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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Matiya Marovich


If you’ve visited city night spots Pink Moon Saloon, NOLA or BRKLYN, then you’ve seen Matiya Marovich’s work. The founder of Sans-Arc Studio is turning heads with his contemporary designs and was last month named a winner of the inaugural InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards.

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Marovich graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from UniSA in 2012. After winning the Hames Sharley Prize in 2010, he worked at the architecture firm of the same name from 2011-2014 before starting Sans-Arc.

The 29-year-old’s focus has been on creating sustainable, unique buildings and interiors that create moments of joy, are considerate of their local context and are environmentally low-impact.

His work reflects a worldliness that has included a stint in Nepal building water-tank housing in a remote village and a study tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In 2017, Marovich was awarded the Jack Hobbs McConnell Travelling Fellowship, which took him to Canada, Nepal and China, to research sustainable, off-grid and timber architecture.

Sans-Arc has now grown to have an office and projects running in Melbourne.

Current projects include converting a barn to a cellar door in Willunga, a childcare centre in Stirling and an off-the-grid, passive house in Tooperang.

We asked Marovich some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

I’ve found there are three major strengths. The first is the network and support. From my experience, the network of individuals and companies in this city are wildly supportive of one another, particularly in attempting things that are innovative, cutting-edge or unique. There seems to be a mutual appreciation of those stepping out of the square. I’ve found that creative types and those who surround my industry have always been enthusiastic and excited about what I’ve been doing, encouraging and embracing my work.

The second strength is our standards. As a small city, we seem to have a very high standard. What I mean by this is new businesses and new ventures do not survive if they aren’t of quality, well considered or backed with passion. We are a discerning population and are critical of those things that don’t contribute positively to the city. I’ve found this has pushed me to work harder, aim higher and push the limits of my creativity.

Lastly, the opportunity. People are willing to support the ‘young, up-and-comers’ but at the same time, in a smaller market, there are more opportunities for a young person. My career has been built of networking, the hospitality industry and people taking a chance on me. They sought something unique and different, amid a market that was stagnating.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

The weakest point works hand in hand with some of the opportunities that Adelaide has provided me. I’ve found it challenging to convince people to be brave and progressive in the world of design. I think there still exists a conservative approach to design (and its importance/significance), where people tend to err on the side of caution instead of taking a risk. In saying that, when I’ve found clients who are willing to take that risk, they have thrived and now we are known for that unique, brave kind of work.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

I see my personal future split between South Australia and Victoria. To grow my business I’ve taken the step of opening an office in Melbourne, to increase our capacity as a business and to develop another income stream and area of development. I have a great passion for our city and am thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me. I intend to continue to develop the city in a positive way however I can.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Develop small precincts within the city where like-minded people can affordably rent studio and office spaces. This creative, supportive community needs to continue to grow. The services and amenities in these areas also need to support these types of businesses. Financial incentives for young business owners would also help boost business viability and decrease the need for people to move interstate for work.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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