|Designed by: Patricia Urquiola and Eliana Gerotto for Foscarini Why we love it: Ok, well... one or more of us might be an Apple fan, and this reminds us a lot of the Mac Pro casing. But as an object, it’s sleek, refined and modern. Love10 Where you can get it: Space Furniture|
|Designed by: Anthony Dickens Why we love it: What isn’t to love? This table lamp looks like a chocolate mould and deconstructs the classic desk light with it’s ‘two-face’ form. Where you can get it: Corporate Culture|
|Designed by: Marc Pascal Why we love it: Although made with polycarbonate, the forms of Pascal’s Orchid light feel very organic. The light is far from a static table lamp – tactile and a real centrepiece. Where you can get it: M2 Products – various stockists|
|Designed by: Marc Sadler Why we love it: This is simple, elegant and looks like a bluebell heavy with morning dew (poetic huh?). We can’t really think of anywhere this wouldn’t work. Where you can get it: Space Furniture|
|Designed by: Arik Levy for Tronconi Why we love it: What can we say? This has to be the perfect gift for any studious chemist. This is such a fun, playful, yet graceful design with satin-nickel-finished metal the light has a glass diffuser with tiny glass spheres. Where you can get it: Core Furniture|
|Designed by: Ray Power for LZF Why we love it: It’s hard to believe this light is made from one single sheet of Polywood®, but it is. Simple in form, minimal materials, curvy – what more coud you want? Oh, yeah, it comes in 8 different colours. Where you can get it: KEZU|
|Designed by: Volker Haug Why we love it: We love Volker’s mischievous, charismatic lights. This table lamp has a form made of a single bent length of bronzed brass for an industrial feel. It’s a bit like a black piece of neon tubing – so cool. Where you can get it: Volker Haug|
|Designed by: Ilse Crawford Why we love it: For those who want something simple, functional, yet stylish – this is the lamp for you. It’s got a playful aesthetic with the honesty and warmth of wood. Where you can get it: Corporate Culture|
Just one of the offerings from design and communication studio, Angelus Novus, Vanguard bikes reflects the shared passion of partners (in business and life) Jacinta Sonja Neoh and Shaun Quah. We take a few minutes to find out more about their custom-bike business and biking in Singapore…
Habitusliving: Can you tell us a bit about Vanguard?
Jacinta: Vanguard specialises in the design of unique one-off bicycles, as well as in the customisation and restoration of classic rides and collectors’ pieces. We put a lot of ourselves, our beliefs and philosophy into the design. We incorporate our own experiences, the urban surroundings, and meld them with the context of the city and its people in the design.
It’s a rather craft-based, hands-on approach to building unique, personalised bicycles. We work with experienced metallurgists, industrial sculptors and mechanics.
Each bike is treated as unique kinetic sculpture/architecture with a distinct character and personality. Each one is serialised and named, and captures an essence or soul of the city. Often the designs stem from a feeling, an emotion, or an encounter in the city. Every bike goes through a rigorous design, fabrication, and assembly process to ensure the best quality and finest work possible.
We hope by making it simple (and stylish), more people would get on a bike and ride again. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature, feel the wind in your hair, as well as discovering and experiencing the city in new ways.
How did Vanguard come to be?
Shaun and I started Vanguard as a project in June 2006, as we thought it’d be great to put our passion for bikes and our backgrounds in architecture, art, design, music and philosophy into the creation of our own bicycles as well as revive steel-frame bicycles from the 40s to the 80s.
The faces behind the bikes - Shaun and Jacinta
We didn’t know if there was a market for such bicycles back then, as it was a pretty new thing here in Singapore. We experimented with ideas, materials and the techniques that were available here. The prototypes we made were raw, and a lot simpler in form and technique than the more recent bicycles. Over time, we grew, learnt and evolved.
Do you make to order?
Yes, we do. We specialise in custom-built bicycles that are tailored to the individual’s requirements – his/her preferred riding style and aesthetics. All our bikes are one-offs and unique – we try not to repeat our designs. They’re objects that will evolve and grow together with the rider. (We ship internationally too.)
What is the cycle culture like in Singapore?
There is definitely a growing cycling scene here in Singapore. We notice that there are different ways that cycling is seen in Singapore. While most see cycling as a performance-based sport, there are others who see cycling as a form of commuting, a form of leisure/weekend activity, or a social sport (a growing number of fixie-riders here too).
Where do people ride in Singapore? Is it a bike-friendly city?
Singapore is not known to be a bike-friendly city, but steps are being taken to change that. More park connectors and [traffic-free] cycling tracks are being built around the city right now, which are great for cyclists.
East Coast Park is a popular family destination. On weekends, you’d see heaps of families cycling, roller-blading, picnicking along the beach.
More recently, the stretch along the Singapore River from Robertson Quay through to Marina bay is fast becoming a popular cycling route. A number of cyclists ride around the island, along long stretches of roads further out from the city or across the causeway along the coasts of Malaysia.
Who are your customers?
Anyone who appreciates quality, beauty, nature – we’d say anyone who enjoys life. Our customers come from all walks of life.
They range from designers, artists, bike collectors, enthusiasts, professionals, housewives, retirees, students. Most of the bikes are pretty androgynous and not age-specific, so both male/female, young or old are able to ride them.
Tell us about your favourite bike...
We did a fun bike ‘ZETH Stretched Cruiser’ as part of the Singapore’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2008). It happened as one of those late-night ideas after we watched the movie ‘Dark Knight’, and decided to craft a machine that we’d imagine Batman riding on.
Where to next for Vanguard and AN?
We set up our very first retail space at a really nice spot at Robertson Quay by the Singapore River at the end of 2009. We have a great community and wonderful neighbours here. It’s such a divine space, we’re enjoying our afternoons by the river here.
We designed 4 one-off bikes in collaboration with Underscore magazine, we had an exhibition/launch over 4 locations over the weekend (and just ended yesterday). The 4 bikes will be exhibited at Design Tide, Tokyo along with Underscore magazine this coming weekend.
Our first book “Cardboard Book” was just launched worldwide yesterday. It is also distributed in Europe and the US under Gingko Press. Two other titles will be released at the end of this year, and a couple more next year. It’s all very exciting and we’re looking forward to that too!
Walk past the graffiti-covered roller doors of Chinese Food Gourmet, Indo Australian Caterers and Dutchey and Son Tattoo Studio and you wouldn’t bat an eyelid.
But artist Catherine O’Donnell has a way with pencil and paper, transforming these mundane, slightly depressing urban landscapes into something extraordinary and even alluring.
The latest exhibition by O’Donnell draws inspiration from the outlying residential areas of Sydney.
Her ‘Recent Drawings’ capture the after-dark, uninhabited side of the urban landscape, with the abandoned-looking buildings more often than not the victim of aspiring graffiti artists.
O’Donnell examines how culture, history and architecture all intermingle to inform our everyday lives.
In doing so her drawings extract beauty from the monotony of urban life. In one particular image, she captures the pattern of the bricks and windowsills of a building’s façade, giving life to an otherwise lacklustre, depressing apartment block.
The opening night for ‘Recent Drawings’ is this Thursday 28 October, 6-8pm – habitusliving.com readers are welcome to attend.
The exhibition runs from 28 October - 20 November 2010
Boutwell Draper Gallery, Redfern
82 - 84 George Street
Connection to the outdoors is something we understand intimately in our Region, but for inner-city living this isn’t always practical or easy.
Sitting in the undulating roofline of a Melbourne warehouse, The Butler House – home to a young family of 4 – has experienced a vertical transformation by Andrew Maynard Architects, giving the home a much-needed outdoor living space.
“The bulk of the house was already there,” Maynard explains. “We simply overlaid new elements to make the house function better and to introduce and connect it with the new ‘backyard’ on its roof.”
This rooftop ‘garden’ (Astroturf serving as a low-maintenance alternative to grass) includes a Butynol-clad pod with glass walls on two sides, providing shelter from the elements – meaning the rooftop can be used at all times.
“With doors wide open, the continuity of turf well and truly blurs the line between inside and out,” Maynard says.
In addition to the rooftop terrace a central louvred ‘spine’ has been added alongside the stairwell tying the levels together.
“Along with the carpeted wall and the bookshelves, the louvered wall was introduced to control sound transmission between levels without disconnecting them.”
“When the kids are going nuts in the rumpus on the ground floor the louvres are closed to drastically reduce the sound intruding on the living space above, or alternatively they are open so that conversations can take place between levels.”
An existing mezzanine level was also updated to create a flexible bedroom space. Joinery has been used to maintain light to the lower level, also creating a raised bed platform, while large sliding doors allow the space to be both connected to and private from the living areas below.
“I love the new bedroom,” Maynard says. “If I was an 8-year-old boy I'd love to have that bedroom. Actually that's not true, I'd love to have that bedroom now, regardless of my age.”
The Butler House is an example of a home that makes the most of what its got, opening up spaces while adapting and transforming to suit the family’s way of life.
Photography: Kevin Hui
The Italians are known for many things, from amazing fashion to some of the world’s best food and of course, design.
Perhaps some of the most iconic designs take the form of chairs and so as part of the Sydney Italian Festival The Italian Way of Seating celebrates 50 years of Italian chair design.
Curated by Alessandro Mendini, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through half a century of visionary designers and companies.
The exhibition is on show at the Euroluce Light Studio in Sydney now until 29 October 2010. See the pics from the opening night below.
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Habitus readers gathered to hear Nobody denim speak at Melbourne's first Habitus Conversation Series, held last Wednesday at the Jardan pop-up showroom in Richmond. It was a unique event with brothers John and Nick Condilis, and Nobody's Creative Director, Wes Hartwell, joining in a four-way conversation with Habitus Editorial Director, Paul McGillick.
Set against the peeling walls of the warehouse-style showroom, and surrounded by stylish Jardan furniture pieces and racks of Nobody clothes, the talks kicked off with an introduction from Paul, and then an awe-inspiring story from John, Nick and Wes.
The attentive audience sat wrapt, absorbing the story of Nobody's organic rise to success, their humble beginnings, and their globally-recognised brand.
"It was so inspiring, especially for people thinking about starting their own business," said one audience-member.
Following the creatively engaging presentation, guests milled late into the evening, enjoying one-on-one conversations with the Nobody team.
Special thanks to Asahi beer for keeping the conversation flowing.
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The new Now! range from Hülsta is the incredible Now! 14; launched in Milan this year it features new designs and high gloss finishes.
Incredible furniture with the warmth of wood and cool gloss finishes, all designed and manufactured in Germany to the highest quality standards. A twist of high technology has entertainment and display units featuring LED-lit shelving, without a bulb or globe in sight, with stained glass cabinets and glass sections providing an exciting visual impact.
Now! 14 offers single units for the living and dining room that are both stylish and functional and can be stacked to suit individual requirements.
Now! 14 is available in a range of finishes including white lacquer, brown-black lacquer, light brown ash, and walnut, it offers a variety of different surface designs
Hülsta is available at:
Adelaide: Transforma (08) 8272 4133
Melbourne: Image Interiors (03) 9421 6655
Perth: Ultimo Interiors (08) 9201 2479
Sydney: Covemore Designs (02) 9624 1011
It’s been a while since Sydney has launched a real bar. Not a pop up bar, not in some back laneway, but a proper grown up venue. So it’s refreshing to experience Gotham, which brings a bit of old-school glamour to the Darlinghurst end of Oxford Street.
The downstairs area opens on to the street, making it the perfect place for people watching while enjoying a shared plate. The duck pancakes are nice but the Yakitori skewers (a carnivore’s delight in marinated lamb, chicken and wagyu beef) are excellent. The 6-strong cocktail menu is carefully constructed, with the Caramelised Nashi Pear and Sage Margarita cocktail an apparent favourite.
The upstairs area is relaxed and luxurious (and available for functions), featuring Chesterfield lounges and pressed metal walls. Intimate booths and a crimson leather bar complete the experience, with a giant Art Deco clock silhouette behind the bar providing a touch of New York glamour, or perhaps an ironic link to Batman’s fabled Gotham City.
Designed by Squillace Nicholas – responsible for Manly Pavilion and Hugos Manly – the aesthetic is vintage and modern at the same time. It’s an environment in which to be a little bit dressed up – whether it’s your status quo or you’re just playing at it for the night.
Radford furnishings introduce the brand new Designers Guild ‘Weekender’ Bag - the perfect size and shape for a night away or a stylishly larger size bag for everyday use. The perfect accessory for the modern woman, this fabulous stylish ‘Overnight’ bag is available in 2 great designs:
Boqueria Noir ‘Weekender’ Bag and Palmieri Chartreuse ‘Weekender’ Bag
A Designers Guild Tote Bag is this seasons ‘must-have’ accessory. Perfect for a trip to the shops or with kids to the park, to carry a laptop and other essentials to work or for stylish students to carry their books to lectures. Radford's super-practical ‘Tote’ bags are available in 2 great designs:
Boqueria Black and White Tote Bag and Palmieri Chartreuse Tote Bag
To complete the look Radford introduce both a Designers Guild Washbag and Make-up Bag, both in their signature ‘Franchini’ Black and White Stripe design to coordinate with both ‘Weekender’ Bags: