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Behind the Studio Doors with Dinosaur Designs

By Designer Rugs on April 2, 2024 
Behind the Studio Doors with Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy

Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy are artists, designers, creative directors and co-founders of Dinosaur Designs. Over three decades they have built and designed what is arguably one of Australia’s most recognised design companies. Olsen and Ormandy have boutiques in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, New York and London, as well as retailers around the world.  

Dinosaur Designs is primarily known for their resin jewellery and homewares, which are hand-made in their Sydney studio. The hand-made process ensures every piece is unique, it’s a philosophy of colour, form and texture.   

In 2015 Dinosaur Designs celebrated its 30th birthday and following that in 2016 they published their first book, “The Art of Dinosaur Designs” with Penguin, which coincided with a travelling exhibition to Bega Regional Gallery and Hazlehurst Regional Gallery. Prior to that they have exhibited at Australian galleries including Melbourne’s Karen Woodbury Gallery, Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, Newcastle Art Gallery, OLSEN Gallery and also international galleries including; Art15 London, London Design Festival, Spiral Gallery Tokyo, Tokyo Designers Block and Victoria & Albert Museum.  

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Gemstones | Hand Tufted 100% New Zealand Wool Felted Yarn | Landscape by Dinosaur Designs
Sean Fenessey Photography

Rolling gemstones move and dance across the rectangular space of this rug, their bold stone formation creates a strong statement in any room. Its earthy tones course through mineral greys, deep, chalky blues through to black which are juxtaposed with warm browns and golden ambers that seem to vibrate within the landscape.  

Designer Rugs (DR): Landscape features a collection of rugs that play with nature's forms, tones and textures. What was your overall inspiration for the collection?

Dinosaur Designs(DD):  Our inspiration for this collection was looking at nature through a magnifying glass. Working with the DNA of Dinosaur Designs and looking at the relationship of colour and form. Creating bold colour fields.  

The Landscape Collection is an exploration of nature’s wondrous elements - organic forms, stones, pebbles, horizons, sunlit valleys and the way each of these elements interact with each other to create artful landscapes that can only be created by nature’s magic.  

The palette is drawn straight from the landscape, shades of rich, warm honey tones, earthy pinks and pops of coral, sit beautifully alongside deep midnight blues. 

Like a sunrise climbing between a valley of boulders, this design exudes a quiet, understated strength that invites you to cocoon in its lush textures. 

DR: Can you share with us the influence behind your approach to your artist process and how it translates into the distinct designs for each rug?

DD: We love looking at each collection as a work of art. Working with primary marks to set up the composition. Our narrative and influences are always nature’s natural forms.  

The golden glow of honey and passionfruit with the unexpected touch of charcoal grey creates a beautiful harmony of colors to add a sunny luminescence to any space. The soft tufts of wool, evocative of pollen, add an extra softness to the outline of the shapes.  

DR: What was your creative process when it came to creating these rug designs? 

DD: We have this long working friendship with Designer Rugs for many years now. This will be our fifth collection. 

The creative process started when we met with Lia as she opened the magic wonderful box of wool colours. The colours were so magnificent and set a whole stream of inspiration. We then started to investigate our archive of images we have created for Dinosaur Designs with our collection stories to create a body of four rugs, in a palette of warm and cool colour relationships in bold forms. 

This rug was inspired by a stack of balancing stones, or a cairn, which creates a natural sculptural form. The interplay of colours rendered in the gorgeous New Zealand wool palette creates a luxurious warmth to a room.

DR: Which design is your favourite and why?

LO:  I’m loving the colours of Pollination and Stephen’s loving Valley for its bold forms.

designer rugs dinosaur designs Gemstones wr location

Gemstones | Hand Tufted 100% New Zealand Wool Felted Yarn | Landscape by Dinosaur Designs
Sean Fenessey Photography

DR: What do you think these rugs bring to a space?

DD: A beautiful rug creates a warmth, texture, softness, boldness and colour. Rugs can also create a whole composition to a room.    

The Landscape Collection is the fifth collaboration between Designer Rugs and Dinosaur Designs' Co-founders, Creative Directors and artists Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy.   Explore the full collection now.

Visit a Designer Rugs’ showroom in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland and or view the Landscape Collection online

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