Impose – Native Australian Flora

This design was the result of an “impose” competition. Ten designers had 3 hours to complete a design based on information we were provided 15 minutes before the start of the competition.

Staging (the black wire mesh on a circular base) was identical for all competitors. Plant material and sundries were also exactly the same for all competitors and were revealed at the start of the competition, having been hidden in boxes next to the allocated place prior to the start. We were not permitted to bring anything other than cutters, knife, glue, pliers to the competition.

The theme for the design was “A design for the reception area of an art gallery for the opening of an indigenous art display”. The plant material provided is all indigenous Australian flora. The space allowed (by the grey backing) is 1m x 1m x 2m. We were required to use 90% of materials supplied, leaving any unused material on our work bench for the judges to see.

This was my first attempt at an impose competition. My greatest lesson at the end was time management. I spent far too long on the small details which meant I could not finish the design in the time, although it does look finished in this photo.

We had 4 tree branches to use – I have placed two at the side of the mesh and two diagonally through the mesh to give me the opportunity to hang some hessian decorated with banksia leaves as entry “flags” for the mythical art gallery opening.

The hessian and leaves are repeated as bands around the side branches conveniently hiding the cable tie mechanics, as well as the lengths at the back of the design.

An extra large bouquet is placed in the middle of the mesh, towards the top with a smaller version to one side lower down.

My thinking was that the design needed to be both welcoming and thankful so the bouquet was symbolic of being presented to all who were attending.

The smaller bouquet was the last minute dash when I knew I was running out of time. It was planned to be a border across the lower part of the screen.

Judges Comments: Innovative ideas and use of the materials provided. Looks top heavy, needed something at the base to balance the large arrangement at the top. Gum leaves at the top of the side branches distract the eye and are not needed – the rest of the design has good clean lines and the leaves diminish this “clean” look.

Side note: Although this design did not place it was used for the following two years as a promotional image by the organisers!

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