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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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Angel and Angel L

Designed by: Archirivolto

Made in: Portugal

About: • Commercial indoor & outdoor application

• Cafes & Restaurants
• Shopping Centres & Food Halls
• Stackable
• UV protected
• Chair trolley available
• Colours: Anthracite, white red , yellow and army green alt alt alt

Materials: Polypropylene, mesh style seat & back, contoured back

Furniture Options www.furnitureoptions.com.au

Design Accessories

Faber Castell celebrate 250 years

Over the course of history, the Faber-Castell family owned-business has taken some hits. Yet this pre-eminent stationer will not lay down and die as, Belinda Aucott happily reports. Times change. But over 250 years the Faber-Castell family owned-business has taken some hits. First the invention of an electronic calculator in the early 70's affected the market for manual slide rules.  Then in the late 80's there was a sharp decline in demand for technical drawing tools. Now finally circa 2011, as if to add insult to injury, smart technology threatens the humble coloured pencil. But wait. It can't be! At Habitus we love drawing. So when meeting Count Anton von Faber-Castell we were on the hunt for some general reassurance that pencils are here to stay. And we were in luck. The Faber-Castells have handy new research that shows drawing is brilliant for the brain's of children and that using hand held tools (not phones) boosts mood! "Research has proven that when you give children pencils, they are in a better mood. We have a study, made with a very senior professor at the Boston University, who has proven that hand-held tools boost mood!," says Count Anton Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell who is in Australia to mark 250 years of Faber-Castell Sydney. Presiding over a business stemming back to a small rural German town in 1761, Count Anton looks every bit the pencil mogul. His clothing is precise, he wears a silver tie pin and his hair is the colour of silver cotton thread. For Count Anton Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell, who is eighth generation of the family, the success of the company is a result of making innovative products that distinguished from his competition. He also attributes the success of the business to being able to plan long term, their resolve to back their own new products and to flexible corporate governance. As I discover over coffee, for it is not only the advent of new research that keeps Faber-Castell's business in good shape, it the general decorum and sensibility associated with art and communication that people these days are beginning to appreciate. "It is vital that artists use artist's tools," says Count Anton, making in a sincere formal tautology, at pains to explain how hand held writing tools have a kinetic significance to education and brain growth. "These days language is more sloppy. People write all these emails without thinking. If you write a letter you have to think more as you put the words, on. the. paper," he says stating each word separately. "If you want to tell someone something that is very personal then you write it down. Money wise it is not important – value wise it is. It's classy," Count Anton Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell. And with statement Habitus agrees. Find out more about Faber-Castell pencils here. Faber-Castell.com.auabc

VIDEO: Domestic Workshop

The Japanese influence on this converted motorcycle work shop is not so much aesthetic as it is about how to make the most of a small space. Paul McGillick has the story in this video presented in conjunction with Corporate Culture For the full article on the converted workshop by architect Richard Peters, please purchase issue 13 of Habitus or to subscribe to Habitus click here. Richard Peters (61) 414 630 799 Corporateculture.com.auabc
Design Accessories

Funkis eyewear

They used to call it the 'Four-Eyes Club'.  The awkward geeky group of kids tagged with the stigma of being a bookworm simply because of their deteriorating eyesight. Erkel was their anti-hero, his bright red, thick-rimmed spectacles the height of anti-fashion. Oh, how times have changed. These days the hipsters are donning the formerly geeky look en masse. Accessorising with thick-rimmed glasses in outlandish colours. Funkis, the Swedish fashion and homewares brand, is currently bringing Thorberg Design to the Australian market with a range of colourful reading glasses for men and women. These ultra affordable spectacles come in a number of timeless designs, with 0-3.5 magnification for those who have trouble reading the fine print. And they're also suitable for prescription lenses. Habitus Deputy Editor, Nicky Lobo, visited the home of Funkis owner and founder Carina Engstrom-Gibb in the latest issue Habitus #14, on newsstands 7 December, 2011. Get your copy to read the full story, or subscribe to Habitus here. Funkis funkis.com Thorberg Design Thorbergdesign.seabc

Skylight House

This exquisite project by Chenchow Little involved the restoration of a traditional Victorian terrace house —known as the Skylight House in Sydney.  With the façade of the Victorian Terrace left intact, the pretty wrought-iron lace verandah hides a timeless and minimalist dwelling. The completely renovated old home includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a beautiful new kitchen. Special features include a central courtyard, skylight and open living spaces flooded with lots of natural light.

Materials include: raw concrete, glass, white walls and spotted gum hardwood.

The interior design by Janice Chenchow of Chenchow Little, veers toward mid-century modernist with several Scandinavian and Italian pieces including a Woodnotes’ hand-tufted wool "Sammal" carpet (Finnish for "moss") carpet in the colour "Ice." We also love the lighting choices, especially "Parentesi" designed by Achille Castiglioni & Pio Manzuʻ for FLOS.

Living areas are elevated to the top floors to maximize light while the ground floors are used for the bedrooms.

Through their residential work the practice of Chenchow Little has developed a reputation for the quality of their design and detailing. Chenchow Little have received many awards for their work including the Australian Institute of Architects National Robin Boyd Award, the highest accolade for residential architecture in Australia. 

Architecture Record (USA) selected Chenchow Little amongst ten international firms for their prestigious Design Vanguard issue 2010. 
The success of these projects has lead to select commissions in other sectors including retail and commercial. 

Chenchow Little


Design Products

Danish Medal for Richard Munao

Corporate Culture's Managing Director Richard Munao has received a great honour from His Royal Highness Prince Frederik , as part of the Danish royal couple's 2011 trade visit to Australia.

He has been recognised for his excellence in marketing and distribution of Danish Design, with a Medal presented by the Chairman of the Danish Export Association and the Danish Ambassador to Australia Ulrich Ritsins at a VIP event for 150 guests at the Corporate Culture Showroom in Melbourne.

Richard Munao established Corporate Culture in 1997and has made his business hometo some of the finest examples of Danish design. He distributes and promotes leading Danish brands including Fritz Hansen, Carl Hansen, HAY, Stelton, Louis Poulsen, PP Mobler, Georg Jensen & Mater.

The CH401 is a minimal upholstered easy chair by Carl Hansen & Son. This chair has been used in Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport, and in private homes.

The CH07 Shell Chair, sometimes called "The Smiling Chair", is a three-legged construction that provides absolute stability. This chair isalso by Carl Hansen & Son. Designed byHans J. Wegner

With a background in the furniture industry as a cabinet maker, Mr Munao has worked for and with some of the world's leading brands in the Australian and international markets, as the Director ofCorporate Culture Mr. Munao has led his stayed at the cutting-edge of Australian corporate and design,through his uncompromising commitment to great design and service.

Over 12 years, Corporate Culture he has succeeded in growing from one location in Sydney to have its own showrooms in Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland as well as distributors in Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.

For the full story please pick up InDesign issue #48.

Corporate Culture

Design Products
Design Accessories


Made up of agitators and artists, WE MAKE CARPETS is a Dutch collective that consists of the socially minded Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg. Based in Amsterdam this little collective now travels the world creating carpets that both shock and delight. Taking a pointedly critical view of consumerism WE MAKE CARPETS (or WMC for short) use every day objects to create temporary carpets with mandala like intricacy. Dennis Elbers, curator at Graphic Design Museum, Breda, says WE MAKE CARPETS is a collective deeply aligned with the contemporary revaluation of craft. "At a distance, we simply see a decorative carpet. Closer inspection will, however, surprise us. WE MAKE CARPETS sampled analog everyday items of use into carpets of impressive sizes. Products that normally have no value once they have been used, such as plastic forks, plasters, paving tiles, pasta, cotton balls and pegs are arranged in an inventive way to form a graphic pattern. Using materials as diverse as pasta, forks, balloons and paperclip WE MAKE CARPETS layer their chosen object in a repetitive pattern, giving a contemporary edge to the age-old craft of weaving carpets. "The weaving method, use of materials and patterns reflect the 21st century," says Elbers. "WE MAKE CARPETS are inspired by the colour, shape and possibilities of the material chosen. The result is not just a decorative carpet, but an object that makes us think about the consumer society that produces these 'weaving materials'. A contemporary interpretation of wealth," Elbers says. www.wemakecarpets.nlabc

The Aviary captures Perth hearts

Quirky. Fun. Convenient. The Aviary is the long-awaited, two-level restaurant/bar/rooftop garden with a capacity for over 600 people from the successful The Publican Group (think The George, The Byrneleigh) in Perth's One40William development. This new hotspot was designed by HASSELL in collaboration with Habitat One and has a strong bird theme (Aviary – get it!) with a hummingbird pattern on carpet, custom bird wallpaper from Scandinavian Wallpaper & Decor, taxidermy birds, birdcages in a stairwell and even a 'Peck Like a Bird' (tapas) menu option. According to co-owner John Ahern, the brief was to keep it simple while maintaining the detail for which the successful group's other venues are renowned, plus include a rooftop playground for adults. "The Aviary has a soft, feminine, fun-loving feel, so we have used a lot of rounded walls and rounded bars. Across two levels, we wanted the lounge bar and Bird Cage Restaurant located on level one to be very chic, sophisticated and loungey; while we wanted the rooftop bar (The Nest) to play on the openness, while being versatile. We also wanted a bowling green on the roof," says John. "Perth has such amazing weather, but there are very limited rooftop bars in the city. Melbourne has hundreds of rooftop bars, but their weather is not as good as WA's! We wanted to take advantage of that." Co-owner Steve Garcia sourced furniture from all over the world – "His aim is to have things that people don't see in a shop and are unique to the venue; the stuffed peacock was found in a back street in Melbourne" – while materials include Perth's iconic jarrah on the roof, sheer curtains on floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bars and Astroturf on the roof and in a lift. Positioned in the One40William development above the city's underground train station (cnr Murrary Street Mall and William Street), The Aviary is in a prime location for corporates and shoppers. "It is a unique venue and due to the large number we can accommodate and the different elements we offer through the different levels, it gives people the opportunity to relax in the heart of Perth. For example, if people are shopping and looking for a bite and a drink, then we are located perfectly for them; if corporates want to have a business lunch/dinner or a post-work drink while not being too serious, we have that option, too. We really do have something for everyone," says John. Open Monday-Saturday, 11am-midnight; Sunday, 11am-10pm. The Aviary theaviaryperth.com.au HASSELL hassellstudio.com Habitat One habitat1.com.auabc
Around The World


If you want a hotel in the pumping metropolis of Shanghai then we suggest you add the hot new boutique hotel The Waterhouse to your list. Opened in July 2010, The Waterhouse at South Bund is a boutique hotel with just 19 rooms. A classic conversion of a 1930s warehouse - The Waterhouse is the concept of a Singaporean lawyer-turned-hotelier Loh Lik Peng. The hotel has beautifully appointed rooms that show attention to detail and include beautiful furniture by the likes of designers Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wegner. Abundant windows counterpoint slick interiors, with most suites featuring a small balcony or terrace. For those who love European cuisine fear not, The Waterhouse restaurant  Table No 1 by Jason Atherton, serves up modern European cuisine while the absolute highlight has to be the rooftop bar terrace. The Waterhouse at South Bund: www.waterhouseshanghai.com. Doubles from 1,600 yuan (about $300)abc
What's On


Singapore began as a shipping hub, then became a finance hub and now it is a furniture hub.

Adding to the growing momentum of the Singapore government's push to make Singapore the design hub of Asia, Space Furniture has now opened its long-awaited new showroom.

And what a showroom! Certainly Space's brand partners – just about every iconic European brand you can think of – think so.

They contributed more than SIN$1 million to the SIN$50 million project and showed up en masse for the launch on November 11th.

Previously in the Millennia Walk mall, Space wanted a street front showroom. And, says Director, Katie Page, they wanted it in the Arts Precinct.

"Even at Millennia Walk," says Katie, "we had architects, designers and customers coming from all over Asia. So, we know people will travel for the right thing."

Katie Page gives the impression that she is a woman who normally gets what she wants. So, not surprisingly, along with the Arts Precinct location, they got WOHA Architects – their sensational School of Arts building is just around the corner and is Katie's favourite building – to do the makeover.

It is a fabulous result.

Two heritage buildings – a villa and a conservation shophouse – restored and modified internally linked in the middle by a 4-storey transparent glass insertion. Entering through the glass block, the visitor's first stop is the café/bar for a complimentary coffee or wine.

Then an intriguing variety of spaces ensures that each of the over twenty brands can establish its own identity.

Adding to this variety are two loft spaces, an outdoor upper terrace (off from an light-filled space with working kitchens for buffet and sit-down dinners) and a cool courtyard with a three-storey green wall.

General Manager, Syddal Wee, points out that this showroom is not just a destination, it is also an experience. He points out that a customers don't want to go to a monobrand store "because I don't want my house to be an extension of the brand showroom".

"So," he says, "having multiple premium brands gives them the ability to mix and match and personalise their preferences."

Hence, the new showroom presents the product in what they call a "lifestyle manner". "It connects," says Sydall, "with the emotions."

The new Space Asia Hub is about connection – connecting Asia, connecting quality of life with quality of design as well as connecting to the local design scene, because Space is currently exhibiting the 2011 President's Design Awards and next year will inaugurate the Space Student Industrial/Design Programme which will enable two students a year to enjoy internships with a leading European brand beginning with Vitra in 2012.

Paul McGillick is Editorial Director of Indesign Publishing. He attended the opening the Space Asia Hub as a guest of Space Furniture.

Space Asia Hub

Space Asia Hub is now on Facebook


Kwong’s fair trade range for oxfam

"When Oxfam approached me to consider designing a range of kitchenware, I realised this was a project which could bring together my passion for cooking, love of art, and advocacy for a better deal for producers in developing countries," Kwong says. The beautiful new range was developed by Kylie in close collaboration with Oxfam, and crafted by one of our key producer partners in Vietnam. Kylie  traveled to Vietnam in early 2011 to meet with Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, who are producing the range, and see first-hand how fair trade is benefiting this community. Kylie, a long term Ambassador for the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, said designing her own fair trade kitchenware range was a "natural extension" of her advocacy on the issue. "The fair trade system puts people back front and centre of the supply chain, and can make a tangible difference to the lives of families in developing countries. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by my mother and her sisters, and I feel a real affinity for Mai's work with Vietnamese women," Ms Kwong said. This is the first time Kylie, a former graphic designer, has ventured into tableware products. The range is influenced by her Chinese heritage with a modern twist, similar to the highly acclaimed food she serves up at Sydney restaurant Billy Kwong. Kylie has created unique designs to adorn her range, inspired by the symbol of the lotus. The range includes a soup bowl, rice bowl, a Chinese teapot and teacup and a coffee cup. Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts specialise in ceramics and are renowned for their intricate, hand-painted designs. Originally established to help send Vietnamese children to school, Mai now employs the mothers and older sisters of these children, and most of its artisans are women. All photography courtesy of Oxfam by Bonnie Savage. Oxfam Oxfam.org.auabc

Broached Commissions Sydney Launch

The former Paramount Pictures Building at 80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills in NSW was turned into a party venue for the launch of Broached Commission in Sydney on 10 November. Artistic Director John McPhee and Creative Director Lou Weis welcomed people to the first instalment of Broached Commissions; Broached Colonial with enlightening dissertations on the project and the individual works. Explaining and dedicating the work to Australia's brave forefathers, it was a delight to witness each of the six artist's interpretations of that period and the guests interactions with each product. Broached Designers Chen Lu, Trent Jansen, Adam Goodrum and Charles Wilson were all on hand to enjoy the design communities accolades. Read more about Broached Commissions on habitusliving.com To watch the Artistic Director's video introduction to Broached Commissions visit here. Broached Commissions Photography by Rafaela Pandolfini  abc