We spoke with Emma Elizabeth from LOCAL DESIGN, producer of LOCAL MILAN exhibiting at ADC from 15 June – 9 August.

Explore LOCAL MILAN here

As a regular to Milan Design Week can you explain the significance of the event?
It's the largest design show on the global circuit. It’s a yearly pilgrimage where designers, retailers, interior designers, architects, industrial designers and all-round creatives or even now non-creatives attend. It's a show that totally immerses the creative senses through the power of the furniture/lighting and the interior world.

Why do you think it is important for Australian Designers to show there?
It’s not necessarily a show where you sell a lot of product, but I believe it is a brand building and nation building exercise. It allows the rest of the world to understand the Australian aesthetic, engage with and understand the breadth of creative talent that is Australian.

How do you describe the Australian aesthetic to international audiences and how do you think it was received?
I believe images and moments speak louder than words. International audiences, no matter what language they have spoken, have engaged with a visual, and have come to understand that we are a nation that has many influences and influencers.

Can you tell us about how you selected pieces and tell us a bit about the work in the exhibition?
The 11 designers all have a strong presence within the Australian design landscape. The showcase is a breadth of product from, seating to lighting to textile to objet d’arte. As a stylist, I felt the collection worked together while allowing the individual designers approach to their practices to remain.

How do you describe your approach to design?
I respond to a dialogue, story, narrative, brief and visual target. I believe we need to enjoy the end product but also the creative process, we are creating pieces that are sometimes not necessity in one’s life, but they are pieces that aid a feeling, space, moment and make someone feel something visually and physically.

What do you hope audiences will take away from the LOCAL MILAN exhibition here at ADC?
I hope that the audience feels like they have been part of our personal journey through the power of imagery, and the work, engaging in the scent and sound.

What’s next for you professionally? Is there another LOCAL DESIGN in Milan in the planning?
I work full time in both my brands Emma Elizabeth Designs and LOCAL DESIGN, so every week is a challenge and an adventure. I am constantly exploring new routes and projects that LD can connect with. I am heading to Milan in August to do a quick reccie, as yes, I am keen to keep the Milano ball rolling, but this time I will be working with Australian designers based both here and overseas on a quite specific brief. You never know there might even be more bricks depending on how the callous on my hand heals! Vediamo...

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Emma Elizabeth 2017. Photo by Fiona Susanto. Image courtesy of LOCAL DESIGN.

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