the MEA spring breakfast at the The Sun Room, Ivy
story and photos by Cynthia Sciberras
Featuring a very creative panel
David O’Brien – Head Chef, Functions & Events, Merivale
Kristen Stanisich – Director, DIA & Director SJB interiors
Kate Ainscough – Interior Designer, RLD
Facilitator – Anders Sorman-Nilsson
Early morning breakfast functions aren’t always the easiest, although the delightful Sun Room at Sydney’s Ivy, with its charming and summery feel does make it much more elegant and fun.
The Sun Room’s breezy feel, courtesy of the botanical prints, bamboo and wicker furnishings, white plantation shutters, floor-to-ceiling windows, and black and white tiled floors, was the perfect setting to hold a creative discussion on how to funk up your thinking with design for the coming year.
The morning was facilitated by the brightly energetic speaker and author (Thinque Funky – Upgrade your Thinking), Andres Sorman-Nilsson. Anders is an expert on generational trends, thought leadership branding, and innovation. A reformed lawyer, an avid social commentator, and a somewhat funky thinker, he shared his enthusiasm and impressed the importance of working both the right and left side of the brain, to get those creative juices flowing.
The panelists were invited to talk for 10 minutes each and share their thoughts and views relating to trends on food, hospitality, fashion, art and design, as a way of finding inspiration for your next function or event.
Here are a few key pointers that may help you get inspired, as shared by the expert design panel.
Left and Right brain interiors
Kristen Stanisich, Director SJB interiors
Proposed trends and ideas to think about when designing your next event for 2012.
Creating spaces that have a local content, or interaction with the local community.
A precinct sense of identity and public ownership. Nobody’s excluded, everyone’s welcome and part of the community.
The emerging economic situation will influence a changing trend from the lavish glamour of the late 1990’s to more of a vintage and local focus and to place-making.
Looking to fashion as a leader for inspiration for events in 2012 – splashes of colour along with earthy tones – look at these colour trends and incorporat them into your events
The trends from TV and Movies – strong 1920’s themes.
Art installed within interiors and into spaces – handmade tiles and retro feel.
Moving away from all that need to be quirky, and moving toward more stylish longevity.
More infusion from hospitality into retail – seeing more events taking place within the retail space.
Although not a predicted trend as such, Kristen’s hopeful trend is for more outdoor green space with more seating and less paving. And, a clearer focus on Customer Experience, hoping to result in working within cross-industry within hospitality and retail.
2-3 steps to your plate!
David O’Brien, Ivy’s head chef (events)
David’s reputation and proven track record in creating and delivering stylish food under intense pressure is well known. Here are some of his thoughts and proposed trends:
Casual dining – from the raw ingredient to being on your plate in 2-3 steps
Keep it simple – ingredients, dressing and preparations – less handling – lovely, fresh and clean.
Food choice has been driven a lot by people – an example in the way people are buying houses in areas where the food is good, as a key indicator or where they choose to live and socialize.
The organic view – in some cases the chef isn’t really deciding what we eat, the political climate is. Everyone wants to know where it’s from, how far it has travelled.
People now asking for organic dinners – bring produce to the restaurant with minimum impact on the environment.
Themed foods – you can’t underestimate the impact food has on the moment at any function or event.
Diversity – menu designers are influenced by catering for diverse groups of people, this importantly needs to be considered.
Responding to our surroundings
Kate Ainscough, Interior Designer, RLD
An increased understanding of how the environment impacts us as individuals and how we respond to our surroundings as a society is becoming more important.
Design in the home is becoming less didatic and less static, mainly due to the increase of home improvement and renovation TV programs that give audiences more confidence to experiment in the home. In turn, restaurants and bars, and even offices are responding with more inspiring designs, made by a demanding public.
Technology is a huge factor – the Internet is a platform that interacts with all sorts of environments around the world. Increases your expectations and raises standards within the industry, pushing for amazing deliveries.
Technologies are allowing for sharing of ideas and collaboration with anyone, anytime around the world, within the industry and cross-industry.
We are well and truly in the computer age, including that of design – builds of futuristic 3D designs using targeted software.
Aspiration on the Australian lifestyle of wellbeing and inside/outside within our homes and where we choose to socialize.
All of these factors provide for unlimited creativity. Think outside the square for your next event. And it doesn’t need to be expensive to be imaginative.
Kate’s inspired favorite’s demonstrating great design and innovation.
New York’s High Line Park, an old elevated freight railway that runs above the west side of Manhattan, built in the 30’s it is now a lifeline of the city, as this has been turned into a city park. It really has come to be one of the most resounding examples of a city’s rebirth. Touching on green space, which is really exciting, like a green vain running thru the city.
Melbourne – the opening of arnsdorf’s temporary concept store, in check with the label’s sharp aesthetics the store interior has been conceived by architecture firm edwards moore. They’ve come up with a visually playful concept of bare whitewashed walls, decorated with ‘latticed’ pantyhose… now how creative is that?
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Anders Sorman-Nilsson – Book Thinque Funky – Upgrade your Thinking
“In a fast-changing world where we’re constantly bombarded with new messages, Anders Sorman-Nilsson performs a useful service in helping navigate the inspiration sources that matter. Thinque Funky has enough concrete suggestions and constructive ideas to make it a practical tool for creative thinking.” David Rowan, Editor, Wired magazine (UK)
Helpful tips for menu planning – ivy’s head chef, David O’Brien talks about designing beautiful menus, and using seasonal produce.