Featured Creative Director

Space Between

November 2019

Dave Clark, Creative Director at Space Between, took the time to chat to us about how the studio works across art, design and technology, how they love to see outside the uni work when looking at graduate folios, and how saying "yes" and figuring the rest out later works for them.

How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

I’m lucky to be surrounded by really diverse cultures in both my work and personal life. Australia is a thriving society made up of so many communities, in Melbourne in particular. Our studio is in the inner suburbs, right in the middle of Gertrude St, Fitzroy, so we sit amongst a thriving fashion, art and food scene.

I grew up in a completely opposite environment — coming from a tiny town in Victoria with just 1000 people, a fish ‘n’ chip shop, a supermarket, and a pub. It’s 3 hours from Melbourne and in the middle of nowhere. It was space and freedom for days.

It’s not local I suppose, but maybe it is by proxy… my partner is from the French Alps and we head back there a couple of times a year, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. It has the same sense of space and freedom as my childhood, only with much better cheese and wine.

How does this affect my design? I’m inspired daily by the people I work with and around, I'm grounded by family and friends at home, and the Alps is where I go to dream.

Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?

We have an incredible team of creatives — just an amazing team right across the Space Between family.

I could share a million examples of why we love them, but here’s one from our Design Director Tegan Wotton from a few months back.

We had a huge project to deliver in Queensland; it was a big build with a three-day install. Tegan had four weeks to turn the entire project around, from concept to design, production and install, and she was flying up on the Monday ready to deliver for the client on Thursday.

She broke her knee playing footy on the Sunday.

She didn’t tell us, fearing that we wouldn't want her to go and see her project out. We found out about her injury when some behind the scenes video come through of the install and she was directing the team from a wheelchair.

What did Theodor Mommsen say? “Without passion, there is no genius.”

What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate?

I love when a graduate comes to meet with us and takes us through their own passion projects outside of the University Curriculum.

Also one of the first things I check is their Instagram — it remains the quickest way to see if they “get it.” You can tell a lot from a designer’s feed: the work they show, or even if it’s not their work, but inspiration (as long as they credit).

You can have all the technical skills in the world, but nothing beats style and intuition.

"

Nothing beats style and intuition.

"

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

This year, we opened a concept space called At the above. We’re working with local artists and brands to collaborate there, focusing on doing something different every time.

Our first show was with @den_holm, a local sculptor, with the second being with acclaimed artist Stephen Baker. Our next showing is with international photographer Victoria Zschommler; we’re really excited, come say hello.

In between the exhibitions, we’ve had a few private showings for fashion brands and some dinner parties.

2020 is shaping up to be a fun year in the space. Follow us @attheabove.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

The designer in me would say that there’s an element of not wanting to explain exactly what it is we do, because I don’t want to limit us in any way. I don’t like saying “no, we don’t do that type of work, sorry.” I prefer to say “yes,” then figure it out later.

That said, I would say that we’re an eclectic mix of creatives. We’re conceptual and artistic in the way we approach things and we are not from a traditional art/design background, so we are led by ideas instead of rules.

We prefer to collaborate with clients as opposed to a pure service transaction, bringing end-to-end delivery and big ideas to life in 3D, and in culture.

People and brands we work with influence and change the spaces they inhabit, because our ideas are not bound by the constraints of what's come or been done before.

In a nutshell, Space Between blurs the boundaries between art, design and technology.

Who are your top design crushes globally right now?

Hotel Creative — An agency from London who really set the standard in the field we play in.

Cigue — Architecture & Design practice from Paris.

Studio 191 — Art Direction studio from NY.

Faye Toogood — British Artist.

Ben Gorham — The Creative Director of Byredo.

Website: spacebetween.com.au

Instagram: @spacebetween_

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