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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

In Conversation: Dinosaur Design’s Louise Olsen

  Recently, Louise Olsen and fellow creative director, Stephen Ormandy celebrated Dinosaur Designs' anniversary of 30 years in business, so we thought it only fitting that we sit down with Louise to chat about what it means to reach this huge milestone and learn more about their latest collection, Rainforest.  Congratulations on your 30th anniversary! Can you tell us a little bit about what it means to have reached your 30 year milestone?

It's a celebration! We've loved the creative journey we've been on that's led us to this moment in time. It's good to stop and reflect on how things were at the beginning and how much we have grown and changed. It still feels like we've only just started, there's still so much to do!

It may be a question you are tired of answering, but can you share with us what has led you to this point?

Passion. We still feel as excited as we did when we first started Dinosaur Designs in the 80s when were really were just kids. It's become a way of life for us and we want to continue to explore and discover what's possible.


Are there any design moments or career highlights that stand out?

There have been so many exciting moments; but for us, it's always about the relationship between art and design. We've exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Spiral Hall, Tokyo Designer's Block; created the pieces for a Louis Vuitton chess set and created pieces for Paul Smith and Bergdorf's. We've exhibited at ART15 London as Olsen Ormandy and launched collections as part of New York Design Week; we've held an exhibition 'The Art of Dinosaur Designs' at Melbourne's Karen Woodbury Gallery; we were commissioned to create an exhibition at Brisbane's GoMA; we've opened stores in New York and London. But at the core, designing new collections each year is always so exciting.

How have you built such a strong design brand?

We see Dinosaur Designs as more of a movement. Our passion for art and design and being true to our core values and vision has enabled us to build a loyal following. We're constantly intrigued about how we can further push the boundaries and stay relevant.


Can you briefly tell us about the process of designing and manufacturing your collections?

Steve and I started a conversation when we met nearly thirty years ago and it's still continuing. We're always discussing ideas and keep our eyes and minds open. Our work is an extension of this and we never take it for granted.

How would you describe your creative vision for Rainforest? Can you describe some of your designs?

Nature has always been a core inspiration for our collections. It seems fitting that a collection inspired by Rainforest - a lush environment full of wonder and full of life should mark our anniversary. We looked at the balance between bold and delicate forms and the visual language that we have developed over thirty years.

What do you think is the common factor across your creative output?

Hand felt.


Your work is often the result of collaboration with other artists. How do you work with partners?

No. The vast majority of our work is our own. We've only ever done a very small number of collaborations, but recently we've had a few proposals that arose that really appealed to us, which is how we collaborated with various designers such as Romance Was Born, Maticevski, and Jac+ Jack. I loved the challenge of working with another brief, of adding another aesthetic, and adding another layer to already incredible stories.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Nature has always been a core inspiration to us. It feels right to nurture, love and appreciate Mother Nature.

Dinosaur Designs dinosaurdesigns.com.au






Designing the O Residence


Can you tell us about the architectural brief and approach?

The existing house is a Victorian villa that had been unsympathetically renovated in the 70s! We reinstated the original front veranda design and demolished the 70’s rear extension.

The brief required a new kitchen meals living area that related to the north facing rear garden and new pool. The upper level was to accommodate three bedrooms and a bathroom for the boys, and the existing house was to contain a lounge and study in the front two rooms as well as a master bedroom and kids rumpus. The clients only design stipulation was that it wasn’t to be, "just a box tacked on the back!".

Our response was a two storey extruded gable form added to the rear but visually separated from the original villa by a central courtyard. The courtyard provides light and aspect to the centre of the house, which is further enhanced by a double height glazed void adjacent to the hallway and staircase. The gabled form reduces the degree of visual bulk to the neighbours and impact to the streetscape and is not a ‘just a box’!

What were the relationships between the project and site?

The project required careful consideration of the use of space, amenity impact on neighbours, respect for the original Victorian house and the streetscape. Numerous dispensations were sought in collaboration with the neighbours to achieve maximum value from the site.

Achieving the significant level of amenity required for a family of five, while maintaining a reasonable size garden with a pool, without adversely impacting on neighbours and disrespecting the original house was the main challenge of this project.

While such projects are challenging they also offer the potential for a totally unique, one off residence, that benefits from the charm and proportions of the Victorian villa, while incorporating a light, bright contemporary living environment that also embraces outdoor living opportunities.


Can you explain a little bit about the design and building process?

As always at PP the design process is very collaborative with our clients. While totally trusting us with the overriding architectural expression there was a great deal of discussion about practical concerns such as the kitchen storage, pantry, laundry (three boys!) and master ensuite. A great architectural concept falls apart if the laundry is inadequate!

Also standard process for us is folding a preferred building contractor into the project at the design development stage to collaborate on structural and construction issues and provide ongoing costing feedback.

What are some unique, interesting elements of their home?

A variety of different spaces have been created within the new two storey extruded gable form, including double height voids and glazing to the hall, meals and living space. This brings abundant natural light into the interior creating dynamic spaces that change throughout the day.

The kitchen, meals, living space and external terrace flow around a central brick chimney that incorporates an outdoor fireplace.

Timber cladding to the inside face of the extruded gable runs throughout the house, including the staircase and upper level ceiling that reinforces the design concept within the building and adds material interest. The timber is complimented by oak floors, black panelling and white painted plaster and brickwork.

The external terrace is a double height space within the extruded gable, overlooking the pool. Operable louvres provide passive solar protection from the north west while, in conjunction with double height glazing, allow winter sun to penetrate deep into the interior.

Are there particular features of the design that enable or express a particular way of living? 

There is a  strong connection between the interior and exterior, further enhanced with double height glazing and an emphasis on outdoor living with the double height louvered terrace and outdoor fireplace, creating a house perfectly suited to the Australian lifestyle and climate.

Studio Tate studiotate.com.au Pleysier Perkins pleysierperkins.com.au 174A9035 251C5471 251C5489 stitch_5356-66 stitch_5401-13abc
What's On

deFrost* 35 with Ellen Baron

By 2016, one in every three Australians will be part of the 50+ market, and yet they are still invisible to the greater marketing population. So, what are the facts about this growing population that we need to understand? What are the myths that are holding marketers back? And how can you make the most of this opportunity to get ahead of the game? Join deFrost* to be enlightened, engaged and encouraged to rethink the 50+ opportunity, as Ellen Baron, CEO and Founding Owner of Ruby Cha Cha, draws from her extensive experience in strategy and clinical psychology to decipher the 50+ market and share the potential this market has for marketers, organisations and consumers.

Date: November 26, 6:00pm for 6:30pm start Address: Frost*collective, Level 1/15 Foster Street, Surry Hills, Sydney RSVP: Eventbrite

DeFrost* de-frost.com frostcollective.com.au

What's On

Habitus Loves: Design Events this Festive Season

NGV's Summer Architecture Commission 2015
Date: September 24, 2015 – May 1, 2016 First launched in September of this year, The National Gallery of Victoria's summer creation is housed in the gallery's Grollo Edquiset Garden. The John Wardle Architects design is titled I Dips Me Lids, and pays homage to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. 1350 hand-folded polypropylene petals cover the curvaceous structure, housing live music performances and children's activities. Where: NGV, Melbourne
Date: 29 August 2015 – 29 November 2015 A collection of the world's most remarkable residences will be on display at the Superhouse: Architecture and interiors beyond the everyday exhibition. The shots form a part of Karen McCartney's latest book, with Richard Powers the photographer responsible for imagery. McCartney has curated the exhibition, grouping houses into five themes that each explore the idea of just what makes a house 'super'. Where: Museum of Sydney, Sydney
Numerical Street Exhibition
Date: 14 November, 2015 – 20 December, 2015 Design sanctuary Koskela is launching Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell's new book Numerical Street. The follow-up to Alphabetical Sydney, the new book features the same statement prints for which Pesenti is renowned. Where: Koskela, 1b/85 Dunning Ave, Sydney
Front Door Exhibition
Date: 6 November, 2015 – 29 November, 2015 Front Door is a celebration of the planning history of the capital. Exploring the story of the Northbourne Housing Precinct - the exhibition includes housing ideas from Canberra design competitions, drawings of Northbourne housing ties, early photographs of the building and its accompanying, and a selection of images. Where: Gallery of Australian Design, Canberra
The Design Circus
Date: December 1–3, 2015 The Design Circus is a three-day event showcasing and stimulating understanding and the culture of design in Western Australia via an active and live experience. Hosted by Mobilia and curated by designer Pepe Garcia from Culdesac (Valencia, Spain), the Design Circus will provide education and fun through interactive workshops with some of the world's most acclaimed and award-winning designers. Where: State Theatre, 174-176 William Street, Perth
Architecture talk: The Terrace House
Date: November 26, 2015 With Melbourne architect David Wilkinson playing host, the editors of The Terrace House will explore the terrace house's origins, its architectural identity, and burgeoning popularity. Where: My Bookshop, 430 Toorak Road, Toorak
DESIGN Canberra
Date: November 21–29, 2015 Returning for a second year is DESIGN Canberra. The event will be held in dozens of locations around the city centre. 750 participants will be involved in the event, with 70 activities held over the nine days.The festival is divided into five event categories including ACTivate pop-up projects in empty shopfronts, Capital of Culture design tours, DESIGN Buzz lecture series, Living Artist open studios and exhibitions. Where: Canberra City
Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art
Date: November 21, 2015 – April 10, 2016 The famed Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art returns for its 8th year in 2015. This year's exhibition explores the role of performance in art and will include live actions, video, figurative painting and sculpture to analyse the human form. Where: GOMA, Brisbane
Bowerbird – Adelaide's Design Market
Date: November 20–22, 2015 120 Australian designers will be showcasing their wares at Bowerbird, with each chosen specifically for their individuality and workmanship. Workshops will also be incorporated into the event, including screen-printing, jewellery making and art. Where: The Royal Adelaide Showgrounds, Adelaide
Nordic Cool: Modernist Design
Date: 28 February 2015 – 31 December 2015 Scandinavian design is highly sought after these days - The National Gallery of Victoria is exhibiting its collection of Scandinavian creations that date from the 1920s to 1960s. This is the first time the full collection will be shown – which will include homewares, decorative arts, furniture, glass, silver and textiles. Where: NGV, Melbourne
What's On

The Design Circus 2015 returns to Perth

Hosted by Mobilia and curated by much loved designer Pepe Garcia from Culdesac (Valencia, Spain), the Design Circus will provide education and fun through an exhibition of some of the latest designer products, brands and interactive workshops with some of the world's most acclaimed and award-winning designers.

Now in its second year, the Design Circus will feature internationally acclaimed design duo Nipa and Doshi Levien from Doshi Levien Studio (all the way from London), Xavier Mañosa a leading ceramicist and designer from studio Apparatu (from Barcelona) and Co-founder and editor of Santa and Cole, Nina Masó also from the design hub that is Barcelona.

Visitors can expect to see some of the latest designs from the 2015 Milan Furniture Fair, immerse themselves in an interactive experience of an international calibre and meet some of the world's most renowned designers who will share their stories and experiences.

The Design Circus exhibition will also comprise of curated exhibitions with local artists, designer workshops, designer meet and greets and design lectures. All monies raised throughout the exhibition and design lectures will go to local charities.

The Design Circus is a free exhibition and will operate from the State Theatre designed by Kerry Hill Architects.

Date: Tuesday 1 December 2015, 10:00am to 3:00pm, Wednesday 2 December 2015, 10:00am to 3:00pm, Thursday 3 December 2015, 10:00am to 3:00pm

Address: State Theatre, 174-176 William Street, Perth WA 6000

The Design Circus thedesigncircus.com.au






Design Hunters

Aesop launches Taxonomy of Design

Along with a detailed guide to select stores, the site features a series of filmed interviews with partner architects and designers who have worked on stores in Oslo, Melbourne, Kyoto, Paris, and New York. These discussions focus on creative development, approaches to materiality, and the culture and history of the neighbourhood in which each space is sited.

Users can filter projects by Stores, Designers, Features, Materials and Quotes, which link to pages that explain each store's fitout, providing a detailed compendium of specific Aesop design projects around the world.


The Taxonomy of Design microsite is intended not only to document the creation of Aesop stores but also to celebrate a unique approach to retail architecture and design that is respectful of community, culture and history.

Aesop explains: "Throughout our 28 years, we have been constantly delighted by the unexpected affinities that have come from the negotiation of differences involved in establishing new stores – by means of immersion in unfamiliar landscapes, investigation of local materials, engagement with local culture and history, and of course development of fertile new relationships. Our sincere interest in intelligent and sustainable design extends to every aspect of Aesop’s workings.... We believe unequivocally that well-considered design improves our lives."

Taxonomy of Design taxonomyofdesign.com



A home for a Young Family

A home to create childhood memories, the Brighton East home by architect Dan Gayfer Design is a charming, yet practical dwelling designed for play and precious family time. "The clients wanted to ensure, that upon their permanent return from working abroad in Singapore, that their Californian Bungalow could accomodate their now hectic lifestyle with three primary school aged children," explains Dan. "The design needed to significantly increase the functionality of all existing spaces through specifically responding to how the family wanted to use their house upon their return. The result is a highly customised design that is reflective of a highly energetic, interactive and social family." J00491-0154-Hires-Brighton-East-Interior The overall style of the Brighton East home, especially evident in the kitchen/dining area, could be described as somewhat modest industrial although there are enough clean lines to bring modern, minimal characteristics to the design. To meet the diverse functional requirements of the main area – cooking, dining, entertaining, homework, painting, drawing, reading – the space was strongly considered from a human element. "We wanted to not only facilitate all of the above activities, but allow them to occur comfortably and even simultaneously," says Dan. "We considered how people, both small groups and large, would move and interact throughout the space and how this would impact adjacent areas." J00491-0095-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior The bathroom and ensuite interiors are discreet other than spotted gum cabinetry that is both a focal point and link to materials employed in other rooms. Western red cedar lining boards, spotted gum battens and Russian birch plywood industriously combine with steel, ceramic tile and burnished concrete to result in an unpredictable yet flexible kitchen that is highly customised to the needs of a young and energetic family. Dan Gayfer Design dangayfer.com J00491-0276-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0328-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0298-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0196-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0190-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0169-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0065-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0058_alt1-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0052-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior J00491-0042-Lowres-Brighton-East-Interior  abc
Design Products

BoConcept expands on their most successful lines

The new Monaco sofa was designed by Frans Schroder, a leading Dutch furniture designer with over 30 years’ experience. The Monaco sofa combines classic design with beautifully crafted details including innovative diamond-sculpted seat cushions to ensure the sofa will always keep its shape and ensures its amongst the most comfortable in the range. As with all our sofas, the Monaco is available in a range of seating options, configurations and fabrics.


The just-launched Harvard recliner is designed by Rene Hougaard, and is available in a manual recliner, or a premium electric recliner which integrated USB port. "I looked at the world of automotive design for inspiration. Especially the advances being made in trying to create hybrid sports cars – exciting styling combined with clever technology. Like those concept cars, Harvard is an example of design, quality and functionality combining to create a uniquely modern product," explains Hougaard.

The Adelaide chair family was expanded with new base options, including a swivel base, swivel base with castor wheels, eucalyptus timber legs making it suitable for outdoors and a gas lift bar stool base. The Adelaide is now BoConcept's biggest chair collection, with the choice of arms or no arms, plastic, upholstered or a combination of both for the seat and a range of leg options. In 2016 the collection will be expanded again with the addition of white legs.


With the Adelaide chair made into an indoor/outdoor option, the outdoor Adelaide range was expanded to include the Adelaide outdoor dining table, lounge chairs, bistro table and lounge table. The outdoor collection is now a comprehensive outdoor collection perfect for Australia's climate.

The 2016 accessories collection titled 'Back to the Core' takes us back to nature with soft earthy colours, natural shapes and materials. Chunky knotted rugs, photo art with rugged landscapes & soft pastels and continued use of marble and timber, contrasted with bronze and metallics in the lighting collection. Marble features in an exclusive new functional accessories range that focuses on beautiful day-to-day living items including clocks, hooks, brooms and trays.

See the full collection at BoConcept, and order a copy of the 2016 catalogue here.

BoConcept boconcept.com.au


Lexus celebrates the Melbourne Cup in Style in The Birdcage

Set inside a Birdnest designed by Joost Bakker, Lexus Design Pavilion served as the party zone for one of 2015’s most glamorous Melbourne Cup parties. Guests enjoyed lunch by Attica and a selection of favourites from Mr Wong. “Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the maddest, wildest celebrations of Australian culture that I can think of,” remarked Lexus Ambassador and Executive Chef of Attica, Ben Shewry. And the Lexus party certainly lived up to this expectation. Set amongst the pavilions unique design features that capture the imagination, installation-artist Georgie Seccull, the site was a terrific venue to celebrate the Melbourne Cup race day, and cheer on as Michelle Payne became the first ever woman to take home the cup. Lexus lexus.com.au [gallery columns="4" ids="47814,47815,47816,47817,47818,47819,47820,47821,47822,47823,47824,47825,47826,47827,47828,47829,47830,47831,47832,47833,47834,47835,47836,47837,47838,47839"]abc
What's On

Lisa Tomasetti Peeks Behind the Curtain of the Australian Ballet

Taken on their tours to Tokyo, Paris and New York City, Tomasetti has captured the Australia Ballet in their element, and behind the scenes. Having worked as a visual artist and photographer for the past 23 years, her skill level is indisputable, and in full display throughout this new gallery series. In this unique series, Tomasetti has removed the ballerinas from the natural presence on the stage, and has them dancing, pirouetting and leaping through the city streets. These striking images juxtapose the high gloss of a ballet performance with gritty urbanism design, capturing the passion for movement embodied by the dancers. The works display the classical sensibility of both ballet, but also of Tomasetti herself, whose sense of composition and light displayed in the photographs capture the essential spontaneity of movement. The weeklong presentation runs from November18–25 at M Contemporary. Lisa Tomasetti - The Australian Ballet on the International Stage mcontemp.comabc
Around The World

&Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge

  In keeping with &Beyond’s core ethos of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People, Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge has been designed with a light footprint and a heavy focus on sustainability and efficiency. Situated in a remote area without easily available electricity, instead of relying on a generator to supply the lodge’s extensive energy needs, Sandibe uses solar electricity and hot water systems produce in excess of 200 000 Kwh of energy per year, saving the lodge 67 000 litres of diesel per year. The architecture and interiors of Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is the result of a collaborative effort between three teams; Nicholas Plewman Architects and Michaelis Boyd Associates were responsible for the architecture, while FoxBrowne Creative designed the curvaceous interiors. Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge andBeyond.com Sandibe_G060[1] Sandibe_guest-area4 Sandibe_guest-area5 Sandibe_guest-area6 Sandibe_room4 Sandibe_room5 Sandibe_room11[3] Sandibe_room12 Sandibe_room16[1]  abc
Design Products

Atelier Lumira

Lumira's Collezione Bianca are a new private collection of fragrances designed so that each fragrance can be burnt at a different time of the day and provide a particular feel at those times. It took Lumira 12 months to develop the three scents, which have been hand made and hand finished – from pouring to labelling and packaging.

Elegant and voluminous ebony glass vessels are filled with creamy soy wax and delicately infused with the finest fragrance oils, creating an illuminating glow that will bring life to any space.

Lumira's black and gold Destination collection are an ode to the spirit of travel and exploration, and are available in a series of miniature travel tins allowing a connection between the journey and scent.

Atelier Lumira atelierlumira.com