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Latest News.

Designer Spotlight — Collectivus

We’re taking you on a journey through the ever-evolving world of design as we introduce Merryn Julius, trailblazing creative and recently appointed Design Director of Collectivus, spearheading an exciting new era for the design studio. In this exclusive interview, Merryn shares her evolution from childhood creativity on a farm to sculpting commercial interiors for major global brands like Nike and Dyson.

U. How did you get into design?

M. My love for design began in my childhood, I grew up on a farm where I had the freedom and creativity to play and build. From a young age I was building cubbies, which developed into my passion for creating spaces and shaping my path into design.

U. You have a diverse portfolio of commercial projects but particularly in retail for some heavy hitters, what drew you to retail? 

M. What attracted me to retail is the shorter project timelines. I appreciate the ability to witness projects come to life rapidly, allowing me to accomplish more within a shorter span of time. There is creative variety with retail projects, it’s less about my personal style and more about utilising my design sensibilities to suit the needs of the client and create a unique concept for their brand.

U. What is your favourite project you’ve done to date? 

M. I have been fortunate to work on so many great projects, big and small in Australia and overseas. I found the US market to be a lot of fun to work in as a designer. A highlight for me was a large-scale installation I designed for Nike Miami. A more recent, fun project was The Smoking Camel, this was a collaboration with Weekdays design studio.

The Smoking Camel, Byron Bay. (Image via The Weekend Edition)

U. What is Collectivus’ design process and does it change much depending on the project?

M. Before jumping into floor plans or CAD models we take the time to deeply understand the requirements of the brief, by studying the client, brand, its customers, and the nuances of the specific site/location. This allows us to make more considered and efficient design decisions and produce concepts that are more likely to be met with enthusiasm by the client.

Timeline constraints can impact the depth allowed for this process, but it essential that every project is approached in this way.

U. How would you describe your design style?

M. I would characterise my style as adaptive, drawing inspiration from various sources such as travel, culture, art, and design. I love borrowing from the past and reimaging the future.

U. What are your tips for collaborating with clients to create the best possible space?

M. Effective collaboration begins with encouraging dialogue. Invite clients to openly share their ideas, inspiration, and specific requirements for the project. Actively listen and strive to understand their desires and concerns, particularly focusing on their functional needs, as these are crucial to the success of the space. Maintain clear communication throughout the process, remaining flexible and adaptable to accommodate changes. Utilise visualisation tools like mood boards and sketches to facilitate conversations and ensure alignment between the client’s vision and the proposed design.

U. What do you love most about design?

M. What I love most about being a designer, is the boundless creativity it offers. It provides a canvas for limitless expression and freedom to explore innovative ideas. Design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about problem-solving, tackling challenges, and finding elegant solutions. The variety of projects ensures that no two are the same, each presenting unique opportunities for creativity and growth. The dynamic nature of design fuels my passion and keeps me inspired to push myself.

U. What advice would you give to someone entering the interior design business?

M. Embrace the courage to voice your ideas and share them openly. Confidence in your creativity evolves with time and practice. On a practical note, grasp the intricacies of construction and master the art of how to communicate theses details. It’s essential to comprehend how your designs translate into reality. This foundation will give you the ability to push boundaries and create innovative designs.

Quick Fire Questions:

U. Working digitally or on paper?

M. Paper

U. Early bird or night owl? 

M. Early Bird

U. Guilty pleasure?

M. Reality TV

U. What’s next for Collectivus?

M. What’s next for Collectivus is to continue pushing the envelope in design. Embark on more projects that showcase innovation and creativity. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with clients who share a passion for pushing boundaries, bringing fresh and innovative concepts to life, and contributing to the ever-evolving landscape of design with projects that inspire and are recognised by others within our field.

Learn more about Collectivus here.

Whether you’re a designer interested in being featured in Designer Spotlight or a looking for innovative design and fit-out solutions to level up your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch here.

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