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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.

 

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Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.

 

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From Material to Form

Above: Milo Naval examines local material swatches. Every artist has a creative process. For the Philippines furniture designer Milo Naval, it begins with a material and the question, “how far will this take me?”. His openness to what nature and local crafts have to offer and the exploration of the possibilities lead to an inventive journey. “The materials give me the direction on how to approach design,” he believes. Once, on a trip to his wife’s hometown in Bicol in Southern Luzon, locally made brooms of palm sticks bound in a cluster grabbed Milo’s attention. With great curiosity, he closely examined the broom and tested the strength of the palm sticks. He researched the different types available, sourced a longer, stronger variety of palm sticks and then bent them to their limit. He soaked them in bright red lacquer, assembled them together to form a basket-like shape, supported them with a steel frame and secured them together with local hemp fibres in a contemporary weave. In his factory, he tweaked this first prototype until he was content. So, the Migo collection was born. fmtf_2 Milo in his Makati City apartment. Interested in how indigenous cultural communities scattered across the different islands of the Philippines weave baskets and cloths from barks of trees, fibres from different varieties of banana and palm trees, like abaca and raffia, and other materials like rattan, sea grass, and cotton, Milo began to experiment with organic textures and inventive ways of rendering the materials in contemporary forms. He studied the tinalak weave of the T’bolis, a dwindling art of a southern Philippine cultural community and the ikat weave of northern Philippines. While respecting and appreciating the traditional weaves, he carefully developed his own weaving techniques and assembly methods to form pieces that capture the rawness of the material. Milo’s luxuriously proportioned line of handmade furniture is his unique art that showcases the beauty of indigenous materials. A statement of his style is the simplicity of his Winona sofa which is a series of blocks in a polished hard timber frame dressed in a tinalak weave and upholstered in off-white local cotton. fmtf_3 Venus collection and woven lanterns in Milo’s 03 Laguna showroom. “I see designing furniture as a way of touching lives,” says Milo, who practised interior design for 15 years before making the shift to furniture design and production. He wanted to reach a wider audience and concentrate on designing objects. This deviated from time-consuming and sometimes overly intimate client interactions in interior design projects. Milo initially studied architecture and this has influenced his works as evidenced in his play of geometries and proportions. fmtf_4 Bench made of traditional tinalak cloth. Abaca was the first material that Milo experimented with. This is not surprising as his wife and business partner, Kat, hails from an area where abaca is abundant. With the help of two assistants in his garage, he built a few prototype tables and chairs using abaca cord as a finish, and entered the pieces at the Manila FAME trade show over 15 years ago. From that point on, international orders started pouring in and he has never looked back. He has continued to show his works at the ICFF in New York, Messe Frankfurt and Salone Internazionale de Mobile in Milan. fmtf_5 Oversized concrete pavers lead to Milo’s showroom. Today, Milo lives in a Makati City high-rise apartment, furnished with his own creations and other Movement 8 (a hand-picked consortium of Filipino contemporary designers that includes Kenneth Cobonpue and Ann Pamintuan) pieces. Works such as Cobonpue rockers and Tes Pasola vases, pendant light and artwork complement the signature dining room table – considered the centrepiece of his home – made out of a thick section of a local hardwood tree trunk supported by rectangular stainless steel legs. Milo’s workplace is outside an industrial estate in Biñan, Laguna, a mere hour’s drive from Makati City. It is a world unto itself, an atelier-factory-showroom balanced with a lush tropical garden that Milo designed and tends to. The atelier is his haven for conceptualising new furniture designs, with a production factory where he spends the time working on prototypes by hand and often by trial and error. The garden provides him respite, but even as he tends to his plants, his mind is continually at work, drawing from the lines and shapes of nature that he sometimes applies to his designs. Giving warmth to the place is the daily presence of his wife and two-year-old daughter. Collegiality is the spirit that binds him with his wife, who also studied architecture with Milo. He often bounces off his own ideas with her for new collections and strategies as she likewise works with him on business plans. In Biñan, work, family and nature meld seamlessly. fmtf_6 Sketching with two year- old daughter Alex, in front of what is to be a dining table. Not limited to his trademark materials, Milo is exploring new possibilities using PVC for his outdoor furniture collection, incorporating his trademark weaves in the new designs. Taking a conscientious step, he is also experimenting with recycled materials such as scrap timber palettes, discarded rubber and recycled plastics, as part of his ‘Survivalism’ project. Milo’s journey with materials continues as he expresses his artistry and new ideas through his work. Photography: Kurt Arnold visualcaptivity.comabc
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What's On

Reed Gift Fairs

Boasting a line-up of over 300 exhibitors across a number of product categories, Reed Gift Fairs Sydney this September is an excellent platform for retailers and distributors to source and sell product from coveted brands around the globe within a beautiful, intimate and sophisticated shopping environment. reed_3   Now in its 42nd year, Reed Gift Fairs attracts buyers from across the retail spectrum; from the largest national independents, chains, franchises and department stores to local outlet retailers and home-based businesses. Combining world-class suppliers such as Albi, MOR, Angads, Sheldon & Hammond, Chezanzibar and Manzoni Accessories with smaller regionally based brand names, Reed Gift Fairs is one of the longest established trade events in the country and has been heralded as an industry leader. ‘Without doubt this is one of the best trade events in the world and will showcase an enormous variety of high quality products across a number of product ranges. Whether you’re looking for homewares, toys, furniture, jewellery or kitchenware- you’ll find it at Reed Gift Fairs Sydney,’ says Stephen Steenson. reed_2 With all types of home and gift products available at one time, in one place, Reed Gift Fairs Sydney provides is an unmissable opportunity for suppliers to showcase their current ranges, launch new products and meet those all-important customers – both current and new. ‘The level of organization and business opportunities are second to none, Steenson says. Reed Gift Fairs will run from 21-24 September, 2013 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre reedgiftfairs.com.auabc
Architecture
Homes

Supple Strength

Like many successful recipes, the list of ingredients used in this project is brief and specific: clean lines, a handful of carefully selected materials, connection with the natural setting and sensitivity to the characteristics of the site itself. northbridge_house_13 The brief for the project was for a four-bedroom, two-car garage home for a family of four and their dog, with the flexibility to accommodate working from home and indoor-outdoor living area. northbridge_house_14 The tone of the house changes dramatically from its street-front to its private areas; as Design Architect Alex Roth observes, “it shifts from a strong and monolithic street presence to open out at the rear to a light filled home.” northbridge_house_1 While the entirely transparent rear surface of the home floods the interiors with light, design elements have also been introduced to filter and diffuse this illumination; the recurring use of timber louvers and vertical screens softens direct sunshine and casts dynamic shadows across the home, allowing spaces to change in mood over the course of the day. northbridge_house_10 Materially, the structure is grounded by a robust, brick masonry ground floor clad in cement sand render for a cleaner textural and colour finish. The second storey employs zinc for its lightness, strength and the attractive patina it acquires as it weathers. Polished concrete and timber internally and timber used extensively for the outdoor areas and landscaping sustain the succinct palette, creating interesting contrasts in texture, colour, warmth and luminosity. northbridge_house_5 The gradient of the site created opportunity to frame the Australian bush vista beyond, as well as nestling the house into the landscape. This orientation provided a foundation for creating a central and inviting living space. northbridge_house_8 The home is a striking example of how a simple special layout, considered materiality and sensitivity to a site’s environment can produce a home that feels at once connected to nature and modern, and rich without needing ornamentation. Roth Architecture roth.com.au Photography: Murray Fredericks murrayfredericks.com.auabc
Fixed & Fitted
Design Products
Accessories

Bronze Architectural Hardware from Mother of Pearl & Sons

Made in Sun Valley Idaho, the textures and patinas will be the final touch for design projects that call for the warmth that the craftsmanship delivers through the ranges. mother_of_pearl_2 While there are extensive options of door and cabinet furniture, there are also accessories for barns, plumbing and kitchen products and more! Mother of Pearl & Sons are able to work with architects, designers and their clients in realising extraordinary results through their representing Sun Valley Bronze. mother_of_pearl_3 Mother of Pearl & Sons Trading motherofpearl.comabc
Architecture
NOT HOMES

Photography, Wine and Microfinance at Black Eye Gallery

In mid-march 2013, Black Eye opened its doors, with the mission, as Evangelidis states, to "represent and exhibit not only established photographers but also to tap into the massive pool of emerging talent that we have in Australia." Evangelidis and Brown had been keeping an eye out for a spot when they spied a promising space on Darlinghurst road. The site, which had previously been occupied by a Ken Neales 20th Century furniture shop, had been vacant for some time, and seemed a perfect venue. A quick volley of shrewd negotiation ensued, and by the beginning of the year the pair were proud lease-holders. black_eye_gallery_2 The 110 square-metre space required only minimal intervention, and within months was fitted with polished concrete floors, an exposed concrete ceiling and a wooden feature wall, giving the gallery a very distinct ‘Berlin’ feel. Arranged across a single continuous volume, it has an airy feel thanks to its glass shopfront and a row of windows at the rear. Black Eye also has the honour of being the first gallery in Sydney to employ exclusively LED lighting. The response from photographers and the public has been exuberant, with shows booked back-to-back and excellent turn-outs at exhibition launches. Complementing this, Evangelidis and Brown have pursued connections with other areas that expand the gallery's exposure, for instance in hosting the launch of the Good Return Wine Club. The event celebrated the partnership between Good Return, an Australian not-for-profit organisation which gives micro-loans to the poor in Asia Pacific, and Optimiste Wines, a boutique wine maker from Mudgee, New South Wales. Filling the gallery with an eclectic crowd ranging from the charitable to the gourmand, the evening was an invaluable occasion for networking, promoting the gallery to a new social segment, and coupling epicurean delights with an admirable social initiative. black_eye_gallery_3 Black Eye Gallery founders Tom and Adrian (right) at the Good Return Wine Club launch.  This, and other events like it, are helping to establish Black Eye as a pre-eminent space for photography in Sydney, and expanding the medium's appeal to a new audience. Black Eye Gallery is currently showing “Southland,” a series of large-format polaroid images of the South Island of New Zealand by gallery founder Adrian Brown. Black Eye Gallery blackeyegallery.com.au Good Return goodreturn.org Optimiste Wines optimiste.com.auabc
Happenings
What's On

Rick Amor at Liverpool Street Gallery

Amor’s compelling paintings, drawn from observation and inspired from the deep recesses of memory, resonate with a brooding disquiet. The upcoming exhibition will feature new paintings that continue Amor’s investigation of a number of key subjects in the artist’s oeuvre. amor_1 Amor masterfully manipulates tonal elements in his paintings by predominantly using dark, striking hues, which suggest a mood of melancholy, as seen in Terminal (2010) (above left), where ominous clouds swirl with sfumato effect behind an immense, towering rocky outcrop dwarfing a lone walking figure. The viewer is left with a sense of unease as Amor suggests a menacing storm is approaching. amor_4 Amor’s dramatic paintings capture poignant, still moments, and often imply that behind mundane realities, something else is lurking. He states: “One of the main themes in my work is the passing of time, the vanity of human wishes, things pass, things decay and the passing of time seems to have an emotional resonance with me. I keep on returning to it over and over again”. Amor exaggerates the enormity of natural land formations, structures and buildings. Lower Manhattan (after the hurricane) (2012) employs his use of spatial illusion as a distressed figure is dwarfed by the commanding structure of the Brooklyn Bridge, surrounding buildings and debris. The melancholy, quiet moment is amplified with the use of dramatic shadows, strong architectural tensions and an encroaching dawn. amor_3 There are few Australian artists today who achieve realist painting with incredible intensity and originality, or who produce paintings of such clarity and refinement. Amor’s forthcoming solo exhibition, New Paintings, is on view from 21 September – 17 October 2013, opening on Thursday 26 September 2013, 6-8pm at Liverpool Street Gallery. liverpoolstgallery.com.auabc
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Old, but not Frail

The entire concept of the nursing home centres on the idea that its inhabitants are frail, not self-sufficient, and therefore require assistance in carrying out their day-to-day lives. This is exactly the concept Gelauff seeks to challenge in his work to create a new culture in housing for the elderly, as he explains, "what we try to do is focus on what they can do and focus on strength rather than focus on [frailty]". Gelauff goes on to comment that the currently 'ageing' populagion are the baby-boomers, whose imagination of themselves differs drastically from that of previous generations. "basically who we are building for is Mick Jagger and Tina Turner - [this generation of the elderly] will aspire to look like them, they don’t want to be treated as old ... they think of themselves as remaining quite young mentally. Rather than being cautious and going in to a home they gamble a bit more". aged_housing_3 In 2001 Gelauff's firm completed a much lauded project in Rotterdam, Holland, that embodied these principles. This design for seniors aged 55 and older was tailored to the forthcoming retirement of the hippy generation. As such the project embraces its target market's denial of ageing by proposing a playful, coloured apartment block. The building is an exciting configuration of a tower and an elevated slab, and the façades of the dwellings gain a strong, three-dimensional quality through the intelligently repeated curvaceous balconies. aged_housing_2 Gelauff comments, "We made the building look like a condominium younger generations could look up to. The neighbours you leave behind think this is a clever move, this is what we try to do to express not that you’re on the descent, just that it’s another step forward and a clever one" Notable in the project is that the 'care' aspect of the facilities is unobtrusive - an inconspicuous elevator shaft connects the new building to the older, adjacent nursing home, where medical personnel, cooks and other help are available. This is an example of Gelauff's concept of 'stealthcare', whereby every effort is made to prevent dwellings radiating a hospital feel, without compromising the quality of care available. aged_housing_4 With regards to the Australian context Gelauff observes that the high degree of home-ownership and the predominantly single-storey, detached building configuration of suburban homes is the envy of the northern europeans. Whilst the consensus is that 'ageing in place' is by far the best option, he questions whether with so much money tied up in the property, the elderly can afford to modify their homes for their later life necessities. Ultimately however Gelauff sees the big requirement to be integrating parcels of housing for the elderly in broader developments - both government and private - to ensure they retain connection and engagement with the community. By combining commercial and residential development with social and cultural institutions such as schools, museums or entertainment districts, Gelauff believes "you can create a win-win situation in creating interesting urban cocktails of built programs". Arons en Gelauff Architects aronsengelauff.nl Monash University Faculty of Architecture and Design artdes.monash.edu.auabc
Architecture
NOT HOMES
Places

Burgers and Empanadas

Forged out of an old loading dock in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Bridge St Garage has been twelve months in the making, and has involved a substantial intervention in the original space. brisge_st_garage_6 Co-owner and execuitive chef of the project is Argentinian-born Oscar Gorosito, who worked together with Patrick Nicholas of Architects Nicholas + Associates and Kerrie Hanton interiors to create an industrialised look that sustains the heritage of the site while extending beyond the typical ‘converted warehouse’ look. brisge_st_garage_3 Gorosito wanted to “create a unique dining experience that the city hasn’t seen before, whilst trying to utilise what was in place aesthetically.” The space has two entrances - one opens onto the bar area fronting Bridge Street just opposite the Australian Stock Exchange, the other accesses the more bistro-style dining at the venue’s rear via a garage roller door on Bridge Lane (formerly an actual loading dock). brisge_st_garage_5 Inside the heritage sandstone façade is an interior which features raw brick, concrete, steel, copper pipes and white “subway” tiles, knocked together with bold, almost pop-art pieces and a bespoke car, suspended from the ceiling. The building’s history is quite unique, as Gorosito explains, “The Tank Stream runs underneath the building, which was one of the original settled areas in Sydney. The building used to be called Scottish House and was one of the larger buildings in Sydney (today dwarfed by skyscrapers). There was an explosion that levelled the building in the early 1900s and was rebuilt in the 1930s.” brisge_st_garage_4 Reflecting Gorosito’s heritage, the menu celebrates American and Latin American comfort food – think empanadas, Buffalo wings, and sticky pork ribs, not forgetting Argentinian twists on some classic burgers, as well as a boutique range of beers and bourbons. brisge_st_garage_1 Bridge St Garage bridgestgarage.com.au Architects Nicholas + Associates anplusa.com Photography: Jason Loucas jasonloucas.comabc
Happenings
MAGAZINE
What's On

Sydney Ball: 80th Birthday

Sydney Ball's oeuvre is expansive and diverse with each series in his 50 year career marked by a monumental and dynamic change. In 2013 Sullivan + Strumpf will be honouring this important artist's 80th birthday with a book and the following exhibitions; As part of Sydney Contemporary, October Fields, a grand scale painting from Ball's 'Stain series' of the 1970s will be installed alongside a collection of smaller pieces, including recent works. "The Stain paintings are one of the triumphs of Australian art in the 1970s... How good it is to see them again and what miracles of vitality and enterprise they are. Like all major works of art, they renew the senses and the soul." - Patrick McCaughey, 2013, foreword to Sydney Ball: The Stain Paintings 1971 - 80 syd_ball_2October Field 1976, 272 x 482 cm, acrylic and enamel on cotton duck Sydney Contemporary is on at Carriageworks from 19 - 22 September 2013 sydneycontemporary.com.au Sullivan + Strumpf will also present a selection of the Stain paintings dating from the 1970's, some of which have never been exhibited. Started in New York and finished in Australia these ambitious, dynamic and grand-scale paintings positioned Ball firmly as an artist in conversation with the international movement. At the time many of these works were immediately taken up by significant collections throughout Australia, including most State collections. syd_ball_3 Oceania 1977-78, 303 x 372 cm, acrylic on canvas Sydney Ball 'The Stain Paintings 1971-1980' in conversation with Wendy Walker from Sullivan + Strumpf on Vimeo. The Stain Paintings 1971 - 80 will be exhibited at Sullivan + Strumpf from 22 October - 16 November 2013. sullivanstrumpf.com Habitus 21 is on sale September 26. Subscribe to Habitus hereabc
People
Design Hunters
Conversations

Sam Huff at Paceman Pop Up

Q: Tell us about the collaboration between Mini and Tanner Goods? I think the most important quality Tanner Goods shares with Mini is our approach to the products we design and manufacture. Mini has a strong history within the automotive industry, and whether it's an original Mini Cooper from the 1960s or the new Paceman, both have the same strong personality. sam_huff_1 There's a nice continuity in what each model represents. Mini has added modern elements while still respecting the past, and that's essentially what we strive to do at Tanner Goods. With the retail Pop-Up, having both the Paceman and our full collection displayed side-by-side was a nice juxtaposition of past and present represented in two different mediums: automobiles and durable goods. sam_huff_7 Q: How would you describe the culture and philosophies behind your brand? The folks at Tanner Goods appreciate an honest, simple yet fulfilling lifestyle. We pay close attention to the quality of life above all else. Be it the food we grow and cook at home, the bikes we build and maintain to get around the city, or even the furniture we fill our houses with – it's a culture that in a lot of ways discards the superfluous. Likewise, we strive to build goods that not only embrace a timeless aesthetic but are also very utilitarian in their use and constructed with techniques that ensure each piece can be put to good use for years to come. Our customers share this same appreciation for quality products and a pure lifestyle. sam_huff_3 Q: Some highlights from your trip with Paceman to Australia? It's my third time returning to Melbourne and honestly I feel very much at home now when I visit. Melbourne shares a lot of the qualities that makes my hometown, Portland, Oregon, an enriching place to live. For starters, I haven't had a bad meal yet! There's also a bounty of record shops, vintage stores and live music venues to explore. I took in my fair share. sam_huff_6 And like Portland, Melbourne feels like a handful of smaller communities with their own character and personality that make up the larger metropolitan area. It's quite diverse, and has something for everyone. Q: How would you describe the design hunter in you? [For me it goes beyond the term design] because to be honest, I love everything that is creative. Be it design, music, architecture, art, apparel, food. And the type of creativity I tend to seek out has one thing in common: longevity. sam_huff_5 Look at what Dieter Rams did with Braun and Vistoe, or what Charles and Ray Eames accomplished in their studio in LA. It's all very inspiring. Take what chefs are doing in both Melbourne and Portland, focusing again on local ingredients and putting an emphasis on the quality of preparation. On some level it's about getting back to the basics. It's about doing something simple and honest that exudes quality.   Tanner Goods tannergoods.com woodlandsshop.com Paceman Pop Up minipaceman.com.au/paceman  abc
Fixed & Fitted
Design Products
Accessories

The Black Collection from The English Tapware Company

The Black Collection offers lustrous black ceramic detailing for those seeking a discerning edge to their kitchen and bathroom. The Black Collection encompasses Perrin & Rowe’s traditional kitchen and bathroom collections and is exclusive in Australia to The English Tapware Company. Image 1 Image 2 Available on our classical kitchen and bathroom tapware and shower fittings, all white porcelain components can be ordered in black porcelain. This applies to the full range of finishes: Chrome, Nickel, Pewter, Gold, English Bronze and Bare Brass. Image 3 The English Tapware Company englishtapware.com.auabc