Seeing interior design as an opportunity to utilise innovation and imagination, Interior Designer Kirby Humphries is motivated to enrich the built environment with a steady and agile hand. Part of the commercial interiors team, Kirby chats about his love for problem-solving in design and beyond.
You joined Carr at the beginning of 2022, working within the commercial interiors team. What initially drew you to that specific area of interior design?
My recent experience was primarily focused on residential design, so moving into the commercial sector offered a new but exciting shift for me. Commercial interior design requires a completely different way of thinking. Whether it’s a compact workplace or a public realm upgrade, each project presents various challenges to interrogate to improve the user experience and overall spatial qualities.
I’m also drawn to the diversity of user groups in the commercial sector and the healthy engagement required in the early stages to establish a functional and aesthetic brief for each project.
What’s something you love about interior design? What aspects do you appreciate about it as a discipline?
Interior design has enabled me to blend my love for problem-solving with creativity.
Early in my studies, I initially pursued photography, but over time I found myself more interested in the tangibility of design. Interior design combines imagination and a technical understanding of construction methodologies that ultimately result in built outcomes. I really enjoy delving into the details, from the macro to the micro, to find practical and creative solutions.
I’m also starting to explore the realm of possibilities of Artificial Intelligence in interior design. Although still in the early days of my AI journey, I’m enthusiastic about what resolutions it may bring to design.
Besides design, where do you draw inspiration?
It may sound a little unconventional, but I love climbing – particularly bouldering, and like design, this sport is all about problem-solving. Climbing combines technique, quick thinking, and inventiveness to achieve the desired result. It’s the same approach but just applied to giant rocks instead of designing spaces!
Commercial interior design requires a completely different way of thinking. Whether it’s a compact workplace or a public realm upgrade, each project presents various challenges to interrogate to improve the user experience and overall spatial qualities.”
How would you describe yourself as an interior designer? What do you bring to a project that’s special?
Having worked in smaller studios my entire career, I’ve always leaned into being as flexible and agile as possible – I’ve personally discovered that being versatile is an important skill to develop. So perhaps, adaptability is my strength. Also, I really enjoy the 3D modelling and rendering aspect of design. We’re a Revit-enabled studio, so learning how to use this tool has really elevated my capability in this area. Drawing on my experience in design, documentation and construction phases in multiple sectors, I can fluidly work across all project phases.
Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on and what’s in the pipeline.
I recently worked on Aesop’s new headquarters here in Melbourne, a project that has just been completed. This experience was both unique and rewarding, underscoring the value of collaboration between our team and the client. Aesop’s strong brand identity and ethos played a significant role in shaping our design approach, contributing to a successful project outcome.
I’m currently working on two dual discipline commercial projects with the architecture team in the CBD. One is a companion pavilion to a beautiful existing building and the other is a completely new development. Both are focused on the activation of new lobby spaces but are contextually very different from how they engage with the public at the street level. This diversity in approach captures the essence of city life and my enthusiasm for creating spaces that elevate everyday experiences.
Learn how Carr embodied the ethos of Australian skincare brand Aesop within its new Australian headquarters.