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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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Design Hunters
People

Design Hunter Q&A: Nicky Lobo

  Name: Nicky Lobo Where you are from/live: from – Lahore, Pakistan; live – Sydney, Australia What you do: Editor, Habitus When did you first know you wanted to be... An editor? When I realised that I preferred thinking and talking about design, rather than actually doing it. Your latest project: Issue 26, out in December, and the Habitus special issue – kitchen & bathroom, out Feb/March 2015.   nicky-lobo-design-hunter-habitus Where you find inspiration: Yoga. Laughter. Light. Three people that inspire/excite you: 1)  Alain de Botton 2)  The power couple of David Attenborough and Mother Nature 3)  Lee Lin Chin What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: cars from the 70s and 80s are so cool. But don’t tell my ‘93 Daihatsu Applause I said that. Chair model: chair – Eames DSW and moulded wood; lounge – Togo by Ligne Roset. I also like sitting on the floor.   nicky-lobo-design-hunter-togo Togo by Ligne Roset Residential space: too many from Habitus! Commercial space: Sydney Opera House concert hall Decorative product: candles – Glasshouse Fragrances No.2 Figue de la Foret and Lilla Bruket Lavender are a couple of favourites. At the moment I’m enjoying the aroma of the City of Tomorrow (which smells like freshly cut grass with green pear, rose, lily, jasmine and balsam apparently), inspired by Le Corbusier, in the Utopia series from the School of Life.   nicky-lobo-design-hunter-utopia-candle   Functional product: Cork Handmade good: I’ve just discovered the very cool, handmade, Australian-designed Isson range of glasses and sunglasses. Also handmade pasta.  nicky-lobo-design-hunter-isson Isson Kiki acetate frame in gold with CR39 lenses   Mass-produced good: Teabag Item in your studio: Kuretake Zig pen makes my writing look neat-o. Time of day to work/play: Ideally early morning for yoga, morning for work, afternoon for nap, and the rest of the day for play! Meal: Brunch. Or dessert. Drink: Frangelico, fresh lime and soda Bar: My kitchen Piece of technology: Contact lenses Historical figure: Goddess Durga Fictional character: Mary Poppins Vice: Bourke St Bakery hot chocolate (strong, soy) Virtue: Playfulness What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? The relentless pursuit of meaning through physical spaces and objects, and our interrelation with them.   abc
Architecture
NOT HOMES

Aesop Rundle Street

  After entering through the pretty Victorian shop front – in muted grey-green to complement the marble inside – Aesop Rundle Street welcomes you with a honey-toned interior. The abundance of Oak and light makes it an especially warm and inviting space – perfectly calming for browsing the skin, hair and body range. AESOP-AU-STORE-RUNDLE-STREET-01 AESOP-AU-STORE-RUNDLE-STREET-03   Genesin Studio have embraced the generous proportions of the building in their design, emphasising the sense of openness with white walls “adorned simply with product shelves crafted from solid timber and blackened steel rods”. The paired back choice of materials and colour palette only adding to that.   AESOP-AU-STORE-RUNDLE-STREET-04 AESOP-AU-STORE-RUNDLE-STREET-05   Giving the room its form and creating usable bench space are three tablet-shaped counters inlaid with antique green marble. Sitting atop parquetry flooring – also in the honey colour – the marble tops are a lush contrast. And to rough it up just slightly, a makeshift side table crafted from imperfectly stacked concrete disk sits on a timber base near the entrance. Aesop know how to create a space - inviting to their customers and a fitting home for their products. No argument.   AESOP-AU-STORE-RUNDLE-STREET-07 AESOP-AU-STORE-RUNDLE-STREET-08 Genesin Studio genesin.com.au Aesop aesop.com.auabc
ADVERTORIALS
Design Hunters
People

Q&A with Anna-Carin McNamara

  1. What is your background in design? I studied Interior Design at the Royal College of Art in London, I worked as a designer in Stockholm for Svenskt Tenn and Rupert Gardner before moving to Australia 19 years ago. Here I have run my own business ANNA CARIN design since 1996. It started out as furniture retailer INNE on Queen Street in Woollahra but soon evolved into a full-fledged Interior Design practice. AnnaCarin_DesignerRugs_Fence AnnaCarin_DesignerRugs_Nest2 2. Where did the idea for the collection’s designs begin? I was invited by Designer Rugs to Melbourne Cup in 2012, I was sitting down to my regular morning meditation in the hotel room the morning after the Cup – perhaps Adam Cullens provocative animals on the walls triggered something - I literary had a “download” of images colours and patterns with narrative links all from my childhood in a small village in the South of Sweden. I went down to breakfast and told Shaun (DR’s account manager whom I was travelling with) that I had an idea he initially laughed it off thinking it would be horse racing imagery - hoofs and saddles and the like - but nevertheless encouraged me to draw them up and present to DR. AnnaCarin_DesignerRugs_WildBerry AnnaCarin_DesignerRugs_Storm   3. How was the idea affected by your own background? How did this interact with the Australian context? The idea was completely drawn from my background and childhood but the resulting products have very much evolved to suit Australian interiors. I wanted the rugs to easily fit in and complement furniture and artwork not compete with them. 4. Considering the very specific medium (hand-knotted rugs), was the method of the rugs’ production a factor to consider when creating the designs? I had a strong sense of how the quality of the rugs would feel and look, Designer Rugs immediately upon seeing the designs recognised that to achieve that feeling they had to be hand knots. AnnaCarin_DesignerRugs_Straw AnnaCarin_DesignerRugs_WildBerry_LivingEdge   5. What was the most rewarding part of designing the collection? Showing my parents and siblings over dinner when I was home last year – they had tears in their eyes. The process of designing these rugs have made me realize how much my childhood has given me and for a long time I hadn’t acknowledged that. I’ve now come to be very appreciative of where I grew up and how my parents raised me. It’s been a homecoming. 6. Do you have a favourite in the collection? It’s like asking if you have a favourite child. It changes from day to day today it has been ‘Straw’ perhaps because Spring is in the air. Thank you...  
Designer Rugs designerrugs.com.auabc
Architecture
Homes

A Thai House inspired by Kayaking

  W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living   If immediately you don’t see a kayak on a river – yes, where are the diagonal lines and flowing water beneath you ask? – it is there in form. Inspired by a painting of a boat on a river, the architects have interpreted the river as support. The structure then, sees two sections, where the base holds the second floor – or the conceptual boat. As for layout, it is the living room, dining room and service area on the lower level and the bedrooms above.   W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living   Kayaking is of course an adventure sport, an element that comes into the design by way of structural challenge – the cantilever. The reference to risk is not only aesthetic (though it helps call up a floating boat), it is a useful design feature, providing shade below.   W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living   In terms of the natural environment, the house is orientated North South to make the most of the view, get some wind, and let the sides take sunlight from the West. Using a simple three-tone palette, the house complements the landscape, while at the same time adding to the concept. The black-grey base separates itself from the un-coated grey of the upper section and the red-brown wood mimics the soil it’s grounded in.   W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living W House IDIN Architects Habitus Living
Photography by Spaceshift Studio   DROPBOX
  Architects: IDIN Architects Location: Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand Design Team: Jeravej Hongsakul, Akeanan Janeium, Pongpop Narapanich Area: 202 sqm Year of completion: 2011 IDIN Architects idinarchitects.com   abc
MAGAZINE
Design Products
Design Accessories

BAMBOO TRICYCLE: A NATURALLY EXCITING PRODUCT DESIGNED BY A21STUDIO

Designed by A21Studio, the tricycle is made from the totally recyclable elements - bamboo, wood and string. Their product aims to build children’s natural instincts, aspiring to improve their innovation in adapting the tri-bike to suit their specific needs. 5NZGUHYMTUOWVCTcaocaotre-(1) QTUT1C4V8XCGDERcaocaotre-(5) Renowned for pioneering architectural ventures throughout Vietnam, such as the I-resort in Nha Trang, A21Studio developed the Bamboo Tricycle in 2013 as homage to the rural villages that employ bamboo and other natural elements as crucial components in their society. W2CECP830OLYA7Wcaocaotre-(6) VLCGSK654QIQCLTcaocaotre-(3) Beginning with a watchful eye on their heritage, the guys up in A21Studio have collected all the environmentally sound materials, which are common in their Vietnamese homeland, in order to construct the vehicle. Without any chemical treatment, the by-product allows kids to take charge in re-assembling the naturally decaying elements of the tricycle, giving them an intimate consideration and respect for its composition. bamboo-bike-boy Bambo Tricycle designed by a21studio Not just for the kids, A21Studio hope to award happiness to the whole family as the humble, familiar structure reminds parents of their own fond memories. a21studio a21studio.com.vnabc
Design Hunters
Design Stories

Introducing Habitus special issue – kitchen & bathroom

  You've probably seen kitchen & bathroom magazines before. You may have even flicked through them. But this is going to be a new approach to exploring these areas, with our unique Habitus lens.   kitchen-bathroom-special-02   We believe it's not just about how something looks (although this is important). We're interested in how it works, and why we like things a certain way. What are the reasons our kitchens and bathrooms are the way they are? What are the social, cultural and historical factors that have led us here? Where will they lead us next?   kitchen-bathroom-special   With this special issue, Habitus is making a statement: the new kitchen & bathroom is about Experience. The kitchen is the centre of the household, a space of drama and entertainment. The bathroom is a wellness centre, a place of indulgence, integrated into bedrooms and other spaces.   kitchen-bathroom-special   We'll be talking to design thinkers around the world, experts in the kitchen, in wellness psychology and philosophy. And like us, you'll become overwhelmingly excited about the rich possibilities of these spaces for your own way of living. But don't worry, we will also present the practical solutions and products to bring these ideas to life.   kitchen-bathroom-special-03   We'll be immersing ourselves in kitchens and bathrooms on Habitusliving, and across our social media too - follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to hear about our kitchen & bathroom competitions.   kitchen-bathroom-special 01   If you'd like to pre-order your copy, if you are a designer or architect and would like to submit your project for consideration, or if you are interested in advertising – click here. habitusspecial.comabc
Architecture
Design Hunters
Design Stories
MAGAZINE
NOT HOMES

HOMES IN THE SKY

  Back in 2002, Renzo Piano played the regulations like…well, a piano. His wonderful Aurora Place in Sydney got the better of gross floor area limits by creating winter gardens with electronically controlled glass louvres. Were these terraces or part of the GFA? Close them for an enclosed space. Open them for an outside terrace. In Australia, regulations are usually about stopping anyone doing anything creative. But Piano’s creative mindset turned the tables. In Singapore, where development and innovation seem much more comfortable bedfellows, regulations are regularly modified to encourage progress.   Oliv-04   In Habitus 25, Guy Allenby looks at W Architects’ residential building, the Oliv Apartments, as an example of innovative multi-residential design. But thereby hangs a tale – of how to work the regulations to your advantage. “The GFA,” says Mok Wei Wei, “is really quite dry and not a very fun thing to do.” He’s been doing multi-residentials since 1996 and says that the big challenge is “how do you stay alive and avoid the same ideas and same building type”.   Oliv-07 Oliv-19   Back in 1996 there were no balconies or roof terraces because they were included as part of the GFA and no one would give up enclosed space for an open space. So, Wei Wei experimented with curtain wall skins. Then the regulations changed to allow 10% more on top of the GFA. So along came balconies and sliding screens. Then the regulations changed again because the authorities had gone green and wanted roof gardens, big spaces on the higher levels.   Oliv-20 Oliv-21   “So,” says Wei Wei, “you take 45 degrees – whatever from the soffit – and not covered by the 45 degree line, you get it free.” The trick was that it had to be communal space – private terraces are counted in the GFA. “We literally pushed the sky terrace regulation to its limit in the sense that every two units enjoy a sky terrace (because) two units is the minimum to qualify as communal. So, you are enjoying an extra bit of terrace space in front of your apartment.” Well, four metres, actually. That’s the recess from the balcony edge to the sliding glass doors to the apartment. Driving the idea for the authorities and the architects is the idea of making a home in the sky. By creating vertical gardens, unit-dwellers can enjoy something approximating the amenity of a landed house and garden.   Oliv-11
Photography by Edward Hendricks The Oliv theoliv.net     abc
Architecture
NOT HOMES

The butterfly effect: Eforea spa

  Eforea spa in Hilton Pattaya Hotel is designed by August Design Consultant, the flagship spa brand first opened in New Jersey’s Hilton Short Hills, and is now considered as one of the best spa experiences in Thailand. The Hilton’s lexicon of ‘Eforea’ is meant to describe a place where one can attain a calmer, more spiritual retreat, and to then emerge brighter as a butterfly from a cocoon as its embodied logo.   Hilton-Pattaya_eforea---Exterior-3   Set as a private hideout on level 17, the entrance is hidden in a narrow corridor to give that sense of slight discomfort compression, which to be then releases into a calm spacious reception area that embraces by a smooth curved standing wall. The sense of a crafted organic has been reflected in the sculpted wooden desk, while the relation with the sea is hinted by the wall and ceiling finishing of wood laying in shipdeck straight pattern with zigzag duotone. From the reception, the quick-stop nail and hair salon is on one side, while the access walkway behind the curved standing wall serves as a transitional journey to the outdoor area, into the crafted world of Eforea.   Hilton-Pattaya_eforea---Reception Hilton-Pattaya_eforea---Relaxation-Room Hilton-Pattaya_eforea---Couple-Treatment-Room Hilton-Pattaya_eforea---Hair-and-Nail-Salon   The outdoor area has its own landscape with 6 private treatment pavilions in a calm setting amidst shallow pool, this standalone ‘rest-on-water’ placement ensure a full privacy for each pavilion that offers the signature spa treatment, Thai traditional massage, and Vichy shower for Hydrotherapy. Once inside the pavilion, the changing room is the first space to encounter, with the interior of the main treatment area remains in disguise behind the curtain. The hierarchy of space are meant for the feature integrated music and aroma diffusing system to tranquilize the senses prior to the commencement of the selected treatment. Beyond the curtain, the treatment area is a humble setting that leads the eyes to the sea view on the outside, and evokes that sense of escape beyond the marine horizon. When the spa journey embarks, the accommodate spa products for each specific treatment comes from three selections of the European’s Kerstin Florian, and the two Australian’s LI’TYA and VitaMan.   Untitled-1   Once the treatment comes to its finale, and the body becomes lazy and mellow, the guest will be directed to the earth-toned transition lounge to regain the tempo from the relaxation state, with each of the singular daybeds positioned to mesmerize with the landscape and the horizon beyond. And just like butterfly reliefs from the cocoon, the decision to gradually fly out from this cosy space back into the brave world is at will at any time.   See our story on Hilton Pattaya Hotel's Drift Lounge here Hilton Pattaya Hotel hilton.comabc
Design Products
Design Accessories

Design Hunter Book Club: Made by Hand

  Made-by-Hand-cover   Title: Made by Hand: contemporary makers, traditional practices Editor: Leanne Hayman & Nick Warner Size: 202 pages, softcover,180 x 240mm, 623g Publisher: Black Dog Publishing Contents: “Art, design, fashion, history, photography, theory and things”. Meet master craftsmen in such diverse fields as shoemaking, bicycle building, blade smithing, cosmetics and many more. Key themes: Handmade, The Slow movement, bespoke, ecology, preservation of culture and craft.   The-Woodworker-Nic-Webb-3-photograph-by-Nick-Warner  
“We want to have less stuff, and the stuff we choose to surround ourselves with to hold more meaning” – page132
  The-Woodworker-Nic-Webb-2-photograph-by-Nick-Warner   Notable inclusions from the Region: Claire Best handmade shoes, Melbourne, Australia Shoemaker Michael O’Brien, Oamaru, New Zealand Stationer youtube.com Magno, Java, Indonesia Gadget maker Add to your collection/library: Black Dog Online RRP: US$24.95  
The-Shoemaker-Alexander-Reed-photograph-by-Jack-Taylor-Gotch The-Sartorialist,-For-Holding-Up-the-Trousers-3-photograph-by-Martin-Pedersen The-Sartorialist-For-Holding-Up-the-Trousers-2-photograph-by-Martin-Pedersen Musical-Instrument-Maker-Andreas-Hudelmayer2-photograph-Nick-Warner Musical-Instrument-Maker-Andreas-Hudelmayer-photograph-Nick-Warner
Photography by Nick Warner, Jack Taylor Gotch, Martin Pedersen.   abc
Design Hunters

Shifting the showroom experience through collaboration

  The role of the exhibition stand and showroom space is no longer purely focused around showcasing product for sale. In a day and age where we can browse, shop and specify online, showrooms offer up the perfect opportunity for staging inspiring, collaborative activities such as The Project. CafeCulture_For-Blog1jpg Café Culture + Insitu with DKO Architecture and Hot Black Coco-republic_for-blog Coco Republic with Greg Natale and Sony DADC cosentino_for-blog Cosentino Australia with The Writers Bench From pop-up installations that were all about texture, colour, look and feel, right through to experimental product investigations, The Project teased out ideas and talking points around the 2014 Project theme, Inception. Artedomus_For-Blog Artedomus with Studio You Me and Thomas Coward ArthurG_forblog1 Arthur G and The Selvedge Group with Bruce Henderson Architects Staples_for-blog Business Interiors by Staples with ZWEI It was with pure excitement that visitors walked through, around, under and into Project installations which at times took over an entire space. Many brands revealed the more textural and detailed side of their products through interactive activities that invited customers to get up close and playful with materials, forms, shapes and more. Apato_for-blog Apato with Group GSA Archilux_for-blog Archilux with Cezary Stulgis ecf_for-blog Eastern Commercial Furniture with Baldasso Cortese interface_for-blog1 Interface with Loop Creative Interstudio_for-blog1 Interstudio with Zunica Design monier_for-blog1 Monier Roofing with MAKE Architecture pghnew PGH Bricks & Pavers with Splinter Society Architecture reece_for-blog1 Reece Bathrooms with 6 Hats signature-floorconcepts_for-blog1 Signature Floorconcepts with Geyer Smeg_for-blog1 Smeg with SJB Architects Stylecraft_for-blog1 Stylecraft with Super Tectonics   Zuster-Furniture-design-by-Wilhelmina-McCarroll-Zuster,-Interior-Design-by-Wendy-Eades-&-Bergman Zuster with Eades&Bergman and Nexus Designs Which was your favourite Project collaboration? You can vote in the People’s Choice Award here. Jog your memory via Instagram, search hashtags #MID14 #theproject and relive some of the best moments at Melbourne Indesign 2014.  abc