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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 Products

A Children’s high chair that doesn’t sacrifice style

Brought to Australia by Dane Studio, the Tower Chair is a remarkable high chair that would not only complete any design lover’s home, but will grow with which child uses it. Designed by architects, Tower Chair is made from leather, steel and wood, recalled Bauhaus design aesthetics for a modern age. Wall mountable and almost entirely foldable, the chair’s changing table can be repurposed into a tent-like cubby house once a child has outgrown the chair itself. Fusing architectural structure with natural interior style, The Tower Chair is complemented by a range of accessories including a soft harness and cushions. Dane Studio danestudio.com.au 30 23 c8af6437-24c1-4921-b9e1-c01f3364f37eabc
Design Products

Witu’s Andy Warhol inspired range hits the NGV design store

Recently Witu collaborated with the NGV design store to create a capsule collection of accessories inspired by the exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei. To find out more about the collaboration, we chat to the creative brains behind the eye-catching polka-dot emblazoned range for NGV design store.

Can you share with us what has led you to collaborate with NGV Design Store? When did you first begin creating the collection?

We were approached by the NGV design store to create a capsule collection exclusively for the Ai Weiwei / Andy Warhol show. We decided to work with our most popular designs, the tote, backpack, half moon clutch and eclipse bag and use the sporadic spot print, which for us references pop culture with an interesting use of colour. For us these are themes we see running through both artists work.

How would you describe your creative vision for this collection? Can you describe some of your final designs?

After deciding we wanted to work with a spot, we worked on four different final designs, applying them to the bags and seeing which worked best with the styles we had chosen. We trialled an ordered spot design, a splatter kind of spot and changed up the sizes of the spots. Ultimately, we felt the final design was the strongest as it worked well with all of the different sizes across the designs.


Can you explain the process of creating your collection, from your initial vision to reality?

We like to start with a use for the bag, often one of us will say “I really want a bag that I can take with me every day and put everything in it,” and we will work on creating a bag for that need. We work out the basic design, them sample this, carry it around everyday and put everything in it and if it fits the brief, it’s a winner. If it doesn’t we edit it and repeat the said routine. We also always focus on making the bag as minimal in terms of design as possible. Once we have the final designs, we are excited to shoot our look books and then often have a launch night to celebrate with our friends and those who support our brand.

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

I guess our ethos, we want our pieces to be simple, clean, functional and beautiful. This applies to all of our work and most often the attention is in the details.

Witu's latest range is available at the NGV Design Store.

Witu witu.com.au

NGV Design Store store.ngv.vic.gov.au










Ari: A Residential Tribute to Brick

Located in Hawthorn East, Ari is in the heart of the historic brick-making area just east of Auburn Village. The site itself is only a stone’s throw away from the original brickworks site. This sense of history is present in the design of Ari, which was handled by Ola Architecture. Given the site’s location, a design investigating the opportunities of brick beyond simple façade made sense, and the resulting house evokes the sense of strength that accompanies brick, along with a lightness and transparency through the brick’s openings. This tribute to brickwork also serves as an historical reminder of an important element in Hawthorn’s industrial history, especially considering that, where possible, the bricks of the original demolished Victorian shopfront were maintained and reused. Efforts were made throughout so as to alter the design so historical signage could be preserved as a way of adding a point of difference to the external courtyard. A transparent timber batten façade partially screens the brick mass to the street front, and together with a restrained material palette, the new apartment building sits naturally among the more modern Victorian shopfronts that line Burwood Road. When viewed from the opposite side, from the rear laneway, Ari is surrounded by over-developed large-scale apartment buildings, which serve to make the design stand out even further through modest use of black brick and perforated steel, allowing the building to have a strong sense of sturdiness and strength. Photography: Paul Carland Ola Architecture olastudio.com.au Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_1 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_11 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_10 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_9 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_7 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_5 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_4 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_3 Ari-Apartments_Ola_Studio_residential-block_Melbourne_dezeen_936_2  abc
What's On

The School of Life Sydney is coming to the Australian Design Centre

The School of Life Sydney Pop-Up Term is full of fascinating philosophical conversations of interest to all creative thinkers. The program includes core classes on love, life, relationships, work and death, special events on the art of conversation and storytelling as therapy, such as Roman Krznaric On EmpathyEmpathy and the Art of Living, and How to Balance Work with Lifeand a unique Philosophy Salon.

Tickets are selling fast so make sure you book your tickets asap through The School of Life here.

The School of Life Sydney Pop-Up Term will be located at the Australian Design Centre, 101 – 115 William Street, Darlinghurst.

The School of Life theschooloflife.com

Design Hunters

Rossana Orlandi: Design Doyenne

Rossana Orlandi is the woman behind many of the biggest names in contemporary design. In fact, she ‘discovered’ many of them. Piet Ein Heek, Jaime Hayon, Nacho Carbonell, Maarten Baas, Scholten & Baijings, Front Design; they can all attest their entry into the highest echelon of global design to this tiny Italian lady. Rossana came to the design world via fashion, where she worked for more than 20 years as a spin yarn consultant for labels such as Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan, as well as her family’s company. Developing her own private collection of furniture, object and lighting design over some years, she decided in 2002 to share this collection with the world. And she has continued ever since, with over 65 emerging designers presented through her brand each year. It’s a highly curated collection and the sum equals more than the individual parts. Together they represent Rossana’s personal idea of how incredible design and art can be integrated into a way of life. They are the family who give her own brand and identity meaning. In sourcing, curating and presenting new creative talent, Rossana has become a design icon herself, the image bolstered by her trademark white-rimmed, tinted glasses (which are available through the shop). But her status as the “authority on cutting-edge design” is much more than an ocular accessory and a knack for buying things. Her relentless research for the ever-changing collection is akin to the passionate explorer. Intrepidly, she has charted countries and continents, in the search for that greatest treasure – undiscovered design talent whom she might present. Read the full story in Habitus #30. Subscribe to Habitus magazine here. ELLE-DECOR-1028_F L6308000a Above: Courtyard at Spazio Orlandi. Photography by Tatiana Uzlova. L6304475 L6306821   Above: One of the gallery rooms at Spazio Rossana Orlandi. Photography by Tatiana Uzlova. L6256394 Above: Courtyard entry at Spazio Orlandi. Photography by Tatiana Uzlova.abc
Design Products

Brass and matt black finishes combine in the Luxe range by ISM Objects

Founders Celina Clarke and Simon Christopher desire to work with an elegant material such as brass was a key inspiration for the Luxe range.

“It’s such as warm and honest material and it’s very different to other materials we’ve worked with,” says Christopher. “We were excited to be working with such beautiful brass tubes.”

ISM’s Luxe pendant features an all-black suspension with simple spun canopy and fabric cable, forming a striking contrast to the brushed solid brass tubular shade. The light source is a warm LED lamp.

The Luxe articulated wall lamp features a double LED lamp source that can be either hardwired or portable. Mounted on a matt black powder-coated rod, the brushed solid brass shade can be moved in any direction, creating versatility for the user.

“It can be moved up and down or rotate side to side. We’ve enjoyed exploring the effect of light on different surfaces and have become quite fascinated by how the light moves,” explains Christopher.

ISM Objects ismobjects.com.au



Design Hunters


Tell us about the Patera lamp that you’ve designed for Louis Poulsen. In a way it’s a very simple structure. But it is also surprising. Because when you look at it from different angles, it changes its identity slightly. People often get curious when they study it. I think a design is something that you should be able to understand at once. However, you should also be able to look at it again and again and see something new in it each time. Just like a good piece of music, you can hear it the first, the second, and the tenth time; and you can hear it a year or ten years or a hundred years later. It’s still a good piece of music. patera-btb-interior_02 Patera lamp You were first a musician before you went on to study at the Danish Design School. What sort of musician were you? I was a classically trained musician [from the Royal British Academy of Music]. My instrument was the base tuba. I was then led into contemporary music. It was really experimental, sometimes quite sophisticated, sometimes really really bad, sometimes hard to understand for the audience… So I had to be very convincing when I played. The harder the music, the more convincing I needed to be. The more intellectual it was, the more physically immersed in the performance I had to be. This was challenging, but it also meant that I became more technically skilled as a musician. patera-interior_10 Patera lamp What made you decide to go into design? How did one lead to the other? The reason changes whenever I answer this question [laughs]. With music, you need to practice a lot. And whenever I finished at the end of the day, I couldn’t see anything. I was kind of jealous of the baker who would bake hundreds of bread every day. At that time I couldn’t see the greatness or true value of music. In many ways music is able to do what no company is able to do. It creates culture and identity. patera-interior_13 Patera lamp So music must have a great influence on you as a designer. The good thing about music is that when I play these really complex contemporary pieces, I have to be able to play it so it is so intuitive that any person with absolutely no music background in music will be able to sense it and be touched. For this Patera lamp for example, I hope it looks very natural and seductive, and speaks to your heart and to your feelings… patera-interior_12 Patera lamp The Fibonacci sequence was the starting point for this lamp. But it can also be found in your other works such as the SWIRL lamp and the BeoPlay A9 music system for Bang & Olufsen. Why are you so fascinated by it? As a designer it’s a very good thing to start in Nature. Because what you find in Nature is the result of billions of years of evolution where only the best have survived. If you take a closer look at Nature, you’ll also find the Fibonacci sequence or Golden Ratio more or less everywhere. You find it flowers… and you actually find it in music, too. It’s something that fascinates and speaks to people, even though they might not know about it or understand it. We are a part of nature as well and as such it is within us, in our natural environment. We immediately feel familiar with it even though we don’t know how it works or why. A9,-SLAATTO-2 BeoPlay A9 music system You try to keep your designs as simple as possible. Can this be a real challenge? The Patara lamp looks very simple. But the way the pieces are connected, that took months of work. You don’t see it, and you shouldn’t see it. All you should say on seeing it is, ‘Oh, that’s a nice ball-shaped lamp’. The starting point for your design process begins with action rather than in heavy analysis. Can you explain why? I believe a lot in intuition. Let’s say I’m designing a bed. First of all you should think, what is a bed? It’s a kind of a nest, a place to rest, a place to make love… you try to find out what it means. And then immediately you make a drawing of it, or a small model. And when you do this, you should not be analysing. That’s kind of the basic rules for performing music, too. When you are on stage you should never analyse. It’s show time. After the concert you listen to the recording, then you analyse. Never at the same time. If you analyse while you are creating, you paralyse yourself. The same goes with the design process. I try to get as many sketches and intuitive ideas down in the very beginning and then as I go, from time to time, I step back, analyse, make more, analyse, parallel to my research. I never start by seeing what was made before. If you start by seeing what was made before then the risk that you get too influenced, is there. I think not knowing too much helps you create something that has its own identity. SWIRL_SLAATTO_for_Leklint_01 SWIRL lamp How did Poul Henningsen, who enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Louis Poulsen, influence your work on Patera? I used the principles from Poul Henningsen who worked his entire life to get as much light out of the light bulb as possible without ever experiencing the uncomfortable glare of it. To achieve this, Henningsen developed a strictly mathematical method such that light is directed downward where it is needed by reflecting the light towards the lampshades, which were angled differently depending on their placement in relation to the light bulb. This results in a wonderful ‘glow’ that characterises the lamps from Louis Poulsen. We used Henningsen’s geometrical principles to achieve the same glow with Patera, but here we went even further: today we have to be very efficient with the energy and the light, so with Patera, as you see the lamp more and more from underneath, you will actually see the light bulb to ensure that there is direct illumination under the lamp where there might be a table. However, it will still be comfortable to look at since we worked to avoid sudden contrast between dark and light areas. When looking at the lamp from the side, the light bulb remains hidden and no matter from what angle you look at the lamp it will be comfortable to look at. Tell us about your shared studio, B33, which you established together with Hee Welling and Steffen Juul. The three of us started this space, and we now share it with eight to nine other creatives. Some work alone, others in pairs. We have created an environment that is helpful and quite powerful. We have the power of a bigger company, since [together] we all have a lot of contacts, experience and knowledge, which we share quite openly. To be honest, some of the most important designs coming from Denmark have been made in the studio. Øivind Slaatto slaato.dk The Louis Poulsen showroom is located in Singapore. The brand is also carried by Macsk.abc

Exciting spaces to get you inspired in the kitchen

The Arris The specific shade of dark blue used in this kitchen was selected for its timelessness, and the visual contrast it creates with the lightness of the original space. The open kitchen doubles up as a dining area and takes centre stage, responding to the owner’s lifestyle desires – both of them are avid cooks. Read the full story here 1   Prahan House This kitchen features a great mix of original 1970 tiles on its bench, and is supported by a mix of 1950s and new wrought iron, bringing together past and present. Read the full story here 2 Pickles & Rouse House Light cascades into this kitchen area, which is attached to the main focus of the design, the central courtyard that links the living, study and kitchen area. Read the full story here 3 Brighton East Home Western red cedar lining boards, spotted gum battens and Russian birch plywood industriously combine with steel, ceramic tile and burnished concrete to result in this flexible kitchen that is highly customised to the needs of a young and energetic family. Read the full story here 4   Harold Street House Simple materials that never seem to go out of fashion were at the heart of this kitchen’s design, and don’t overwhelm the owners with endless detail. Read the full story here 5abc

Inspiring Green Spaces that will get you into the Garden

1 | Sculpture  This Melbourne garden, designed by Andrew Plymin is filled with whimsical garden sculptures and a generous built-in window seat Lined in timber and clearly articulated in steel. “People often find it strange occupying a new space. This seat provides a strong visual connection to the garden, but importantly, felt like a home, even before the furniture was arranged,” says interior designer Sioux Clark, who believes there should always be places to sit or ‘perch’ irrespective of loose furnishings. Read the full story here. EC140302_ECP0630cmyk EC140302_ECP0599cmyk_F 2 | Water A D LAB have created an open sunken garden courtyard that becomes the heart of the house – living, dining, entertaining and recreation with parents’ and guest bedrooms at the far end opposite the entry paviion. Extensive cross-views, together with upward and downward views, give this house a highly theatrical quality, focussed of course on the sunken garden courtyard with its glittering mosaic-tiled swimming pool. Photography by Derek Swalwell Read the full story here. a_Dlab_1_008_EDIThero-915x587 This home by RT+Q Architects features an impluvium, which takes the function of a water feature-cum-swimming pool. It sits in the middle of the house, separating two linear blocks, joined by the main dining room that floats gracefully above the pool like a glass lantern. At night, the shimmering of the pool’s mosaic tiles creates a mesmerising blue and silver underwater ‘carpet’, making this an ideal space for entertaining. Read the full story here. ed_HOUSE-WITH-IMPLUVIUM-_14-915x587 Sensuous and spacious coastal home Villa Marittima by Robin Williams Architect was crowned the winner in the National Architecture Awards’ People’s Choice Award. This home presents a memorable series of living experiences which arise from unique architectural responses to site, brief and the surrounding landscape. Read the full story here. 6_RobinWilliamsArchitects_VillaMarittima_DeanBradley 3 | Workspace Interior styling firm IndigoJungle has collaborated with Marc&Co architecture and MCD Construction to create a leafy green office space in Brisbane's suburb of Ashgrove. Rather than starting with a typical office design, they approached the project with a different perspective, viewing the built form as a shack in the landscape. Read the full story here. CribbHouse_004 CribbHouse_018 Simon Lloyd’s studio, a shed in the back garden, overgrown with vines, is a perfect backdrop for his ceramics, paintings and objects. And although the exterior is weathered timber, worn by age, the interior is pristine, with white-painted tongue and groove timber walls, illuminated by generous skylights. Read the full story here. LLOYD_-296-1F 4 | Canopy Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett architects is a strikingly fluid home nestled amongst the Far North Queensland rainforest. Understanding that the view of the natural beauty of the rainforest was paramount, the architects have crafted a home with minimal walls and columns and plenty of full-length windows, offerings unobstructed views of the landscape.I ntended as the ‘lungs’ to the dwelling, the courtyard provides another opportunity for the house to connect itself to the rainforest, as well as a flat grassy space to spend time in the fresh air. Read the full story here. PlanchonellaHouse_5 PlanchonellaHouse_ PlanchonellaHouse_4 PlanchonellaHouse_6 5 | Rooftop Gardens Green rooftops act in alleviating the urban heat island effect – where heat-absorbing building materials trap heat within a city, causing excessive rises in temperature compared to outer-lying suburbs. By reflecting rather than absorbing heat, green walls and rooftops cool buildings, reducing reliance on air-conditioning and overall energy consumption. Read the full story here. 1133_01-07-2013_7349 163 wuttke-161-915x587 128    abc

On Location: Carlton house

When Kate embarked on the purchase of what would be her ultimate home, it was with three key criteria in mind. She’d come to appreciate the advantages of size and location during years spent living with her growing family of four boys, in a lovely double-fronted Victorian out in Hawthorn, Melbourne. Here dwelled some of Melbourne’s most quintessential Victorian architecture, not to mention beautiful examples of skilled labour. When an old warehouse came up for sale in Carlton, Kate looked beyond its rough exterior to see the potential hidden within. Structurally it was “a long distance from a house”, she says, but it was “the perfect suburban block”. At 10x22 metres it ticked all the boxes for size, location and, importantly, orientation. “I wanted sky and the orientation so I could get a garden and, as soon as I saw it, I knew. The visual freedom was so attractive, the orientation perfect, and the size of the block – also perfect.” A long-standing connection with Rachel Nolan of Kennedy Nolan brought the two parties together, and the pairing between client and architect seemed a neat dovetail of architectural values and domestic ideals. Kate’s maturity of vision, her quiet certainty for what she wanted from a house and her home life, resonated with Kennedy Nolan’s own residential design philosophy and their passion for narrative. With a family fully grown and just herself to please, the house represents a later-life coming of age – the proverbial building of the boat. “I always had ideas about what constituted a real house, relative to how you want to live,” says Kate, and, in the case of her Carlton warehouse, she’s been able to test the strength of her ideas in real life. Kennedy Nolan kennedynolan.com.au For a full version of this story, check out Habitus #29, on sale now KNA_Carlton_1_004 KNA_Carlton_2_061 KNA_Carlton_1_045 KNA_Carlton_1_018 KNA_Carlton_1_017 KNA_Carlton_1_015 KNA_Carlton_1_012 KNA_Carlton_1_005abc
Design Products

Iconic heavyweights

The discussion of the Icon is problematic in many ways – who decides on what is iconic? Are brands iconic or are products iconic? As complex as it is, however, there are some that have undeniable status – Marimekko, Issey Miyake and Alvaar Aalto to name a few. Quite different in aesthetic, when we begin to delve into what makes them iconic, similarities can be found. Function, quality, simplicity and innovation seems to be the superfecta that these Japanese and Finnish brands all display. Bestowing something with Iconic status can seem decorative or even frivolous, but everyday function is a key driver in these brands, grounding the term in something quite tangible. For example, Finnish fashion and homewares label Marimekko was “born in 1950s Finland at a time when people had a lot of functional needs but were also craving some energy in everyday life,” as current COO Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko points out. Marimekko was designer Armi Ratia’s way of addressing that – “injecting energy, beauty and positivity into life through timeless, functional products.” Practical designs and classic silhouettes that transcend ‘trends’ appealed to – and felt good on – a wide range of wearers, and so increased the iconic status. Similarly grounded in function are the designs of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. While fashion in the west – and much of the fashion we see – is so often “about the glamourised, sexualised, obviously expensive woman,” as collector of Japanese fashion and Executive Director of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation Gene Sherman points out, Miyake’s designs are “about the progressive, non high-maintenance, often working woman.” You can read the full story in Habitus #30. Subscribe to Habitus magazine. Issey Miyake isseymiyake.com Marimekko marimekko.com Hero Image: Installation view 'Future Beauty': 30 Years of Japanese Fashion' at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art, 2014. 0005804_79253_master   Above: Sori Yanagi's Butterfly Stool for Vitra, 1956 YAMAMOTOyohji_SpringSummer1995_KyotoCostumeInstitute_AC009166_001   Above: Yamamoto Yohji, Spring Summer Collection, 1995 at the Kyoto Costume Institute 065205_001_42637   Above and below: Marimekko's Unniko print designed by Maija Isola in 1964. 062903_030_41222abc
Design Hunters

Habitus #30 – Your further reading list

Philippe Starck  Philippe Starck is a French designer known since the start of his career in the 1980s for his interior, product, industrial and architectural design including furniture and objects. His mission: creation, whatever shape it takes, must make life better for the largest number of people possible. He has written a great number of books about his approach to design, some of which can be found here. Karim Rashid Karim Rashid is a prolific industrial designer. Karim’s latest monograph, XX (Design Media Publishing, 2015), features 400 pages of work selected from the last 20 years. Over the past 15 years he has also written a collection of other books that shed a light on his work, life and inspiration. Iconic Designs  Iconic Designs is a beautifully designed and illustrated guide to fifty classic 'things' – from the late 19th century to the present day, and include the Sydney Opera House, the Post-It Note, Coco Chanel's classic suit, the Sony Walkman™, Hello Kitty™, Helvetica, the Ford Model T, Harry Beck's diagrammatic map of the London Underground and the Apple iMac G3. You can get your hands on a copy here. Subscribe to Habitus magazine. Habitus is available internationally through major bookstores.abc