About Habitusliving


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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The Pollack House

We’ve been following Tobias Partners for a while now – they’ve got some outstanding examples of beautifully resolved, modern and liveable homes.

One that stands out for us isn’t exactly their latest, but it demonstrates their ability to sensitively update a 1960s classic. Completed in 2008, the Pollack House in Sydney’s Dover Heights was originally designed by Architect Henry Pollack back in 1964.

The modernist design has stayed in the same family all that time. So, for the owners, there was a strong emotional connection to the building and its design vernacular and for Tobias Partners this meant a need to retain the integrity of Pollack’s design.

The substantial refurbishment is a triumph of sensitivity, a careful manipulation of the structure into a 21st Century context.

The kitchen and living spaces were rearranged on the first floor, creating a flow between indoors and out and taking advantage of views and cross breezes.

By maintaining the defining elements of the home – such as the brickwork, open tread steel, sandstone feature wall and internal garden – while modernising the layout and interiors, the architects have achieved a careful marriage of old and new.

While heritage architecture in Sydney is strong, refurbishments and renovations of 1960s and 1970s properties can often take a heavy-handed approach, rendering the original design unrecognisable at times.

It’s so refreshing to see an example of a sensitive re-energising of a wonderful period in our architectural history.


Tobias Partners


Photography: Justin Alexander


henry pollack tobias partners


henry pollack tobias partners


henry pollack tobias partners


henry pollack tobias partners



Design Hunters

Darcy Clarke’s Oceania

It’s not every day you get selected to represent your continent at the world’s biggest furniture fair, so when Brisbane designer Darcy Clarke got the call, it was really “out of the blue”.

Selected as one of five designers to present an interpretation of their continent at Salone Satellite, as part of Salone del Mobile Milan, Clarke says the project posed quite the challenge.

“I took it as a chance to create a new direction in my practice, by designing new products.

“For me, weaving is one of my favourite creation processes and often my starting point. Weaving is also something which is common to Indigenous cultures in the Oceania region.”

Clarke set about working with groups and artists in Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, in the Pacific, working with each to create a contemporary woven object for the Satellite show.

His ‘Midnight’ lamps (made from woven flax by Maori Rotorua artist Jessica Paraone) were finished just in time for the show and complemented themes of holidays, islands and sunshine.

Island shaped mats, made using recycled plastic bottles, and a unique selection of shades to reflect our sunshine culture fit in well with the exhibition brief, which required the space to double as a rest area for Satellite visitors.

“People used the ‘Bean Bag’ sofas (made by Coast in New Zealand), to relax on, and the ‘NED’ seats to read through their guidebooks.

“I was quite happy with how people used the products.”

All of Clarke’s products are produced through local makers and manufacturers, representing expert craftsmanship of material and outstanding design, “in our own unique Australia style”.


Darcy Clarke
(61 7) 3846 5868


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Nature is a Maybe

We love Simon Devitt’s photography, which is why you’ll see it in nearly every issue of Habitus. Rather than just documenting the architecture, his images evoke the experience of living in a particular place, in the same way art evokes emotion.

Now, if you’re lucky enough to be in Auckland this week, you can catch his latest exhibition, titled ‘Nature is a Maybe’.

We spoke with Simon about the exhibition which opens tonight (1 June)…


How did this exhibition come about?

My work is largely in the realm of photographing architecture and is published widely in beautiful magazines such as Habitus and Indesign.

Until recently I didn't know that some important gallery owners have been watching my work closely, interested in how my commercial work transcends from its expected reading. It is only because of my commercial work and privileged entry to these beautiful buildings and landscapes that these pictures come to exist.


Simon Devitt photographer new zealand exhibition


Where’d the name come from?

Nature is a maybe. If nature is a maybe then architecture is a yes or a no. This work is as much about the landscape as it is the people that inhabit the structures.

Nature is a container for these things. It moves around it, underneath it and through it in unpredictable and curious ways. This fascinates me and I would love to revisit some of these sites in 10 years time.


How do these images differ from those we might see in magazines such as Habitus?

No difference at all. All of the work in my exhibitions has come as a result of my commercial work. My work as a photographer of architecture is my personal work.

For this exhibition and my show at the McNamara gallery in February I edited my archive of over 35,000 images down to a suite of 57 photographs from which this show of 25 pictures comes from. These photographs go beyond their original intention and do something more, some are seductive and some surreal.




Can you paint us a picture of what it was like shooting these images?

I think the one thing in common from the collective experience of taking these pictures is the lack of thinking that is taking place. There is really an instinctive reacting happening to the very intense… very realness of the moment.

I know of no greater art form that causes the artist to be so present, to be so in the moment.

We trust our eyes too much. The other senses are profoundly important in how we view a scene. In truth, the camera is the mechanism that takes care of the visual element. Its nature is to attempt to capture the real. That is not the challenge for me.

My pursuit is to capture the whisperings of the environment, to represent how it feels to be there. I always spend time being still in the environment I am charged with photographing. I listen as much as I watch. I wait to hear its breath. This is how I find what is really in the space.

You can see Simon’s work at the Gow Langsford Gallery in Auckland from 1 – 5 June 2010.


Simon Devitt


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