Pillowtalk: Qianyi Lim January 20 2017


We believe that the start of the year is the best time to draw up blueprints for our ideal future. After all, we are the architects of our own world! For this month’s Pillow Talk, we spent the morning with Qianyi Lim who is a Melbourne based (but not for long!) designer, and member of avant garde architecture studio, Sibling. Qianyi’s creative and disciplined design practice has seen her work on projects across fashion, residential, and the arts. We picked her brain about her visions for work (a nightclub for dreaming!), personal life, and when dreams become a reality.


Neon Tiger, Sibling 2015

What is a dream you’re building towards?
I guess the biggest one for this year is moving back to Sydney and building a good life and practice there. I grew up in Sydney and left when i was still a teenager. It has always been a dream of mine to settle back there and make it a home - something about the climate, topography, and water everywhere, mixed in with the hustle of a big city - it is all part of me.

It will be sad leaving Melbourne, because it's such an amazing city (I think it's actually peaking right now), and it has been very very good to me. Sydney is in a bit of a rough space at the moment, it's experiencing this cultural brain drain, a symptom of greedy political decisions being made over the development of the city. I know quite a few people in the creative industry who have left or have plans to leave Sydney because of this; so I am fully aware of the challenges I'll face moving up there, but at the same time I am keen to contribute to a city I have always loved.

Have you achieved any of your dreams recently?
On the last day of last year, I was with all of my best mates in Byron Bay, and we were just having a lazy time, washing the year away in the delicious water when a pod of wild dolphins came real close and started catching waves around us! This is pretty close to a recurring dream I've had where I actually was a dolphin catching a wave. Such a juicy end to the year.



Where does inspiration for your work come from?
Bustling metropolises such as Seoul, New York City and Mexico City - being in and amongst people in these high density environments, whether they are strange or banal settings, they offer a lot of insight into how people interact and adapt to each other and their environment. This feeds into the way we approach our projects, where we imagine the social scenarios that could take place in a space that we're about to begin work on.

Which part of the design process do you enjoy the most?
The beginning is always fun - I'll sit down with the other Siblings and discuss all the potentials of a project. At this point we don't know what the project is going to be, and so we are throwing around many different ideas before giving ourselves the space and time to research them for concept development. It's a very valuable part of the process -  I learn so much from the other Siblings. The end of the process is enjoyable too - sometimes a project can take a few years to manifest, so it is super rewarding seeing it finally come to life.


Ricky Pinky, Sibling, 2016

Was it always your dream to become a designer?
To be honest, I don't think it was a dream to become a designer. My mum is an architect, so growing up around architecture and design meant it was something I was always going to do. My dream growing up was to have a job that would let me travel and explore new places -  I really loved airplane food, so I thought if I could travel heaps for work I'd get to eat it all the time, LOL! No, but seriously… I think we are living in a time where we are becoming super mobile, and super connected. We are finding this mobility and connectedness in our practice too, whether it's working with a Dutch based artist on a public art installation, or working on a new house in Kuala Lumpur; opportunities to collaborate with people from all over and work on projects overseas seem to arise more and more even for smaller practices like Sibling.

Squint/Opera, Sibling, 2015

What would a dream project for Sibling look like?
A nightclub would be cool… Like a huge superclub with lots of different moods and people, or maybe it could be a club for dreaming?

Any goals for 2017?
Take up a water sport (does stand up paddle board yoga count?), and to establish the Sydney arm of Sibling!

Choose: Day dreams or night dreams?
Night dreams for sure.

Qianyi's SUKU pick, Ruby Dress and Chelsea Kimono.