The Lennox building, comprising 441 residences across 40 panels along the Parramatta river, has been awarded the international residential award at the gold nugget awards in San Fransico.
We talk to the project’s Mexican-born and Australian-based interior designer, Lorena Gaxiola, about heritage, inspiration, design and business.
How do you feel your heritage has helped to shape/influence your style?
My heritage has influenced me more than I even imagined and as time passes by I appreciate it more and more. I am an 80’s kids and the freedom we experienced in those days is immeasurable. Secondly, art is highly regarded in Mexico, kids are taught art from Kindy to High School. Thirdly, Mexico is a free-spirited country, and that sense of freedom allows me to appreciate opportunities in an unorthodox way. it is a country rich in culture and history, so Mexican’s have this natural ability to create while respecting and applying our ancient influences into the modern era in a very holistic way.
How has your style adapted over the years- have you had to accommodate trends?
My style has changed not so much due to trends although it is definitely a consideration, but it has changed more with time as I gained more confidence in my abilities as a creative individual. Working through mistakes has made me more confident and assertive. I think the real motivation behind style adaptation comes from the speed of technological advances. We all have to adapt to more efficient ways of living, working and interacting and that has definitely impacted the fields of architecture and design. I also learn a lot from young designers and architects. It is a life mission of mine to help young talent find their place in this industry and in return I learn so much from them, their generation’s lifestyle and their vision.
Your style is very colourful, do you have to adapt (tone this down) for your clients?
I love living around colour and my personal spaces are very artful and colourful. Funnily enough I find it very difficult to wear colour, I mostly wear black.
My collection is also very colourful because that is my own artwork however in my design practice, I focus on my clients, their brand, their mission, their business and I never impose my own personal taste on them.
My job is always to take their initial vision and curate it in a cohesive way, transcending their vision to an architectural form, enhanced by colour, textures, patterns, etcetera. My motto has always been “no two projects are alike” I don’t repeat my designs.
Where do take inspiration from? i.e., travel, social media?
I take inspiration from anything. I love life, I love food, I love fashion, I love music, I love the artworld, I love traveling and experiencing new cultures, I love going to design shows, I love history, I love fortune telling, I love being spiritual, I love mother earth and all of that combined in my head gives me great inspiration.
I follow like-minded people on social media, I am obsessed with architecture and design in any form. And, I also believe that inspiration can come from very simple things, so I don’t hunt for a great idea and instead I listen to my intuition and follow my heart.
Tell us about your brand rationale
I am drawn to original thinking. That’s the Mexican in me. I don’t tend to push my personal taste onto my clients. Instead, I like to listen and understand my clients’ perspective and dig deep into their needs.
My range came about in working with a developer in China who wanted to establish a new brand catering to Chinese wealth and international buyers.
After 5 years, he thought to launch an ecommerce homewares site to sell all the items I was specifying in his luxury residences.
Once I started selecting products I realised that I wasn’t really moved by the options in the market. Everything was colour based, brand related, style related but without a true message of inspiration behind it.
Homewares are a meaningful investment, so I thought to design something that carries a definite meaning and a message that people could connect with, much like fine art.
Talk us through your approach to doing business
I’ve made it a purpose to keep my company boutique, I am the worst CEO.
I love being a designer, having too many employees and building a corporate environment has never been my focus. I actually love designing and I am involved heavily in my projects.
When my clients hire my company, they get me. My staff supports my vision, I listen to them and they have an input, but I am the go-to person.
I like to keep it real. I am accessible, available and I find it odd to hire talent under a corporation where the main individual is not involved. If you hire Lorena Gaxiola PTY LTD, you get Lorena Gaxiola in the flesh.