FIVE MINUTES WITH // LUCIENNE HEMINGWAY
Tell us a little about your journey and what led you to what you are doing today.
I studied Interior Architecture at Monash University, and whilst there I had an amazing opportunity to undertake work experience in an architecture firm in Milan. I returned to Melbourne to finish my degree with the plan to go back to the Architecture firm in Milan who had offered me a job. Unfortunately, the GFC hit & they were not able to take me on after all.
My uni lecturer suggested I go for an interview with an architecture firm for interview practice (as I had not yet ever been to one). I was offered the position on the spot as their Head of Interior Design (which I was obviously under qualified for coming straight from University). It was an amazing & very hard experience of working 90 hours a week & pushing myself to learn everything I could to keep on top of all the projects. At the same time on the weekends I was working with a French Chef running the Dish Du jour Cooking School.
After a year and a half, I quit the architecture firm (mainly due to exhaustion) and continued working at the cooking school on the weekends which was located @ the Arteveneta Timber workshop. Orio, the owner of Arteveneta promptly offered me a job there where I worked for the next two years learning how to use timber thicknessers, planers, ban saws, lathes and french polishing, along with many other skills. During this time I had the amazing opportunity to work on the making & installing of projects including Izakya Den, D.O.C Restaurants, Vue de Monde, Barbagello, Pieces for Neil Perry & others. This is where I met Georgie Kay from Georgeous Events who at the time was dating Orio. I started working with Georgie on her larger projects, the first being the VRC Marquee in the Birdcage, along with working on the marquee, the VRC commissioned me to design a furniture piece for its 150 year anniversary – the ‘saddle seat’. This was the start of my designing for events! A year later, Orio and his partner gave me my first project to design their Restaurant in McKinnon – The way to San Jose.
I now juggle a combination of projects in the events industry while also aiming to have a few projects a year designing restaurants, office fit-outs, cafes, retail and custom furniture design.
I have been freelancing to many event companies in the past 7 years including:
One of the things I love most about design is having the opportunity to work with so many different people in the industry. All companies have a different style and way their business works and I enjoy getting inspired by the daily change in people & projects that I get to surround myself with!
You recently designed the fit-out for Arbory Afloat. What were your inspirations behind this design in particular and can you share your creative process?
I think the most complicated thing about the project was designing for an exterior environment on the water that is going to get heavy public use over a three month duration.
The concept was inspired by the mediterranean and the natural pull of water being an integral part of summer; whether it’s to be in it, on it or surrounded by it! Shaded by the large plane trees, the aim of Afloat was to offer guests multiple relaxing dining and summer experiences on the water.
The barge features 130m of custom printed fabric, cladding entire walls, seat pads, day beds, lounges, and volumes of large cushions. The crisp white and bright blue colour palette is visible from the Princes Bridge and gives a strong fresh summer vibe that strongly stands out against The Yarra River and its surrounds.
Over 500 linear meters of golden solid blackbutt timber were used to line the balustrades of the barge in custom designed drink ledges, bar tables, dining tables and large communal tables which soften the space and gives the natural glow of warmth to an environment that invites people to feel welcomed and relaxed.
The west end features a space perfect for lazy summer days and warm breezy nights. Whether you choose to be laid out on the large day beds with your romantic date watching the sunset on a Friday night or sitting sprawled on the cushions with your best girlfriends surrounded by greenery, sun and the best cocktail menu going around this summer!
A great day begins with
A 6.30 am walk around Albert Park Lake, followed by an early start at my computer to get through a good amount of work before the phone calls start – and of course with a good pot of coffee.
The last song I listened to on repeat was
I have been a bit obessed with We Are So Animal by Krono over the past few months, but am almost onto the next one..
The next place I want to travel
Aiming to get to the World Cup in Russia mid next year while also visiting Austria, Germany & other Northern European countries!
In the kitchen cooking for dinner parties with friends after a relaxed day in the office.
My favourite Space to Create piece is
Loving the new Muse Bar Stool! Can’t wait to use it in future projects.