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Design Hunters
DH - Feature
People

In Conversation With… Benjamin Mitchell

Ben, why are you called Those Architects and not, for instance. Mitchell & Addinall? When Simon and I sat down and decided we wanted to go into practice together we pretty quickly agreed that we preferred to focus the attention on the built outcome of our activity, rather than on he or I as individuals. We prefer to retain a certain degree of anonymity, to let the work do the talking for us. Does that decision reflect your personalities? Are you kind of shy and retiring guys, or does it have a more ethical intent? Both Simon and I tend to think we’re working against our natural instincts by putting ourselves in the spotlight. Everyone wants a hero these days, but that’s not us. That said, as our work gains more exposure, increasingly people want to speak to us and we’re finding it more and more difficult to stay in the shadows. Five years in the game, how have things evolved? Exponentially. We were extremely fortunate in that when we’d only just started we had a client come to us with an open cheque book and a challenging brief. So unlike most architects whose trajectory typically kicks off with smaller jobs and mediocre clients who restrict the work, the first project we had we were really able to explore the key ideas we’d set out to explore. Our client trusted us to deliver, and we were lucky enough to pick up an Institute award and an Australian interior design award for that project. It started the ball rolling, rapidly and allowed us to showcase early on what we’re about. How many people are in the studio today? There are six of us, and we’re slowly growing. Simon and I are now directors with two registered architects and two graduates under them. We’re at the point where we’ve really got to start making some decisions about where we want to take the practice, how we want to structure it in such a way as to be able to scale the office. We’re not quite sure if we want to do that yet, but it’s a decision that needs to be made soon. The bigger the machine gets, the less attention you can focus on your clients, and we’re really not sure that’s a path we want to go down. Those Architects seem very fond of constructing spaces within spaces, and creating interior features with double functions. Talk me through that. One of our primary concerns is efficiency. The market is being driven by the insatiable appetite of the consumer who is not really rationalizing space effectively. There’s a lot of waste, and we try to counter that trend in our designs. We always try to convince our clients that maybe they don’t need as much space as they’ve been told they need every time they switch on the television. Most frequently, we try to imbue our buildings with devices that have two or even three purposes. When a client brief includes a guest room, which may be used for one month a year and sit idle for the other 11, we incorporate that space back into the overall plan by devising a dual purpose at least. Inherent in that idea is that spaces can work within spaces. Do you have a five year plan? Very interesting you should ask that since Simon and I are actually developing a 30-year plan at the moment. There’s a lot that we want to achieve. We say yes to a lot of things right now because we’re just inherently excited about architecture and getting stuff built. But that results in an enormous volume of work and massive pressure on the time you can devote to each project. So right now we’re asking ourselves, What are our long term goals and how are we going to get there. From then we’re working back in ten-year chunks, five-year chunks and twelve-month chunks. And from there we’re trying to develop a monthly plan of action. I’ll let you know how that goes. Benjamin Mitchell was In Conversation with... Stephen Todd.abc
Design Hunters

B&B Italia: Poetry in the Shape

On 13 April 2017, B&B Italia celebrated two things: the company’s 51st anniversary and the birthday of its founder, Ambrogio Busnelli. The year prior – to mark their momentous 50th anniversary – they released a documentary on the company's unique and enigmatic history full of exclusive content and little known anecdotes. Initially this doco was shared with a small selection of partners and design enthusiasts. Now, however, the short film is available online from which everyone, globally, can benefit. Learn more about exactly how this trail blazing company has shaped the design industry today. B&B Italia: Poetry in the Shape abc
Design Hunters
Happenings

Lexus Nexus

Over the past few years, the Milan Furniture Fair has come under fire for what The New York Times’ design writer Alice Rawsthorn has called “shameless promotional stunts, seemingly unrelated to furniture”. And yet, if we accept that design is indeed about more than furniture, it seems legitimate that big corporations use Milan as a test ground for new technologies, or put their considerable weight behind fostering and promoting new talent. In other words, the big brands become enablers of design innovation. That’s what COS, the avant garde microbe in the Swedish Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) mother brand did by engaging London’s Studio Swine to plumb the depths of science to produce their alien tree dropping cloud blossoms. What IKEA (more Swedes!) did too, by taking over a warehouse in the Lambrate district for a festival of design and live music. Along the way, Faye Toogood showed how to hack IKEA classics, ECAL students demonstrated a painting robot, and of course IKEA launched its new collaboration with Danish brand, HAY. Lexus has been involved in the Salone for over a decade, initially via its Lexus Design Events in which the luxury Japanese car brand commissioned renowned artists, architects and designers including Kazuyo Sejima, Nendo and Tokujin Yoshioka to explore themes such as ‘Time in Design’ or ‘Flexible but Durable’. Themes that, in effect, express deconstructed elements of the brand’s story, reconfigured by free radical creatives of repute. Since 2012 Lexus has been the patron of the Lexus Design Award, a pro-active mentoring program that burrows deep down into the design process, rather than simply skimming the surface. The Award protocol is relatively complex, a sign of its commitment to due diligence. Each year, a theme is established and an open call goes out for entrants across the globe – the only stipulation is that they be less than five years in the field. This year, the theme was YET, an expression of the possible symbiosis in apparent contradiction. In Lexus brand terms, this can be broken down into dichotomies like: spacious YET streamlined, emotional YET rational, exhilarating to drive YET environmentally aware. “There were more than a thousand entries,” explains Max Lamb, who is serving his third year as a Lexus Design Award mentor. This first round is whittled down to 200, “then there are 12 finalists, four of whom will be mentored and one of whom will be awarded the Grand Prize. In the first round of judging all the mentors also act as judges, so we're very embedded in the process." Judges this year include Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design at MoMa, Aric Chen, Lead Curator of Architecture & Design at Hong Kong’s M+, and legendary architect, Toyo Ito. "I've been involved in the award since the beginning," says Paola Antonelli, "and since the start Lexus has had this process that is really respectful of the design landscape because it's not just about proclaiming a straight-out winner. Rather, the four finalists are picked by a jury of peers, then they are mentored by an established designer for four months. "It's intense, but it's also about putting your money where your mouth is. It's really about investing in young designers in a meaningful way." The four finalists in this year’s Lexus Design Award are: LDA-PROTOTYPE_HAVING-NOTHING_01 Korean designer Ahran Won who devised a capsule for mobile living based on the notion of Having Nothing and YET Possessing Everything (mentored by Neri & Hu).   LDA-PROTOTYPE_PLAYER'S-PFLUTE_01 Chinese designer Jia Wu who developed a tool kit for transforming fruit into musical instruments, called Player’s Pflute – Vegetable YET Musical for fun and learning, created with developing countries in mind (mentored by Max Lamb).   LDA-PROTOTYPE_STRUCTURAL-COLOR_01 American designer Jessica Fügler who elaborated a Static YET Changing structure which mutates according to viewpoint (mentored by Elena Manferdini).   LDA-PROTOTYPE_PIXEL_01 Japanese designer Hiroto Yoshiko went on to win the Grand Prize for his PIXEL system which allows the user to simultaneously experience Light YET Shadow. He was mentored by New York creative powerhouse, Snarkitecture. His PIXEL is an interactive device that actions a series of visors to create a range of light and shadow effects, inspired by a childhood memory of falling asleep to the glow of a television. “The advice given from my mentors was very precise and accurate,” added Yoshiko. “Their suggestion to test a form that I had not considered in the beginning allowed me to develop this work. They also gave me suggestions on new materials, which led me to a path that I did not expect. I am grateful for their advice.” Yoshiko is based in Tokyo and is a graduate from Musashino Art University. Yoshihiro Sawa, executive vice-president of Lexus International, sums up the intention of the Lexus Design Award thus: "By challenging ourselves to combine elements that at first seem incompatible, we are able to ignite our creative potential and explore new frontiers in design and technology." The Lexus Design Award exhibition space was designed by Neri Oxman, a professor at MIT’s Media Lab and head of the Mediated matter design research group. Her own light columns, created using the latest additive technique of 3D glass printing, are like luminescent totems to a not too distant future. As she explains, "light is a wave, yet it is also a particle. Glass, which is the material through which light is reflected and refracted, is over 6000 years old yet it is a modern material. And here in this exhibition we are giving it a new interpretation through the use of the 3D glass printer." The cutting edge of technology never looked quite so alluring. Words by Stephen Todd LDE-exhibit-7---STATIC-YET-DYNAMIC_CAUSTICS LDE-exhibit-9-STATIC-YET-DYNAMIC_Long-shot_UX LDE-exhibit-4-ANCIENT_YET_MODERN_Long-shot Neri-Oxman-Portrait_01Neri Oxman. Photography by Conor Doheryabc
Design Products
Furniture

Get Cosy with Kosi

Introduced at imm Cologne and presented at Salone del Mobile 2017, Zeitraum this year familiarised the world their new Kosi bed complete with a matching nightstand and bench. The simple and uncluttered aesthetic of the Kosi boxspring bed reflects its light (physcically as well as conceptually) approach to design. The construction of the bed incorporates a spring base, which is laterally braced by elliptical legs. Generously rounded corners gives the upholstery aspect equal opportunity to shine and the headboard can be left as solid wood or upholstered – according to taste. The unfussy yet unique aesthetic is replicated in the Kosi night stand with a tabletop that slides away to reveal a small storage space beneath; and Kosi bench. Zeitraum is available in Australia through Café Culture Zeitraum zeitraum-moebel.de Café Culture cafecultureinsitu.com.au Zeitraum Kosi | Habitus Living Zeitraum Kosi | Habitus Living Zeitraum Kosi | Habitus Living Zeitraum Kosi | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters
Happenings

Your 2017 Launch Pad Jury

The Launch Pad program returns in 2017, a literal launch pad for developing designers to put forth their concept and prototypes in a bid to have their designs realised and sent on a journey through to production. For 2017, Launch Pad is joining the INDE.Awards to help elevate Asia Pacific design on the global stage – a truly inspiring initiative, and a fantastic opportunity for our combined region’s emerging design talent to weigh-in on the direction A+D will be taking tomorrow. With authenticity and innovation as the central pillars of Launch Pad’s philosophy, we’re inviting emerging creative talent to enter the programme, pitch their design and open up a direct line of communication to the local and international A+D community.

Entries for Launch Pad close 17th April, 2017

ENTER NOW!

  This year the Launch Pad program is welcoming to the panel a group of 9 highly acclaimed judges representing a broad spectrum of design specialties and areas of expertise, to come together and review your 2017 Launch Pad entries. The Judging panel will select a list of finalists to show their work in the Launch Pad Finalists’ Exhibition as part of the INDE.Awards Gala Night, and thereafter featured at Australia’s premier design museum The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney. This platform represents an unprecedented coup for our Launch Pad finalists, attracting the attention of a truly global audience. This year’s entrants have put their designs in the spotlight, right under the noses of the who’s who of design. We would like to extend a warm welcome, and special thanks (in advance!), to this year’s Launch Pad jury. Why not say ‘Hi!’:

Presenting your 2017 Launch Pad Jury

[gallery ids="57853,57848,57850,57851,57846,57847,57852,57849"] Keinton Butler is the Senior Curator of Design and Architecture at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Sydney. As a graduate of Furniture Technology at RMIT in Melbourne, Butler’s expertise extends across key development sin furniture production through computer-integrated manufacturing, numerical control and materials technology. After a decade-stint in London as an independent design curator collaborating with leading cultural institutions including the British Council and London Design Festival, Butler became a curator for Damien Hirst’s contemporary art publishing project Other Criteria. Drawing upon these strong entrepreneurial skills, manufacturing and design expertise, Butler recently co-founded the British furniture start-up Beynon – the 2015 winner of the Furniture Category at the World Interiors News Awards. Angela Ferguson is the Managing Director an Owner of Futurespace where she assists clients to realise future-focused, innovative, intelligent and practical physical spaces to truly inspire. Passionate about the built environment and the positive impact that it can have on individuals and corporate communities, Ferguson has worked with an enormous array of global and Australian businesses for more than 2 decades. Her expertise is diverse across the workplace, education, residential, building refurbishment and childcare sectors, including ground-breaking work for private enterprise and NFP Organisations. Dr. Brandon Gien is the Founder and CEO of Good Design Australia, and Chair of Australia’s Good Design Awards programme. in 2015 Dr. Gien was inaugurated as a Senator of the World Design Organisation’s body for international industrial design. As a member of the Board of Directors for 3 consecutive terms and elected President of the organisation from 2013-2015, he is the first Australian to hold this position to date. Dr. Gien is a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia, recognising his contribution to the design profession in this country. Sitting on the Advisory Board for a number of design associations and educational institutions worldwide, he has also acted as a juror on some of this planet’s most prestigious design awards. Helen Kontouris  is a Melbourne-based designer inspired constantly y her observation of everyday experiences. With a eye for recognising the individual differences in people’s interaction with objects combined with absolutely fresh perspectives gained from travel, her work at Helen Kontouris Design is distinct for the use of contrasting materials and sculptural forms. Her work invites exploration and an intimate sensory engagement. For Helen Kontouris Design, every project is unique and extensive research underpins each product’s development. Process drives the generation of form for Kontouris, and much more so than any predetermined or established principle. Aidan Mawhinney is the Director of Living Edge – one of Launch Pad’s Founding Partners for 16 years. With an illustrious career supplying the best design work for the A+D community across Australia, Mawhinney is considered one of this country’s most discerning curators of taste and design. Living Edge – an Australian frontrunner and definite design hot-spot for architects, interior designers and design enthusiasts – is dedicated to offering only the best in design whether from the minute single piece in one’s home to the mammoth design schemes on large scale commercial projects. Anton Schiavello is the Design and Marketing Director of Schiavello International – one of this country’s leading design-driven brands, and Launch Pad 2017’s Official Partner. Committed to delivering the company’s core vision that anything is possible, Anton is responsible for co-ordinating business strategy, marketing, product development and design excellence for Schiavello’s impressive portfolio of local and international brands (quite a huge feat!). Schaivello’s ethos is driven by principles of thoughtful research and detail, quality manufacturing and approachable design. After spending 5 years in Singapore and much time in Asia on large and small-scale projects for global and Australian businesses, Anton’s passion for strategic design and critical thinking will be of invaluable insight for our 2017 Launch Pad finalists. Raymond Scott‘s advanced expertise in the fields of film production and development is astounding. After spending 10 years working in Europe, a combined passion for film and design lead him to pursue a conjoined approach to design and our creative entertainment industries. Upon returning to Australia, he was instrumental in elevating the Australian film industry, and broadening its involvement across the full spectrum of this country’s related disciplines in the corporate, cultural and tourism sectors. Having been involved with Workshopped for the past 13 years, and the Director for the past 7 of those, he has opened one of Sydney’s premier design locations – Design Store – in a number of suburbs which showcases emerging designers to the design-hunter public as part of Workshopped’s programme Object. Henry Wilson is a designer based in Sydney, and one of Australia’s most top-tier talents. After graduating from Visual Arts (specialising in woodwork) from the Australian National University in Canberra, Wilson received the HSP Huygens Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies (Design) at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.  In 2012, Wilson established a research and conceptual design studio, producing products, furniture, and interiors that are unimpeachably considered and durable, with a consistent focus on honest resolutions and longevity. This studio – Studio Henry Wilson – is based in Sydney and distributed internationally through matter in New York and Very Good + Proper in London. Launch Pad 2017 is presented in partnership with: Schiavello (Official Partner) + Living Edge (Founding Partner)abc
Design Hunters
Conversations

The Epidemic of ‘Stuff’ – Part 1

Last year I bought a cheap coffee table from a well-known Australian homewares store. Two weeks later it was buckling under the weight of my coffee table books. Books of a weight one would expect a coffee table to bear. I’d dragged the table a few inches and pop, a leg broke off. I called the store and with a knowing snigger the lady on the phone asked: “did you drag it?” We got a replacement quickly enough, but in the meantime this table was presumably taken out the back, thrown onto a truck and transported to one of the many landfill sites across the state, its doom well and truly sealed. We have a family friend with whom I wouldn’t dare share this story. Myles Gostelow is a fine furniture maker who could have saved that table from such a ghastly fate by fixing its broken leg (while silently judging its fecklessness). The plastic tray of his first son’s high chair once copped a crack but instead of chucking it, Myles carefully stitched it up with copper wire, which he sealed with a fibreglass epoxy resin. Consider the time it took him to do this compared with the time it took to build the chair offshore in a factory and it’s a bit like the Japanese art of kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired with a lacquer of powdered-gold. Consumers are increasingly au fait with the horrors of offshore supply chains. We know that stuff is cheap because of lean manufacturing, cheap labour, economies of scale and the subsequent giant inventories that start the cycle all over again because these pieces have got to be shifted. We’ve externalised the true cost of production. What we don’t pay for in our buckling coffee tables is paid with toxic pollution and depleting natural resources. I got that trendy white and timber coffee table for a song because a bunch of people in a poorer country all pitched in. And it’s expected I’ll be buying many more same-same-but-different coffee tables throughout my lifetime, as will millions of others, to the rhythm of clunky conveyor belts and chugging trucks offloading rejected furniture onto growing landfills. Generation D consumers are learning the truth behind their great-grandparent’s repeated idiom that ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’. Take the lightbulb that has been switched on for 116 years. The Centennial Light, hand-blown with a carbon filament, hangs at Livermore fire station in northern California. It was invented by Adolphe Alexandre Chaillet: exceptional electrical engineer, terrible businessman. There must be a lightbulb joke in there somewhere. Built in obsolescence isn’t a conspiracy theory but an industry in itself. It’s too simplistic to question its existence per se since it’s played a major part in the success of capitalism. The fast turnover of goods powers growth and creates jobs. Industry has made stuff cheap and available to nearly anyone in rich and newly developed countries. And boy do we go through a lot of stuff - we now appear to rely on it and work longer hours to buy more of it. So is it all about to crack like the screen of an iPhone? Last year’s Sustainability Summit Report by The Future Laboratory suggests inroads are at least being made. Future-facing brands are attempting to produce ‘eternal products’. Jake Dyson’s 2011 CSYS is an efficient version of the Anglepoise lamp that is expected to last 37 years (not quite 116 years, but it’s a start). The software in Tesla’s electric cars auto-downloads and upgrades while they charge overnight, and the company claims its sensors and hardware are “basically future-proof”. There’s a start-up in the UK called Buy Me Once that represents makers who promise longevity, and they’re keen to expand down under. Already consumers are making use of internet review systems to help guide each other on the quality of intended purchases. Could the unsustainable capitalist model of disposable decor ever morph into a network of industries based around expensive handmade and small-batch products, services to fix and maintain them, and the nurturing of associated skills? Co-founder of The Future Laboratory Christopher Sanderson thinks not: “As much as many of us in developed economies would like to see the relentless cycle of the desire for new stuff slow down, this is extremely unlikely to take off on a global scale as increasingly large numbers of consumers with first-time disposable income are being created across the globe.” My utopia might be disastrously flawed so, for now, I’ll put my feet up on the cheap coffee table and hope it doesn’t break. Words by Joanne Gambaleabc
Design Products
Furniture

An American Designer in Milan

The launch at Fuorisalone in Milan Design Week, displayed in anticipation of JANUS et Cie’s first Milan showroom, showcased a collection of established and iconic works, along with all new Katachi, Strada, and Fibonacci collections, as well new textiles, accessories and a series of interior rattan. The JANUS brand is all about collaborations between great designers, seeking to marry modern shapes with the legacy of great outdoor design, all done with advanced material solutions. The JANUSfiber, a patented material that combines synthetic fibers and unique colors and textures to ensure high performance, is featured in the construction of Katachi, one of the new collections from the company. Katachi is designed under the direction of Janice Feldman, and comprises a series of exquisite lounge pieces inspired by Japanese design, where it takes its name, from the Kata shape with Chi, magic – creating a meticulously crafted collection able to reconcile the comfort and the harmony of shapes. Strada is the collection designed by the Italian designer Paola Navone. After her first Dolce Vita collaboration the prolific designer again translated the combination of different cultures and the attention to detail in objects typical of her productions: thanks to a mix and match soul all of her pieces are versatile in style and scale, ready to live harmoniously with other designs at home, in a countryside garden, or on an urban terrace. 24_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_FIBONACCI_AVANDA From the collaboration with the New York studio Gabellini Sheppard comes Fibonacci, a collection exalting the fluidity of moving lines. Inspired by the progressive succession theory of Fibonacci in mathematics, the artistic lines of the chairs bend up and down to caress the body and ground with harmonious arches and curves. The collection includes solutions for dining and lounge settings and is conceived for outdoor and indoor settings. The new collections mark the company’s continued global expansion, now into Milan. The Italian expansion is a suitable one for the American design group, whose namesake is in fact the Roman god Janus whose two faces look both forward and back, reflecting the company’s own philosophy of honouring the past, yet always looking to the future. JANUS et Cie janusetcie.com 52_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_VINO 52_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_AMALFI 48_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_SLANT_ARMCHAIR 43_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_GUAVA-RATTAN_ARMCHAIR 41_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_SEE! 40_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_QUADRATL 15_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_AMARI_Halfwoven 08_PS_JANUSETCIE_MDW2017_ACCESSORIES_Flora_SeaVase_Blueabc
Design Hunters
Happenings

Launch Yourself with Launch Pad

Finding a new home as part of the inaugural INDE Awards, Launch Pad celebrates 13 years of nurturing new Australian design talent. It all began in 2004 as an exhibition of prototypes by young, emerging designers, held as part of Saturday in Design (now Indesign: The Event). This took advantage of the high volume of industry visitors to Saturday in Design, providing the designers with: invaluable exposure, the opportunity to meet manufacturers and specifiers, gain vital feedback and connect with possible collaborators. Since then, Launch Pad has developed into an annual competition, exhibition and mentorship program in its own right, propelled by the critical gap in the career path of Australian designers. Louise Olsen, former Launch Pad judge and Director/Founder of Dinosaur Designs explains: “One of the hardest parts of being a designer is being able to produce; finding the right manufacturer that is willing to support you and take the risk.” Launch Pad supports emerging designers at exactly this point, guiding shortlisted entrants to take their concept from prototype to production, a market reality often not covered by tertiary institutions. Launch Pad attracts over 150 entrants yearly and has helped launch the careers of numerous Australian design greats, and is becoming entrenched as a yearly deadline that emerging designers utilise for producing new work. Its unique mentorship program has attracted the support and personal involvement of notable industry figures, local and international, as well as connecting finalists directly with an exceptional network of commercial suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, consumers and media. Wanna be part of Launch Pad History? Past finalists include Australian design royalty such as: Helen Kontouris Charles Wilson Nick Rennie Ross Didier Trent Jansen Nick Karlovasitis Keith Melbourne Ross Gardam Tomek Archer Nick Seymour Tom Fereday Chris Hardy Coco Reynolds Adam Weaver

CLICK HERE TO ENTER NOW!

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Architecture
Homes

Crafted to Context

Adopting the vernacular of form from local buildings doesn’t have to be considered as a limitation, rather it can present the opportunity for creative thinking to craft new features from those often overlooked. Bower Architecture was enlisted to help design a house that nestled in as part of the surrounding natural and built environment. Close to the beach, in amongst vibrant native shrubbery and immense textured paperbarks, warm red timber panels adorn the façade of the house. They cast the illusion of stretching upward, carving a stark contrast to the blue sky above. Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Appropriating the gabled houses common to the neighbourhood, Bower Architecture have redrafted the design to create a new extruded gable shape running the length of the property. The inclusion of the gable form allows for excellent drainage on the exterior while capturing and casting poetic light throughout the internal spaces – alike a sundial reporting the movements of the sun. The building seemingly cuts in half framing an impressive outdoor shower that celebrates the ritual of the beach return. Blue tiles appear to break up the house into protruding sculptural structures. The shower opens up to give a sense of being exposed to the natural elements while retaining a sense of privacy. Timber panelling wraps around the length of the house, segmenting the upper and lower stories. Set off from the entrance, the second storey provides additional height and space while the ash-toned cladding disguises the form somewhat to continue the elegant shape of the lower level. Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Timber extends also within the interior of the house, however the tone is more muted, to offer respite from the energetic outdoor world. The double height living space enables for the room to benefit from the windows on the upper and lower levels. Large glass panelled windows set high into the entrance wall offer privacy while elongating the extended scale of the space. In the living room, a walkthrough on the upper floor connects the two stories to support a sense of connectivity in a segmented space that sprawls into its vast surroundings, such as the landscape surrounding the house that was in fact carried out by the owners, by means of their company Sensability Garden Design. Bower Architecture bowerarchitecture.com.au Photography by Shannon McGrath Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Hide + Seek House | Habitus Living Hide + Seek House | Habitus Livingabc
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

The Beauty of Brass

As design conscious home owners increasingly desire natural looking finishes in their homes, and come to embrace the integrity of natural objects and processes, bare uncoated brass finishes have seen a surge of popularity in recent years. In line with the values of the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi – the beauty of natural imperfection – bare brass has become the finish de rigueur for discerning tapware enthusiasts. Escaping its traditional station of utility – brass is now featured centre stage in a variety of commercial, residential and hospitality projects; being properly recognised as an artisan product that sits harmoniously with other natural materials such as timber and stone. As a preferred metallic finish, bare brass is able to hold its own with the strong colours emerging in modern interior schemes. Indigo blues and vivid greens can give rich warmth to an interior when paired with brass fittings and fixtures. In outdoor kitchens & shower areas, on the patio, by the pool or by the sea, brass ties the outdoor natural fitting effortlessly into the landscape. Brass-bath-tap When it comes to brassware in your home, it must be appreciated that all brass is not created equal. The English Tapware Company offers the most premium and high-grade brass options throughout their entire range, including the Perrin & Rowe tapware and accessories brand, Hawthorn Hill towel warmers, Armac Martin cabinet handles, and Frank Allart door hardware. The beauty of brass means that quality fittings will mature naturally over time, developing the patina and unique character reminiscent of old brassware, serving as an evolving reminder of celebrating a life lived well. The English Tapware Company englishtapware.com.au Brass-taps Brass-towel-warmer-and-shower Brass-kitchen-taps Brass-hardware Brass-handles Brass-mesh Brass-grillesabc
Architecture
Homes

Garden State

A house that invokes the sense of living in a garden. This was the instruction to Palinda Kannangara Architects when transforming the narrow plot of land in Sri Lanka’s busy Battarmulla region into a home for a young couple. The house – gifted with a rich external palette of moss green foliage, glassy water and rough-cut stone – draws in the outside world to create an enhanced sense of tactility. The rawness is pulled through into the internal space through the use of exposed materials, often salvaged; offering a sense of history not found in a new home. Locally sourced rubble paving stone constructs an evocative feature wall that is appreciated in both the indoor and outdoor spaces. Salvaged Jack timber is custom-designed into slender, non-disturbing frames to the outside views. Linear House | Habitus Living The entrance forecourt is multi-functional to protect a car as well as host a large crowd spilling out from the interior spaces (an easy feat, as the full-length timber doors open to wholly connect the house to the outer world.) In an ingenious use of the house’s natural assets, the extensive use of glass enables for the outdoor pond and Sapodilla trees to decorate also the interior rooms. With engrossing natural features, the house is sunk in to its surrounding world. And despite the heavy-handed use of hard, cool materials; cement, chopped rubble and crushed gravel, the ultimately earthy quality establishes a sense of calm and refuge that taps into an ancestral psychology. Light, however, is not in short supply as the fluid form of the building allows for the transferral of air, sun and shadows along then length of the house. The space is only interrupted from the immense staircase of polished concrete. Dramatic angulation carves out the space, creating segregation in an otherwise open flow house. The stairway leads up to a beckoning source of light that further connects the house to the outer environment; reflecting the moving seasons through gorgeous geometry playing out in the shadows cast across the house. Palinda Kannangara Architects palindakannangara.com Photography by Sebastian Posingis Linear House | Habitus Living Linear House | Habitus Living Linear House | Habitus Living Linear House | Habitus Living Linear House | Habitus Living Linear House | Habitus Livingabc
Design Hunters
People

In Conversation With… Elliat Rich and James Young of Elbowrkshp

Elliat, James, talk me through your individual and collaborative practices. JY: Well, I have my own work on shoes, bags and leather good as James B Young and Elliat has her own rich and diverse design practice. Elbowrkshp is a burgeoning brand that is a really collaborative space for us that involves Elliat’s design skills and me pretty much on the tools, making things. That’s becoming more of a focus for us. What we’re trying to do is offer up scope by hooking into Elliat’s design thinking and design language and my basis in materiality. ER: It’s the classic equation of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. There’s a lot more specif, specer.. James, can you say that word for me. JY: Specificity. ER: Thanks. There’s a lot more specificity to us, being here in Alice Spring, much more story in the product. The process is so different, we’re out here, client correspondence is carried out in a controlled manner and our work process is incredibly organic – much more than would ever be possible if we were living in one of the big cities. We’re heads down, doing our stuff. We’ll be discussing things all the time, as well as at designated production times. Talk me through an Elbowrkshp product, the process from conception to market. EY: Okay, so let’s look at the Elbowrkshp Core which we released recently. It’s made from Central Australian sandstone and a good example of where we’re going with Elbowrkshp. We started off by asking ourselves, ‘What can we say about this place?’ We together came up with the idea of using local sandstone, and then it was a matter of finding local makers, stonemasons, craftsmen and mechanics to tool up for us to be able to create the work. We do a lot of design work on the drive out into the Outback, discussing what we want to say and what we can do with the material we’re considering. Is sourcing local craftsmen that easy? ER: Not at all. JY: This product was in many ways a result of the consideration: What is a locally available resource? What it came down to was second generation stone masons, guys who are drilling for the mining industry. ER: So we’re rocking up to the core samplers working in the mining industry and saying, ‘Hi, we want to produce this high-end design product!’ They are extremely specific in what they do and extremely diligent in the way they apply their skill, but have never worked on a design object that needs to be precise and consistent in perhaps a totally different way. It requires resourcefulness and lateral thinking not just on our part but on theirs. But it’s the same kind of resourcefulness that anyone who lives remotely of necessity becomes adept at. Living remote is part of your narrative, part of your lives. You’ve had your three kids out there and are raising them remote from big city life. Have you made a commitment to grow your aesthetics along with your ethics? ER: We’re definitely interested in the ethics of living remote first and foremost. JY: Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively, Alice Springs is actually a really good sized town with a lot of great resources. To have a young family, to both be involved in the creative industries. We look at the major cities and realize we just couldn’t do it. Commute times, housing prices all of the things that mitigate against a good life. The community here is really strong and there’s a really strong creative community so we actually feel very well nurtured and supported. ER: While we try to say there’s a real lack of resources where we are, in fact that’s something all Australian designers are confronted with. If we were in Europe, it would be a different story altogether, but in the context of Australia we don’t feel greatly disadvantaged living outside what are usually considered the centres of activity. We get so much more from living here than what we miss out on. Have you strategized Elbowrkshp to fulfill a certain typological roster, or do you simply come up with ideas as you’re driving cross-country? JY: We’re moving towards that model, quite quickly actually. We’ve recently begun planning the business in a strategic way. The Elbowrkshp products have to date emerged from us having workshops or ready produce, but we’ve realised it’s a really good platform for us to develop product that will have an international audience and impact beyond Australia. We also have websites; jamesbyoung.com.au elliatrich.com elbowrkshp.com.au But our priority is the @elbowrkshp. Elliat and James were In Conversation With… Stephen Toddabc