Studio Ongarato <em>Eucalyptusdom</em> 2022; exhibition publication. Courtesy of the designer<br/>
© Studio Ongarato

Studio Ongarato

Studio Ongarato

Free entry

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Fed Square
Level 2

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Studio Ongarato Eucalyptusdom 2022; exhibition publication. Courtesy of the designer
© Studio Ongarato

Studio Ongarato
(est. 1993, Melbourne)

Studio Ongarato is a design studio founded in 1993 by creative director Fabio Ongarato and director Ronnen Goren. Now with offices in Hong Kong and the Americas, Studio Ongarato focuses on challenging the conventions of branding, wayfinding and placemaking. The studio brings together designers, curators, editors, architects, art directors and craftspeople, who in turn collaborate with leading artists and artisans on a range of projects, predominantly in the realms of hospitality, hotels, property, arts and culture.

Studio Ongarato designed a comprehensive signage and environmental graphics system based on the concept of ‘Testing Grounds’ for Arup’s new Melbourne headquarters. The wayfinding system features LED displays suspended in bespoke supports, controlled by custom software for flexibility. The environmental graphics use a metric grid overlay applied to glass partitions, timber screening and moulded panels to distinguish the labs within the open-plan workspace. 

The studio also designed work for Kisumé, a Japanese dining experience that breaks conventions: Eastern influences with a contemporary lens. Studio Ongararo’s design balances traditional Japanese precision with bold Western flair through elements such as a radial moiré graphic language, curated works from photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, striking colour accents, bespoke uniforms and commissioned sneakers. 

The Eucalyptusdom exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney explored Australia’s cultural history and relationship with the gum tree. Studio Ongarato’s unifying colour palette reflects the species’ unique vitality and the erasure of nature over time. The exhibition’s identity, campaign, titles and publication design reflects the new thinking in museum programming at the Powerhouse.

The 447 Collins precinct in Melbourne is a mixed-use development that includes resi‑dences, a hotel, office space, retail and public spaces. The signage, wayfinding and placemaking by Studio Ongarato expresses a narrative of citizenship throughout the space. The three-dimensional street numbers are both sculptures and signifiers, contributing to a sense of place. 

The Western Australian Museum features a unique wayfinding strategy by Studio Ongarato, with the creative theme of ‘Sample’. The solution uses a range of dynamic signage display technologies, such as flip-dots, three-sided prisms and LCD screens to assist in storytelling and to guide visitors through the museum. The wayfinding elements include Noongar language messages, layering Indigenous narratives throughout the museum.

Studio Ongarato has won a range of awards at the annual Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) Awards, the AHEAD Awards for hospitality and experience design, the SEGD Global Design Awards for experiential graphic design, the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, the Australian Book Designers Association Awards, D&AD Awards and the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) Awards. Notable and highly awarded recent projects include brand identity, placemaking, art curation and signage for the Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula, branding, art direction and signage for the Powerhouse, the National Gallery of Australia and Black Star Pastry, as well as signage and wayfinding for Potato Head Bali, K11 Shenzhen and ITC Shanghai.