Design Futures

August 15th, 2012

Colour Visions Wrap

Colour Visions - Decoration+Design Melbourne 2012. Rainbow Lumière by Marc Pascal. Photography Andrew Watson


What a season!  The response to the fourth edition of Design Futures has been overwhelming so a big thank you to everyone who made it along to Decoration+Design Melbourne 2012. Colour Visions tapped into the desires driving the global colour revival and looked at the new ways designers are engaging with colour and perception, inspired by a renewed fascination with science, technology and nature.

As promised, the following is a bit of an overview of the themes and the realisation of this season’s Design Futures trend event.  Once again, it was a pleasure to work with the team at Decoration+Design and deliver this fourth edition of our collaboration.  For more Colour Visions insight and product info, visit New Black on Facebook.


Colour Visions - Decoration+Design 2012 - photography Andrew Watson


‘Colour is a phenomenon that is both universal and intensely personal.  As we search for a more intense connection to the spaces we inhabit, designers are turning to colour not only as a means of expression but also as a way to manipulate our physical and emotional experiences.’

Colour Visions - Decoration+Design Melbourne 2012 - Cole&Son Circus wallpaper from Radford Furnishings. Images New Black


Some incredible products were brought together to illustrate this season’s concept, a number of which were designed specifically for the Colour Visions event.  One of the highlights was the spectrum carpet – a creative collaboration designed by Genty Marshall and realised by Australian manufacturers, Godfrey Hirst, demonstrating the infinite capabilities of their new Designer Jet Carpet.

The central lighting feature, Rainbow Lumière, was also a unique piece designed for the event by the fabulous Marc Pascal.


Rainbow Lumière by Marc Pascal. Designer Jet Carpet printed by Godfrey Hirst with design by New Black Global Trends. Images New Black Global Trends and Andrew Watson



Colour perception is one of the most complex interactions between our environment and our mind.  Each relationship between light, surface and the observer is unique.

Technological advances in lighting and projection have made creating colour with light easier and more affordable.  From ambient atmosphere control to sophisticated optical illusion, designers may now re-imagine space and modify our environment in more ways than previously imaginable.


Design Futures - Perception concept by New Black Global Trends


Sensory illusions are created to induce heightened experiences as designers explore not only what we see, but how we see it.  As our spaces appear to dematerialize, the interactions between inherent and transmitted colour challenge our preconceived ideas.

The colour experience becomes the genesis of the design process rather than merely an afterthought.

Key influencers: Mathieu Lehanneur, Nendo, Beau McClellan, Blackbody, Denis Parren, Constance Guisset, Gabriel Dawe, Carnovsky.


Perception. RGB Wallpaper by Carnovsky. Ben+Flo table by Enoki. Photography New Black Global Trends


Having long been a fan of the work of Carnovsky, I was thrilled to invite them to feature in this year’s event and showcase their incredible RGB wallpaper designs.  The Perceptions theme of Colour Visions included a bespoke installation of Carnovsky’s Animalia design, the appearance of which would constantly change.  Overlaid patterns would be revealed or recede depending on the colour of light being transmitted by the LED lightsource.


Perception. RGB wallpaper by Carnovsky. Bowls by Mod Collective. Photography New Black Global Trends


Perception. Vases by Bisque Interiors. Chairs courtesy of Textura. Photography New Black Global Trends



Colour is a unique vehicle for the communication of ideas.

It is the visual language of our culture and can call us to action, challenge convention or engage with our collective psyche.

Social, political and economic change, both locally and internationally, is the precursor for aesthetic unrest as these pressures incite a colour revolution in design.


Design Futures - Concept by New Black Global Trends. Images Au Vieux Panier Hôtel, Studio Job and Rowena Martinich


Unconventional ideas, previously confined to the realm of personal expression, are being embraced as artists and designers use colour to challenge the status quo.

Colours in a new context have a fresh and invigorating appeal as they draw upon a distinctively urban visual code to express, excite and elicit a reaction. Regardless of scale, these powerful statements are the calling card of our colour activists, determined to risk and engage.

Key influencers: Alessandro Mendini, Studio Job, Keisuke Fujiwara, Scholten & Baijings, Maarten de Ceulaer, Craig and Karl, Constance Guisset, Tilt for Au Vieux Panier.


Provocation. Painted wall by Rowena Martinich. Sofa by Noddy Boffin. Table by Globe West. Images New Black Global Trends


Provocation was another feature theme and this time the stage was set by the gorgeous bespoke installation by artist, Rowena Martinich.  Rowena produced the 5.5 x 3m wallscape for us in her Melbourne studio which was then reassembled onsite.


Provocation. Chair by Thread Architecture. Cushion by Uimi. Photography New Black Global Trends


Custom pieces were also created by designers Elliot Gorham of Noddy Boffin and Amber Lucy of Thread Architecture in response to the Provocation palette and concept.


Provocation. Silk by Silk Trader. Table by Globe West. Photography New Black Global Trends


Nature’s Laboratory

Like all animals, we are attracted to the colours in nature.  The natural world has evolved to seduce and repel and in response we have developed ways to capture and copy these incredible colours and effects.

From our earliest experimentation with the inherent colour of minerals to the bio-mimicry of interference technology, our fascination with the beauty and complexity of nature is inexhaustible.


Design Futures - Nature's Laboratory concept by New Black Global Trends


The introduction of synthetic colorants with the Industrial Revolution opened a Pandora’s palette of hues as manufacturers responded to our desire for colours never seen before but too often with an environmental cost.

Renewed appreciation of the undyed and the naturally dyed inspires a fresh interpretation of natural luxury.  Simultaneously, the technological developments in engineering colour through structure rather than pigmentation will allow us to slowly divorce ourselves from destructive petrochemical colouration processes.

Key Influencers: Formafantasma, Studio Toogood, Claudy Jongstra, Glithero, Hella Jongarius, Karl Lagerfeld, Pepe Heykoop.


Nature's Laboratory - photography Andrew Watson


The theme, Nature’s Laboratory, was probably the most challenging to illustrate in the context of the trade fair.  Fortunately, the award winning North St Flowers were able to help us shape the space with a pair of luscious Living Walls to compliment the vessels, samples and specimens.

Crowning the area, was the glorious Diamond Ring pendant by Christopher Boots.  This new design was inspired by naturally occurring quartz crystal formations and each crystal was individually attached to the steel frame onsite using rare earth magnets.  A delicate and beautifully hypnotic process that resulted in such a precious and poetic design.


Nature's Laboratory - photography Andrew Watson and New Black Global Trends


Nature's Laboratory. Terrariums by Lulu Bloom. Photography Andrew Watson


Nature's Laboratory. Images New Black Global Trends and Andrew Watson


Nature's Laboratory. Sea fan by Designer Boys Collection. Planters courtesy of Hermon & Hermon. Prints by Room Agencies. Photography New Black Global Trends


So a final thanks to our generous sponsors – Godfrey Hirst, Safari Living and NCS and to all of this season’s contributors of inspirational design -

About Space, Armadillo & Co, Bisque Interiors, Björn Rust, Boyd Blue, Christopher Boots, Craft Enterprises, Designer Boys Art Collection, Enoki, Forbo flooring systems, Globe West, The Hatchery, Hermon & Hermon, Lulu Bloom, The Mod Collective, Mosaic Republic, MRD Home, Noddy Boffin, North St Flowers, Perfect Pieces, RMIT Fashion & Textiles Brunswick, Room Agencies, Rowena Martinich, Silk Trader, Textura, Think Outside, Thread Architecture, Uimi, Villa Maison.

Wonderful to work with you all and I hope that the installation was able to inform and inspire all who attended!


Colour Visions - concept and curation by Genty Marshall - photography Andrew Watson

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