We recently spent some time chatting with Matiya, Founder + Director of Award winning Space Making Studio, Sans Arc Studio. This ‘off-beat’ Architecture studio focuses on using environmentally responsible design to make fun and beautiful spaces. Matiya speaks to his design process, tips for anyone wanting to enter the industry and shares what excites him about the industry right now.  


Tell us a little bit about yourself & your work

Sans-Arc Studio is a small practice that works between Adelaide and Melbourne. We are focused on single residential and hospitality projects.

Our designs balance fun + playful with rational/functional design. We consider ourselves ambassadors of a lo-fi eco approach; environmentally friendly material selections and passive design principles are at the centre of all projects.

What are you excited about at the moment?

Aluminium. 100% recyclable! I think this is very cool, we’ve been trying to integrate more of it into our projects.

Doing more work adjacent to architecture/interior design, like furniture + product design. It is nice to work on a different (smaller) scale.

We are also working on a couple of fun projects with Messina Gelato that are on-site/almost complete.



3 brands you use for work that you are loving at the moment?

Studio GDB – amazing tiles from the Netherlands.

In Common With – very nice lights.

Sustainable Living Fabrics – these guys provided fabric for the original Sydney Opera House seats and (still) produce some nice stuff.

What’s an interesting piece of advice for your work, that you couldn’t live without?

Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. You can design and refine forever. Knowing when something is finished or complete is a skill.



What are the 3 most important things to consider when designing a retail or hospitality space?

Movement through the space of the customer; the journey from the front door to the counter or to their seat. That should be a fun journey, a nice experience; theatrical/fun if possible, with some nice materials and some nice spaces they can move through.

Efficient kitchen/bar design – this must be rational and allow for good workflow. The back of house needs to interact with and service the front of house efficiently. Hide the messy stuff.

Ambience – the overall feeling is everything for the customer. The space doesn’t need to be expensive or particularly fancy to feel good. Dimmable lights, comfortable seats, warm materials, some considered/designed moments or some nice art go a long way. A good sound system and not too many hard surfaces is also nice.



What is your approach to colour when designing?

It needs to be considered as part of an overall material palette and has to balance well with other materials in the project.

It is an opportunity for the identity or aesthetic of the client to come through. You can make moods, feeling and nostalgia with colour, so be considered.

What is something that often gets overlooked in spatial design? 

No bag hooks under the bar + nowhere to wait after you’ve ordered your takeaway thing.



What would you tell someone wanting to open their own hospitality business?

Find the right space. Awkward, kind of ugly spaces are hard to make look good. The better the existing space you are going into, the better your space can feel.

Design-wise, try not to get caught in trends. Good, considered design and good materials will stand the test of time.

Think about the life of the project and build in stages if you must. Do things well, once. You don’t need a fancy fit-out from the start.

How important is signage in store design?

Clearly communicating with your customers is super important. Signage helps people navigate a space, but also gives helpful information like the price of a coffee.

It is also a great opportunity to communicate your identity as a business and use that nice logo.



Looking at the George & Willy website, what is your favorite George & Willy product?

I like the Magnetic Standing Round Sign. That is a fun sign.


Words by Founder + Director Matiya Marovich, of Sans Arc Studio

View Projects - http://sansarcstudio.com.au/projects/

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sansarc.studio/

George Wilkins