2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Image Credit : Nicole England M 0410 512 552 E nicole@nicoleengland.com



Project Overview

The Footy Show has been one of the strongest rating shows for Nine for many years. From its inception, the show has pushed the boundaries of controversial commentary on the game of football. In the past, this show has been staged in the production studios at Bendigo Street, Richmond. Nine now hosts its production from Docklands. The set for 2012 has been designed to better utilize this new environment, and is captivating with its contemporary feel and strong graphic content. The new configuration of set and audience provide an engaging arena for footy comment.

Project Commissioner

Nine Network

Project Creator

Baenziger Coles Pty Ltd


Interior Designers - Baenziger Coles:
Rudy Joosten
Samantha Harberger

Graphic Designers - Nine Video Graphic's Department

Project Brief

The producers of the Footy Show were intent on providing a clean slate when it came to considering a new look for their set. When working with a concept for a show that has had such a long history, it is wise to respect those elements that make it successful. The relationship between the hosts and the weekly panel of guests is determined by the available real estate, necessity of maintaining eyelines, their connection with the audience, and not least, their profile for cameras.

These practical considerations and those driven by the show's content, lead to the combination of three main areas :
1. The host environment ( with two desks ).
2. A small interview area.
3. A large centre stage multi purpose area.

Also requiring consideration were :
- Providing an area for at least 7 tables of ten people on the floor ( generally for sponsors and invited guests ).
- Utilising the current Seating System.
- The portability of the set (the same studio is shared by other productions necessitating the weekly setting and striking of the set and its storage elsewhere on site).

Our design philosophy, developed in response to discussions with the producers, was to create a contemporary and cohesive look for the set that would enable it to span 3 years of presentation. It was to have a warm feel, and incorporate some AV elements within the budget constraints. Lighting elements would become integral to maximizing the effect of surface finishes.

Project Need

Bringing a sustainable and ethical approach to TV Set design is always going to be difficult. The industry is beginning to look at ways of making their practices more sustainable, but it is difficult to promote these considerations in the face of what works best on air. It is far too easy to excuse choices made because the installation is only temporary. In this instance, the producers of the Footy Show had a brief to make this set last for the next 3 years. This in essence is a commitment to a set that endures both visually and physically. The choice of structural materials and surface finishes reflect this commitment. They have been chosen as much for their durability and environmentally sustainable features as their appearance.

The integration of a large scale graphic environment is embedded in the logic of being able to update the look of the set easily. It provides a continuity of colour / texture to give the opposing sides of the set more visual cohesion.

Design Challenge

The opportunity to design a new set for the Footy Show was always going to be a challenging one for a number of reasons. Having been involved with the original concept and several subsequent revisions, it was always going to be difficult to put all of the history of considerations aside and start anew. I think we tend to be creatures of habit, and it sometimes takes a concerted effort to revisit a design challenge with fresh eyes. My previous history with the production people at Nine had been broken by a ten year hiatus. While I had some familiarity with the new generation of production staff, the set design would also become an exercise in re-invigorating those relationships that had lapsed in the break. On their part, the Lighting, Audio, Graphics , Director and Producers were very generous in their acceptance of new ideas and challenged the design from their own disciplines to produce a better end product.

On a more practical note, because we had also been asked to project manage the set construction, working within the tight budget plan was always going to be a challenge. We decided early on that we would tender the construction to get a competitive quote. A comprehensive set of documentation was produced with the purpose of providing adequate information to the potential constructors as well as a visual reference for the client.


The design of the set produced several challenges which have been addressed in a sustainable way :

The lighting incorporates extensive use of LED fixtures. These are the light source for the large lightbox graphic images, and incorporate a design that utilizes reflected light to reduce the number of fittings required.

The need for a maintainable, acoustic friendly surface, necessitated the choice of carpet tiles. The tiles chosen from the Carpets Inter range are a 100 per cent Nylon, with a solution dyed tuft on a recycled cushion backing. They have been laid with a water based, low odour pressure sensitive adhesive.

The set wall entry to the performance stage is clad in Woven Image Echopanel which is manufactured from non-woven PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). It is lightweight, low VOC, contains no adhesives, is highly durable and 100% recyclable.

Extensive use of Wattyl's ID range of paint finishes allowed for a design to be realized without using more expensive and less ecologically viable finishing materials. The Wattyl Eco system has been assessed by Good Environmental Choice Australia for its low environmental impact on the entire product lifecycle and manufacturing process as well as its low VOC content.

The desks are finished with Laminex Diamond gloss laminate ( 7 year guarantee for wear ), and Duraloid vinyl tops by Forbo, which have been awarded the 'Good Environmental Choice' Ecolabel by the Australian Environmental Labelling Association.

This award recognises a temporary building or interior. Consideration give to furnishings, fixtures, stands, signage and traffic flow.
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