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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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Dalvey Estate

At first sight, the Dalvey Estate appears to be an interesting assimilation of shapes and sizes all housed in an intriguing architectural equation.

A rectangular cantilevered office space commands its position above the driveway, juxtaposed by a tall cylindrical stairwell and an ovular long barrel-like construction encasing the bedrooms.


“The client, a young couple with three young children had a keen sense to be environmentally friendly which enabled us to use a lot of recycled material, modernise vernacular architecture and express its artistic persona,” says Aamer Taher, founder and principal architect of the eponymous practice.

A long water feature leads you into the house while screening off the basement driveway. Cantilevered above the driveway is a rectangular office, somewhat reminiscent of a retrotronic stereo that ensures cross-ventilation of breeze to the back garden.




A guest room, gym, study, kitchen, living and dining area command the ground floor level overlooking the landscaped garden and water pools, while the bedrooms were assigned to the level above.




“The inspiration for bedroom area came from the long houses built in Sarawak,” says Taher. “Instead of making a corridor, we annexed each bedroom to a deck and made the walls of the rooms collapsible, thus making the corridor a communal area.




“The staircase was intentionally created as a feature by making it a prominent annex to the house instead of relegating it to the back,” explains Taher.

“If you think of a house as a work of art; as a sculpture, this is what we’d like our work to be.

Subscribe to Habitus magazine or pick up issue 10 – out in December – where you’ll find another of Aamer Taher’s projects.


Aamer Taher




Design Accessories

Audio Design Museum

Most of us have walked down city streets, at home or away, and wondered about the history of a particular building, or about the designer behind an intriguing chair in a shop window.

Other times you may have an hour in a city that isn’t your own and, without insider knowledge, tried in vain to access the best fashion or most contemporary textiles.

The good news for design acolytes (and the simply curious) is that Object has captured Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as giant gallery spaces. A series of guided audio tours has been developed, focusing on hotspots of design and creativity.

There are multiple routes and options – live now in Sydney and Melbourne, and coming to Brisbane in October – each described as a “creative urban safari”. The idea that no museum space is large enough to capture the creativity of a city has been paired with available technology, and the architecture, design and culture of the city may be experienced using guided walking tours downloaded to your MP3 player.  

Matt Dwyer’s Fio



The Audio Design Museum was curated by designers Viviane Stappmanns and Kate Rhodes. The voices of local designers add commentary to movement through a precinct, and add depth and a real personal resonance, stories and ideas to each audio tour.

They are based on design themes or city precincts – Melbourne’s focus precinct tours include Flinders Lane, tracing its early genesis as the centre of the local clothing industry and its current reinvention as home to architects, graphic designers and art galleries. Sydney’s Surry Hills/Darlinghurst is home to the furniture design community and the voices of designers like Sarah Gibson (Design by Them) relate their creative journeys and interests that inform their studio work.


Bird Textiles Sydney



Brisbane’s tours take in the Fortitude Valley design precinct, including Easton Pearson fashion, Francis Leon’s studio (in which you may watch the clothing designers work), and Matt Dwyer’s jewellery at Fio. South Bank’s cultural hub is the site of Brisbane’s second tour, incorporating buildings, studios and public sculpture accompanied by the voices of the key artists, architects and designers involved.


Matt Dwyer’s Fio


“The Audio Design Museum promises an unusual approach to experiencing creativity in the city,” explains Stappmans. “It can be used as a guided walking tour but would be equally entertaining to listen to and watch on the train.”

The ground-breaking nature of the project is described by Rhodes, “With the Audio Design Museum, Object is replacing the concept of a conventional design museum and allowing the city to become the exhibition space.”

In each city the audio museum has been launched with design festivals, and Brisbane’s coincides with the first ever Design Triennial (4 - 10 October 2010).  

The project was developed for Object: Australian Centre for Craft & Design as the first part of its newly developed broad strategy to embrace the digital world. Expect more projects in the online realm from Object.


Audio Design Museum



Zen to Kawaii: The Japanese Affect

Zen to Kawaii: The Japanese Affect, open from July 13 to December 19, follows the inspirations of 17 artists and traces the j-pop influences on their various works.

Curator Vanessa Van Ooyen says the exhibition draws on traditional Japanese design ideals found in concepts such as wabi-sabi, mono no aware, garden design, suiseki and ikebana through contemporary j-pop culture dominated by imagery from manga to anime.



Benedict Ernst, Suiseki 1 2007, Polystyrene, wood and paint. Courtesy of the artist and Hitesh Natalwala
The search 2005
Collage on canvas. Private collection

“It’s well documented that [Japanese culture] has influenced major artists and art movements since the 19th century,” she says.

“Artists have sought the aesthetic elements embodied in traditional customs that value simplicity, asymmetry, naturalness and beauty in the understated and every day.”

According to Van Ooyen it’s a culture valuing manga (comics) and anime (animation), where high and low art forms have equal status with technology and hand-making the preferred mediums.


Natalya Hughes, Clumpet 2009, Watercolour on paper, Courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane


Yet, its dominant visual language values all things kawaii (meaning “cute”) including shiny surfaces, playfulness, brash colour, the super sweet, anthropomorphic animals and imagined worlds.

Two of the many participating artists, Natalya Hughes and Melbourne’sBenedict Ernst, have demonstrated design leanings with Hughes drawing on the design motifs of Art Noveau and Ernst’s sculptural work paying tribute to traditional Japanese garden design and suiseki – the art of stone appreciation, and the use of materials considered consumer detritus – polystyrene, Kit Kat wrappers and scraps of timber and cardboard.


Pip & Pop, Three minutes happiness 2009, Mixed media, Courtesy of the artist and Kate Rhode, Crab 2009, Mixed Media, 120 x 35 x 30cm. Courtesy Karen Woodbury Gallery.


Van Ooyen says the exhibition’s Japanese inspiration is also underpinned by a strong message of social critique, art history and personal experience.


Zen to Kawaii: The Japanese Affect.

WHEN: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am-5pm; Wednesday, 10am-8pm; Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-4pm.

WHERE: Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Art Museum, U Block, 2 George Street, Brisbane CBD.

COST: Free.



Hero Image: Ghostpatrol, Circle gather and larger decisions 2010, Pencil on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Words: Stephanie Madison




Adelaide’s Bowerbird Bazaar 2010

Adelaide’s Bowerbird Bazaar design market is on for the 3rd time and is fast establishing itself as a haven for Design Hunters™, where shoppers can “meet the maker behind the product.” Market co-curator Jane Barwick says the event provides opportunities for up-and-coming and established designer/makers to promote themselves and test their products. “We put our energy into creating a great showcase of design and then attracting the public, retailers and media from South Australia and interstate to create sales, networking opportunities and ongoing relationships for all our stallholders,” she says. The market will feature 75 stallholders selected by the curators with products including glass, textiles, jewellery, fashion and furniture. Market co-curator Rebekah Cichero says designer-makers and Design Hunters™ benefit from the event’s format. “Our stallholders never get lost in the crowd, and yet we’re able to present a brilliant variety of designer-makers at each Bowerbird Bazaar,” she says. Bowerbird Bazaar opens to the public at 4pm, Friday 8th October 2010, at Queen’s Theatre, Playhouse Lane, Adelaide October 8, 9 and 10. Opening hours are Friday 4 – 9pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm.   Bowerbird Bazaar bowerbirdbazaar.blogspot.com bowerbirdbazaar.com.au   Hero Image: Phoebe - Lamp   Message Mark - Pop Design   Sarah Rothe - Decopod tension bangle   abc
Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

Metropol E Kitchen Mixer


The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home – food, as it has done throughout the ages, continues to gather people together. And for most, a good meal starts with cooking.

Core to every meal is water, used in preparation – washing vegetables – in cooking and of course in cleaning up afterwards. It is with this in mind that Hansgrohe has designed a range of taps and mixers perfectly suited to modern lifestyles and kitchen designs.

The Metropol E kitchen mixers demonstrate style and class in every respect, while also being straightforwardly functional and ergonomically designed. These mixers are modern classics, representing solid craftsmanship, sophisticated technology and high-quality materials.

The robust and durable Metropol E Mixers are available in a range of styles and surface finishes with a practical pull-out spray head to make preparing the perfect meal even easier.

Thanks to Hansgrohe, there’s one less thing you need to worry about in the kitchen – leaving more time to enjoy good food and good friends.







Design Accessories

The Float Pendant

Designed by:    Benjamin Hubert


I am: a Pendant light


About me:  

The Float Pendant, a collaboration between Benjamin Hubert and Scandinavian lighting manufacturer & Tradition, is hand turned from a large recycled block of agglomerate cork.  

Since winning the 100% Design, Blueprint Award for ‘Most promising designer 2008’, Benjamin Hubert has created a selection of material focused furniture and lighting ranges, launched during the London Design Festival 2009. Great Dane now presents Hubert’s Float pendant light in Australia.

The light employs traditional woodworking techniques to create a classic design, whilst having minimal impact on the environment. The blocks are environmentally friendly as they are constructed from the waste product in wine stopper manufacture. 

Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak - Quercus suber - which has grown in Europe's western Mediterranean region for thousands of years. Cork is one of the few forms of packaging that is completely environmentally friendly - it is renewable, fully recyclable, biodegradable and totally natural. The Float completes the cycle.


Turning the cork blocks during the manufacture of the light produces a high volume of waste, however due to the recyclable nature of the cork it is put directly back into the process to make new lamps.

The lamps retain a classic simplicity, allowing the focus to remain with the cork material. When illuminated the reflected light within the shade produces a warming natural glow emphasised by the colouration of the cork.



Recycled cork


Small pendant - 250mm diameter / 200mm height

Medium pendant - 400mm diameter / 300mm height

Large pendant - 600mm diameter / 400mm height

Pendants include black fabric/textile flex as standard.


Great Dane Furniture

Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

Kaos 1 from Cass Brothers

Designed by:        



I am: A Freestanding Bath


About me:

The KAOS freestanding bath from Cass Brothers gives the visual impression of a large suspended tub sculpture whose shape is designed by the weight of the water.

Its organic shape resembles a smooth, natural inlet where your body can find ideal positions and enjoy new unrestricted comfort.



Bathtub made in methacrylate composed of an inside and outside apron. The first one reinforced with fibreglass and a chipboard panel.

Free-standing self-supporting stainless steel frame. Four adjustable feet, drain assembly complete with pop up waste.

Available in white.



1850 x 1000 x 510


Cass Brothers
+61 2 9569 5555       



The Timeless Chair


The mattress-like feel of the Timeless Chair arouses memories of weekend slumber parties and lazy movie nights.

In the Timeless Chair, ERBA’s signature combination of style and luxurious comfort becomes a beacon for a moment - or afternoon - of deep relaxation.

The chair takes its distinctive shape from a steel frame and achieves mattress-like softness with multiple density non-deformable foam padding.

The Timeless Chair is available in a select range of Italian leathers and fabrics, or you can craft your own with a unique combination of the two.

ERBA’s latest offering shows-off years of experience in luxury Italian upholstery and furniture manufacture.

The range includes sofas, suites and a variety of stand-alone chairs that promise a lifetime of durability and a daily dose of relaxation.

The Timeless Chair is distributed by Milano Furniture in Australia.


Milano Furniture
612 97995499


The Engine Room

As part of their Spring Series Object, the Australian Centre for Craft and Design, will collaborate with 16 of Sydney’s creative studios for Engine Room – where these studios will open their doors to the public to experience the beating heart of the city’s creative industries.


Studio 51, 2010. Photo: Christopher Nielsen

On the 8 October 2010, you’ll have the opportunity to visit 1 of the following studios:

Alphabet Studio / Architect Marshall / Canvas Group / cloth fabric / DesignByThem / Digital Eskimo / Dinosaur Designs / gaffa workshop and studios / Happy Soldiers / Independent illustrators Nigel Buchanan, Lew Keilar, Stuart McLachlan, Christopher Nielsen and Jim Tsinganos / KORBAN/FLAUBERT /LAVA / Metalab / Republic of Everyone / Sam Crawford Architects / Schamburg + Alvisse

In the words of Object: “You are invited to come and discover the environments in which creative ideas manifest. Meet the designer/makers, explore their workspaces, and hear how and why they do what they do. You might even be given the opportunity to get your hands dirty.”


Nikolay Sardamov Masterclass in the Metalab studio, May 2010. Photo: courtesy Metalab



Object tell us that spaces are strictly limited for some studios (as little as 5 spots at some) and that you should register to attend just 1 studio (you won’t be able to see more than 1 on the day unfortunately).

This is a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes on a number of creative projects and meet the people behind some of our country’s most innovative art, design, graphics and architecture.

You can download the program here and register to attend here.




Alphabet studio, 2010. Photo: Edgar Honggo


Hero Image: Sam Crawford Architects studio, 2009. Photo: Leanne Borg.






Design Accessories

Volvo Revival

We’re all familiar with Volvo’s very limited stereotype – the safe, boxy cars of years gone by – but research, and a great deal of investment in design, have seen the emergence of Volvo’s new line of vehicles that breaks free from the shackles of the predictable.

These new models retain the safety criteria that are core to Volvo’s values, yet they harness its Scandinavian heritage with, as they put it, “interior and exterior design that blends art with technology”.

I was recently given the privilege of test-driving two of the new coupe C30s – each car for almost a week at a time. Instantly the sporty styling was appealing to my inner design hunter.

But the features kept the love affair alive. Both had Bluetooth equipped audio systems, bold styling and head-turning colours, along with every mod-con you could imagine. As Volvo puts it, “Smooth lines, radical thinking and innovative design all come together in sculptured exciting shapes and features.”




My favourite – I must confess – was the T5. Perhaps not the most fuel efficient of the range (at 8.7L per 100km, while the 1.6D DRIVe with start/stop technology offers fuel consumption of just 3.8L per 100km) however it was powerful, agile, and absolutely exhilarating to drive in the city and on more open roads.

The other C30 I took on a road trip down the south coast from Sydney to Mollymook – the 1.6D DRIVe with a smaller engine, amazingly didn’t need filling up all week despite the journey. Its innovative start/stop technology shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic once the clutch is released, and is restarted as the clutch is depressed. The body also had special aerodynamic elements to ensure less drag and better fuel economy.



For fear of not doing the design features of this car enough justice, I’ll leave you with the words of Eedde Talsma, Exterior Chief Designer at Volvo Cars. "By integrating greater depth into the design language, the front has become more dramatic and expressive. The angled lines of the front bumper, the new headlamps drawn offset and up, all reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness.”

Talsma continues, “The enhancement of the visual volume and self-confidence is entirely in line with Volvo Cars' design strategy. At the same time, the C30 has a distinctive, one of a kind expression.”

For more information, visit volvocars.com/au




Design Hunters

Sara Thorn and Piero Gesualdi

You can see Piero Gesualdi's home in Habitus issue 08.  

What are your individual creative approaches/aesthetics?

Sara: Creativity to me is an innate gift, which I express through my love of colour and ideas. I enjoy spontaneous inspiration, where something inspires me and a million ideas pop out, I allow ideas to evolve before I think too much about them and then go back and work on and develop an idea/design, trawling through historical and traditional references often inspire me further

My aesthetics are wide and varied, I gravitate towards the individual self expression, the artisanal and the quirky, I admire designers such as Paul Poiret and Christian Lacroix that fuse traditions with a personal sense of opulent and decorative style. I can appreciate anything that has been created with love and passion.





Piero: I am fascinated by scale, proportions and how that works back to a human scale. I like to work with monochromatic, neutral and monotone colour palettes so as to bring out the form. I like juxtapositions such as Decadent/refined, bold design and materials that seduce the senses.


What do you find inspiring?

Sara: I find everything inspiring, beauty, the sacred and precious in life, symbols and mystery.

Beauty inspires me; currently jewels and their cuts fascinate me, ancient cultures and the way that design incorporated natural elements and veneration of the divine.

Piero: Nature inspires me, environments, elegance, the refined and minimall, where the essential nature of a design is bought forward. Solitude, cinema, music and of course Italy, my birth place.


Where are your five favorite spots/shops/design locations in Melbourne?

Favorite spots:

Sara: Sitting and looking at Mythological fountain sculptures around Melbourne’s inner city parks left over from the Victorian era

Piero: Visiting Victoria market and having pizza at Doc & Ladro in Carlton



Sara: Husk – Various outlets across Melbourne

Amor y Locura – Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Graham Geddes – Armadale

Kleins Perfumery – Brunswick st, Fitzroy

Piero: Newtown café

Gertrude, Smith, Johnston, Brunswick streets, the whole block


Bunning’s & IKEA


Design locations

Sara: I like the renovation of the NGV by Mario Bellini and lying down on my back looking at the patterns in the stained glass ceiling.








Design Hunters

Habitus Conversation Series – Sixhands

It’s not often you get to meet the people behind the
creative brands you love. So design-lovers jumped at the chance to meet the
lovely ladies behind Sixhands at the Habitus Conversation Series on Wednesday
11 August.

The girls – Alecia Jensen, Brianna Pike and Anna Harves –
have recently started creating products for interior environments, which were
the focus of the night. Inspired by their own studio space, the girls styled an
intimate temporary venue at the new Hill St Precinct in Surry Hills with fabric
and wallpaper swatches, cushions, inspiration boards and music.

An informal chat between the girls and Paul McGillick
(Habitus Editor) revealed their collective approaches, inspirations and
processes. Then audience members were invited to take part in a Q+A session and
further interaction with the ‘props’. One lucky guest also took home one of the
new designs – a cushion which is yet to be released.

For more information on the Habitus Conversation Series,sign up here.




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