Anthony Rigg, director of Brisbane based Bleuscape Design, took time out to talk to us about recent projects; all falling under the studio’s ethos to make ‘experiential work’. Here’s what he had to say …
So, how are you guys approaching work at the moment?
I’ve been noticing a transition occur over the last few years. I think our work is beginning to be informed more through composing experiences and propositions. When that thing that forces you to think is bare. There is this bareness of the relation between sensation and sense. We are sensory creatures. We relax and settle within spaces and intensities that impact our physical beings. This is why we gravitate to the ocean or to the bush in down times. We free ourselves. We go there as one thing. We return as another. When I look at the majority of homes being made, I don’t see that bareness of sensation that generates equally intense experiences. The default response is to fall back on ‘things’ to make up for this lack of a correspondence, this absence. It’s a poor substitute compared to how our skins and smiling lips react to these natural intensities. When a gum leaf sticks to the exposed sole of ones foot. I want to peel it off slowly, like a band-aid.
What project are you most proud of working on recently?
We have a project that is currently on the drawing board located in Calamvale, South Brisbane. Instead of the typical 1.5m setback at the side and rear, and 6m from the front, we have a zero allotment from the street and then 4.5m heavily planted to the side and rear. So this design (its experience) isn’t defined in and of itself, but explores a method of entering and leaving a ‘barer’ place (the garden landscape).
So there is a concern with what constitutes, constructs and accompanies a particular condition or life event?
If I, as a designer, only rationalise the questions of design in a singular manner, say for example by framing a particular view, I am effectively dictating to my client how he or she should live. It’s placing too much responsibility into my hands, especially considering I’ve only just met them. You often hear people speak about a space and what they would do different next time. The ultimate aim of design is invention, to set free. So with the Calamvale project, its garden does not operate as a backdrop or stage-set to life, but rather is implicated in life itself.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Well, our trusting clients are the arbitrators, enabling us to do what we do. Without them, nothing would be possible. I have taken the opportunity to really look at our business and reflect on things in a way that you often don’t give yourself the chance to do. Yes our design is becoming more about composing experiences and propositions. Our work, or at least our particular edge of design, implicates materials, geometries, sites, scales, labour, movement, etcetera, in generating a kind of experience we generally do not have. The rest of the year will be about composing these experiences of life.
Reference: Gilles Deleuze, Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, (New York: Continuum, 2003), 50. Translation of Francis Bacon: Logique de la Sensation, (Paris: Editions de la Difference, 1981), by Daniel W. Smith.