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Architecture
Places

5 Pubs with Intoxicatingly Good Bar Design

With the summer heat definitely upon us, there’s little better than spending a quiet afternoon with friends enjoying a few cold drinks, and in Australia we’re really spoiled for choice – and not just when it comes to beverage selection. The last few years have seen an explosion in exciting and charming bar design; from speakeasy taverns to upmarket cocktail bars, there are plenty to choose from when it comes to wetting your design whistle. With this in mind, here are Habitus' top 5 examples of places to grab a cold one and drink in some great bar design…

Jackalope Flaggerdoot

Opening just last year, the Jackalope luxury hotel on the Mornington Peninsula has already earned acclaim for its world-class food and design, featuring dark timber floors, black leather banquettes and a 10,000 piece light installation from Melbourne-based artist Jan Flook. But the hotel isn’t the end of the story. Since 1876, the majestic Edwardian McCormick House has stood majestically at the foot of Jackalope’s meandering driveway. Now, the house has been reborn as the hotel’s bar, Flaggerdoot, and stands as an enduring reminder of the history of the impossibly gorgeous property. Its current incarnation revels in the chemical process of distillation; an experimental spirit stirring the bold cocktail menu, offering up a mix of classics and unique in-house creations. The space itself is a playful mix of design forms, seeing classic herringbone floors and open fires warming the room, positioned alongside edgy installations and a one-off electric blue pool table, creating a sense of curated-cool. [gallery size="full" ids="70079,70078,70085"]

Woolly Mammoth Alehouse

This self-described prehistoric beast of a bar is one of Brisbane’s more interesting bar openings in recent years. Part of the ‘meet and eat’ venue culture (or should that be ‘meat and eat’?), the Woolly Mammoth Alehouse offers multi-purpose experiential spaces, live music, a range of mouth-watering fare and craft tap beer – even paying homage to its namesake with a full-sized woolly mammoth replica. Internal bar design has a real prehistoric cave aesthetic, with stonewalls and artificial plants spilling from various nooks and crannies whereas upstairs is more of a jungle. In a former life the building was home to the Mustang Bar but now, as Woolly Mammoth, guests can enjoy food and drinks at the three venues in the space, including live music at the Mane Stage, craft beers and shuffleboard in the Alehouse, and indoor bocce and giant Jenga at the astro-turfed Garden Bar. [gallery size="medium" ids="70074,70075,70092"]

The Milton

Good bar design should be reflective of the idiosyncrasies of its location and guests while having the flexibility and timelessness to adapt as needed. The Milton in the inner Melbourne bayside suburb Elwood nails this for its community-minded, and design savvy, demographic. When designing the space, the team at Biasol were invested in the community to the point where local residents and patrons helped pinpoint the precise sort of venue that “Elwood needed” The Milton to be. A quality akin to “the refinement of an up-market restaurant but with a more understated urban feel” in its carriage is omnipresent in The Milton’s wine bar and complimentary food offer. Retention of the original building’s front façade and restoration of the internal original brick walls evoke a sense of familiarity for the locals. And while the timber clad, visually impactful extension intends to take patrons on a journey, its pitched roof and fireplace, could just as well be a new addition to an Elwood living room. [gallery size="full" ids="70081,70080,70093"]

The Flour Factory

Perth’s Flour Factory is an inner-city public house spread across three floors of an actual hundred-year-old flour mill! Alongside cocktails, beers, wines and the Perth CBD’s largest gin and fortified wine collection, The Flour Factory offers the latest in contemporary bar design, modern Australian cuisine using fresh and local produce, served with a little Spanish twist. Including both a bakery and butchery – taking charcuterie and “share food” to new levels – designing a space that’s not only suitable but also aesthetically cohesive would be a potentially tricky ask, but the design of the bar oozes charm. Inspired by the special design of New York delis and the aesthetics of a Spanish bodega turned cocktail bar, the Flour Factory is a welcoming but unique addition to the Perth bar scene. Plus, in the summer months, a rooftop bar will let guests enjoy the sun and take in those lovely late evening sunsets. [gallery size="full" ids="70076,70088,70077"]

Seadeck Sydney

The Sydney Harbour is one of the most iconic locales in the country and what better place to enjoy it, than on it! Opening just a few years ago, Seadeck is a venue truly worthy of the beautiful harbour it resides on. Designed by AZBcreative, the bar-boat / grand cruiser (with bespoke fittings and finishes) offers a twist on classic nautical design, bringing the style and elegance of Riviera bar design to Sydney. Curated decorations and refreshing palm trees add to a fun retro vintage Lido vibe while still allowing a lush, VIP style experience in the design. But a largely outdoor, on the water bar poses a suite of challenges in the design process; from wind to rain, let alone the harsh summer sun, a lot needs be the accounted for. For the reveller though, this process will be of little concern, as the result it a unique, safe and fully curated experience. While boozing it up on a boat sounds potentially messy – a nightclub this is not, it's a catered and specific throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood – offering impeccable service, beautiful food and nice drinks. [gallery size="full" ids="70073,70072,70089"]abc
Architecture
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An Australian Designer In Seoul: Caravan Hapejong by Flack Studio

The Seoul district (or gu) of Mapo is known for its wildly energetic and creative arts and music scene. This cool inner-city borough is fast-becoming home to all manner of underground bands, tattoo artists, kitsch and kooky retail, as well as some of the world’s most interesting and experiential hospitality experiences. Launched by Aussie expats Jessica Chung and Adam Kane, Caravan Hapejong is an eclectic dining venue characterised by a quirky Australian-meets-Korean menu. In this super cute 90-square-metre eatery, you’ll find items such as local faves chicken congee and Korean beef tenderloin through to Aussie classics lamingtons and South Australian cabernet sauvignon. Once the cool, culturally twisted vibe was locked in – the pair needed a chic interior to reflect who they are, what they do, as well as fit nicely into the cultural landscape of the edgy Seoul suburb. Enter iconic Australian designer David Flack, whose eponymous practice Flack Studio was engaged to breathe life into the space and transform their identity into a physical reality.  We spoke with Flack about his experiences taking his talent overseas, the triumphs, challenges and everything in between. SW: What was the initial brief? DF: Our first point of contact with our clients Adam and Jess was over the phone in Korea, they were struggling to find a design team that understood their brief, they had contacted numerous studio’s in Korea and Australia.They wanted to create an all day dining experience for the Korean market with a focus on brunch. They wanted the space to reflect their experience with Australia, without feeling themed. At the first point of contact we knew exactly what they wanted & that this was very much a Flack project. Without confirmed engagement from the client and knowledge they were speaking to other teams we took the risk and put David on a plane. He was in Korea within 48hrs. On the ground our instincts were confirmed and we started the process of creating Caravan. In discovering what Australia meant to our clients we had many conversations around their childhoods, it became clear that Australia for them meant immigration, travel and ideas. It was revealed that Adam who is Australian born and raised spent his childhood obsessed with food, this drew him to the Italian and greek coffee bars located in Melbourne, while Jess who is Korean born and Australian raised, spent her time on the east coast of Australia in a caravan on family holidays. The idea of what ‘Australia’ was to them was very clear through these stories around movement and culture. Outside of the feeling and emotions they wanted to evoke we were left to our own devices to create the perfect environment for their clients. Caravan’s design ideas came out of the research of both Jess & Adam’s childhood experiences. The marriage between the Italian & greek coffee shops of the 70s and the humble 70s Caravan. How did it change / evolve throughout the process? The design team of David Flack and Erin Lambrecht presented one design intent to the client, the intent, floor-plan and finishes only changed slightly for function purposes during the design development stage. What was your design approach to the project? What was the design thinking behind it? The main design approach was similar to navigating a 70s Australian caravan - these small spaces pack a punch and everywhere you turn reveals something new to discover. We wanted something new to discover every time you turned around. What was challenging about this project and how did you resolve them? We had a few hairy moments with lead times as everything was imported, however everything made it on time and the project was completed with expected time-frames. We had an awesome building and project management team on the ground, our communication was daily and extremely easy. Our client wanted to ensure that the team worked seamlessly together and it was always a seamless process. Is there anything else interesting about this project that people might not know? All artwork, objects and most materials were imported in. Flack Studio worked with the suppliers we regularly collaborate with. The chairs come from Grazia & Co, window furnishings from love light, tiles from Heath ceramics, artwork from Daine Singer gallery and Sullivan and Strumpf. Most of the objects David carried in his luggage. Will there be more Caravan’s? Yes! there will be – we are in the process of completing a larger Caravan and a Bakery that will function as a cafe and support the other two restaurants. Both are in construction and will be completed in early 2018. Flack Studio flackstudio.com.au Photography by Sharyn Cairns abc
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People

The Magic Will Come With Lara Scolari

Lara Scolari was destined to become a painter. Her mother is a painter and her dad, who is a talented musician, used to work as an industrial chemist for art brand Matisse, which made paint! “We always had paint everywhere,” Lara says of her childhood. “Lots and lots of beautiful paint and I was always encouraged to use it. And encouraged to use it at volume!” Perhaps it was being able to use paint so liberally like this that inspired her to become an action painter (or gestural painter) where paint is deliberately thrown, dribbled or smeared on a canvas, rather than being carefully applied? “Definitely!” she agrees with her characteristic enthusiasm. “As an action painter, this means I make a mark as a result of the action in my body – I am literally transferring my energy onto that canvas. I always meditate before I paint so my work harnesses this energy into a visual form and that’s what people get when they acquire my work – this meditative energy.” Painting isn’t just in Lara’s blood and childhood however! The contemporary visual artist has also recently completed a Masters in Cross Disciplinary Art & Design from the University of New South Wales (MCDArt Des UNSW) and has many years experience working in the Arts and Cultural sector. Before setting up her studio in Sydney’s harbour side village of Balmain, Lara was working at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo. “I was curating there and looking after everyone else’s art except for my own,” she recalls. “But I have been painting all my life so I started to dabble again and, following two big regional shows, I decided to go for a residency which I won; they gave me a house in Sydney for six months and paid me to make art! “So I took a break from my job,” she continues, “and made a body of work, which launched at Dank St in Waterloo and it was a sell out show! Shortly after that I decided to move back to Sydney, where I am originally from, and set up a studio / gallery of my own. I bought a small, three-storey block of flats in Balmain and have converted the ground floor into a studio / gallery. The rest of it I am converting into a house. It’s very stressful but exciting too!” Lara’s recent body of work – Contemporary Luxe – has been a huge success and has propelled her career into another stratosphere. Inspired by her surrounding environment in Balmain, it features beautiful translucent blues and greens, together with the simple, considered form of the fluid organic circle; an island continent surrounded by water. As with all of Lara’s work, it is produced in an Abstract Expressionist style and a variety of media is used to create depth through exquisite transparent layers that reveal hidden dioramas. Contemporary Luxe has been a particular hit with interior designers working on waterfront homes and Sails Restaurant on Lavender Bay also commissioned some work from this collection. “The restaurant was doing a whole refurbishment and wanted something that reflected their setting, and the colours and energy coming off the harbour,” Lara explains. So what occupies most of Lara’s time in the studio these days? “The majority of my business is commissions from interior designers plus I am always concentrating on a ‘body of work’,” she explains. “Basically, I will be inspired by something and then create a body of work that expresses that, which I work on for about a year before moving on.” For her next collection, which will be launching at the Maunsell Wickes Gallery in Paddington on October 21st, Lara has drawn inspiration from her many years living in the Australian countryside. This collection is more about ‘place’ she says, with lots of organic shapes and muted earthy colours such as red oxide and yellow oxide. “I’m really excited about it!” Although Lara is incredibly humble about her success, even she agrees that things have recently ‘gone nuts for her’. The past three years have been tremendously exciting and busy and she has now exhibited at more than 75 group and solo shows! So of course we wanted to know if she had any advice for Australia’s aspiring young artists. “The best advice that interior designer Greg Natale, who is a friend of mine, gave me was just to be prolific. You just have to keep going! Never think that what you’re making is going to be the next big masterpiece, just use each project to experiment and have fun,” she says. “I have learnt not to get too caught up in the outcomes, but to just let the process happen and the magic will come!” Lara Scolari larascolari.com abc
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Happenings
HAP - Feature

The Deerubbin Architecture Weekend Is Back For 2018

This event separates itself from the typical, big impersonal architecture conferences, where participants often end up simply spending time with their friends and don’t get to meet other people, let alone see the guest speakers. The Deerubbin weekend takes an all together approach, ensuring that all participants stay together and get a chance to meet each other and the guest speakers. The Deerubbin event takes place over the Friday to Sunday, 16-18 of March in 2018. Visitors will enjoy a residential weekend on the beautiful Milson Island on the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney. Speakers and participants alike stay at the Milson Island Sport and Recreation Centre, with accommodation and meals included in the conference fee. The highlight of the 2018 event takes the form of a conference about cities, how we live in them, and how we can create communities. The conference will look at ground-breaking examples and explore possibilities for better urban housing. For a full list of speakers and ticket details, be sure to check out the Architecture Foundation Australia website.abc
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Lighting

The Best And Brightest

How often do you think about lights? Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, our attitudes toward light are often second nature: when it starts to get dark we turn on an overhead light, or reach for the switch of a lamp. On a day-to-day basis we scarcely even notice the luminaires themselves, though their absence leaves us literally in the dark. 

St Kilda-based lighting design studio ILANEL thinks about lights a lot, and they want to change our attitudes to the stalwart elements of modern construction. Helmed by designer Ilan El, the studio brings a fresh new approach to lighting design that sees luminaires take centre stage. Treating them as design objects in and of themselves, ILANEL reconceives lights as central to enhancing the human experience within a space. Overhead lights become luxurious, sumptuously curvaceous pendant lamps in rich material palettes, and wall-mounted lights are transformed into sculptural objects that illuminate and delight.   

An intricate understanding of the complexities and minutiae of design is evident in all of ILANEL’s luminaires, and reflects the career trajectory of the designer behind it all. A former architect, Ilan El worked on projects abroad that required bespoke design of everything from signage to luminaires; demonstrating the verve that colours all his work, Ilan dove in headfirst. What started as a side project eventually became a full-time pursuit, with Ilan launching ILANEL in 2010 after moving to Australia and completing a Master of Industrial Design at RMIT. Today, the studio works from a converted warehouse with a showroom frontage, and is a favourite for hospitality, commercial, and high-end residential projects around the world.

Ilan’s understanding of space is evident throughout ILANEL’s work, which is bound together by common threads of carefully considered tectonics, materials, and spatial relationships. ILANEL luminaries are sensitive to not only how an object casts light around a room, but also how light plays across the object itself. There is a touch of the sculptural to everything that ILANEL creates, and elegance laced with flashes of playfulness. An internationally sourced material palette heavily features metal – Ilan’s proclaimed favourite material – but is softened by porcelain and sometimes glass, ILANEL having recently teamed with a glass blower a few doors down from their studio.

Yet none of this is to say that there is a singular ILANEL ‘look’. Instead, the highly distinct designs reflect Ilan’s skill in meeting diverse briefs, from the zany angularity of ‘Flash’ to the shimmer and glow of ‘Rain’. In equal parts whimsical and sophisticated, the luminaires demonstrate an unbridled relishing of the complexity of each new design project and nuanced understanding of their particular needs. Informed by his architectural background, Ilan approaches lighting from an outsider’s perspective, albeit an outsider with finely honed design acumen. This unique vantage point allows him to move beyond the way things have always been done in lighting design and toward answering old questions in new ways.

This freshness of perspective has led to ILANEL receiving commissions across all sectors. From the ‘Tree of Light’ showstopper designed for a residential client to the Decor chandelier in Melbourne’s Royal Bank Chambers Building, ILANEL is fast gaining a reputation for innovative, beautiful lighting design. For Decor, contemporary materials and craftsmanship were interwoven with Egyptian and Japanese influences to deftly respond to the 1941 heritage setting. Following 6 months of development, the 13-metre tall chandelier was installed over 13 hours.

Most recently, ILANEL was commissioned to design a lighting installation for the main stage at the fourth annual ‘Save the Children’ Illumination Gala. For one night, ILANEL’s curtain of light was the centrepiece at the Plaza Hotel Ballroom in Manhattan, casting dazzling streams of golden light. The backdrop to honouring Save the Children’s charitable endeavours, the piece was also a testament to something else – to one of lighting design’s leading new thinkers, a design mind that never seems to switch off.

ILANEL www.ilanel.com

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Interiors
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Conversations

Ode To Eastern Bathroom Design

In a world of 24-hour news cycles, smartphone addictions and excessive consumerism, it’s hardly surprising our homes, and our bathrooms particularly, have taken on a new role – that of a comforting protector. A place of retreat away from life’s stresses. This may seem a new approach for pragmatic Westerners, but in the East, bathrooms have long been seen and designed as a restorative mecca. As we play catch-up, we look to the spiritual wisdom of Asia to inform our washrooms. It’s taken some time – by way of cherry blossom tile motifs and buddhist statues, no doubt – but when it comes to Asian bathroom design ideas, we’re starting to get the hang of things. For Darren Jenner, Design Director and Co-Founder of interior architecture firm, Minosa Design, a connection to nature – whether through the selection of materials, or a physical closeness to the outdoors – is the fundamental from which other Asian bathroom design ideas are brought to life. Inspired by the Chinese philosophy, the Yin and Yang bathroom designed by Darren’s team plays boldly with contrasts. The black and white palette anchors the space, while the clean form and function creates an energised calm throughout. A nod to the Japanese principle Seijaku (promoting serenity and tranquility), the bathroom is decidedly spare, imparting a sense of focus and clarity on all those who enter. Here, there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. This sense of order runs through all Minosa Design projects of this nature. However, considering the rich tapestry of Asian bathroom design ideas, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The washroom brief for a home in Sydney’s Clovelly called for less statement contrast, more elegant flow. A modern take on traditional Asian spas, expansive marble and tall charcoal tiles were used to recall this minimalist luxury, while a freestanding bath elevated on marble speaks to the age-old bathhouses favoured in the region. Similarly, Mardi Doherty of Doherty Design Studio looked to tradition when designing a Japanese-style washroom for a client’s holiday home in rural Victoria. “It’s customary [in Japan] to completely clean yourself before entering the bath,” says Mardi. “A separate shower area sits beside the bath for this purpose.” The deep soaking bath was chosen for leisure as much as it was for function, and delivers sweeping views across the Victorian goldfields from it’s post. Founded on the Asian principles of balance and harmony, simplicity and nature, these spaces – like many in this new wave of bathroom design – are an idyllic ode to the East, with no buddha statue in sight. abc
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Homes
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Free Flowing Abode

For this busy family of avid gardeners, a smooth running three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in South Melbourne – one that was easy to maintain and above all easy to live in – was of utmost importance. “As the client is studying part-time while raising a child, they needed a space that they could retreat to, while retaining a connection with the living spaces,” explains Paul Porjazoski, one of the Directors at Bent Architecture, the brains behind this abode. “A courtyard was incorporated into the design to create a buffer between active and quiet spaces and allow northern light to penetrate deeper into the house.” Thornbury House is an intriguing design, with emphasis on clever solutions to assist with the family’s busy lifestyle. “The design of Thornbury House is underpinned by principles of Solar Passive Design,” explains Paul. “All living spaces are orientated to take full advantage of the site’s northerly aspect, and the courtyard facilitates natural cross-ventilation through the living areas and master bedroom, ensuring that sunlight penetrates deep into the house’s peripheral and circulation spaces.” Large sliding doors aid with airflow, too, and allow a deeper connection to the outdoor spaces. The pitched roof ­– which is positioned above the living area as opposed to being a way of accommodating bedrooms on upper levels – serves as an additional means of creating airflow and space. The concept of scale, materiality and form is experimented with multiple times over in this build. Again, the pitched roof is an interesting expression of this, especially in contrast to neighbouring homes. “The building references and reinterprets the roof forms and lightweight cladding of adjoining properties,” explains Paul. “The pitched roof form is immediately recognisable as a distorted version of neighbouring roofs.” Bent Architecture experimented with the visual aesthetic of the cladding as well. “Where adjacent properties employ cover strips to conceal cladding joints, Thornbury House utilises hardwood battens that conceal joints in the cladding and add texture to the façade,” says Paul. “The result is a house that is simultaneously referential and divergent from the prevailing street character.” This innovative design is a sophisticated example of sustainable, comfortable, advanced living. This is a space that pushes the boundaries and explores intriguing alternatives to traditional form and function. Its connection to the outdoor spaces offers its inhabitants a forward-thinking home with options and comfort. Bent Architecture bentarchitecture.com.au Photography by Tatjana Plitt We think you might also like Piermont Retreat by Hecker Guthrie and Jackson Clements Burrows Architectsabc
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Fixed & Fitted

Stylish Drain Solutions for the Modern Home

Stormtech’s Threshold Drain drainage system marries exquisite low-impact design with excellent drainage possibilities for today’s open-air home designs. Developed over 20 years ago as a requirement for special needs access, the threshold drain was originally designed to eliminate the ‘trip-and-slip’ hazards of stepdown partitions, delivering uninterrupted access between indoor and outdoor living areas. Complementing a range of open-plan doorway constructions, the threshold drain has emerged today as a hallmark of chic, sleek and practical drainage, and a cornerstone of today’s trendsetting ‘bring the outdoors in’ design movement. Threshold is a defining example of elegance in simplicity. The low-profile design consists of an external lineal grate which sits flush beside the doortrack, in precise alignment with the ground surface. An integrated, concealed, subsill collects water flows and condensation around the doorway, conveying it to the external drainage system. The drain integrates elegantly into sliding door tracks, bi-folds or hinged doors, is compatible with major door manufacturers and available in 5 different styles of grate designs, including the Marc Newson tessellated pattern. Threshold’s streamlined, low-impact, structure acts as both water barrier and active water conduit, ensuring excellent drainage possibilities between the indoor/outdoor divide. As one of Australia’s most respected drainage manufacturers and suppliers, Stormtech is committed to delivering the highest quality drainage solutions for today’s unique building projects. Stormtech’s skilled specialists work closely with specifiers, architects and builders to offer tailored drainage solutions, including bespoke drawings and plans for customised drainage designs for all Australian environments. Stormtech works proactively with plumbing advisory services to ensure drainage is not only fit for purpose, but meets stringent Building Code of Australia (BCA) compliance measures. Stormtech stormtech.com.au abc
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Artist Elizabeth Barnett Chats To Habitus Living

When and how did you realise you needed to be an artist? I have always wanted to be an artist since I was young. I grew up with two grandmothers who were painters so I guess they were good role models. My art teachers at school were also really encouraging. Congratulations on Herbal Medicine. Can you share a little of the story behind this collection of works? Thank you! I am really proud of this collection of work. The idea to call the show Herbal Medicine came to me before the works first evolved. Emerging from a very intense time with babies, I promised I would look after myself better this year and attend to some niggling health issues. I was collecting herbs from the garden to cook with one afternoon in autumn and I ended up drawing them in the jug on the bench while I sat with the kids during their dinnertime. The exhibition sort of grew from there. I also made a lovely friend in my local community this year that is a naturopath and she leant me a lot of her herbal medicine books to read and many of them ended up as subjects in some of the paintings. The palette of the show was quite moody; I have been enjoying a darker palette this year. I wanted to capture the darker hues that the bush takes on in winter where we live but I also wanted to contrast these pieces with works that had a lot of light and space to them. The bunches of flowers and herbs depicted, loosely reflect those often used in homeopathy or are cuttings taken from the garden to signify the seasons. It’s pretty evident which artists I looked at as inspiration for the show. A few new books added to my art book collection recently have really inspired me – Giorgio Morandi, Vanessa Bell and Winifred Nicholson. I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the local library this year and its wonderful and unlikely book titles that I might have not otherwise picked up and looked at. And then there are old favourite books that resurface from the bookshelf to my bedside again and again such as The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, The NGV’s Dutch Masters catalogue and the Weed Foragers handbook. Vinyl records also make an appearance. Music is a big part of our family’s life. My partner is a DJ (among other talents) and records are always playing and filling my ears with different genres and tunes in our daily life As an artist in 2017, how important is social media to you? Has it impacted on your work in terms of connecting with other artists, gaining inspiration, finding an audience? Social media has been huge for my art practise. Not only have I made so many special and dear friends through our shared interests that becomes apart on Instagram, I am able to share my work with a broader audience and I feel like it is touching people’s lives in a positive way. There are so many sad things happening in the world at the moment that I want my work to be like a breath of fresh air and a way to heal broken hearts. What frustrates you about the Australian art world? It would be great to see more women artists at the helm in the Australian art world, it is slowly happening but not fast enough. Also more Australian art recognised overseas and vice versa. Sometimes we feel so far away, I think social media has changed that greatly but we have a way to go. In what ways do you see the industry evolving to reflect contemporary social attitudes? I think the art world in general is changing and has been changing for a while now. Social media has changed the way artists and galleries present work and both artist and agent are able to have a greater reach than before. There are a lot more opportunities for artists to make a living to support themselves these days, for example through grants, public art projects, collaborations, and pop ups to name a few. We can be more creative about how we apply our creativity to different projects and that’s exciting! What upcoming projects excite you? I am exhibiting with some very inspiring women at Lauriston Press in Kyneton in mid November and also have paintings in this year’s The Design Files Open House in Collingwood (also mid November). Next year I am excited to exhibit in Sydney in May for the first time in a while. I am currently formulating ideas for that show and it should be good! Elizabeth Barnett www.elizabethbarnett.com We think you might also like to read about Claudia Damichiabc
Architecture
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Places

Gentle Monster’s Art of Irregular Retail

Want to build a solid brand following? Give the people experiences to remember. Through each of its 13 stores in Korea, China, Hong Kong and the USA, Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster has established itself as force with a powerful momentum and a unique voice. Chaos, aromas, laundry, play acting, bathhouses, ‘frogism’ (frog + sadism), traps and post-apocalyptic conditions – it’s a mixed bag of themes but each of them have been explored in a Gentle Monster store through art-like installations and spaces. The new Singapore store at ION continues the irregularity with the theme ‘Samsara’ – which means ‘cycle of life’ in Sanskrit. Gentle Monster’s in-house spatial designers Somi Shim and Wonho Moon took visual inspiration from film director Ron Fricke’s non-verbal documentary Samsara, which itself was a modern vision of Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 documentary Koyaanisqatsi. The store concept borrows the notion of time lapse, among other things, from the films. The designers reimagined the ‘cycle of life’ without any social or religious attachments. The idea was to mimic the evolution of human thought, and the notion of non-linear repetition – with reference to Nietzsche – was part of their conceptual thinking. It’s not your standard set of design references. And this is certainly not your standard retail space. Various zones were created that hark back to the three-step philosophy from Nietzsche’s novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Each zone presents vividly different stories and objects that trace a progression from obedience to freedom. In the ‘Camel’ zone, a handmade fabric sculpture with a kinetic hump sits beside a skein pulling strings that connect back to a wheel. The ‘Lion’ zone is a small tented area where a tall chair adorned by a conceptual lion’s tail is surrounded by canvases. No eyewear products are displayed in this space; rather it functions as a representation of the state of mind that occurs before enlightenment and after the ego is dispelled. The third zone, titled ‘Judge’, contains an altar-like space and a set of figurines that symbolise self reflection. Following this, the ‘Mobius’ zone has a vividly coloured Mobius strip at its centre in addition to child-shaped dolls. Finally the ‘Backstage’ zone lands customers back in reality and leads them to the cash register and exit. What does the journey have to do with eyewear, you may ask? The more apt question would probe what it has to do with Gentle Monster the brand. Plenty. See you there. abc
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Around The World
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A Modern Rustic House In Sembawang, Singapore

Sembawang is a suburb in the north of Singapore that used to house many sleepy kampongs (or villages). These days, it is characterised more by clusters of public housing blocks and several landed residential precincts dotted with many new, taller houses pushing their way up among smaller quaint homes built in the 60s. In land-scarce Singapore, occupants wishing to construct to the maximum built-up area is a practical reality. Yet, a new home designed by Atelier M+A resists this approach. Founded by Masaki Harimoto and Ng Ai Hwa, the House in Sembawang is a modest two-storey reconstruction characterised by a distinctive timber façade and gently pitched roof. It is designed for a young couple with two children, who wanted the home to be inviting and spacious for the gathering of friends and family, as well as for their children to play freely. The original house featured small windows, making the interiors dark. The architects kept the main structures of the house, but opened it up with full-height, sliding glass windows all round. This made it easy for both the children and guests to traverse between indoors and out easily. Unlike many new houses that are essentially glasshouses shuttered off from the external environment with curtains perennially drawn, here, the local climate and how to enjoy it is considered at every turn. Its front was extended for added floor area, but also includes a sheltered porch for outdoor use when it rains or the sun is too strong. Inside, a double-storey volume in the house’s heart with a skylight above keeps the interior well lit and increases connection between levels. On the second storey, rooms surround the atrium, linked by a bridge alongside a generous balcony. The façade, cladded with hardy Accoya acetylated wood, is detailed with air gaps between timber members and between the cladding and brick wall, to act as a heat shield from the sun. The hardy material also addresses weather stains found commonly on white exterior walls due to Singapore’s high rainfall and humidity. Throughout, the leitmotif of lightness pervades: from the cantilevering car porch to the floating custom-designed joinery. The palette of mainly natural materials is tactile, pleasant to the touch. In the front porch brick pavers laid in a herringbone manner grants the house a rustic feel, as do the abundant use of timber. Such choices capture the area’s kampong feel in a modern and subtle way. Eschewing the superfluous for warm functionality is Atelier M+A’s trademark. The House in Sembawang is a fine example of this philosophy. Atelier M+A atelier-ma.com Photography by Masano Kawana We think you might also like The House with Pianos by RT+Qabc
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What Has Ben McCarthy Been Up To Lately?

In 2005, Ben McCarthy was only two years out of his industrial design degree from UNSW when he released the hugely popular Launch stool. It put him on practically everyone’s ‘emerging designer to watch’ list at the time and also kick started the beginning of a successful collaboration with gohome that continues to this day. His most recent collection for the Sydney-based Australian brand established by Simon Bando in 2001, is Hollywood and it currently comprises a chair and barstool. It’s typical of Ben’s minimalist aesthetic and combines American Oak and plywood to great effect. The ply seat adds strength, making for easy stackable seating and solid timber legs refine the silhouette, as does the cut-out backrest. Construction is kept simple through uncomplicated yet seamless joinery and the choice of a singular finish in either red, black, white or natural ensures nothing detracts from the boldness of the chair and barstool’s form. Of all McCarthy’s designs, Hollywood best exemplifies his commitment to making. “I’m interested in how things are made, material properties and processes and how engineering can be combined with storytelling,” he says. Narrative is certainly strong in this new collection with the concept paying homage to Tinseltown’s most utilitarian of seating – the Director’s chair – and the collection’s name actually referencing the Hong Kong neighbourhood where Ben has lived since 2007. Although he worked for Tom Dixon in the UK for a short time after graduation, Ben thinks there’s nowhere better for a designer to live than Hong Kong. “It’s full of inspiration,” he explains. “The access to manufacturing is amazing, as is the general day-to-day contact with people who are engaged with production. Everyone comes to Hong Kong to get stuff done; I really admire that type of energy.” Ben is working on extending the Hollywood collection and there also promises to be more gohome collaborations in the near future. He may not have any plans to move back to his hometown of Sydney, but his global perspective continues to add another level of expertise to his work with Bando. In the immediate, Ben has finished building an art installation for Hong Kong music festival Clockenflap, which involved creating a large zoetrope machine. It’s simply another arm to Ben’s practice that allows him to explore the possibilities of small-scale engineering while still retaining the creativity and originality intrinsic of his style. Ben Mccarthy gohome go-home.com.au Ben Mccarthy go home Ben Mccarthy go home Ben Mccarthy go home Ben Mccarthy go home We think you might also like to read about Allbird's superfine merino wool sneakersabc