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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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Happenings
What's On

VIVID IDEAS: For the Creative People, by the Creative People

Jess Scully has been the director and curator of Vivid Ideas since the program’s inception. As one of the largest events in the Australian calendar, Vivid Ideas is the annual occasion for Australia’s creative industries to come together to exchange ideas, share designs, and mix and mingle. We had the opportunity to speak with Jess about what’s in store for this year’s Vivid Ideas program. Tom Fereday - Local Design - Factory Design District - Vivid Ideas | Habitus Living Factory Design District Habitus Living: As someone heavily involved in the Australian creative industry, what does Vivid Ideas mean for you? Jess Scully: For me, Vivid Ideas is your annual temperature check of the creative industry. It’s your opportunity to get up to speed with what people are doing in the realms of design and content creation. For anything to do with creativity, innovation and imagination, Vivid Ideas is the annual opportunity to stop for a moment, check out what your peers are doing, build new connections, meet new people, put your own work into context, and contemplate who you are as a business or individual. Where are your opportunities? What do you need to learn? Who do you need to connect with? This is the annual update for your creative software. Good Design Festival | Habitus Living Good Design Festival Habitus Living: What’s the curating process like for such a large-scale event? Jess Scully: A majority of the events are actually suggested by people who make content, work in design, or put on exciting events! We do a call out to all kinds of creative people across Australia, and the world, and we ask them what events they’d like to attend, or what topics they feel are relevant at the moment. We pull these ideas from different communities – it’s really for the creative people, by the creative people. Jenji Kohan - Vivid Ideas | Habitus Living Jenji Kohan, Orange is the New Black Habitus Living: How did you get involved with Vivid Ideas? Jess Scully: I’ve been involved since the beginning in 2008 and 2009. There was some discussion about putting on a Festival of Light for Sydney, and encouraging Sydneysiders to come out and into the streets during Winter – something we’ve never been particularly good at. The conversations started turning towards wanting to have a creative industries component, and I got to be a part of it from then. Margaret Zhang - Vivid Ideas | Habitus Living Margaret Zhang Habitus Living: So how has Vivid changed over the past seven years? Jess Scully: It’s growing exponentially. In just seven to eight years, it's become something so widely known, and I think that’s because there’s such a compelling set of images every year. On the Vivid Ideas side of thing, last year we reached close to 90 000 people, and we now span anything from architecture to gaming, to film and music, to object design. It’s not exactly ‘mass audience’, but it’s more of a network of niche audiences: we bring together people who are incredibly passionate about their own field, and are great fans of other fields, so we have this amazing audience who are highly specialised, which is incredibly inspiring. You get all of these insights into other people’s worlds – you can have an introduction to a field, or you can dive in deep with the experts. Factory Design District - Vivid Ideas | Habitus Living Adam Price and Kobe Johns, Factory Design District Habitus Living: How do we place Vivid Ideas, in the context of Australian and International design? Jess Scully: The Australian creative industry has some really great moments and showcases wherever we go, internationally, but what I think we’re lacking, from an outsider’s perspective, are those more local moments, those times when we can reflect, view, and celebrate, as an Australian design community. I always find it remarkable to see Australian art overseas when it comes to contemporary design and commercial design, but I feel we need more local mixers. So for me, Vivid Ideas is about the local community connecting internally, and connecting with each other as peers within an atmosphere of collaboration, instead of competition, but also connecting with, and converting new passionate fans, educating people into design. Now, there’s Australians who are more likely to go to Europe, or the United States, than some parts of Australia, and with Vivid Ideas we’re aiming to change that mindset. Flavio Manzoni - Ferrari - Vivid  Ideas | Habitus Living Flavio Manzoni, Vice President of Design for Ferrari Habitus Living: What are the must-sees for the design hunter at Vivid Ideas? Jess Scully: This is like asking me to choose between my children! Factory Design District is going to be phenomenal, and there’s a number of amazing things also on that weekend. There’s a really fascinating event called Soul Safari Sydney, and while it has a cryptic title, it's essentially an event with Vanessa Holden –fascinating woman with a long illustrious history in interiors and furniture– and a whole bunch of people like Ken Done, Sacha Titchkosky and Megan Morton to talk about how we can make sustainable, ethical, and globally significant collaborative work, especially when you’re creating outside of Australia. The Etsy Sydney Made Market will feature 72 of Sydney’s best Etsy sellers showcasing, and it’s going to be extraordinary. There’s the crazy and really interesting Robowars, as well as the Make Nice: An Un-Conference for Creative Women which brings together a fascinating group of women coming together to talk about the business, and the lifestyle, and how you can manage and take care of yourself. It’s going to be a really warm and supportive environment. There’s also This Will Do, which is all about humble design, and some interesting designers who borrow from Japanese philosophy and aesthetics to approach design, as well as a really fascinating talk by Ferrari's Vice President of Design, Flavio Manzoni. Beau Willimon - Vivid Ideas | Habitus Living Beau Willimon, House of Cards (US), photography by Adam Amengual Habitus Living: What about for those who want a break from the creative? Jess Scully: There’s an incredible amount on really great TV talks happening. Jenji Kohan, the show's creator and showrunner of Orange is the New Black has had an extraordinary writing career ranging from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to Weeds, and she’s going to be in conversation with Josh Thomas, a really fun Australian story teller on the 10th of June. There’s also Beau Willimon, screenwriter and producer of the US version of House of Cards, and its dastardly characters, who’s going to be in conversation with Leigh Sales. For political junkies, and fans of the show, it’s going to be really funny and amazing. And of course, there’s Robowars! Jess Scully - Vivid Ideas | Habitus Living Jess Scully, Curator of Vivid Ideas Vivid Ideas will be running for 23 days all across Sydney City. Vivid Ideas Friday 27th of May – Saturday 18th of June 2016 Sydney vividsydney.com This story also appears in McGrath Magazineabc
Architecture
Homes

The Elwood Townhouse

Created by Inform Design, the home has a study, kitchen and living areas flowing around a glazed central courtyard on the ground floor. The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living Adjacent to the courtyard is a timber stair providing the main sculptural element in the long space. Near the front deck and garden is a small den. The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living Upstairs are two bedrooms. The main bedroom has a large dressing room and ensuite bathroom. The second bedroom -- accommodating the owner’s adult daughter (a yoga teacher, writer and marketing manager) -- is on the other side of the house and also has its own bathroom. The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living At the rear of the home, above a carport and beyond the rear courtyard is the daughter’s yoga studio, Yoga Lane. The studio offers “modern and intimate home yoga” in the “fast lane” and the “slow lane” – one for working body more strongly and the other focusing on “turning the pace down”. The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living At the opposite end of the home -- at its face to the street -- all three townhouses have a long black timber balustrade that “hovers” over the entry porches and gives a unifying element to the total structure from the street. The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living Capping the balustrade is a steel-framed pergola upon which a vine will eventually grow to soften architecture and link it to the leafy tree-lined streetscape. Inform Design Informdesign.com.au Yogalane Yogalane.co The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living The Elwood Townhouse | Habitus Living    abc
Architecture
Homes

Through the Looking Glass

It it this curvaceous piano and curvature that were reasoning and inspiration for the arcing joinery and glass that distinguishes this renovation (a second by the owners at the property to accommodate the shifting needs of their growing family). Place of residence for a pilot and his wife, who works from home, and their two young children, the other more practical reason for the curves was to “create child friendly spaces by omitting sharp corners,” according to architects EHKA Studio. In the kitchen a curved wall conceals the fridge and the study, next door, has a curved glass wall that allows it and the space adjacent to “borrow” space from each other and give the illusion of spaciousness. Read the full story in the Kitchen and Bathroom special edition of Habitus, on sale now! _MG_2487-copy _MG_2563-copy _MG_2488-copyabc
Architecture
Homes

Void for Reflection

Sawmill House, located in the Victorian village of Yackandandah, was designed by architect Chris Gilbert and crafted in collaboration with his elder sibling and client, sculptor Ben Gilbert. It’s very much a natural extension of their childhood days, immersed in ‘making’, and a sense of mutual respect and support. “Chris suggested that my life could benefit from having a calm space,” says Ben. Likewise Ben thought it would be good for Chris’ embryonic practice, Archier, “to do a project with as little limitation as possible.” It was also a chance to have some fun together and explore Archier’s interest in material research and reconnecting drawing and making. Growing up in ‘Yack’, there was “This innocent arrogance that you can do anything you want – there was no inherited codification of how things are. It was free-rein,” reminisces Ben. Whenever they wanted a cubby house or billycart, they took to the tools in their dad’s well-equipped shed. Another memory was regular visits to Yack’s iconic sawmill, accompanying their father, a volunteer with the Country Fire Brigade, to collect woodchips. Read the full story in Habitus 31, out now! 01 02 04 05 06abc
Happenings
What's On

Announcing the Stars of the LiveLife Discussions

Focusing on issues in residential architecture, the talks are hosted by members of the Habitus editorial team and take place on August 12. Heritage and Australian Identity: Discussion what architecture and design is historically important and worth protecting, and what just causes cultural cringe, will be… Paul Roser: The acting CEO at The National Trust of Australia in Victoria, Paul comes to the role following over a decade of experience at Heritage Victoria. Shelly Penn: This Melbourne-based architect’s work includes strategic advice to government and the private sector on a range of architectural and urban design issues and projects across all scales. Tim Ross: Radio broadcaster and comedian Tim Ross has long had a love of mid century design, and will bring this love and his signature charisma and charm to the panel.   Disrupting Design Living: Looking at how can we best design to create a sense of community, and to what degree is it design’s responsibility this year… Clare Cousins: Clare Cousins’ Melbourne practice Clare Cousins Architects has forged a reputation for design excellence in residential, cultural, and interior design, as well as furniture design. Katy Svalbe: Director and Landscape Architect at AberRoseDesign, the former Hassell and Aspect Studios designer Katy has more than 15 years of Australian & international landscape and design experience, including the Sydney 2000 Olympic. Monique Woodward: Co-founder of WoodWoodWard Architecture, Monique strives to create colourful, contextual and socially sustainable ‘forever homes’ that ultimately increase the living standards of Melbourne. Nick Carr: Nick Carr is the director of the high-end modular housing company Intermode. As the son of esteemed Melbourne designer Sue Carr of Carr Design Group, Nick’s got design in his blood, and has spent his entire life absorbing, and later channelling, architectural excellence.   Lighting the Home: How do we live within light, and can function and decoration ever truly be equal in modern lighting design? To discuss this and more we have… Christopher Boots: Iconic Australian lighting designer, in his eponymous studio Boots has designed lights, furniture and objects that explore the architecture and geometry of organic shape and the natural form. Nick Harding: Principal at Ha, Nick has an architectural passion for design that is embraced by its inhabitants, celebrating the concept of community, with a common thread of being ‘for the people’. Ross Hines: Founder and CEO of iconic furniture store, Tongue and Groove, Ross works closely with local designers and makers to develop a range that is hand-crafted, original and authentic. Volker Haug: German born Volker has been drawn to unique lighting since childhood, resulting in a designer and professional practice that is typified by a colourful, yet industrial and at times minimalist aesthetic. With a lineup like this, we couldn’t be more excited for the LiveLife series for 2016! Mark August 12 on your design calendar – this will be a day for design lovers across the city. Melbourne Indesign indesigntheevent.com/melbourneabc
Architecture
Homes

Box by the Sea

If you’ve ever been to Gerringong on the NSW South Coast -- and you have an eye for a clean line and a simple, resolved form -- then you’ve probably spied this timber holiday house from the beach and wished it were yours. Built on an elevated position at the south end of Werri Beach, it boasts 270 degree views of the ocean, the headland at the northern end of the beach and the hinterland beyond. Clad in timber, calculated to grey off under the sun and salt air like driftwood, the home is essentially an elegant box, with a glass-walled first floor – sheltered by a cantilevered roof – looking for all the world as if it has somehow risen majestically out of the floor below. Upstairs is the living room, a second kitchen and the master bedroom. Downstairs is the main kitchen, dining and family room and the rest of the bedrooms. SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-17-balcony-exterior All of the rooms open onto outdoor spaces, located on different sides of the house, ensuring protection from the prevailing, and often strong, ocean breezes. Inside the timber that’s outside extends inwards and becomes part of the interiors via wall cladding, limed oak joinery and stairs featuring blackened timber. Smart Design Studio’s aim is to blur the relationship between the inside and out – a sense that’s been furthered by the grey large-format vitrified tiles throughout. Surrounding the house is a garden planted with scrubby coastal species. Smart Design Studio smartdesignstudio.com Photographs by Sharrin Rees SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-01-exterior SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-16-exterior SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-15--kitchen SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-13-dining-room SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-07-living-room SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-06-living-room SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-05-exterior-rear SDS-1031-Lamble-Residence-02-exterior-frontabc
Design Products
Accessories

The World’s Strongest (and now unloseable) Umbrella

The brainchild of Kiwi design engineer Greig Brebner, BLUNT umbrellas lay claim to be the only brolly with a fully-tensioned canopy (so it won’t turn inside out in the bitter winds that blow off the Atlantic and the Tasman). The Wall Street Journal has said the BLUNT has a “structure that falls between a suspension bridge and a NASA space probe” and Wired maintains it’s an umbrella with “architectural integrity as unbroken as the dome of St Peter’s”. In 2014 BLUNT umbrellas won an iF Product Design award and a Red Dot Design Award at the International Design Awards in Germany. In a more recent innovation the company has developed a partnership with the global “lost and found” company Tile to create an umbrella that can be tracked when misplaced. Each BLUNT + Tile umbrella contains a ‘Tile’ in a specially-designed lining pocket, which can be tracked using the Tile App for iPhone and Android. Blunt Umbrellas   XL_0 Mini_0 static1.squarespace 539448-Zoomabc
Design Products
Lighting

Into orbit: Australian lamps launched

Pictures don’t really do this desk lamp justice, because “Aura is such a tactile product,” says its Melbourne-based designer Ross Gardam. “Although it is outwardly beautiful it really requires interaction to be truly appreciated.” That is to say it’s only when you tilt the shade and cycle it around the body that you get what it’s all about. A hidden magnetic joint allows the shade to orbit in 360 degrees, tilt in numerous positions and then snap back into the horizontal position. Gardam has released a limited production run of 25 Aura lamps in gold, each numbered individually. Also recently released recently, at this years Milan Furniture Fair, is the new Polar desk lamp. Polar’s form and movement is inspired by the natural phases of light. The circular disk arcs across the body of the lamp to illuminate and shade. It uses a unique magnetically attached arm to allow the disc to rotate around the body. A friction disc with magnets molded into its ceramic handcrafted body allows the arm to snap into place. The face side of the disk is available in white, midnight, dusk pink as a well as a gold mirror finish. Ross Gardam rossgardam.com.au RossGardam_Aura_002_LightsOn RossGardam_Aura_001_LightsOn HC160317A_RossGardam_Polar_011 HC160317A_RossGardam_Polar_004abc
Architecture
Homes

This Vertical Life

On glimpsing the glass turret between the trees, you know you’ve found it. At street level, ‘Moonbria’ wears its name spelled with the iron framework of its front gate. A facade of glass, yellow brick and white rendered balconies sits close to the street behind a subtly stepped white brick wall, the stepped levels of the three storey high roof line ascending in the other direction. I have come to meet Jim Occleshaw, the owner and resident of a one-bedroom apartment who volunteered to show me and James our photographer through the building and his home. A spiral staircase awaits immediately inside the glazed front door, wrapping around the small cylindrical lift shaft, crowned in glass above the plane of the roof. The overall building forms a ‘C’ shaped plan around a north-facing courtyard, overlooked by broad, walkway balconies that connect the apartments, and linking the front stair and elevator with its mirror double at the rear of the building. There are 21 apartments: One-bedroom apartments make up the building’s two ‘wings’, while the studios make up the building’s spine, with eight garages at ground level facing the side lane. The front wing along the street also has a two-bedroom residence. Moonbria was completed in 1941 shortly after its designer, Sir Roy Grounds, was registered as an architect, and is one of the four of Grounds’ projects in Toorak by which he first made his name. AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0212 Jim lives in one of the studios, which is the second he has owned in the building. He is visible far off over the expanse of the balcony, and waves us in. The front door opens from the walkway balcony into the living space. The living space forms the front half of the square apartment. To the right of the door along the front wall two main windows let light in from the balcony, across the right-hand side of the room to the kitchen. The smaller windows of the kitchen and the bathroom let in south light and each gives ample cross-ventilation. To the left of the kitchen, the living room fireplace sits just off-center in the overall plan. Behind it lies the bathroom. Originally, the bathroom had an adjacent dressing room, and the shallow alcove by the window contained a fold-down bed. The fold down bed is now gone, and the dressing room transformed into the bedroom, an enclave closed in enough to feel like the room itself is a four-poster bed. Where the door from the living room to the dressing room used to be now makes the portal from the bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe, the rear of which extends into the living room, and appears like an about-faced piece of furniture. The end of one room finishes as a cul-de-sac inside a larger room, and next to it, the original inset medicine-style cupboard replaced with a new doorway from the living room to the bath and bedrooms. The apartment shows its history in other ways. Tall narrow inset shelves in the kitchen formerly housed a fold-down ironing board. Parquetry is original from the 1940s, and tiles also. Some are cleft where Jim has removed and added benches, “tinkering from time to time” with the apartment’s insides. That this can be “a real task” is evidence of the quality of the construction. Over time, the apartments have been changed by their owners: kitchens have become bedrooms, and dressing rooms kitchenettes. Jim has seen a mix of tenants in his time there. Some personalities, some close, and some invisible. Even away from the building itself, at a pub in Suffolk, England, he met a Swedish architect who knew the building and revealed that he had worked with its designer, Roy Grounds. AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0011 Crucially, the apartments are all so livable because each of the rooms has immediate natural light and ventilation. While the circulation spaces are in fact the highpoints and provide the flourishes of the design, it’s the amount of space devoted to useful circulation, centred around the foliage and fresh air of the courtyard, that provides a quality of design that goes beyond a given formal style. Originally, Jim bought the studio below in the 1980s, sight unseen on a recommendation of a real estate agent friend at the pub. He knew the building, having done a regular paper round past it as a boy. He lived downstairs for six years, using it for city living while having a main residence away from town. He bought the apartment above – again sight unseen – and briefly considered adding a private stairway between the two. While Jim today fulfils the role of the resident handyman, after having let downstairs to his friends he decided to sell it, and plans for a stairway were set aside. Today the smaller apartments are relatively affordable within the broader market. One factor is that, due to its heritage status, it is not open to a developer to renovate the entire building, so this possibility is not factored into the price of units on sale. What does Moonbria say to today’s multi-residential projects? As more apartments and units are built in inner Melbourne, there is also a dissatisfaction that too many are too small or do not ‘fit’ into their own space, and that this results from capital return displacing other factors in design. Too many rooms without windows or too much space devoted to narrow entry corridors. Moonbria shows an existing example from Melbourne’s own past on how multi-residential projects can be approached, and that the quality of a small residence (37sqm) is in its design, not simply its size. AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0084 While a family needs space, setting minimum floor sizes might not help the affordability for one and two occupant dwellings for those happy to live more compactly. Absolute numbers and sizes per project or storey might be less important than a genuine diversity of dwelling types and sizes together. If we do need intervention or new ideas in the market to enhance the reflection of factors other than capital return in multi-residential housing, one thing Moonbria shows us is that we have examples close to hand to help us decide what is important and what we want to achieve. The ‘Moonbria’ building is tucked away between Malvern and Toorak Roads on Mathoura Road, Toorak. All images by James Geer. This story originally appeared on Assemble Papers. AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0062 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0066 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0072 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0094 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0107 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0125 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0184 AP_ROY_GROUNDS_0208abc
Design Hunters

The Kitchen of the Future

I live in a kitchen. Well, a cottage really, that was once a working kitchen – an adjunct to a country homestead; an external structure which housed the wood-burning stoves that kept the farmers nourished and warm. Today, I chop trees myself, for heat. Our electricity is solar, the water is bored, the compost bins on the track to the vegetable patch. (I’ve had zero luck with pumpkins, but a distant neighbour excels at them – so we exchange my chillies for his squash.) The fresh water pond is a swan dive from my back door, the garden predominantly native. Coffee grounds become fertiliser, recycling is systemic, foods kept fresh in a meshed meat safe dating from the middle of last century. In many ways, my ‘kitchen cottage’ seems to resemble a blueprint for the kitchen of the future. And yet, no Proustian madeleines are being baked at my place. Moving to an outback ranch was not a retreat to a cabin in the woods, nor a quest for Plato’s cave – more a search for a more integral way of being. Coincidentally, it’s a way of being that is increasingly getting a grip on the culture. If it’s a return to the source, it’s no nostalgic mission: It’s more about a vivid awareness of a new ecology and economy, a desire for authenticity, integrity and responsibility... To read the full article, pick up a copy of the Kitchen and Bathroom special issue of Habitus magazine. digester_hr1 food2_hr 00-save-food-from-the-fridge-set  abc
Design Products
Lighting

Diesel Living and Foscarini Light it Up

Diesel Living continues its design evolution with a series of four new lights, all debuted at Milan Design Week 2016. The Diesel Living design brand, an offshoot of popular clothing label Diesel, chose Foscarini as its lighting partner for collection. Gask The first light in the collections is the Gask, featuring a touch of 1920s mysticism combined with an echo of ancient architecture of a Mesopotamian temple. Available in with steel mount and wall editions, the design recalls the atmosphere of an old-fashioned hardware store in a play of contrasting materials. Smash The Smash light has Diesel Living fully capturing the essence of the industrial aesthetic. The shape of the lamp, with its curved, organic look allows for playfully creative perspectives depending on the positioning of the light. In the same way, the light shining downwards has an almost dance-like quality, creating a soft and warm lighting effect. Vent Vent, the third new lamp in the Diesel Living with Foscarini range, draws inspiration from the design of air vents. Taken out of its industrial the vent design is transformed into a stunning wall lamp fitting with a decisive graphic effect. Available in two colours, white and brass, Vent has been designed to have a strong presence in the room either alone or as part of a composition. White Noise The final piece in the Diesel Living with Foscarini collection is the White Noise suspension lamp. Inspired by the naturally eye catching nature of space and galaxies, the interior motif of the large matte black aluminum dome is not only artistic, but also functional. A small dome cap houses the light source, which directly illuminates the floor below through a central hole. At the same time, the dome cap also directs the light upwards where it reflects off the white graphic that fades out towards the edge of the dome. foscarini.com/diesel/enabc
Architecture
Homes

Queensland Open

It’s rare that you can say that a landscape designer is so intimately involved in designing a home’s new bathing facilities – but here it’s clear that this bathroom’s subtropical surrounds are every bit as important an element as the tiles and the taps. In fact it’s the custom-designed outdoor shower that sees more action than the indoor facilities adjacent. Created as part of a low-maintenance beach house, a short walk from Little Cove Beach, next to Queensland’s Noosa National Park, the owners wanted a robust yet relaxed house that required minimal effort to maintain. Teeland Architects teeland.com.au Read the full story in Habitus’ Kitchen and Bathroom Special issue, out now. LC2-13 LC2-19 LC2-18abc