We recently caught up with one-half of Archrival, Claire McCaughan, to see what they had been doing since their talk at our History gig at Jurassic Lounge 2013. We also got to hear more about their plans for the year ahead and put Claire on the spot by asking her to name someone doing good things in Sydney.
It's crazy but it's been almost 2 years since Idea Bombing last spoke to you guys... what's Archrival being doing since Jurassic Lounge?
Wow it’s been a while hasn’t it?! We’ve been busy here at Archrival since Jurassic Lounge. We’ve moved the Arena Calcetto Foosball tables, that went to the Australian Pavilion at the 13th Venice International Architecture Biennale, on from the Reservoir Gardens. We needed to hire a massive crane to drop them into the Gardens and then again when we installed them at Pirrama Park and then most recently down at The Rocks. Our intention at The Rocks was for the Foosball tables to align with the World Cup, and it paid off! In total, over 50,000 people used them before they were deinstalled.
Another Archrival project, Jigsaw down at Bondi Junction is becoming permanent. Waverley Council has invested some cash to make it sturdy and more long term.
In other news, Lucy and I have been invited to speak at the Australasian Student Architecture Congress this year in July. We’re both looking forward to that.
Lucy is working on, amongst other things, ‘Lighthouse’, a public artwork commission for the Coffs Harbour Justice Precinct and in March I joined the team at Object: Australian Design Centre as Head of Programs.
What are some goals for Archrival in 2015?
We were invited to talk at BVN-Donovan Hill last year, curated by Tom Rivard for the Tuesdays@Tusculum series. Lucy and I tried to speak about the sustainability of Archrival as an entity to encourage people but we also tried to emphasise our need to promote it as a sustainable business. We’ve always worked second jobs but that doesn’t work for everyone’s background. We’ve started to think about a different way of commissioning the work that we do and making it, the business, sustainable.
The way Archrival went about business was finding projects/clients and responding in a popup nature. What we realised was the work we make is our assets, and figuring out how they can contribute financially to Archrival is our next step. We are now starting to hiring equipment out to people and have been selling work on - our Foosball tables, for example, are for sale and hire! So this is something we want to do more of in the future, rather than doing temporary installations.
Do you have any shoutouts for people doing cool things in Sydney at the moment?
Yes, absolutely! One group that come to mind are EggPicnic, the guys who contributed artwork for Jigsaw, alongside 12 other artists who designed the noughts and crosses, and worked with us on Arena Calcetto in Sydney. EggPicnic, a Chilean-Australian design duo based in Sydney, was founded by Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso. They’re just amazing graphic designers, and they speak about bigger issues in society like species extinction in the world, and show that in graphic form.