work for a great client is so rewarding. Seeing that work recognised by a jury of our peers is awesome! So happy, then, that our design for the Tongue n Groove showroom has scooped the Best Retail and Best in State prizes at the 2013 Australian Interior Design Awards. In a very real sense, this award recognizes the client’s audaciousness of brief as much as our response to it. At a time when retail is suffering enormously, it is our belief that strong, conceptually coherent design will win the day, forging a path ahead of the pack. As online shopping becomes increasingly common, retail today has to be a total immersion experience.

Thanks to the jury for commending the ‘clarity, assuredness and spirit’ of the project – we take it as the Tobias Partners motto. My thanks also to Edmund Spencer and Pia Wolanski of Tobias Partners for their invaluable input as well …

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