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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
Happenings

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

As Design Hunters we can often find inspiration within the realms of one discipline for a project in that of a completely different other. It’s ingrained in our core to be in a constant state of awareness, eyes peeled for a great collaboration or disruptive design. This has been the case in more ways than one for FASTER, the Australian Ballet’s latest triple bill coming out of London. David Bintley, Artistic Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, was so inspired from the 2012 London Olympic games and its motto, Faster, Higher, Stronger, that this contemporary ballet resulted, taking audiences on a journey through the agony and ecstasy of elite athletes. David’s work makes an Australian debut but it is, however, accompanied by an array of familiar, homegrown faces. Australian composer Matthew Hindson’s energetic score drives the action of the eponymous first bill with a muscular force of its own. Kelvin Ho, architect and founder of AKIN Creative, reunites with The Australian Ballet and resident choreographer Tim Harbour to see to the set design for Squander and Glory, the third and final ballet in the program. In 2015 ­– and to wide acclaim – Kelvin and Tim worked together on Filigree and Shadow, the opening performance of 20:21. Sandwiched in between, Infra, the middle bill, explores the concept of urban humanity against projections by British artist Julian Opie to a haunting score by Max Richter. Faster runs in Melbourne from the 17-27 March at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. It will make its Sydney debut at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House from 7-26 April. The Australian Ballet australianballet.com.au Words by Holly Cunneen Faster | Habitus Livingabc
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Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

Surface – The Latest Methven Tapware Collection

Methven has been creating amazing water experiences since the 1880s, and in celebrating its 130th year in business, the brand is unveiling Surface, a uniquely ­bold, streamlined geometric tapware collection combining clean lines and elegant floating planes. The result is a refined contemporary architectural aesthetic to complement a range of interiors. The 2016 Chicago Good Design Awards saw Methven taking out two awards, one for the highly celebrated Aurajet Twin Shower System, and the other for the new Surface tapware collection. Methven has set a new standard in tapware with Surface, constructed from the highly durable and award-winning Eco Brass. Originally launched in the Aio tapware collection, this revolutionary high quality and high strength material is both lead and heavy metal free, containing less than 0.2% lead by volume. The composition of this material helps preserve water quality for both consumption and bathing in addition to being incredibly robust; Methven’s Eco Brass is actually as strong as stainless steel 303 grade, giving it the highest strength of any wrought Copper Alloy! As a result of utilising this enduring material, Methven is able to offer an industry leading 20-year warranty on both parts & labour. This bold, award-winning collection is guaranteed to turn heads for years to come. Methven methven.com SFBCPAU-Surface-Tapware-Basin-Mixer_Water SFBCPAU-Surface-Tapware-Basin-Mixer_Awardabc
Design Hunters

Lettuce Celebrate!

Among the many milestones on the road to adulthood surely one at the top of the list is becoming a competent cook and green thumb. And yet, our reliance on fast food and takeaway, on which the average Australian spends a third of their food budget, continues to not only pillage our wallet but also in many cases have an adverse impact our health. IMG_8338 In what is undeniably shocking, the 2012 Census showed that nearly two-thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, with our high-stress lifestyles and time-poor mindsets partly to blame. Most of us know we should change. Some, like myself, buy impressive-looking cookbooks and others will throw themselves into absurd diet regimes. But thinking ‘food-sustainable’ isn’t just a decision made for individual gain, and nor do we have to damn ourselves to those bizarrely rigorous diets consisting of only orange foodstuffs on Wednesdays. The passionate volunteers at Youth Food Movement (YFM), a non-for-profit which aims to improve the food literacy of young adult Australians, are determined to bring back some of the joy into using and sharing food. The YFM run education projects and events with an entrepreneurial focus on satisfying the real food needs of young Australians not living at home – many who, like me, often feel confounded by the myriad of contradicting philosophies (Paleo? Vegan? No carbs? Caveman?). Copy-of-CH-154 Noticing just how much little pockets of community gardens are springing up all over this country – not to mention the extent to which home-gardening has become a hot-topic touchpoint in our proudly ‘Foodie’ culture, I visited one of the many YFM branches across Australia to find out more about the skyrocketing growth of food-sustainable thinking and the revolution taking place in our home gardens. Once I understood what YFM so painlessly provides, it’s easy to see why they’ve changed our kitchens and courtyards alike. Their incredible variety of resources – offer everything from tips on how to read a food label, to basic home cooking classes for home leavers – all presented with an attitude that eschews guilt-tripping and prescriptive “don’ts” in favour of a creative, and always social, approach. Copy-of-EN4A2094-(1) Other passionate initiatives they run all over the country focus on organic farming, discussions of meat and milk sustainability, interviews with farmers – and a plethora of recipe tips from chefs and foodie bloggers alike. Trust me, you’ll want to throw out all of those cookbooks gathering dust on your shelf! YFM’s main goal is to help participants understand food sustainability issues in a positive way and, if it brings them fulfillment, to get them involved within their communities to bring about a bigger change. IMG_8901 The YFM team is undeniably changing the faces (and nutrition) of our communities. In particular, a major focus of the group – in terms of what each individual can do – is food waste. One project, Spoonfed, aims to minimize the amount of food waste Australians dump in their trash every year (in excess of $1,000 per household) by teaching people to use food scraps in ways that they hadn’t thought of before. EN4A8561_NikkiTo-copy Meanwhile, many other projects, such as ‘Cropfest’ and ‘Reel Food Night’ use film and other media to communicate suggestions about a sustainable food future we can all bring inside our homes. As Zo Zhou at YFM told me on my last visit, it’s not that hard at all. It’s time, in her words, “to really begin to ‘eat’ the values that you care about”. Youth Food Movement: Australia youthfoodmovement.org.au Words by Ella Whelan Photography by Nikki To + Julia Grove This article was originally published in McGrath Magazine: February 18th 2017.abc
Design Hunters
People

In Conversation With… Melonie Bayl-Smith

Melonie, how are things going at UTS? I’ve just come off the back of the Summer session where I taught two professional practice electives. One for undergraduate students, one for post-grads and Masters students. The masters in particular is focused on getting the students to form a hypothetical practice, getting them to test out how they might work as a practice from a philosophical point of view but also in terms of business structure. Next semester I’m teaching a Masters design studio looking very particularly at the field of heritage development and adaptive reuse, a lot of real-time infrastructural stuff to do with Parramatta as second city and how the river and green grid are rapidly evolving in terms of policy and urban renewal strategy. Do you think most of your students will become architects or do you think they’ll move into some related field? I think for some good reasons and some bad, people leave architecture strictly speaking and will end up working in allied fields such as urban design or planning or policy, landscape architecture or even development. I still think a lot of people will end up becoming architects and will work within what we understand to be the traditional bounds of architecture doing buildings and other projects. I think it’s good that we do have architecture graduates who work in other fields since this helps inform the broader conversation about what architectural thinking and design thinking can contribute to solving the sticky problems of the city. Not just in urban environments but also in suburban and regional contexts. Why do people decide not to become architects? I think people sometimes leave the field for what I’d call the wrong reasons, because of issues in the profession. One pressing one is how can we retain women in architecture? It’s still a prevailing problem, we see a drop off of participation of women from their mid- to late-30s when they take time off to have children and have immense trouble getting back into the profession. For a lot of people, negotiating part-time work is immensely complicated and the profession needs to gear up to be able to deal with this. We need to develop a more flexible model of sharing roles and responsibilities within the work place. There’s still very much a prevailing culture of overtime, late nights, things that are not terribly family-friendly and in fact affect both men and women. It’s not just a conversation about women, it’s about people having an appropriate work/life balance that takes into account the nuance of modern life, people’s needs not just in terms of kids but also elderly parents or other commitments beyond the field of work. When an architect decides not to practice, what are the options? The largest percentage is still leaving the profession to go and work in government, for instance. The public service is renowned for being much more flexible and understanding in terms of life issues. That said, a lot of architects who end up working for government also do it because they feel they can make a different kind of contribution from that vantage point. In other words, there are many and complex reasons for why someone who has completed their studies and begun work in the profession may decide to leave. But what we don’t want is an attrition that is entirely driven by some kind of incapacity in the system to think about the way people might work differently. As design professionals, our job is based around problem solving which often entails coming up with the right question, we owe it to ourselves to become better at thinking our way through this conundrum and coming up with a better way of doing things, of being. Was it the fault lines running through the profession that encouraged you to set up your own studio? To some extent, yes, having my own practice means I’ve been able to found it outside of those fault lines. But also, I’ve always been someone who has desired control over their way of being in the world. I’ve been my own boss since I began working at age 15 as a piano teacher and have worked as a professional accompanist issuing invoices and so on since the age of 17. So I’ve been involved in business scenarios since a very early age. But I have to say there is also major appeal to me to be able to manage my own crazy version of the work/life balance scenario. People may not think it’s very balanced since I am always incredibly busy. But I think at the end of the day it’s all about having choice about what one does, when and how. Bijl Architecture bijlarchitecture.com.au Interview by Stephen Toddabc
Design Products
Accessories

Redesigning a Nostalgic Icon

For a generation, it’s tricky to think of a more icon phone than the Nokia 3310. Sturdy, reliable, aesthetically pleasing, and including the Snake mobile game, it’s easy to see why a nostalgic attachment would be formed with the robust icon. Nokia knows this, and in 2017, has decided to bring it back. Unveiled at MWC 2017, the revamped 3310 brings the classic, sturdiness and dependability of the brick phone to the smartphone era. Described as “a head turning modern twist on one of the best-selling feature phones of all time”, the new 3310 features an updated user interface, colour screen and 2 MP camera, as well as a slimmer design and colourful casing available in red, yellow, dark blue and grey. Boasting a month long stand-by battery life, and 22-hour talk time, the phone certainly recalls the classic batter lengths of the 2000s. The phone now though also comes with a headphone jack, micro USB charger, and polarized, curved screen window for better sunlight use. The phone too, naturally, features the iconic Snake game available to play on messenger as part of facebook’s instant games cross-platform experience. The 3310’s launch marks the return of the Nokia brand into the smartphone market, and was introduced alongside the android smartphones Nokia 6, Nokia 5, and Nokia 3 that draw on the hallmarks of the brand’s heritage in design quality, simplicity and reliability. Nokia nokia.com Words by Andrew McDonald Nokia-3310-BeautyShot Nokia-3310-Design1 nokia-new-3310-MWC-designboom-02-27-2017-818-004-818x600 Snakeabc
Architecture
Homes

Designing Outside the Square

Blocks of land come in all shapes and sizes, unfortunately for owner and architect Simone Robeson, it was a 180-metre-squared triangle with bustling streets on one side and a 1.5-metre sewer easement on the other. Designed for a professional couple, the minimal design successfully utilises 170 square metres of the block and celebrates quality of spaces over quantity. Nicknamed “The Triangle House”, the home is bold and spacious because of a number of innovative design features, including only one car bay and inbuilt storage and furniture.  Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Before this, I hadn’t worked on any projects with a block this small, but I have done quite a few since,” says architect Simone Robeson of Robeson Architects. “I really enjoy working on inner-city lots, because I’m designing for people with a similar set of views on how they like to live – some may associate small spaces with clutter or a less premium option in the housing market, but to me, it means holidays without worrying about gardening, less clutter and more money to put into the areas of the home where you spend your time, rather than additional rooms that don’t get used.” The two-level design incorporates a home office on street level and all living areas above. Expansive glass opens the living area onto the park across the road and one way glass gives expansive views of the adjacent streets. The interiors boast understated luxury with a waterfall skylight over the staircase, burnished concrete flooring and a steel box window. Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt Lawley is an eclectic suburb with a mix of heritage homes, cathedrals and commercial spaces, while (only a stone throw away) Beaufort Street is littered with bars and restaurants. Street art is common on surrounding commercial buildings, but not residential spaces. Simone commissioned artist Robert Jenkins (The Black Mountains) to transform the exterior wall of the home, adding to the streetscape of the suburb. Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Rob had done a huge piece on Mary Street nearby, which we loved. I like the fact his work has lots of detail and organic shapes,” says Simone. “In my opinion, his art is less ‘street’ and more ‘artistic’ and I felt his style of work would balance the sharp, angular forms of the house.” Robeson Architects www.robesonarchitects.com.au Words by Clare Ryan Photography by Dion Photography Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Living Mt. Lawley | Habitus Livingabc
Architecture
Homes

A New Home in Singapore With a Few ‘Key’ Elements

RT+Q has designed a total of 83 houses since its inception in 2003. “The office is set up in such a way that everyone eventually does one house,” says Rene Tan, the firm’s director. With the number of its residential projects approaching high double digits and each team member’s active involvement in the design process, every new residence the firm does is a unique collaboration between the design team and the client, allowing each house to be a distinctive reflection of its owner’s identity, while retaining the sophisticated aesthetic that is a constant across the firm’s many residential works. It is in this spirit that the House with Pianos has been designed for a couple with three young kids, and the family’s four treasured pianos. Having reached out to RT+Q after seeing one of the firm’s previous jobs, the clients asked for a comfortable, safe and accommodating home for their growing family, where their children could play freely both indoors and out. House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living “The spaces in the house are generally kid-friendly,” says project lead Virly Martadinata. “On the first floor, big sliding glass doors open up to the pool deck that leads to the front garden, so the children are able to play both indoors and outdoors without going through the main entrance. On the second level, there is a double volume family area, where the parents can look over their kids from the walkway outside of their master bedroom, or check in on them through a one-way mirror in their walk-in wardrobe.” The semi-detached House with Pianos and its unusually wide plot posed a couple of challenges to the design team, including the task of getting the natural light and ventilation into the internal areas along the party wall. To minimise the dark spaces, the team shifted the building form’s main volumes that were initially stacked one atop the other to allow for vertical and horizontal openings and penetrations within the volumes to bring in light and air. House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living “The overall form started with a simple box sitting on another slightly narrower box,” says Martadinata. “The top box has shifted and skewed away from the party wall to allow for natural light and also to create an overhang for the pool deck below.” This design move also allowed for an integration of multiple courtyards and outdoor decks on the upper floors of the house, facilitating ventilation and adding bit of greenery into the living spaces, with additional punctures in the slanted roof bringing washes of light into the rooms below. With the client not wanting too much furniture to clutter the house, the rich materials and the double volume spaces have instead taken centre stage. The first storey floor plan became an open, expansive space, maximising the use of the wide site, with the living, dining and dry kitchen areas merging seamlessly into each other, both visually and through the use of fair faced concrete and homogenous tiles. On the second floor, the design team used fair faced brick cladding to emphasise the double height family room, immediately highlighting the glass bridge, glass lift shaft and walkways connecting the bedrooms above. Using warmer materials like brick cladding and timber for floor surfaces on the upper levels, while confining the hardier, cooler materials mostly to the first level, the design team created a subtle distinction between the public and private areas, while retaining the visual linkages across the floors and connecting the spaces and the family as one. House With Pianos | Habitus Living As Rene Tan elaborates, the House with Pianos design came together through a continuous weaving of different design elements that, together, convey a narrative and create a unique, liveable space. “In our projects, everything must have a story,” says Tan. “For the House with Pianos, we wanted to bring light in and make room for open balconies and decks so that there was some sense of a tropical place. We knew the family lived very casually with kids all over the house, so we wanted to bring them together, maintaining a generous sized living space and creating a sense of connectivity throughout.” RT+Q Architects rtnq.com Words by Olha Romaniuk Photography by Ong Eu Ho Fabian House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Living House With Pianos | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters

The era of urban murals is upon us

Modern mural making is gaining momentum on our urban streetscapes as an increase in private and public commissions is matched by a bid to return public art to the people. The news this week that the City of Sydney has recommended a change to its laws that would allow homeowners to commission artworks on their exteriors without council approval cements what has been building as a movement of murals since the decade began. “There is absolutely a movement to beautify our neighbourhoods,” says Juliet Rosser of Platform72 art gallery, curator of the Five Dock Laneways Project and the City of Sydney’s 2013 We Are Here mural. Reko Rennie’s “temporary” 2012 fluoro geometric artwork at Sydney’s Taylor Square, which began life as a three-month installation, was prolonged in response to public demand just as laneway projects took off in Perth and Melbourne. The unwavering boldness of Reko’s appropriately titled Always Was, Always Will Be is symbolic of what has occurred in its wake. Cut to now and a Paddington warehouse hitherto lost under the radar has burst forth into the consciousness of passers by via a similarly large-scale neo-geo wall painting. While the City of Sydney’s Streetware project was behind Reko’s work, the facade of the Paddington studio was commissioned by owner, architect Shelley Indyk, and is the latest ‘Artwall’ by Claudia Damichi. “It started with a singular element and we fell in love with it,” says Shelley. “So we just wrapped the whole building. The community got really involved and as they walked passed they’d say ‘you’re not stopping there are you?’” The architect, who entered the building into this year’s Dulux Colour Awards, admired Claudia’s optical geometrics, which recalls the neo-geo movement that also fascinates Reko Rennie; geometry as a metaphor for society, interconnecting shapes representing networks of contemporary urban life. “People say they’d never noticed the building before,” says Claudia. “When you see something every day you stop seeing it. We’re all so consumed... and it takes something visual to push you out of that.” In Melbourne, murals by Camille Walala and Stephen Baker are standouts and now Deams, responsible for the eye-catching facade of Collingwood’s new Fonda restaurant, is making his own, similarly geometric marks on the city. Contemporary murals can be traced back to the Modernist collaboration between Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and muralist Athos Bulcao, which in turn inspired the famous mural at Rose Seidler’s house in Sydney. It is said Niemeyer designed buildings but Bulcao designed surfaces, showing a notion of space can be altered with colour and texture. “People didn’t see the building as flat anymore because the mural wraps around,” explains Claudia. “I thought that was really exciting. It didn’t feel like street art at all. It felt entirely like we were making a piece of art.” As a public art curator Juliet believes the modern demand for murals is a response to the digital age. “We’re all stuck on our digital devices, forming community and viewing artworks online,” she says. “By adding big, bright works to our streetscapes and especially ones with significant placemaking appeal à la Reko Rennie, it gets back that local community pride. Community is once again about location.” Words by Joanne Gambale Street Murals | Habitus Living Street Murals | Habitus Living Street Murals | Habitus Living Street Murals | Habitus Livingabc
Design Products
Furniture

Cost-Effective Yet Oh-So-Cool

Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch established Dowel Jones in 2013 having studied industrial design at RMIT and collaborated together on the Mr Dowel Jones lamps, from which their studio obviously takes its name. “After the successful project we decided to form a brand that represented our collaborative outcomes,” Dale explains. And this culture of collaboration has not only continued, but has permeated the brand, as Dale and Adam work with local suppliers, manufacturers, artists and photographers to produce and represent their products. “Dowel Jones output is entirely influenced by the two of us. Although we take on different roles within the brand, we still work collectively on all ranges,” says Dale. He and Adam also design outside of Dowel Jones, producing entirely different work under other brand names. Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Much of Dowel Jones furniture, lighting and accessories has a strong emphasis on line and materials. And although Adam and Dale say they didn’t set out to create products with a cohesive look it has somewhat emerged due to their desire to develop cost-effective products with local manufacturers and available materials. Thus, they characterise their work as “brightly coloured tubular furniture.” This is particularly evident in the Thimble and 1/5 Thimble stools and tables released in 2017 (originally designed in 2012), which was supported by a campaign in collaboration with New York-based 3D artist Tom Hancocks. The King Dome lighting range, developed in partnership with Luxmy Furniture, also has a strong focus on line and silhouette, as does the Hurdle range, which was Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones’ first furniture release. The timber and tubular metal chairs and stools are a collection that continues to expand over time with a new bench and chair, and a high stool designed for Broadsheet Restaurant – Dowel Jones’ first commercial project. “We designed the Hurdle High stool with the help of Alex Lake of Therefore Studio to suit the restaurant and it is now one of our most popular products,” Dale explains. Adam and Dale have also produced a cost-effective and colourful range of tubular bent-metal chairs exclusively for Grill’d Burgers Restaurants. And in 2017, they will be presenting at the Milan Furniture Fair with Local Design and undertaking a collaboration with Spanish 3D-artist Fantasaraxia on the campaign images. “We like to think our overall vision of Dowel Jones changes each year as we react to our environment and circumstances,” the designers explain. Words by Rebecca Gross Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Living Dowel Jones | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters
Happenings

Stylecraft has opened their doors and expanded their view

Fore more than 60 years Stylecraft has been the go-to for high-end, original and contemporary furniture for the commercial, educational and hospitality markets. The new venture, dubbed StylecraftHOME sees the Australian-based, Asia-Pacific focused retailer move into a new market, that of the home. A breakfast was held in celebration of, and in, the new Sydney flagship store at 100 William Street, Woolloomooloo; the former Westfield Tower and one of the most prominent buildings in the inner Sydney district. The pastel-infused showroom, designed by Matt Sheargold of international design practice, HASSEL, displays a carefully curated selection of lounging, dining, home office and outdoor furniture from the Australian designers and international brands Stylecraft represents. To complement the space is a selection of accessories from Top3 by Design. StylecraftHOME stylecrafthome.com.au Words by Holly Cunneen StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Living StylecraftHOME | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters
People

In Conversation With… James Tutton

James, why did you, after the national success of your Moonlight Cinema concept, and given your interest in meditation and mindfulness decide to align yourself with a property management group? I came on board as a director and shareholder around seven years ago. I was very hands on in the business for a long period of time, but in the last few years I’ve been less hands on to allow me the do my other things. So now at Neometro I’m involved in site acquisition, joint venture partnerships, I’m involved in marketing, projects like Open Journal and so forth. But I’m no longer into the nitty gritty of performance reviews and the like, the day-to-day. Mindfulness was thought to be just another trend, but it seems to be panning out as something much more significant. Mindfulness has hit a high, its penetration as a concept whether understood or misunderstood has reached an incredible level in public consciousness. For me, meditation is a means to cultivate mindfulness. I see mindfulness as an approach to leadership. Being very conscious and very mindful of the individual can be very positive for the culture of an enterprise and ultimately a positive thing from a commercial perspective in terms of helping build more successful businesses which in turn make money. It’s really not such a fluffy idea, much research has gone into the field. We created Smiling Mind to pioneer in the area of mindfulness in business. It’s not just a trend. There is strong, evidence-based belief in the effectiveness of mindfulness – but it all depends on how one goes about it. Describe to me how you apply those principles to yourself. Sure! I’m a meditator, and meditation is a way to cultivate mindfulness throughout the day. It’s one thing to meditate and get into a position where you’re very conscious of exactly where your body is, where you are, what you’re hearing and how your emotions are maybe impacting you. And if you sit down and meditate and eventually build up to doing it seven days in a row, that will almost certainly become an asset to you. But for me, the challenge or opportunity is actually in taking that awareness into the day-to-day. I think where that becomes very powerful from a business perspective is that it ultimately it lowers one’s ‘reactivity’ for want of a better word. So instead of lashing out with a knee-jerk response when something goes wrong you can actually integrate the rough and tumble of everyday life in a much more even and subdued way. Mindfulness and meditation are often presented as complex things when in fact I think to have a big impact they don’t need to be hugely complex. What do you think your impact has been on the business of Neometro? I’m someone who always seems to be building brands with audiences I relate to. If you asked me to help grow a wood chip company, for instance, I’d be terrible at it. It’s a commodity and I don’t really get it. With Neometro, since I’m personally quite passionate about architecture and design, I could look at what Jeff [Provan] was creating and instinctively go, Well, he’s building apartments that I would like to live in, and so I can understand instinctively how to take that to a larger market to grow the business. I’ve played a role in developing the business, marketing the business and growing the Neometro brand. In terms of how we market projects but also in terms of assets like Open Journal which we use to take some of our advocacy out there to a larger and constantly evolving audience. It’s extraordinary to me just how ahead of the curve Neometro has been. A 30 year old property development group that has always put good design to the fore, and is leading the market in terms of ecologically sound, economically viable, sustainable urban housing. Is there something in the Melbourne water? Before a passion for design was a mainstream thing in Australia Neometro was already producing beautifully designed apartments which in many ways prefigured the way will be living in cities in the years to come. In the past 10 years Australia has come a long way in terms of graphic design, industrial design and what we look for an expect at retail. And Neometro has and continues to ride that wave very well. Also, there’s a far more recent shift towards people looking to work with and buy from businesses that have a genuine purpose beyond just making money. I think that resonates with people, they can see that there is a genuine motivation behind what we do, well beyond that of mere profit. Ultimately, we see Neometro as supporting the long-term development of quality apartment living. Interview by Stephen Todd NeoMetro neometro.com.auabc