People are always inquisitive about how we find all the stuff we cover here at TDF, and, weirdly, I’m often asked if I’m worried that we’ll ever ‘run out’ of content! Whaaa? NOT likely! I tell you what, it’s actually no effort AT ALL to find endless amazing shops, artists, designers, galleries and events to write about because you guys just keep doing bloody awesome stuff all the time… we actually can’t keep in with you!
Case in point – Melbourne’s latest incredible retail offering, CRITERIA in Cremorne (i.e. Richmond). This seriously impressive furniture and lighting showroom has been a labour of love for passionate design enthusiasts Rachael Fry and Amon Carson, who opened their doors late last year.
In some kind of movie-script romance, Rachel and Amon met in a New York bar, where Amon was on work trip, and Rachel was finishing up her studies in communication design. ‘We met there through some mutual friends – it was pretty random, wild and very NY, and we have been inseparable ever since!’ recalls Rachel. For four more years, she worked as a designer and art director in New York, but her passion was shifting. ‘I was finding myself drawn to the works of some of the top up-and-coming designers in New York, who would later come together to form the CRITERIA Collection’ she says.
The pair left New York after the birth of their daughter Freyja, and resettled in Melbourne to be closer to Amon’s family and friends. Rachel quickly noticed that the American designers she admired and closely followed weren’t represented here in Australia, and a spark ignited. ‘I floated the idea with Amon, who comes from a finance background, to open up a space that would specialise in progressive design works from NY and around the world’. Amon loved the idea, but wanted to make sure it was a viable one, so after two years of research, scouting, and planning, CRITERIA was finally born.
Rachel and Amon’s vision for CRITERIA came from the desire to be a unique and multifunctional space with progressive and often unconventional works. Almost, you could say, like a commercial art gallery for design pieces. The collection at present includes work by New York designers such as Apparatus Studio, Bec Brittain, David Weeks Studio, Matter-Made and Doug Johnston, alongside other designer/manufacturers from Australia and around the world that share a similar aesthetic, such as 19 Greek Street (UK), Ringvide Studio (Sweden), Jo Wilson (Melbourne), Kulchi (Sydney), Rosanna Ceravolo (Melbourne), Blakebrough + King (Sydney) and Labdestu (Melbourne).
The concept, though, is for CRITERIA to be ever-evolving. Rachel has ambitious plans for the coming months, which will entail a number of new arrivals, and an exhibition showcasing the work of Sydney based design duo Blakebrough + King, opening on February 26th.
The interior fitout of this impressive warehouse space was designed by young Melbourne interior designer David Flack (who is totally on our radar right now – expect a follow up on this talented chap soon!).
66 Gwynne Street
Open Monday to Thursday 10.00am to 5.00pm, Friday and Saturday by appointment.