CULTURE & COMMUNITY
On one scorcher of a Perth afternoon, like the flick of a light switch, a giant cookie transported James, our Founder, straight back to the English summers of his childhood, reminding him of one of the most powerful, yet somewhat intangible elements in brand experience design- nostalgia.
Have you seen the book, Scorcher by Tim Ross? It’s a collection of short stories paired with images from the Australian National Archives. An ode to the Australian summer, the stories aren’t necessarily plot-driven but rather share evocative and defining moments in time.
James has vivid recollections of his childhood summers in the UK. The sense of time unfolding, the clicking of the fan brought out at the start of each year’s ‘heatwave’ and the taste of the ice blocks that satiated thirst. It wasn’t until his first summer in Perth, Australia that he understood with any real clarity Alison’s conviction that summer in London wasn’t really summer.
Summer, and the Australian summer in particular, is a season that evokes nostalgia like little else. In Australia, we don’t do white Christmas. We do early morning Christmas Day swims. We do Bubble o’Bills at the local pool. We peel prawns for hours, dipping them into a wasabi-infused mayonnaise and dropping the shells in a big pile. We also freeze the aforementioned prawn shells right until bin morning, or else face the dire consequences that comes when shellfish and wheely-bins spend long hot days and nights together. Seriously, it’s an assault on the senses that can only be experienced to be believed. Thankfully, it’s only one of the rituals that permeate a sunbleached Australian summer.
As their children grow, James and Alison are watching in real time their children create the moments and memories that will inspire their own nostalgia as adults. At a local Perth cafe, popular with surfers who swing past between sets and work, against their better judgement, James and Alison’s son, bike helmet in situ, bit into a cookie bigger than his head. It was the kind of giant cookie that could easily feed a family of four, and wouldn’t be out of place in the Flintstones. He actually needed two hands to hold it, creating a distinctly memorable moment of sheer delight that both he and his parents will hold in the years and decades to come.
As a design studio, we look at brand as an experience. Our focus lies beyond the form to the environmental and sensorial aspects of design. Our values and approach are grounded in elevating the everyday, as it is these personally meaningful and iconic moments that allow us to apply our brand DNA, values and ethos to the design process. It’s through experiencing the joy, delight and wonder inspired by the everyday moments of life with two boys in the heat of the Australian summer that we look holistically at a brand. And if that involves a giant cookie? So be it.
Where do you find your inspiration? Is it in the hallmarks and rituals of the Australian summer? If you’d like to explore making memories and creating a living, feeling brand, please reach out.
Acknowledgement of Country.
AboundStudio acknowledge this country's First Nations peoples and their ongoing strength in practising the world's oldest living culture. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters on which we live and work, and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.