In response to the profound effects of the built environment on our well-being, Design Unwind is a pop-up installation space, dedicated to offering people a peaceful reprieve from modern life. Through the application of mood enhancing design principles, leading Australian interior companies TSAR Carpets, Byzantine Design and Arthur G, have tackled the theme of Melbourne Design Week 2020 - how design can shape and improve life.

As we spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, our surroundings have a significant impact on our lives, particularly on our state of mind and well-being.
Design Unwind utilises design principles and manufacturing expertise, to create an immersive space intended to positively enhance our mood and ultimately improve life. Using highly tactile surfaces and promoting sensory interactions, guests are encouraged to leave technology at the door, and enter a tranquil and meditative sanctuary. Local practitioners are invited to use Design Unwind as a place to share their knowledge with the community on how to improve general well-being.



Biophilic Design focuses on humankind’s innate biological connection to natural experiences and the restorative responses we have to natural materials, views, light and features. It is the practice of connecting people with nature in our built environments and communities. Biophilic design can reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst improving cognitive function, creativity and productivity. Incorporating direct and indirect elements can also expedite healing.

The Design Unwind space brings natural materials, colours, light and plants together to create a calming and restorative space. We created custom hand-made incense using natural oils and essential ingredients to accompany the new designs. Fresh and calming blends of eucalypt, grapefruit, lemon and patchouli filled the space, bringing outdoor sensory experiences into our space. These biophilic design applications encourage human benefits, reduce stress and improve well-being.


Tactile stimulation, whether being hugged or walking barefoot on grass triggers oxytocin, the love hormone. It also lowers cortisol levels, reducing anxiety and stress, as well as slowing down blood flow to induce physical relaxation. In this increasingly digital landscape, we have a primal need and crave tactile surfaces that thrill our fingertips. It is the language of compassion, helping us bond and connect with others.

We have incorporated stimulating tile patterns, complex textural rug designs and furniture upholstery textiles from Belgium based company Designs of the Time, to engage our senses. The Liquid rug uses NZ wool, soft Tencel, felted wool, shag piles in interesting combinations, various pile heights and weights to create new visual and tactile textures. This is coupled with complex carving and beveling techniques adding dips and curves to translate the original marbling inspiration. Sections of the Liquid design is mirrored in the ottoman inserts for added tactility, a merging of materiality and the creation of new surfaces. Upholstery textiles utilize blends of linen, and sustainable hemp, pure virgin wool, cotton and bamboo to provide textural reprieve from the hard surfaces of modern life. Design Unwind invites guests to engage with these materials, and thus become fully present in the space.


Simple shapes, soft edges and thickened forms are primary features employed in neotenic design in interior furniture and lighting. As a species, human beings are subconsciously moved by big eyes, round heads, chubby cheeks, and pudgy extremities. It is widely believed that when we see them, the amygdala releases a surge of nurturing and affection.

We have employed the principles of neoteny through the use of curved sofa, chair and ottoman edges, rounded terminations and mono materials to alter how viewers experience of the space. These ‘cute’ features are comforting, calming, welcoming and elicit a positive emotional response with people.


Design Unwind is a human-centred space - crafted to engage and mentally excite, whilst being physically comfortable and emotionally supportive. Custom designed furniture pieces allow guests to experience the space in whatever posture suits them; lounging, sitting upright or lying down. Multipurpose ottomans serve as impromptu seats using rug inserts, while the inclusion of a hidden tiled surface underneath the ottoman, enables a multitude of uses; from writing surface to drinks stand.

The rug has been designed using multiple high pile shag textures, natural wool and soft Tencel fibres to add warmth and comfort when sitting or lying. All pieces including multiple luxe cushions allows the space to evolve and transform with people to suit various moods and occasions. The space encourages personalisation, flexibility and movement.
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Jade rug