Yaron Kanor, Director and Lead Designer of Studio Y gives us an insight of what projects they are currently working on and how he got into Interior Design. The team at Studio Y integrate their clients brand identity into every detail to create simple and bespoke spatial experiences.
Q: Why did you get into Interior Design?
A: I got inspired by my experiences living and working amid the nightlife of Tel Aviv. Working behind a bar I really loved witnessing the energy and the way the patrons enjoyed the space. I knew I wanted to be part of creating spaces like that – spaces that people can really feel and experience and enjoy.
Q: How did you start up your career?
A: I originally studied architecture in high school and went on to complete a BA in Interior Design at university. My transition into a design career happened really organically from there. I had collaborations lined up with established architects before I finished studying and eventually went on to establish my own studio in Tel Aviv. In 2011 I moved to Melbourne, Australia and set up Studio Y.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: Everywhere. What I see, feel, hear and sense goes into every one of my designs.
Q: Can you tell us about a significant accomplishment or project that you regard as notable?
A: The Locksmith in Foshan, China is a stylized and conceptual three-story restaurant, cocktail and beer garden. Although the client gave me the freedom to design without concern for Chinese cultural norms, it was challenging to get initial approval for some elements that were integral to the concept, such as the idea of unisex bathrooms. They trusted my vision and I created powder rooms that are extensions of the dream-like state of the rest of the space instead of just a series of water closets. I also had to consider feng shui when designing which was new for me. Overall the sheer size of the project and the complexity of creating details that are not traditionally made in China, while ensuring everything accorded to our specs, was a challenge. But not impossible. I’m really psyched because The Locksmith has been shortlisted in the Interior Design Excellence Awards (Australia).
I’m also really proud of Stomping Ground Bar & Brewery. We took a 1500sqm fire-damaged warehouse and set up a micro-brewery, restaurant and bar that’s become immensely popular with Melbourne patrons and attracted a lot of press attention and recognition on the awards’ circuit.
Q: Where would you like to see your company in 5 years from now?
A: I want Studio Y. to continue exploring how we can implement new technologies and disciplines into spaces we can all experience. We’ll also keep challenging ourselves to rethink the way we eat, drink, shop and generally experience our local environment.
Q: What project(s) are you working on at the moment?
A: The Studio Y. team are working on a winery which involves new offices, a restaurant, and a chapel for weddings. We’re also at various stages with a stylish retail stationery store, a Japanese restaurant and a fashion boutique shop and we’re just starting to plan a restaurant within the old Pentridge Prison site. The former Australian bluestone prison was first established in 1851 and is being developed into a contemporary urban village. We’re really excited to be a part of it.
Q: How do you think an Interior Designer should dress?
A: However, they feel comfortable expressing themselves.
Q: If you could design anything, what would it be?
A: A car.
Q: What type of restaurant would you choose to go to for dinner?
A: Luckily in Melbourne we have access to multiple local cuisines. A restaurant that serves incredible food and has great ambience is always my choice.
Q: Can you give us a statement about Design
A: Design shouldn’t exist by itself. It should be the glue that ties everything together holistically while prioritising functionality. It should tell a story. There’s no “one size fits all” formula. Every design is like a recipe. Each one is carefully seasoned to taste for a specific palate. Design should make you feel good. If we manage to achieve all of that we know we’ve achieved our goal.
Q: If you could describe your designs related to food, what would it be and why?
A: Spicy. It hits the nerve and is memorable.
Q: What do you think of the design trends in the future?
A: While I’m mindful of trends I am not driven by them. My biggest concern is the way smart phones affect socialising. I’d love to see a return to people being really present when they socialise instead of taking photos to upload to social media.
Q: Who is your favourite Designer and why?
A: Moshe Safdie. He let the environment inform his architecture rather than designing the same way each time. His use of local materials and honouring of local standards was also something I greatly respect. It blows my mind that he designed Habitat 67, (a pilot project that reinvented apartment living), when he was still a student.
Q: In which country would you like to have your project in?
A: New York or Tokyo. Both cities are at the forefront of everything that’s happening in design, entertainment, popular culture etc. and it would be incredible to design something to exist within that vibrancy.
Q: What element of a design is the most important thing to you?
A: There’s never one thing. It’s always a combination of balance and contrast. Having said that the general flow of a space and the lighting are the two things that can make or break a space. Incorporating different seating types is also cool. If everyone can find a seat that seems like it’s been designed especially for them, it adds another level of comfort and appreciation. The hero or focal point of a space should always be understood and allowed to shine too.
Q: What is your favourite cocktail?
A: Penicillin Cocktail. A heady concoction of scotch, honey-ginger syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Really clears the sinuses