Iain Halliday is one of the most respected and well-known architects and interior designers in Australia. He has been working in the industry for more than 30 years, mostly during his time as a director at Burley Katon Halliday. In 2007 he oversaw the practice opening an office in New York. The following year BKH was the subject of a book published by Thames & Hudson. This week Iain was named Belle/Coco Republic Interior Designer of the Year 2012.
Which five words best describe you? Critical, driven, perfectionist, obsessed, shopaholic.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since?
1982 Part-time Neil Burley Design (during final year of Sydney College of the Arts degree).
1983-84 Marsh Freedman and Associates (Junior).
1984 Commenced full-time at Neil Burley Design.
1985 Partner @ Neil Burley Partners.
1989 Neil Burley Partners becomes BKH.
2010 Acquired full ownership of BKH.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Stick to what is instinctive in design; you will deliver whatever it is with conviction from presentation to finished product.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Opening the BKH New York office.
What’s been your best decision? To persevere with study in 1980 when I was quite disillusioned with the syllabus.
Who inspires you? Fashion designers, chefs, architects and artists; but basically anybody who is passionate about creativity and excellence in their field.
What are you passionate about? The creation of beauty particularly in our built environment: buildings and spaces that transport, comfort and empower you.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Peter Marino – his aesthetic, breadth of work, instinctive approach to quoting periods, understanding of detail, materials and art. He has proven that you can work in multiple styles of equal validity and that what we sell as designers can be commercially relevant and entertaining.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? The production of a cohesive ‘BKH’ furniture range and another BKH book; purchasing an apartment in Paris.
What are you reading? 740 park - a history of one of New York’s most expensive and glamorous apartment buildings.