It may take a bit of finding, but once you track down the Criteria gallery-showroom in the little Melbourne suburb of Cremorne you’re in for a New York-sized treat. Owner and curator Rachael Fry has made the move from America to Oz, bringing with her a collection of modern furniture, lighting, art and objects from New York designers and artisans that exemplify her idea of the city’s aesthetic – progressive design centred on experimentation, form and materials.
Fry, a former art director, chose her location carefully. Citing Cremorne as “a bit of a hidden gem” packed with creative agencies, cafés and galleries, she deliberately chose a back-alley premises that feels like a destination. Flack Studio was invited in to bring the former warehouse up to scratch with a simple fit-out of plywood and concrete panelling that chimes with the building’s heritage. The studios that have created her eclectic selection of products range from pioneering young outfits to those that have been refining their skills for 20 years or more, but to make it into the Criteria Collection the items must show a commitment to craft and high-quality materials designed to last a lifetime. As well as New York creations, visitors will find products from Los Angeles, Italy, the UK and Australia.