Community spirit drives award winners

It was a case of parallel lines being wangled together in the creation of design studio Meme (pronounced ”me me”) three years ago. Founding partners Megan Hounslow and Melanie Beynon, who were fellow interior design students at RMIT in the late 1990s, spent a lot of time developing their careers overseas after graduating.

Both returned to high-profile design firms before joining business hands. This has meant Meme, despite its relative youth, demonstrates sophistication and maturity in a wide-ranging folio of domestic, commercial and institutional briefs.

Despite the diversity of the approaches needed, the pair are clear about a vision for design that ”is very human”. This explains their connection to community-conscious projects.

Examples include the new Albert Park College, which offers the area a contemporary secondary school, and the inspired social-enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane in Fitzroy.

The eatery, on Gertrude Street, provides a work-experience environment to support Aboriginal and disadvantaged young people ”to transition to mainstream employment”.

Meme worked on it in connection with Tandem Studio architects, whose principal is Hounslow’s husband. She was responsible for the project’s commissioning of Aboriginal artworks, which include wonderful eel traps from West Gippsland.

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