Ara Salomone & Alessandra French

State of Kin

Both Ara Salomone and Alessandra French were immersed in the design industry from an early age through family businesses (construction and architecture respectively) and with that came an understanding of design and the built form.

State of Kin’s conception was an organic one as there was a long friendship before working together. Respecting each other’s work the pair were excited by the opportunity to learn from one another and grow together. Collaboration within the studio has always been important and the work produced by State of Kin would not be what it is without the contribution of everyone in the team.

State of Kin embraces bold colours, expressive forms and unexpected materials – the projects are not only an expression of both women’s personalities but also that of their clients. Each project is treated as a unique collaboration, working closely with the client to ensure exciting and progressive outcomes.

As a studio, State of Kin actively advocates for the advancement of women within the industry. Entering what is a predominantly male dominated industry at an early age, the design team started out as four young women who have grown, challenged and supported each other as the studio developed.

The story of State of Kin is unique, as through the family dynamic, construction has been integrated within the business. The team consists of Ara’s husband Donny (Site Manager) and father-in-law Gino (Builder), Alessandra’s brother Massimo (Project Manager) and her father Steve (QS). The studio works extremely closely with the construction team, and there are highly collaborative relationships between designer and builder that is integral in the successful realisation of all projects.

Moving forward, the women would love to further diversify the work that they do, exploring different scales and typologies that would allow them to further express and challenge their design ethos.

Ara and Alessandra are inspired by the flourishing design community in Perth and want to contribute to the broader dialogue around architecture and design within the city, whether that is continuing to open their studio and projects to the public for events or collaborating with local artists and other likeminded design professionals.


Photography: Sophie Pearce, Jack Lovel