Inside BELANCĒ Barangaroo with Liam Mugavin Posted on 15 Oct 10:40
We sat down with Liam Mugavin, the creative mind and lead interior designer behind BELANCĒ’s second boutique store in Barangaroo, located in the heart of of Sydney’s CBD.
At 31, Liam spent his formative years travelling, living abroad and honing his design skills. Originally from Adelaide, Liam began his love for design at a young age and completed his Bachelor of Industrial Design before moving to northern Japan. Liam lived in Japan for four years and attributes the core of his design aesthetic to his time spent there. One of his most notable works in Japan includes a commission for the Australian Embassy of Tokyo, where he led the design of a collection of furniture for Australia House in Tokamachi. The collection of furniture is a testament to Liam’s refined sensibilities, cultural awareness and design prowess.
Can you tell us how you first met the BELANCĒ team and how this creative partnership transpired?
The story is interesting, out of nowhere a local jewellery designer approached me to use a few of my designs for a photoshoot. I didn’t really think much about it at the time but It so happens that BELANCĒ was also part of the shoot. The photos were spectacular, I guess we took notice of each other then and a few months later BELANCĒ got in touch. Shout-out to Clara at Burton Metal Depository for putting us together. I love working with innovative clients who allow me to push the boundaries, so it was a no-brainer.
In the store you can find beautiful Zinc cabinets and tables made of hand-carved timber, what was the inspiration behind these pieces?
The material pallet in the store is a big part of the design and it’s quite unique. A lot of the cabinetry is made from zinc-titanium alloy manufactured in Germany, a beautiful tactile metal which expresses character as it patinas overtime. This is contrasted with the blackened Oregon which is meticulously hand carved to create an organic finish. The materials and designs are understated yet detailed and elegant. The idea is to allow the curated products which are on display to speak.
Are these pieces one-off designs or can they be found elsewhere?
Everything was custom designed and produced specifically for the store, however we are now offering made to order editions of the tables, lights and chairs. These will be available through BELANCĒ. This is a very custom and unique offering and I guess extends the concept of made-to-measure suits and applies it to furniture.
Living both in Australia and Japan, who would you say are your main mentors, or designers whom have influenced you creatively?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a strong professional and creative network that I look to for advice and inspiration. When I started out I had various design mentors who I called upon, but these days I rely a lot on my own intuition. I think I’m pretty good at knowing when to seek advice, when to listen to advice and when to follow my own instinct. As my practice has developed I’ve also become more entrepreneurial and have gained a lot of insight from the clients I work with.
What does the future hold for you and you and your creative work?
I’m currently working on some incredible projects ranging from conceptual exhibition work to hospitality, residential and retail design. After completing a commission for the Australian Embassy of Tokyo, I have another project lined up in Japan next year doing a ski-chalet in Myoko, on the main island north of Tokyo. I see a lot of opportunities in Japan and hope to continue doing projects there as well as in Sydney.
For further information regarding custom pieces by Liam Mugavin; visit www.liammugavin.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org