Five minutes with Sharon Sclarr

20 February 2024
Posted byBy

Ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March, we’d like to showcase the women that make Carr what it is across all sectors and disciplines. Today, we chat with Interior Designer Sharon Sclarr, an integral member of the commercial interiors team, about her local and international design experience and why emerging technologies should be viewed as both tools and drivers for shaping exciting spaces.

The interiors of 116 Rokeby. Render by Gabriel Saunders.

As an interior designer at Carr, what do you love about the discipline and its application within commercial interior work?

I love how meaningful and impactful our practice can be. Being able to impact people’s daily lives, enhance productivity, and create spaces that genuinely matter is something I enjoy. I believe the environments we shape can significantly impact well-being and efficiency, especially in a workplace context.

Outside interior design, where do you draw inspiration and how does it positively inform your practice?

I have lived in a few different countries, so travel is a constant source of inspiration for me. The opportunity to immerse myself in diverse histories and cultures, viewed through the lenses of culture, art and design, is a continuous source of inspiration. I believe that a deep understanding of diverse perspectives greatly enriches my practice.

Nature and science greatly inspire me. The cyclical patterns inherent in the universe are fascinating and are a constant source of inspiration. Reading about the cosmos and spending time in nature also bring me much joy and energy.

You worked in America for over two years, how did that industry compare to Australia? Has it influenced your practice in any way, if so, how?

Working in the U.S. was actually quite different compared to Australia. I specifically worked in San Francisco, which is an exciting hub of innovation. Most of my projects involved collaborating with both emerging and established tech companies and exploring cutting-edge technologies. Being in that dynamic environment was inspiring, and it felt like we were contributing to something significant.

This experience has shaped my practice by encouraging me to think more strategically and outside the box. It taught me to see emerging technologies not only as tools but also as potential drivers for shaping innovative and exciting spaces.

Can you describe your collaboration process with both the design team and clients? What is fundamental to ensuring a successful relationship with each?

I believe empathy and good communication are fundamental to a successful working relationship. My collaborative approach revolves around mutual respect and understanding the values of our clients. Each member of the team is critical, and it is through strong collaboration that we achieve successful outcomes.

Set in one of Melbourne's primary CBD corners, 303 Collins is an exercise in revitalising and paying homage to an existing commercial office building into a activated mixed-use offering.

How would you describe yourself as an interior designer? What skills do you bring?

I am a detail-oriented interior designer with an analytical approach. My design philosophy is human-centric and holistic. I like to look at things from macro to micro when considering materiality, details and strategy.

I believe that successful early briefing processes are essential for achieving thoughtful and well-considered outcomes. I have really enjoyed developing skills in this area and I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of my work.


The theme of this year’s IWD is ‘Count Her In’. What challenges do you think exist in the design industry regarding inclusion, and what challenges would you like to see to help improve solidarity?

Women who decide not to have children often face pressure to be more available and take on heavier workloads. On the other hand, women who choose to have kids can struggle to access the same opportunities and encounter difficulties re-entering the workforce after parental leave. There should be equal flexibility for women without children and better support for mothers returning to work. Currently, there’s an imbalance in this dichotomy.

Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on and what’s in the pipeline.

I had the opportunity to work on the early stages of Salta, which was exciting as we had quite a robust briefing and concept phase. Also, I have been involved in the 116 Rokeby project, equally exciting because of its strong design philosophy and sustainable approach. We have just kicked off 303 Collins, which is a commercial offering in a prominent location within Melbourne’s CBD. I am very much enjoying working collaboratively with a fantastic team on a project of this scale.


Learn more about Carr’s commercial projects with Senior Associate Catherine Keys.