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Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.

 

From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.

 

Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.

 

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Architecture
Around The World
NOT HOMES

On8 Bangkok

When abroad, that real estate adage ‘location, location, location’ comes to the forefront of the traveller’s psyche. In many ways, where your accommodation is situated is just as important as the quality of the environment.

A new hotel located right near the action of Bangkok (but tucked in between a main road and a quiet back street) offers a bit of everything. On8 is conveniently located adjacent to the Nana BTS Skytrain Station along Sukjumvit Road. With travel time at a premium in Bangkok (taxis are cheap but time is valuable, right?), this kind of proximity is precious.

Choose from one of 40 rooms over five floors, each with its own natural colour palette designed by Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP). Space efficient rooms are paired with luxurious finishes such as leather, timber and linen, while a generous bathroom provides an environment for relaxing after a hard day of, well, whatever. The restaurant downstairs also has great food and coffee – you can grab something to eat and head straight out and up the stairs on to the Skytrain.

The BTS Skytrain, the arterial public transport system, connects key destinations in downtown Bangkok and the outskirts of the city. There are plenty of great places for design hunters that can be accessed on the BTS.

Do a spot of shopping at The Emporium shopping complex and take in an exhibition and check out fantastic library at the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TDCD) near Phrom Phong Station.

Catch a Skytrain to the National Stadium Station and visit the house and museum of American, Jim Thompson, who established Thailand as a centre for silk trade and then mysteriously disappeared. The house and museum structures show some fantastic fusion of East-West living and priceless, centuries old ceramics and silk hangings.

The Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre is also right at this station, where you can take in art exhibitions, music and film, talks and performances.

All of this accessible right on the doorstep of On8.


On8
162 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 8, Bangkok, Thailand
(66) 02 653 1335
on8bangkok.com

 

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Design Hunters
People

Indigenous Art


Indigenous art is becoming increasingly recognised in the wider art community, as the unique artistic and cultural qualities of both traditional and contemporary artworks are celebrated. The Queensland Art Gallery’s (QAG) diverse collection of extraordinary Aboriginal fibre art was recently highlighted for the first time in a major exhibition at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), South Bank.

Like many contemporary artists today, Indigenous artists are continuing to explore the themes and concerns of their craft with new methods and materials.

QAG/GoMA curator of Indigenous Fibre Art, Diane Moon, says “Many of the pieces are made from materials sourced from the natural environment, however, in others, synthetic and recycled materials have been reconfigured and reinterpreted.’’

She describes the work of Lorraine Connelly-Northey, which uses “carrying bags, baskets and containers using (often rusted and distorted) scrap metal and detritus from rubbish dumps which she has folded and bound with wire to resemble traditional vessel forms.”

QAG director Tony Ellwood says the works in ‘Floating Life: Contemporary Aboriginal Fibre Art’ demonstrated the inventiveness of established and emerging indigenous artists from every state and territory, including well-known artists, Gulumbu Yunupingu, Shirley MacNamara, Yvonne Koomatrie, Lena Yarinkura, Regina Wilson and Jonathan Jones.

The works were selected for their diversity of fibre art-making techniques and approaches, such as “nets and traps, woven mats, conical baskets, spirit figures and dance objects… body adornment, painting and highly coloured balmarra [thread-cross dance frames].”

Contemporary Indigenous works are a complex product of traditional culture and contemporary expression, exploring relationships between place, person and product. Family groups in Kowanyama, QLD, for example, continue to maintain ownership of specific designs and styles with women celebrating the inventive use of materials and techniques that highlight the individuality of their designs by using a mixture of knotting techniques, natural materials and brightly coloured polypropylene rope strands.

Exhibitions such as ‘Floating Life’ are multi-layered collections of forms, textures and images highlighting Aboriginal culture and reflecting what is widely considered to be a significant contemporary Australian art movement. 


GoMA

qag.qld.gov.au
(61 7) 3840 7303

 

aboriginal art 

 

aboriginal weavings 

 
 
 
 


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Accessories

Ari Athans

All art and design is a product of society and culture, which in turn are communicated through objects – from furniture to artwork. For contemporary jewellery designer and former geologist, Ari Athans, it is her Greek heritage that informs many of her designs and continually feeds her creativity.

“As children, my mother always made us little amulets for safe travels and these little jewels were always meant to be worn inside your clothing. I love the way jewellery is a part of the rituals and traditions in Greece,” Athans says.

For many of her designs she adopts a minimalist aesthetic frequently combining unexpected materials such as basalt and black diamond or reworking a traditional jewellery item to create a contemporary piece.

“I take a minimalist approach as it allows me to pause and appreciate the earth’s minerals.  They are precious, rare and each piece is unique and I like my jewellery to reflect this,” she says.

“Diamonds aren’t the only gems.  There are many, many different and  unusual gemstones in the world and I like the idea of showing people what is possible.”
 
After 12 years of exhibiting and selling her jewellery nationally and internationally, 43 year-old Athans opened her gallery workshop Ari Jewellery in Brisbane’s New Farm five years ago.

“All of my work is completed at the gallery as it doubles as a workshop (and) I think having your trade open for all to see inspires people and makes purchase more meaningful,” she says.

The juxtaposing of mining to jewellery design and the transition from one to the other is not something Athans see’s as a glaring contrast.

“When the time came to take a few years out of the mining industry I wanted to fulfill my dream of studying art and so, completed a jewellery and object design course at Randwick TAFE,” she says.

“It was a very natural progression and today my geology background has informed my work on many levels.”

Athans work is currently being showcased in Freestyle, an exhibition of 40 designers across fashion, furniture and craft at Milan’s Triennale Museum.


Ari Jewellery
arijewellery.com.au

 

ari athans

 

ari athans

 





  

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NOT HOMES

Easton Pearson: GoMA

A major exhibition celebrating the work of internationally acclaimed, Brisbane-based design partnership Easton Pearson is currently showing at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), South Bank until November 8.

Queensland Art Gallery director Tony Ellwood says the Easton Pearson exhibition is the gallery’s first fashion design exhibition and features more than 70 outfits.

“The exhibition is installed within four themed rooms and explores Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson’s inspirations, artistic resources and creative methodologies,” Ellwood says.

“It includes examples of Easton Pearson’s work from the early 1990s, to an elaborately beaded and hand-decorated garment created especially for the exhibition.”

The exhibition reflects the breadth and individuality of Easton Pearson’s work.

“It highlights their sourcing and production of extraordinary textiles, their collaborations with artists and artisans across the globe, and an inspired capacity to weave together associations and influences of all kinds,” Ellwood says.

“Art museums worldwide consider fashion design a part of contemporary visual culture and we’re pleased to present this important work for local and national audiences.”

Senior managerial researcher and curator of Easton Pearson Miranda Wallace says Easton Pearson’s clothes are often the result of enormously labour intensive handwork by skilled artisans in India or Vietnam, and Brisbane.

“Often the base cloth is quite ordinary (a fine muslin, for example, or a heavy-grade cloth), but it is rendered extraordinary by the embroidery, the beading or appliqué,” Wallace says.

“In terms of practical creation of the garments, the company has an exclusive arrangement with an embroidery workshop in Mumbai…whose master craftsmen contribute to much of the hand beading, hand appliqué and other details to the clothes.”

She says Easton Pearson works with a co-operative of skilled embroiderers in Hanoi who continue a tradition of fine handwork that has been a legacy of French colonisation with the duo also commissioning other skilled craftspeople.

 “For example, the silver braid on the ‘Sali dress’ is by women from the town of Surat in western Gujarat, India which specialises in such braid (and Easton Pearson) have worked with not-for-profit co-op Shrujan based in the Kaach region of western India to develop intricate embroideries in recent collections, seen in such items as the ‘Wish top’ from 2008,” Page says.


Queensland Art Gallery
qag.qld.gov.au/exhibitions

 

Easton Pearson
eastonpearson.com

 

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Accessories

Wheels of Desire

It’s no longer about a quick fix, rather a fulfilling experience, when it comes to buying a car, and Rolls Royce has taken this shift in consumer thinking to new levels with its Bespoke Program.

The Bespoke Program enables customers to treat their Rolls Royce like a blank canvas. Rolls Royce owners can order specialised features that go far beyond the options list, allowing them to create a unique car tailored to suit their personal needs and desires.

Bespoke Design Manager for Rolls Royce, Gavin Hartley, spends his days customising cars down to the finest detail and understands this mindset on a very intricate level.

“The things people find value in these days is shifting – from things that are expensive to things that give them a unique experience, with a story behind them,” Hartley says.

It could be anything from custom-designed wine glasses seamlessly installed into a picnic set which packs perfectly into the car boot, to a personal nameplate discreetly embossed into the leather inside the glove box.

“Sometime personalisation is overt, and sometimes it’s discreet,” says Hartley. “Most people don’t go for things that are too wild, they prefer to enjoy the knowledge that it’s bespoke.”

The more ‘overt’ requests however have taken Hartley and his team into unchartered territories, challenging their knowledge and know-how to create white leather flooring, custom-fitted flasks, and walking sticks which are stored in the tailgate.

“It’s a bit like visiting a tailor,” explains Hartley. “Instead of buying a suit off the internet or the rack, you talk to your tailor and he gets to understand your preferences. There’s no right or wrong, it’s how you fee comfortable.”

“It’s harkening back to a more personal time, giving people the involvement and the feeling that they are part of Rolls Royce.” And that Rolls Royce is very much a part of them…


Rolls Royce

rolls-roycemotorcars.com

 

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Homes

Stonington – Living History

Where you live is about much more than just a physical structure. A home is a personal landmark in the community, a manifestation of our unique ways of living, and a background for family and social interaction.

Homes and neighbourhoods are spaces that create and are the backdrop of memories – the history of the home becomes intertwined with individual histories and individual consciousness, where moments, space and time become one.

Renowned property developer, Ashington, has brought together the graceful architecture of times past with the luxurious modernity of today with its unique residential development, Stonington, in one of Melbourne’s most sought after suburbs, Malvern.

Set in the grounds of the historic Stonington Mansion and surrounding gardens, this recent residential precinct explores different living styles in various designs, including the Mansion Garden Apartments and Stonington Terraces.    

Ashington have collaborated with design conceptualists, Demaine Partnership, to create the Mansion Garden Apartments. Here, you will find finishes with integrity that are sympathetic to the traditional surrounds, such as timber flooring, wool carpet and natural stone. 

Adding to the quality of living, each apartment has a dual aspect – whether it is to the gardens, the view of the Dandenong Ranges, the gatehouse or the mansion itself.

Rothe Lowman have brought their sensitive architectural approach to the Stonington Terraces, combining a clean philosophy that complements the existing mansion building. Individuality is at the core of the design, with external finishes ranging from natural materials, renders, stones and tinted glass, all of which respect and showcase the greenery of the landscape.

This precincts within Stonington Malvern nurture interaction, with community terraces and gardens the perfect place for individuals to communicate and relate.


Ashington
ashington.com
stonington.com.au

 

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Design Hunters
People

The Thai Touch

Thai designer Korakot Aromdee combines natural materials from his home country with traditional techniques to produce pieces which weave and intertwine with regional flair.

His habit of designing pieces which are honest expressions of his own way of life and upbringing imbues his work with a striking sense of personal connection.

Aromdee was taught kite-making methods by his grandfather, an expert on Chula kite, and has embraced these techniques within his own designs. It is this respect for old approaches which elevates his work and secures it authenticity.

Gaining inspiration from the environment and using materials such as bamboo and hemp rope, Aromdee is an example of a designer using his products to communicate his own life story.

Due to the materials and techniques employed, Aromdee’s range of products capture the tones of his Thai home. Complexly, they also reflect modern styles and colours, ensuring that any single piece demonstrates a uniting of distinctly different modes of design.

Korakot Aromdee acknowledges the potential of his work to improve the lifestyles of those within his community and constantly strives to make this a reality.

“I offer career opportunities for the locals and by doing so the community will be strengthened,” he explains. “Design can better the society if we make good use of it.”

Aromdee bestows even more power on design by understanding its ability to not only provide locals with livelihood but also to preserve and celebrate Thai culture and identity.

He founded his company, Korakot International Limited Partnership, in 2006 employing just ten workers from within his village with the hope of using design to promote better lifestyle and broaden Thai influence.

Since that time Aromdee has extended his team to 60 people and hopes to include other community members in the future.



Korakot Aromdee
korakot.net

 


Korakot Aromdee light

 


Korakot Aromdee basket

 

Korakot Aromdee window display

 

Korakot Aromdee lights

 

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Furniture

Jardan. Home Grown.

Everything you buy has a history, which brings us to the Jardan story. A family-owned and run business working in Melbourne for nearly 20 years, they have built up a business supplying hand-crafted pieces to many award winning homes and commercial installations all over the world.

Jardan's in-house design team bounce ideas back and forth, working with sketches and all manner of inspiration from sculpture to the shorelines of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Highly skilled craftsmen research and develop unique Australian design blending style, comfort and environmental integrity.

From this point the newest addition to the Jardan family is put into production by their timber and upholstery teams. Made up of skilled artisans from across the globe, they focus on achieving world-class practice. All this while providing a super-quick turnaround due to the use and support of local materials and local suppliers.

Jardan has recently been involved in installations at Changhi Airport T3 in Singapore and a number of Green Star 5-Star projects all over Australia. The whole range is now available with Good Environmental Choice Label (GECA) accreditation so, the next time you’re in the market for one of the world's best sofas or tables look no further than your own backyard. Jardan is a proud Australian company supporting Australian manufacture and design.

Jardan Australia
jardan.com.au

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Homes

Bintong Park by MOD

With average daily highs of around 30-32ºC (86–90ºF), Singapore swelters all year round. With this in mind, Ministry of Design (MOD) have designed a 1700 sqm home acclimatised to the tropical climate. An addition and alteration based around an existing skeletal structure, the house has a series of semi-sheltered spaces such as colonnades and outdoor pavilions that serve as trasitional spaces.

Water is both a design feature and functional in the use of a lap pool outdoors, sky-lit spa indoors and water trimming the courtyard areas. The building almost seems to float on its own stone ‘pedestal’ over a reflective pool.

The materials – limestone, solid teak and whitewashed walls – are all in neutral tones, adding to the cool, tropical feel, while meticulous detailing renders the home ‘invisible’. MOD explain, “The house was conceived of as a ‘reductivist’ art sculpture as well as a space for exhibiting the owner’s extensive art collection.”

Contemporary and minimalist, this house combines high design with climate functionality in this tropical city.

Bintong Park Residence
Sun Wind Water
Architecture (with TAA) + Interior Architecture
1700 sq m
Singapore 2004


modonline.com


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Furniture

Planet – Bespoke Method

Bespoke: made to individual order; custom made.

With the proliferation of mass-manufactured products available on the market, custom and bespoke furniture adds another element of personality. These pieces demand personal attention – from their inception and creation, through to the part they play in the home environment.

Thoughtful design, sensitive materials and deceptively simple lines are the hallmarks of the creations from Planet in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Combining fine furniture, collectable artwork and homewares, Planet offers a full design service for those that who are inspired by the unique.

Designer, Ross Longmuir, has a passion for moulding sustainably grown solid Australian hardwoods with the tradition of highly skilled timber craftsmanship. The natural material is revered for its density and finish, which allows the furniture pieces to grow with their environment, developing a rich depth of patina as it ages.

Production is kept local so that standard items can be customised, with varying finishes and dimensions. All furniture is built to order in Sydney, by talented makers who strive for quality in expressing the original designs.

Planet also offers a textile collection created with a variety of methods including printing, dyeing, stitching, shibori, knitting and weaving; and a homewares featuring natural fibres and sculptural elements.

Explore the Planet showroom in Surry Hills to see a diverse range of works from over 70 makers.


Planet

planetfurniture.com.au

(61 2) 9211 5959

 

 

 

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NOT HOMES

Tatzu Nishi

Space, in all its forms, is something often taken for granted. Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi plays with this complacency in his unusual public installations.

Known for enclosing public monuments within private settings for people to view in new light, Nishi has meticulously constructed two, large rooms for the latest Kaldor Public Art Project – War and Peace and in Between – currently on display outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

John Kaldor, the man responsible for bringing Nishi to Australia, says the artist is a master of transformation.

“He makes us open our eyes and look at what we are accustomed to in a new way,” Kaldor says.

Nishi has now transformed the two Gilbert Bayes equestrian sculptures   The Offerings of War and The Offerings of Peace which flank either side of the gallery’s entrance, into two, domestic rooms.

 “The sculpture looks fresh and renewed because you see it standing in a room and you see it from a new perspective,” Nishi says.

“I do this work because art is an opportunity to question rationality and get another, new point of view.”

Despite being born in Japan in 1960 Nishi now calls Berlin, Germany home and has been building domestic rooms around well-known public monuments for more than a decade.

Through his work familiar structures morph into temporary, intimate domains, forcing the viewer to reconsider the public and private divide.

Previous works have taken Nishi to Tokyo, Dublin, Berlin, Basel, Seville and Los Angeles. One of his most significant works - a functioning five-star hotel built around a statue of Queen Victoria for the 2002 Liverpool Biennial, in the United Kingdom, has garnered him acclaim while inviting hotel patrons to “spend a night with Queen Victoria”.

War and Peace and in Between will be on display until February 14, 2010.


Art Gallery of New South Wales
artgallery.nsw.gov.au


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On view at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
2 october 2009 - 14 february 2010

War and Peace and in Between
Tatzu Nishi 2009
A Kaldor Public Art Project
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Photography: Carley Wright

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Accessories

Aesthetically Aesop

Aesop places huge emphasis on the importance of design and expressing oneself aesthetically. Ultimately, it is this belief which is inherent in the company’s entire range of work, and spills into its retail spaces with uncomplicated beauty.

Proudly maintaining a strong commitment to artistic expression, the very layout of Aesop stores, down to details like the specific patterns of containers, labels and bags, communicate a yearning to contribute to the greater design landscape.

Touring the brand’s many stores is like watching the Aesop name transform, as each space is designed individually to identify with the characteristics of the neighbourhood and bring the culture of the area to life.

Take for example the St Kilda store in Melbourne where a car park driveway was remodeled into a long space whose high ceilings and clean lines are designed to evoke the tones of a medical laboratory.

Aesop’s Fitzroy store, whilst only situated a mere few suburbs away from St Kilda, presents a stark shift in mood. This space, with its cubist-like lines and clever use of timber, is inspired by artist co-ops, trams and discarded metal, paying genuine homage to its location.

Aesop
aesop.net.au

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