If the saying is true that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, then it's going to be interesting to watch the trajectory of Alexandra Bond and Nicholas Barber. Together the couple have been running a successful architectural interior design business in New York. On returning to Sydney recently they established Dunlin, a way of opening their contacts book to many homewares companies previously not represented in Australia.
Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, adventurous, enthusiastic, tireless but sometimes exhausted!How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I began my career as an architect after graduating from UNSW, where I had met Nico while he was studying architecture at Sydney [University]. We moved to NYC where we designed an amazing range of projects together, from homes in New York City and throughout the Hamptons to hotels in Latin America. Working and living in New York was an experience like no other, especially running our own company. We learnt so much, and worked with the most amazing collection of clients, companies and craftsmen; it was an amazing education in design, and one I can't recommend highly enough to any young Australian designer. We began Dunlin as an extension to our architecture and interiors practice, as a way of bringing these amazing craftsmen and companies back to Australia when we moved home from NYC. Davey Lighting, for example, we found while designing a jazz bar; to now be representing them and seeing them used in gorgeous homes across Australia is wonderfully rewarding.
What's the best lesson you've have learnt along the way? A few! Only work with the best, be it suppliers, consultants or clients. And the value of moving forward, something NYC instilled in me, to do something as well as you possibly can, learn from it then onto the next.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I am really proud of seeing Dunlin grow and flourish, it’s been a lot of work by a lot of wonderful people whom I’m very proud of.
What’s been your best decision? Firstly, starting a company with Nicholas. Also to keep working hard and to never give up, I’ve had a lot of not so good ones too!
Who inspires you? My family and friends, who I learn from everyday, and even though it's not a 'who': travelling. I don't think anything keeps you as compassionate and curious as being a bit of a gypsy.
What are you passionate about? Right now its Trancoso, being a better surfer, good friends, family and brunch.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Ellsworth Kelly or perhaps a day with Frida, Diego & Juan O'Gorman would have been pretty incredible; my mum and I spent a few weeks in Mexico City last year and adored it.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To continue doing what I am doing would be more than enough, and finally, finally getting a dog!
What are you reading? I have an unhealthy addiction to magazines, I'm afraid. Reading-wise I loved M, so I am working my way back through Peter Robb's works. A death in brazil is in my bag right now.