Iyoria Aboriginal Elders Estate
Spearheaded by Aunty Margret with the support of the New South Wales Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC), this pro bono job we undertook with our long-time partners at BMF shares the dream of a new accommodation facility designed especially for Aboriginal elders.
Indigenous Australians have a proud heritage that includes a traditional lifestyle and a deep connection to the land. Their way of life has been disrupted and decimated over time, severely impacting these communities—in some cases, even affecting their will to live. Look no further than life-expectancy data across all Australians to see these disturbing trends.
The Iyoria Aboriginal Elders Belonging Estate is but one response to this dire situation.
In order to create a piece that honored the values of Aboriginal culture and heritage, we took inspiration from the textures, materials, and patterns that we find in Australian flora.
We used grit, red dirt, patterns on bark, rocks, eucalyptus leaves, and references to the sun and the moon. We wanted to contrast this rich, earthy world with modern day Gadigal land—concrete Sydney—to emphasize what's been lost.
There are also nods to symbols of community found in Indigeneous culture evident in the Iyoria logo and elsewhere.
Mind the spotlight.
The power of this piece and its natural focus is in Aunty Margret’s narration. We wanted to keep the spotlight on that narration; our designs were meant to play a supporting role. The vibe is empathetic, slow, and considered.
Our partners at BMF were fantastic and supportive. We were on the same wavelength throughout the entire process.
The highlight of this project was visiting Aunty Margret and some of the elders at the NSWICC, where we were welcomed to their land. We also learned a bit more about the history of the area and how the development site fits within the larger picture.
Executive Creative Director
Sam Van Ingen
Brian Neong San