This year British designer Lee Broom chose Sydney over Milan to unveil ‘Park Life’, a poetic journey of light and discovery inspired by the traditional garden parks of 18th century Europe and unfolding within the underground car park of Space Furniture’s flagship showroom.
What began as a discussion between Space Furniture and Lee Broom in late 2018, quickly manifested into a series of detailed drawings delivered by Lee a month later. Lee Broom and his studio then worked directly with the Space Sydney team headed up by Leonie Evans, Space Group Merchandise Manager. A 24-hour design collaboration unfolded between London and Sydney to create one of his most significant shows to date.
Designed as a contemporary interpretation of a traditional garden park, Park Life took shape as a meandering maze against the backdrop of raw industrial concrete. The 350 square metre installation is the largest show Lee Broom has created and transformed the subterranean car park with light in what Broom describes as “a poetic journey of discovery”.
The exhibition takes guests through hidden passageways with tableaus and vignettes to experience the brand’s collection of lighting, furniture and accessories in a kind of other-worldly state. Here materials and careful detailing are transformative and complexities including a tight program and a cross-continental team, were resolved with the help of skilled local builders and contractors who found ways to translate the poetry of the idea inside a semi-industrial space. The concept behind the show also reflects the artistic layers to Broom’s career to date.
Unlike the trajectory of other designers, Broom didn’t begin his career studying industrial design or architecture, but began training as an actor before his interest in fashion won him a place in the studio of Vivienne Westwood. This breadth of Broom’s artistic interests informs his ideas and the process within the studio. Inside his London office, sketches and doodles are worked up with a visualiser who Broom has worked with for the past 10 years. Part of the Broom process then involves collaboration with older traditions – like glassmaking – which has seen the skills of glassmakers given fresh attention and their workshops a new lease of life.
Park Life was also the chance for Broom to launch the new version of his award‐winning Eclipse light in polished gold. Its new finish transforms the light into a warmer, softer interpretation of the original polished chrome, with its sculptural silhouette and mobile-like quality created through gold mirror and acrylic discs.
After visiting Space Singapore Brisbane and now Sydney, the Lee Broom tour continues to Melbourne as part of Melbourne Design Week 2019, an initiative by Creative Victoria in partnership with NGV.
Park Life was realised through the generous collaboration and sponsorship from Danpal Australia, Feather Edge Construction, Plastix Australia, LPA Lighting, Dulux, Benedict Industries, and Sydney Sculpture Studio.