Best of the Best Designers Speak® - Video - Kate Pilot Design

The Best Design Awards are a major feature of the local design calendar and some of last year's winners have toured the country to offer first-hand insights into their projects. 

The 2021 series was recorded on video. Here is one from the series of twenty recorded.

My Laundry Bag Laundromat
Kate Pilot DINZ
Kate Pilot Design

Former Think + Shift designer Kate Pilot was approached by a client who wanted to make a laundromat and who had already done much of the homework around what it was going to look like. Brand, name, identity concepts had already been thought out with even very specific interior fixtures being brought to the table. Kate’s initial approach was to get the client to forget all that, so as to get to the core of their needs and ascertain if those decisions were, indeed, the correct ones for what they were hoping to achieve.

Brainstorming lead to various keywords which were then narrowed down to four: 

Serenity, which included ideas of peacefulness and wellness; rawness and industrial but with a modern twist; green, both as a branding colour but also to represent some of the sustainable ideas that the clients had for the business; and “folding”, which for obvious, garment and laundry related reasons, also came to inform some of the architectural and furniture forms.

Kate Pilot DINZ

The site was a former shoe store with only one source of natural light. A rectangular box into which she placed partition walls to create utilitarian spaces and to help close the end of the room. 

Even details such as the dryer venting pipes were considered and worked through with the installers of these machines so as to create bespoke, interesting solutions to a practical element. Much emphasis was placed on the central island of the laundromat where Kate placed integrated, timber, clothes folding tables that are both sculptural and serene. Fabrics were folded and dropped from the ceiling, alluding to the textile focus of the space and materiality was a key focus which she used to bring variety (timbers, concrete, etc).

According to the designer, demolition opened many issues that she needed to deal with including unexpected extra roof space that was riddled with messy cabling. Nonetheless, the clients were so committed to the designer’s vision that they themselves stepped in to do demolition work and interior paint so as to keep the budget focused on the elements she had come up with.

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Thanks Designworks for the pre-drinks venue

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DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.