The Design Process for Designing with the Chinese Zodiac, by Jen Rudland


DE&E’s Design Director, Jen Rudland, gives her creative insight on the design process for designing with the Chinese Zodiacs at The Star Sydney

The design inspiration for the across property activations at The Star Sydney was drawn from client collateral for 2016 – the year of the Fire Monkey. The juxtaposition of times with the auspicious and bright colours of red underpinned the detailing of the elements of the design, inspired also by traditional paper cut patterns and incorporating the floral emblem the Peony.

A key feature piece of the design was the ceiling installation at the harbour-side entrance. Eight (the luckiest of numbers) custom produced hanging decorative boxes in red and timber, each holding a monkey nestled amongst a bed of florals and greenery danced above the entrance and created a vibrant welcome.

Above these, the traditional lantern was made contemporary in a timber cut design, with over fifty oversized lanterns hung above, a large red handmade tassel stretching from the base of each. This ensured the design was complete when viewed from every angle and level of view. Sky Terrace featured larger versions of these screens, with messages to guests for a Happy New Year.

Cumquat trees in bright red pots each featured eight lucky envelopes and bright cumquats where places throughout the hotel and casino. The retail arcade featured freestanding gallery units detailing the characteristics of each sign of the Chinese Horoscope, with display windows featuring the Peony bringing an educative and interactive element to the celebrations.

The strength of the activation lay in the close collaboration with the client to represent their message and celebration of the festival in a cohesive way, and a design process that drew on the strengths of the talented team of DE&E Designers and Producers.


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