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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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What's On

‘Space’ at Flinders Lane Gallery

The impulse to represent the metaphysical possibilities of an environment, beyond the fixed or neatly understood, led French born artist Christophe Stibio to immerse himself in the vast and silent landscapes of the Australian desert. Through a painstaking process the artist pieces together small torn and cut sections of paper to map out a new topography of space, laced with personal longing.

The illusionistic quality of much of Richard Blackwell’s work ‘activates the mind to consider the transformation of the object from the physical to the virtual and back again.’*3 Responding to architectonic forms and urban design principles Blackwell combines the disciplines of drawing and sculpture to suggest warped perspectives, complex vanishing points and linear convergences found within the built environment.

Also working with the quality of line to suggest illusionary depth, Agneta Ekholm’s seductive paint surfaces operate in the margins between tactile fact and immaterial possibilities. The trace of the artist’s hand, moving in slow and fluid order, lays down translucent ribbons of colour. As the luminosity of individual colours shift and slide against one another, light and dark begin to create new, internal space within the canvas.

Central to Charlie Sheard’s dynamic abstract works is the tactile reality of paint itself. The spaces depicted are those of the canvas, the physical impact of materials on that surface and the relationship between the body and the pictorial frame. These works allow paint to move under the force of gravity, to drip and pool in response to the tilt of the canvas, or in keeping with the dynamic motion of the hand. Layers dry at different rates and colours seep within a maelstrom of paint and canvas.

The space between image and object is blurred in the sculptural paintings of Terri Brooks. In many ways a flâneur, Brooks absorbs the physical qualities of the built environment, delighting in the accidental textures and material surfaces of concrete, building materials or bitumen roads.

A lived, momentary experience of space is articulated in Dion Horstmans’ highly strategic sculptures. Fascinated with delineations of open space and implied movement, these works operate on both physical and implied levels. Stretching out to cover multiple points in space, their iron frameworks elicit ideas of architectural elevations, flight trajectories and the temporal pull of line and distance.

Sitting partway between the definitive and the meditative, Jo Davenport’s practice depicts both the physical truth of a landscape and the suggestive, subjective experience such spaces can evoke. A sense of immediacy drives the fluid and gestural quality of her mark making. As natural forms morph with a painterly, almost expressionistic concern for colour and composition, her drips and spills translate the observed qualities of rivers in flow, the sway of foliage in wind and the changing colours of light. 


Text from ‘Time & Space‘ essay by Phe Luxford, 2012.

Exhibition runs from 31 July to 18 August 2012. 

Flinders Lane Gallery

Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q+A with Maree Wilding

Your name: Maree Wilding

What you do: I am Managing Director of Paperhangings, a wallpaper design and production company that does contract wallpaper printing for industry professionals and special projects. I am a wallpaper design consultant, oversee and participate in all aspects of production and am a consultant on Victorian period wallpapers and interior decorative schemes for the historic reproductions division. I also own Interior Productions for which I select and import textiles for interior designers, decorators and contractors (available at the Paperhangings Showroom, Hawthorn. Victoria).

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:

     1)  Richard Branson

     2)  M.C. Escher 

     3)  Kiera Knightly

What is your favourite…

travel destination: Prague

hotel/place to stay:  Bauers Palladio Hotel and Spa, Venice

luxury goods company: Prada

value for money company: ebay

design classic: Moka Pot first patented by Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti 

new design: The Mega Bulb by Danish Designer Sofie Refer

type of chair: The Corvo Chair by Bernhardt Design or Bentwood chairs 

meal: Classic Italian Meatballs with fresh tomato and basil Sugo

restaurant: Fiorelli, Camberwell. The best for pure, simple, fresh Italian.

drink: Caprioska

bar: Supper Club

Item of clothing for…
My Spanish Black suede calf length boots. They fold midway down the calf and taper in at the ankle to give the most beautiful illusion of an elongated, shapely leg!

Summer: Italian Leather sandals

artwork: Music, by Gustav Klimt

artistGustav Klimt

gallery/museum: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

book: Anna Karenina, Tolstoy

items in your studio: printing inks, squeegees and silk screens

piece of technology: iphone

historical figure: The leading women of the Suffragette Movement

fictional character: Anna Karenina

vice: Haigh’s Chocolate

virtue: hard working

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’™, mean to you? Searching for, collecting and/or designing objects that are the epitome of one’s own understanding of good design and that reflect the individual’s own style, beliefs and personality; so the objects themselves become an expression of the individual self. 


Interior Productions


Kooroork House

Designed and built by architect Lucas Hodgens of e+ architecture for his young family, Kooroork House 2 provides fully functional shelter while encouraging a lifestyle connected with the surrounding nature.

The house is located in the Box Ironbark forest outside of Bendigo in Central Victoria, an area notorious for its hot summers and cold winters. With communal living and inclusion of external space in daily activities being central to the project’s concept, the house is laid out with a central pavilion and four enclosed rooms at the quadrants. The central pavilion features floor to ceiling sliding doors along it’s north aspect, breaking down the distinction between indoors and outdoors and allowing the adjoining courtyard and lawn to become part of the shared space. The surrounding quarters function as bedrooms, study and family room, providing privacy, solitude and shelter from the elements. 

The project was planned and executed to be highly cost-effective. As such, apart from some non-negotiables such as the copper roof and glazing elements critical to the aesthetic and performance, materials are economical or reused. Flooring is sealed cement sheet, the ceiling is Black Melamine from the local joiner, and timber wall lining was salvaged from a burnt out house in Dandenong. The steel frame reflects the necessity for the structure to be assembled by one person, as such once erected the builder can ‘fill in the gaps’ without assistance. Most importantly, however, the scale of the home is compressed (less than 200 square metres), reducing construction and living costs dramatically.

Aesthetically the home reflects the colour scheme of its context and attempts to blend in rather than stand out. The abundance of timber surfaces and dark external cladding reference the wood and foliage of the surrounding trees, and the low profile allows it to crouch in its clearing without dominating the landscape. Internal furnishings maintain this theme while introducing more modern, colorful tones appropriate for a family with young children. 

Whilst sustainability was not a central focus of the project the overarching effort to minimise and reuse by extension has made it ecologically aware. Passive climate control via orientation, thermal mass, dark cladding, insulation and cross-ventilation are highly effective, with the central wood burner, in-floor heating in the quarters and ceiling fan used on particularly hot or cold occasions. Furthermore, integrated systems such as the waste water treatment worm farm irrigates the lawn and the solar hot water system minimizes reliance on electricity.  

Photography: Glenn Hester Photography

 e+ architecture


Masterchef Dining Popup

Positioned in the forecourt of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney’s CBD and commanding views of Hyde Park and the city beyond, The MasterChef Dining popup restaurant and bar is a transformation of two festival dome structures into a two level bar and dining experience where the kitchen is the main focal point, easily viewed from anywhere in the space.

Collaborating with architect Kelvin Ho on the design and layout and Keystone Hospitality for kitchen and front of house, The Projects* was able to build an entire restaurant from scratch in only 3 weeks. The two domes were customised by building a 20m x 10m scaffolding structure that was the front facade complete with two 6x4m operating windows looking into the kitchen and a revolving entrance feature. The key material feature was ply wood cut and applied to various walls in a herringbone treatment, an attractive and cost effective solution.

Internally the aesthetic mood is created by abundant hanging vegetation, soft lighting and furnishings made of natural materials, culminating in a huge fern lighting installation in an aperture that joins the bar and the restaurant. Within this void hung 45 ferns and a series of lamp shades. A second highlight was the Masterchef pantry, brought to life in the bar via a detailed and beautiful gourmet produce display.

In reference to the television series the kitchen has been left completely open plan, allowing onlookers to enjoy the spectacle of chefs at work. On the upper, dining level a balcony faces onto the kitchen, echoing the balcony in the show from where contestants watch their counterparts.

MasterChef Dining was operational from 3-22nd of July. 

Masterchef Dining

The Projects*

What's On

Melbourne Art Fair 2012

Melbourne Art Fair 2012 will feature project rooms showcasing the work of an exciting new generation of artists, presented in association with independent contemporary art spaces from across Australia and New Zealand.

There are numerous opportunities to further engage in contemporary art during Melbourne Art Week including Australia’s favourite ‘art party’ – the much anticipated Vernissage opening night, as well as the Lecture and Forum Program, Education Program, Art Tours and many other exciting and stimulating activities taking place as part of Melbourne Art Week 2012 from 30 July – 5 August.

Artist Commission

Whether it be an eight metre high inflatable rabbit by Michael Parekowhai or a full-sized, highly detailed rendition of a military Jeep by Peter Hennessey, one of the highlights of the Melbourne Art Fair is undoubtedly the unveiling of Melbourne Art Foundation’s Artist Commission.

The 2012 Artist Commission will continue the tradition of exhibiting an exciting, new, large-scale artwork by a renowned, contemporary artist. We look forward to announcing the commissioned artist closer to the event.

Exhibited at the Royal Exhibition Building throughout the Melbourne Art Fair, the Artist Commission is gifted to an Australian art institution at the conclusion of the Fair.

Education Space

Following the success of the 2010 Education Space, the Melbourne Art Foundation is proud to present the Amanda Marburg Education Space for Melbourne Art Fair 2012. The Amanda Marburg EducationSpace will facilitate public discussion and develop new audiences for contemporary art by providing a fun and active learning space and a significant opportunity to engage directly with, and learn from, practising artists.

Amanda Marburg will be producing a unique artwork to be presented in the MelbourneArt Fair 2012 Education Space. The project will involve four or more emerging and senior Australian artists, facilitating audience responses to the work. The audience will be encouraged to add to Amanda’s artwork using plasticine, developing an ever changing and growing work over the days of the Fair.

2012 Project Rooms

Sponsored by the Melbourne Art Foundation, the Project Rooms exhibit unrepresented and emerging artists and once again for 2012, we have some exciting exhibitions in store. Melbourne Art Fair 2012 Project Rooms will include BUS Projects, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Death Be Kind, Firstdraft Gallery, Gertrude Contemporary, Next Wave and Physics Room.

Chandon presents the Melbourne Art Foundation Winter Artspace

As the vines go into their winter slumber, the magnificent grounds of Domaine Chandon winery have awakened, featuring the works of some of Australia’s most exciting and highly regarded visual artists. The exhibition, entitled All You Need Is Love, will excite and inspire as you discover the artists and works amidst the gorgeous backdrop of the winery. All You Need Is Love considers relationships among friends, strangers, relatives and partners that may be fleeting, wistful, unrequited and enduring. Artists include Robert Arnold, Ted Barraclough, Jon Campbell, Patrick Hartigan, Anastasia Klose and Tracey Moffatt.

Melbourne Art Fair
Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton Gardens Melbourne Australia

Wednesday 1 August 2012
7:00pm – 10:30pm

Public Days
2 – 5 August 2012
Open Daily from 11am


Design Products
Design Accessories

Opus 9

The normal way to release collections in the fashion world is to do so once per season. But Opus 9 is anything but normal.

Opus 9 (named because it is the ninth body of work by designer, Justine Taylor) has one big difference in retail style. Available exclusively online, a new piece is launched each month, “to showcase styles in line with customer shopping patterns… keep up to date with unpredictable weather patterns, plus involve our clients with the evolution of our endless OPUS 9 collection,” Taylor says.

The pieces in the collection challenge commercial clothing; each one is hand made, with the focus on tailoring and cut, with a twist. “They really make one stand out from the crowd because they not only flatter form, but they also cross the art/fashion divide,” Taylor says.  

They also blur the lines between traditional garment types, such as the Military Coatigan, Arm Socks, and the latest invention – a leather body sling bag to be launched in August/September this year. 

The brand, launched in 2008, is the brainchild of East Sydney Tech graduate, Justine Taylor. Her first eponymous label sold to Barney’s in Japan (where it was hung next to Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester), her second diffusion label retailed in over 40 boutiques throughout Australasia, and she has shown numerous times at Australian Fashion Week.

Inspiration for Taylor includes “urban environment; encompassing art galleries, architecture, restaurants, film and European fashion in evolution. The collection might be black, but it works best back with the colour and movement of inner city graffiti-scapes and Missoni interiors.”

Opus 9


Potato Ghetto

I’ve barely had a chance to digest my coconut crushie at Misschu Underground when Nahji Chu informs me that she’s just completed the finishing touches on Potato Ghetto, a spin-off of her popular Misschu tuckshops.

Located adjacent to the Bondi Tuckshop, the new eatery features Chu’s culinary twist on meat-and-two-veg and appropriately, the well known song, “One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four”.  Chu’s menu will feature a range of potato-based fare including vichyssoise, potato cakes and Vietnamese potato crepes.  “It’s the humble potato, but sexed up with Vietnamese flavours,” explains Chu. 

Chu has designed the look, feel and menu to suit the need for a more winter-friendly establishment.  “It’s same, same, but different,” Chu offers.  “Like the other Misschus, the design draws on my Vietnamese heritage and a desire for casual, street-style Vietnamese food.”  

The timber, flip-top windows, black pavers, Dexion shelving, rice bowl lampshades, exposed concrete block-work mimic the adjacent restaurant, but there are a few points of difference.  The primary one is a cleverly integrated a wooden counter which straddles the servery window and allows for simultaneous indoor and outdoor eating.  Chu has also included a small loft area, which can be used for private parties, and opened up more of the kitchen which is partially camouflaged with cascading pot plants.

“The cafes are designed to feel like the small, eating houses you might come across in a Vietnamese alleyway,” explains Kano Hollamby, Chu’s designer of choice. 

“As a result, we also wanted the space to feel like it’s an extension of the street, using the same pavers as the public thoroughfare to create a seamless flow from outside to inside,” he adds. 

Hollamby and Chu are also inventive with their use of materials.  “We tend to use basic, simple materials,” says Hollamby.  “We like to expose them for what they are.  For example we allow the steel-work to rust over time.”

Hollamby was also inspired by a photograph of a Vietnamese sewing room.  “I replicated the French green colour and used wooden rods as coat hangers, which resemble the cotton reel holders you’d find in sweatshops.”

There are a few additional elements planned for the space including a custom-designed Sarah Parkes macrame installation which will make reference to commercial fishing nets.  “The Misschu spaces are constantly evolving and Potato Ghetto will be no different,” adds Hollamby.   “The beauty of Vietnam is that nothing is really planned, it’s all quite incidental.  Nahji also tweaks the design, constantly adding her own unique touch to the spaces.”

Potato Ghetto

What's On

Rekordelig Winter Forest Popup Bar

The delicious delights of Rekorderlig ‘Winter Cider’ arrived from Sweden to tantalize taste buds during the cooler months. Created with a blend of fresh apples and infused with vanilla and cinnamon, the premium imported Cider can be served cold or heated ‘mulled-wine’ style. 

The Belgium Beer Café in Melbourne had an exclusive ‘pop up bar’ for ten days, offering customers the opportunity to enjoy the new limited flavour served in various exciting ways and at contrasting temperatures. Available over ice or heated with a slice of orange, tasting the innovative drink is sure to change drinkers’ perception that the Swedish Cider is purely a summer drink. 

Rekorderlig is also available in six other flavours; Apple, Pear, Strawberry-Lime, Wild Berries, Apple-Blackcurrent and Mango-Raspberry. They are ideal served over ice, with an option to enjoy straight, or be creative and add a wedge of lemon or lime to the Apple and Pear ciders. For extra indulgence, fresh mint leaves can be added to the Strawberry-Lime cider and fresh blueberries and raspberries are a perfect complement to the Wild Berries cider. 

All flavours including the limited edition ‘Winter Cider’ were served at the Winter Forest ‘pop up bar’ at the Belgium Beer Café from the 11th – 22nd July, and ‘Winter Cider’ will be available in select bars and outlets nationally until 31st August 2012. 


What's On

‘Territory’ at Edmund Pearce Gallery

Territory examines the topographies of our urban existence. Through the observations of six contemporary photographers – Paul Batt, Nick Doolan, Sean Fennessy, Lee Grant, Paul Hermes and Ward Roberts – the exhibition delves into the interconnected psyche of urban living.

As the title suggests, the exhibition also presents us with a very personal and focused enquiry of our modern environment. Whether it is the abandoned couches of Paul Batt, the ubiquitous Asian restaurant interiors of Lee Grant or the minimalist aesthetic of Ward Robert’s Courts, each photographer forces us to pay attention to scenes and details that habitually go unnoticed.

Like many of the American and European greats that came before them – Sternfeld, Shore, Struth and Gursky – each photographer has eschewed the extraordinary in preference of the seemingly ordinary and, by doing so, has found a certain beauty in the everyday.

Territory ultimately asks us to renegotiate how we view our daily environments – ideally with a sense of newfound curiosity and unfamiliarity.

Exhibition dates: July 25 – Aug 11
Opening reception: July 26, 6-8 PM

Edmund Pearce Gallery

Design Hunters

Anna-Wili Highfield

It’s no surprise to discover Sydney-based artist Anna-Wili Highfield’s paper and copper pipe sculptural works are in high demand – she was last year featured in acclaimed interior stylist Sibella Court’s book Nomad and has a commercial client list that reads like the Who’s Who of the design world with Anthropologie, Hermès and fashion designers Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender amongst her clientele.

Photograph: Chris Lee

The artist hasn’t been without work since 2008, with her paper sculptures fetching from $1800 to between $5000 and $6000 AUD. Those seeking to commission her are invited to place an expression of interest but may find themselves on a waiting list for around two years. Once waiting time is up it takes about a fortnight to complete smaller pieces and up to three months for large works.

Despite her high profile commercial clients, it’s mostly private commissions from within Australia and across the globe that dominate Highfield’s practice.

An initial foray into paper and copper pipe sculptures began in 2004 with the crafting of a sizeable copper pipe horse for a friend’s second-hand record and clothing store in Sydney’s Camperdown. Then in 2007, she started receiving commissions for her paper artworks. 

A former Opera Australia scenic artist, Highfield’s transition into paper and copper pipe sculptures came with the realisation these natural mediums had an authenticity and integrity that suited her “perfectly” although they can only be manipulated to a point. 

“I like to let the behaviour of the material guide the forms I create,” she says. 

The artist’s creations are born from archival cotton paper stitched together with cotton thread while personality and further dimension is added to certain pieces thanks to her clever wielding of both paintbrush and watercolour paints.

As sculptural subjects animals have proven to hold great appeal for figurative artist Highfield.

“I can’t help but anthropomorphise and see human characteristics in animals but to me, they are a better subject than people. There is something more truthful and less self aware about them,” she says.

Coming up next is another significant project with Hermès at year’s end and some current work with Broached Commissions to produce functional pieces for a new super eco Canberra hotel.


Anna-Wili Highfield


Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q+A with Jerry Helling

Your name: 

Jerry Helling

What you do:

President and Creative Director, Bernhardt Design

Your latest project:

“America Made Me”, an exhibition for the London Design Festival, which will present the best work from American companies and American designers.

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:

1)  Fabien Baron – Everything he touches is done to perfection, he truly has the Midas touch, and is a nice man to top it off.
2)  Tyler Brule – He is a brilliant man, he takes action, and he creates while other people talk.  
3)  Bob Weinstein – The creator of Miramax and now the Weinstein Company, is living proof that quality and commercial success are not mutually exclusive, even in Hollywood.  

What is your favourite…
travel destination:  

London is my favourite large city and San Sebastian is an amazing smaller town.

hotel/place to stay: 

Hotel Costes, Paris

luxury goods company: 


value for money company:


design classic: 

1961 Jaguar e type convertible

new design:

James Dyson industrial hand dryers

type of chair:

Bar stools:  My favourite is our Aro by Lievore Altherr and Molina 

Also, I’ve loved the Lem stool Shinn Azumi did for Lapalma for many years.


Double pepperoni, cheese and onion pizza at Bonnie Brae Tavern, Denver


Arzak, San Sebastian (dinner)

The Ivey, Los Angeles (lunch)


Diet Dr. Pepper


Bar at Hotel Costes, Paris

Item of clothing for…

leather & shearling Overcoat from Buenos Aires


White seersucker shirts from Barneys


American Progress and Time by Jose Maria Sert, Rockefeller Center, New York.


Cy Twombly


National Portrait Gallery, London


Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier

item in your studio:

A painting Charles Pollock did for me.

piece of technology:

I guess it is actually an app:  HBO Go

historical figure:

It always changes, but right now I’m fascinated with Ernest Hemingway.

fictional character:

President Jed Bartlet from the West Wing.  If only he were a real person!


itunes addiction


desire to see people succeed.

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’™ mean to you?

Constantly looking for the perfect combination of aesthetics, quality, and performance.  To me those attributes represent good design and it takes some hunting to find them.

Bernhardt Design

Design Products
Design Accessories

Eclipse by Kenneth Cobonpue

From the streets of Shanghai to New York, the rickshaw has proven to be a friendly and green alternative to the automobile and is the primary means of transport and livelihood for millions of people. 

Made of aluminum and woven with recyclable polyethylene, a composition of circles forms a lightweight frame bound with a tight weave and covered on the top with insulated fabric. Seats, handlebars and headrest are made of hand stitched weatherproof vinyl. Appointed with unexpected luxuries such as an Ipod dock, speakers, cup holders, a cooling fan and fully closable panels on all sides, Cobonpue has taken a commonplace conveyance to a whole new level with the style and craftsmanship his brand is renowned for.


In Singapore The Eclipse is available from Proof


In Australia The Eclipse is available from KE-ZU