AJCD – A Graduate Practice Setting A New Alliance
Energetic, enthusiastic, and driven by individual and collective greatness, this all female architecture and industrial design firm were drawn together based on similar design, diligence, and spirit.
The ladies of, AJCD graduates of architecture, consist of Ara Salomone, Jessie Nguyen, Amy Clark and Sarah Woodward. They recently completed a couple of retail fitouts, including Brooklyn Barbers and Frankii clothing store. With several residential projects under construction, we wanted to find out more about their practice and their design process.
“Our collective creative vision and philosophy have naturally synchronised to form a fluid, effortless syndicate of inspiration, imagination and fun,” says Salomone. “Our passion and dedication to our work stem from a drive to be individually and collectively great, and we apply the most diligent and fervent attention to every task we undertake”.
How would you describe your approach to architecture, and what influences your design aesthetic?
Our design aesthetic and approach to our work is constantly evolving and we feel like we don’t really have a fixed ‘style’ or method as such.
We pride ourselves on our collective eye for details. Our projects inevitably incorporate a variety of small, precisely executed details that add a special level of individuality to the overall design.
We try to avoid repeating ourselves with details or specifications – even if we love something to death and it’s perfect for another project, we try to reinvent it and tweak it somehow before we consider using it again.
Materiality is an integral element within the built form and the spaces we inhabit as humans. It can warm a space, soften it, imbue it with energy, or calm it. Our designs incorporate careful material selections from the very beginning, our initial concept sketches.
We prefer to work with natural, raw materials and forms – avoiding ‘added on’ elements as much as possible.
We focus a lot of thought on the way a person uses a particular space, the specific, distinctive needs and lifestyle of a client, and try to address these with integrated, modular, multipurpose and sometimes even secret or hidden features. If we can design-in storage or provide a patch of natural light to a special spot within a room, or frame a view from an unusual point of view, we try to identify this and allow for it in early stages.
We want to give you the unexpected, the clever, the intriguing, the intelligent, the playful, the out of this world, the extraordinary.
The approach we take to each project is totally unique depending on the brief, but we do consciously try to push ourselves to innovate with every opportunity in terms of spatial planning, and exploring the human experience and interaction with the built environment.
Can you list 5 sources you turn to regularly for creative inspiration?
El Croquis – any edition, ever!
Sci-Fi Films, Gaming and other fictional, “futuristic” visual mediums
Fine art and historical references
Nature, travel, music and found objects plus accidents (like the exploded can of pink expanding PU-foam that is now a sculptural piece on Ara’s desk)!
What are some of your favourite architectural pieces in Perth and Australia?
For Australian contemporary jobs, the ‘Local House’ in St Kilda by Make Architects is a current favourite alongside the ‘Mills House’ by Austin Maynard Architects
The old abandoned Fremantle Power Station
We love the Frank Gehry Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at UTS
St Andrews Beach House by Sean Godsell
The 2015 M Pavilion designed by AL_A: gorgeous temporary installation
All of Iwan Iwanoff‘s work – we all literally cried when the Paganin house in Floreat burned down last year!
Where would we find you on a typical Perth weekend?
It depends on which one of us you ask hahaha.
Jessie will be at the newest cafe/bar/restaurant trying out their fit outs, food and drinks.
Amy will be tinkering with power tools building bits and pieces, reading, gardening, picnicking, or out dancing.
Sarah is a mummy of 2 beautiful baby girls and has family time.
Ara will be in the studio or working on her house which is currently under construction, while ‘possibly’ sipping a gin.
What would be your dream project?
We call it ‘The Thing’ A kinetic, mechanical, anthropomorphic ‘thing’ that can pick up and move anywhere and relocate itself – forever evolving, fluidly responding to suit the user’s needs at that time. Nothing would be fixed; dividers and platforms would forever be moving to form new spaces. The ‘thing’ could rotate and re-orientate itself to any degree or height or location. It would be amphibious and use lighting and lasers and holograms and multi-sensory stimulation to define areas and maybe even FLY.
AND…. an ultra-eco-sustainable tree house! A totally off-the-grid, self- sustaining structure, intertwined with the living organism of the tree; harnessing solar thermal energy, natural ventilation, permaculture, local & recycled materials. Our dream version positively feeds back into the local ecosystem so as to not simply reduce the ecological footprint or achieve a passive status, but that it would become a valuable contributor to the environment around it and an advantageous element within the ecosystem.
They both sound fascinating and we look forward to reporting on them in the future!
Graduates of Architecture Design Studio
Level 2, 9-11 Ruth Street
Perth, Western Australia, 6000