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Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.


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Fiona Dunin Establishes A Sense Of Continuity At K2 House

For those visiting this house in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs, few, if any, would be aware that this single-fronted Victorian terrace was renovated twice over a 10-year-period. Architect and interior designer Fiona Dunin, director of FMD Architects, was commissioned by the current owner, then single, to renovate and extend his terrace, leaving the façade and the first two rooms, intact. “We’re surrounded by charming period cottages, so it didn’t make sense to ‘make a statement’ in this streetscape,” says Fiona. Ten years ago the terrace was updated, with new built-in joinery for the two bedrooms, upgrading services and polishing the home’s original timber floors. FMD Architects also put in a new kitchen including an angular mirrored undercroft to the kitchen’s central island bench to magnify the open plan kitchen and lining area. FMD continues to incorporate angular joinery and mirrored surfaces in its practice today. “It’s important to be able to reflect light, particularly when a house is quite modest in size,” says Fiona, pointing out the footprint of the site, approximately 6x31-metres. K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts living space K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts upper level The more recent renovation, commissioned by the same owner who has since married and has a child, was for an additional bedroom and a second living zone. “Our clients had become attached both to their house and the area,” says Fiona, who incorporated virtually all the features from the initial renovation, including the angled mirror below the central island bench. One of the few pieces of joinery to go was a full height cupboard in the kitchen, with a powder-coated steel staircase ‘carved’ into this area. Upstairs, there’s now a main bedroom, ensuite and a second living area, leading to a north-facing terrace with an angular perforated steel screen/balustrade. Angles feature extensively in the built-in cocktail bar in the second living area/parents retreat, as well as in the dressing area, with its angular window. “We retained as much of the original design as possible, updating where needed,” says Fiona, pointing out the new black ceramic benchtop in the kitchen, together with the deep laminate drawers. Although appearing as part of the second stage of the renovation, Fiona designed the angular wall niche in the main living area 10 years ago. “The lesson for those concerned about things feeling ‘dated’ is to be quite adventurous. Design for yourself and not be preoccupied by following trends,” says Fiona, as a parting note. FMD Architects fmdarchitects.com.au Photography by Peter Bennetts K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts lounge K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts joinery K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts bedroom K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts bathroom K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts rooftop garden K2 House FMD Architects Fiona Dunin cc Peter Bennetts exterior   We think you might also like Kelvin House by FMD Architectsabc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

Getting To Know Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

From the street, many of Madeleine Blanchfield Architects’ projects have a modest appearance, sitting quietly and respectfully in the streetscape. But behind those historical or highly crafted façades, are larger, layered volumes; open and light-filled spaces designed to make you feel good. “I have always been aware of the power of great spaces and been driven to make architecture that evokes experiences such as awe, joy or simply comfort,” Madeleine explains. “The best spaces are ones that make people take pause and acknowledge the place or the moment they are in.” Madeleine’s approach to design sees architecture, interiors and landscape as an integrated whole, which very much reflects her interests having studied environmental design at University of Canberra and architecture at University of New South Wales. Madeleine began her career at PTW Architects, and after several years working on large commercial buildings joined Burley Katon Halliday to direct her efforts to residential and smaller commercial projects. “I loved the scale, the attention to detail and the ability to take a project from conception to completion,” Madeleine says. In 2009 Madeleine branched out on her own, and the timing was right on two accounts: “I won a private competition to do a large waterfront house in Gordon’s Bay and, as fate would have it, I was pregnant with my first child.” She established her eponymous studio and documented the house from her spare room, “with a newborn as company”. [caption id="attachment_75171" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Gordon's Bay House Felix Forest Gordon's Bay House. Photography by Felix Forest[/caption] Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Gordon's Bay House Felix Forest Gordon's Bay House. Photography by Felix Forest Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Gordon's Bay House Robert Walsh Gordon's Bay House. Photography by Robert Walsh Madeleine Blanchfield Architects is now based in a former corner store in Paddington. The team comprises four project architects, two interior designers and two student architects, with Madeleine heavily involved in all projects from start to finish. “It’s busy, sometimes loud, often funny, and because we work so closely together there is constant information sharing and cross fertilisation of ideas,” says Madeleine. “Our design process is not prescriptive and there is room for quirkiness and fun in our outcomes,” says Madeleine. This is certainly seen in a residential project in Clovelly, that transformed a 1950s suburban house into a whimsical wonderland inspired by the client’s seventeenth-century lithograph ‘Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing.’ While a strong idea drives the conceptual design of a house, a rational approach underlies all planning principles. South Coogee House featured in Habitus #40 is inspired by the work of Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, but its T shape, voluminous forms and perforated screens are responses to sunlight, privacy, ventilation, landscape and family life. “I am a believer in developing one big idea and boldly following it through, and we work extraordinarily hard to make sure our houses perform from the macro right through to the most minute details. Houses influence how you feel and behave and interact and it takes a balance of openness and performance,” Madeleine explains. Architecture has the power to impact our wellbeing and relationships. Madeleine Blanchfield Architects designs with a focus on light, air and nature, creating calm and comforting spaces that inspire emotional response. “People consistently comment on the sense of serenity they feel in our spaces,” says Madeleine. “Our clients become an integral part of the project and each completed house embodies them and hopefully brings them genuine happiness.” Madeleine Blanchfield Architects madeleineblanchfield.com [caption id="attachment_75169" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Clovelly House Prue Ruscoe Clovelly House. Photography by Prue Ruscoe[/caption] Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Clovelly House Prue Ruscoe Clovelly House. Photography by Prue Ruscoe Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Clovelly House Prue Ruscoe Clovelly House. Photography by Prue Ruscoe Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Clovelly House Prue Ruscoe Clovelly House. Photography by Prue Ruscoe Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Clovelly House Prue Ruscoe Clovelly House. Photography by Prue Ruscoe Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Bellevue Hill House Robert Walsh Bellevue Hill House. Photography by Robert Walsh Madeleine Blanchfield Architects Queens Park House Robert Walsh Queens Park House. Photography by Robert Walsh   We think you might also like Gordon’s Bay House by Madeleine Blanchfield Architectsabc
Around The World
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Rituals Reimagined

Positioned deep within the lush forests of Nanjing, just west of Shanghai, sits the Tao Hua Yuan teahouse designed by Hong Kong firm CL3 Architects Ltd. A reticent composition of concrete rectangles juxtaposed against a warm interior, this project celebrates contrast just as it celebrates the environment within which it was built. Employing traditional vernacular architecture, the Tao Hua Yuan presents the age-old tradition of tea-taking in a contemporary setting, while still holding onto symbolic remains such as the Ming Dynasty City Wall. A gentle nod to the cultural heritage of the city, this “Members-only” teahouse is both innovative and nostalgic. CL3’s founder and managing director, William Lim, offers a distinct take on contemporary architecture, inspired by the balance between creativity and human experience within a space. An acclaimed architect and artist, Lim’s work reflects his commitment to promoting culture and education in the Architecture and Design domain. Tao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot View at Courtyard to lounge ao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot reception “Architects have a social obligation to improve urban environments,” explains Lim. “We treat every project as a unique challenge and pay attention to every single detail – from the architecture to the interior detailing.” The Tao Hua Yuan is a project that particularly exemplifies this notion through the considered contradictions of its design elements. The space is divided into a restaurant, calligraphy room, and tea lounge. Each detail of the architecture is an example of the deliberate design process behind the Tao Hua Yuan: the brutal exterior feels exclusive and secluded, reflecting the intimacy of traditional tea taking; the timber beams that separate the interior are reminiscent of the tree-lined forest beyond the teahouse walls; the Zen architectural elements embody the minimalistic philosophy of natural materials, patterns of life and the monastic exclusion of clutter. Meanwhile, light animates the surfaces, with soft down lights casting beautiful shadows against the walls and ceiling. This breathes life and movement into the minimal space, with simplistic furnishings that signify the traditions of Chinese cultural heritage. In fact, the furniture and decorative objects seem to have been selected with this in mind. Bespoke low-rise furniture, customary in ancient times when people used to sit on the floor, is complimented with modern high-type furniture. Upon closer inspection, low tables with floor cushions for seating and fabriccovered light pendants also reflect furnishings that were prevalent during the Ming Dynasty. With the landscape of Nanjing always considered, even the ink-wash artwork mimics the natural environment beyond the teahouse walls. ao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot restaurant ao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot dining The interior is a delicate amalgamation of natural and man-made elements. The materials used to construct the space, work harmoniously to balance modern elements of marble and stone. Calling upon traditional resources of the region such as timber and bamboo, these softer materials counter the contemporary ones. The interior palette is a gentle selection of warm neutrals, allowing the architecture to remain the focal point; offsetting the vibrant forest landscape. Incorporating references to Chinese architectural elements, natural materials inserts further life to the space: scholar rocks recovered from river beds with organically eroded holes are lined up along a platform of black mirror, creating the illusion of water reflections and dividing the teahouse into different areas. Seamlessly, the interior and exterior create a tranquil and free space which satisfies the modern expectations of design whilst respecting the landscape within which it stands. The Tao Hua Yuan exists as a beautiful reminder of the interconnection between architecture, environment and heritage. Granting each element equal attention creates a fluidity within a space that the guests can sense from the outset. Boldly combining the natural and the manufactured, the ancient and the contemporary, the expansive and the intimate, CL3 has achieved something truly unique in the Tao Hua Yuan teahouse. CL3 Architects cl3.com Photography by Nirut Benjabanpot ao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot private zone ao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot sofa ao Hua Yuan Tea House CL3 Architects cc Nirut Benjabanpot courtyard We think you might also like Jingshan Hotel by Continuation Studioabc
Around The World

The VOLA Academy – Solidifying The Legacy Of Nordic Design

With many organisations contemplating their ‘legacy value’, we’re seeing a renewed emphasis on the role of knowledge, innovation and people in business. Looking to engage with its contemporaries in a meaningful and substantial way, VOLA has established the VOLA Academy in Denmark. Designed by LINK Arkitektur, the academy hosts gatherings for international architects and interior designers, providing an architectural think-tank in which industry professionals can share ideas, opinions and inspiration. The building reflects the minimalist and timeless aesthetic of VOLA’s products through a lean and stylish architectural approach. Materials are few and simple. The building consists of an open steel frame, with glass gables resting on a concrete base below. At the entrance, two freestanding architectural frames create an eye-catching visual interplay of light and shade, while internally, raw concrete is offset by glass and wood finishes. Seemingly simple in nature, the details are anything but, boasting a well-founded design approach. With a double-height ceiling in the auditorium, four meeting and conference rooms, the building also plays host to a ‘museum corridor’, which sees display cabinets integrated into the concrete walls to showcase a selection of VOLA products. Decorative light filters into the building via the narrow window panels, forming an irregular pattern in the façade. Painted in bright yellow, green and orange, the window frames create a bold statement and contrast the large concrete rooms. The overall design of VOLA Academy was to ensure architectural features and use of materials that highlight a Nordic design language as seen in VOLA’s products, while also maintaining an exclusive feel. All-in-all, it’s a building that perfectly represents the uniquely international and exclusive feel characteristic of the VOLA range – timeless design, high-quality build and Scandinavian to a tee.  abc
ARC - Feature

Taking Open-Plan Spaces To A New Level

Open-plan spaces floor plans have been the way forward in residential design since the emergence of the ranch-style house in the post-war era. While the clients of Bulleen House in Melbourne wanted an open house, they didn’t want what architect Michael Ong, director of MODO, refers to as the “gymnasium effect,” with spaces feeling empty and boundless. “The clients explained their vision of an open floor plan with all living areas connected, however they felt it was important that spaces didn’t feel empty and vast,” Michael explains. “The question then became how we create spaces that feel open, yet defined and welcoming.” So instead of using walls and screens to create visual separations, Michael used volumes, levels and materials to signify transitions and define one space from another. Located on an east-west site, the building is comprised of a series of brick volumes connected by glazed links on the ground floor, and a long black metal-clad volume sitting on top. The narrower façade at the front of the house is designed to be proportionate with the streetscape and to reduce the solar impact of western sun. To capture northern sun for natural light and thermal efficiency, the main house is positioned along the southern and eastern sides of the site, enclosing a courtyard and directing the view inwards. Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking backyard Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking pond Throughout the house, volumes, levels and materials indicate the shift from one functional space to another. “You step into the ‘next’ space, [and] the walls are slightly lower or higher, and the floor, walls and ceiling materials change,” Michael explains. Thus, every room is connected but with a subtle distinction. From the entrance of the house, concrete steps lead up to the garage entrance and exit, with a further step to the kitchen and staircase. Timber flooring indicates the threshold to the stairs and differentiates it from the polished-concrete kitchen floor is polished concrete. The dining room with brick walls and timber floor is a step up again, beyond which the living space with polished concrete floor and timber-joinery wall is a step down. Large sliding doors open the dining area to gardens on the north and south sides, and timber and concrete stairs cascade to the paved and grassy courtyard. Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking kitchen Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking dining room While the staircase is inherently composed of varying levels, materials are used to define the threshold. “This space is designed to feel light and transitional, as such we wanted the stairs to capture this concept,” Michael explains. The steel and timber treads almost float within the double-height void, and the first two steps are timber-clad concrete to anchor it to the floor and reinforce the transition to or from the ground level. “As you move through the house, your body starts to develop an understanding of these multiple volumes and shifts in levels and materials,” Michael says. “It’s amazing how clearly and quickly you start to read and respond to these seemingly minor design details.” MODO mo-do.net Furniture and styling by Nina Provan Photography by Benjamin Hosking Dissection Information Glacier Ice benchtop from Corian Blackbutt timber veneer Spotted Gum Engineered Floor Boards from Ecotimber Tiles from Sugie Series Hanten Dita stools by Grazia & Co Anita chair by SP01 from Space Furniture Togo fireside chair by Ligne Roset from Domo Restore basket by Muuto and magazine holder both from Luke Furniture Fri chair by Fritz Hansen from Cult New order shelves by HAY from Cult Polar desk lamp by Ross Gardam Featherston Scape chair from Grazia & Co Flos 265 Wall-mounted light Arq Kitchen Sink Mixer from Rogerseller Mare hand shower & integrated wall union from Rogerseller Alapte Metaphor Counter Basin Integrated fridge from Liebherr Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking interior Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking togo sofa ligne roset Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking bedroom Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking flos Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking Grant Featherston Ross Gardam Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking studio Bulleen House MODO cc Benjamin Hosking street front We think you might also like Headland House by Atelier Andy Carsonabc

Gaggenau Opens The Doors To A New Flagship Showroom In Melbourne

Amid a rich history spanning 335 years, Gaggenau has transcended what it means to be a brand, becoming a culture where design brings true soul into the home and kitchen. With Gaggenau having already opened 22 flagship showrooms around the world, it was high time for Australia to get a proper taste of the Gaggenau flourish. This all-new Melbourne showroom will properly open its doors to the public in June 2018, but a special one-off launch event for the design glitterati gave some VIPs a sneak taste test of what's to come. Gaggenau partnered with Carr Design Group to bring the showroom to life, transforming the historic framework of an original red brick warehouse in Coventry Street, South Melbourne, into a curated experience that brings together design, architecture and culinary encounters. When asked about the brief given to Carr, Aleks Efeian Senior, Brand Manager for Gaggenau explained, “In designing the showroom, we wanted the experience to be truly immersive. The design brief revolved around maintaining a strong connection to Gaggenau’s history and our German origins in the small village of Gaggenau at the foot of the Black Forest while creating a highly sensory experience in a contemporary and distinctive space.” The strong relationship to heritage, history and the age of industrial craftsmanship is evident in the completed project. Sue Carr, Principal of Carr explains, “Engaging with Gaggenau’s origins, the entry to the Gaggenau showroom is dramatic, moody and dynamic, demonstrating a strength and power reflective of the brand values. More akin to a gallery, tall black-mirrored towers reflect the darkened inky black surrounds. Punctuating the space, these towers allude to tall trees within the dense, Black Forest of the brand's heritage. Product is hidden from view until further exploration sees appliances inserted randomly within each tower, lit from above like a gemstone in a jewellery box. Like a sculptural intervention, the luxury and contemporary detailing of each item is emphasised and celebrated.” The Gaggenau story that began all those years ago in Germany now continues with pride here in Melbourne. Efeian says, “Our values, unchanged since 1683, with an ongoing quest for authenticity and uncompromising quality, are now part of the DNA of this building here in South Melbourne. "We do not want to prescribe the ideal culinary culture, we want to help you realise yours. Our wish is for each and every one of our customers to experience the craftsmanship, precision and quality of the leading luxury brand of home appliances in the world at every touch point along the journey. So it is with great pleasure and a sense of pride that I can formally say to you, Welcome… to Gaggenau Melbourne.” The success of the new showroom wouldn’t be complete without special thanks to partners including Capabuild, Erco, CDK, Cosentino, Pepper Design Poggenpohl & Team 7, Living Edge, Cult, GMG Stone, ACM Joinery, Zip Tapware, Billi, Abey and Oliveri. The Gaggenau Melbourne showroom can be experienced at 192 Coventry Street, South Melbourne. Gaggenau gaggenau.com/au Carr carr.net.au [gallery columns="4" ids="75031,75032,75033,75034,75035,75036,75037,75038,75039,75040,75041,75043,75044,75045,75046,75047,75048,75049,75051,75053,75055,75056,75057,75058,75059,75060,75061,75062,75063"]abc
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Design Hunters

A Cultural Guide To Café Design

Most architects are known for designing with the local in mind, naturally taking cues from the social and cultural fabrics that make each area unique – and Cafés designs are no exception. These are a few café design ideas that truly speak to the neighbourhood in which they were born.  

Ki Café, Tokyo

Small streets and a growing population shape the cafés of Tokyo, where traditional Japanese design principles are modernised with a global outlook. Cafés design ideas in Tokyo feel fresher and more inventive than in other Japanese cities because really, they have to be there’s only so much space to work with. Here, designs that feel calming, restorative, and rooted in nature are salient. Enter Ki Café, one of the coffeehouses bridging the gap between chaotic urban living and Japan’s utilitarian design culture. Designed by Seiji Oguri, lead architect at id inc, and his team, Ki Café sits somewhere between gallery space, small coffee shop and forest canopy. Dark steel table legs extend to look like tree trunks and branches, framing the stark white walls and the barista’s minimal coffee bench. “Eliminating unnecessary decorations is an element particular to Japanese ways,” Seiji says. “We think [of Ki Cafés] as a part of this new conception of Tokyo, where common features in Japanese traditions and interests in overseas cultures collide.” Photography by Notihito Yamauchi [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="74980,74981,74982,74983"] id.inc idinc.com.sg

Code Black Coffee, Melbourne

Melbourne’s best cafés have two things: industrial-style interiors, and great coffee beans. Code Black Coffee is no exception. Housed across two converted warehouses, the café and roasting house’s urban aesthetic is a natural fit for its home in eclectic Brunswick. Polished concrete floors, rustic wooden panels and slick black brickwork create dark, brooding interiors. The moody spaces are the brainchild of Zwei Architects. “The gems of Melbourne are down alleys and laneways and you have to use your curiosity to truly engage with the city,” Katherine Kemp of Zwei Architects explains: “We used this sense of discovery in the way the interior spaces gently reveal themselves behind Code Black’s imposing façade; we knew that the people of Melbourne would find it.” And they did. Code Black Coffee has won a slew of design and hospitality awards since opening in 2013. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="74984,74985,74986,74987"] ZWEI zwei.com.au   

Folk Café, Byron Bay

“It’s a very ‘shoes optional’ vibe,” café owner Julian Kelly says of Folk, a playful ethical coffeehouse he opened with his partner, Maggie Dylan, in 2014. Everything at Folk has been crafted by the pair, from the interiors – “It started out as a jungle of our own plants, hanging in macrame hangers that Maggie’s Dad made back in the ‘70s” – to the kitchen gardens; the authentic, laidback feel harking back to Byron Bay’s roots as a mecca for an alternative and natural lifestyle. Nostalgia served as a key inspiration for the duo, and the café – once a dilapidated building aside a caravan park – has become a cultural institution for locals seeking a slice of the good life. “[We wanted to recreate] the Byron dream that we had envisioned in our youth: a 70s beach bungalow, handcrafted, worn, overgrown with texture and greenery,” Julian tells. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="74988,74989,74990,74991"] Folk Byron Bay folkbyronbay.com  

An’ Garden, Hoi An

A lack of green space, endless trawls of honking motorbikes and worsening air pollution characterises Vietnam’s urban spaces. Responses to these 21st-century curses – by way of ecologically sustainable and nature-focused café design ideas – are coming in thick and fast in Hoi An. Designed by architect firm Le House in 2016, the three-storey An’ Garden café is one such project. An’ Garden doesn’t reject its urban setting in favour of an all-natural aesthetic as one might expect, rather the café artfully marries the two contexts. Here, cemented walls, steel framework and expansive glass facades meet timber hanging planters, an indoor tree and a pond concealed beneath the staircase. It’s both serene and bold, much like Hoi An itself. Photography by Hyroyuki Oki [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="74992,74994,74995,74996,74993"] Le House le-house.vn  

Koi Cafe, Hanoi

Layers upon layers of history survive in Vietnam’s capital city and as a result, Hanoi’s cafés have a more old-world, jumbled feel than their Hoi An counterparts. The former French and Chinese occupations make their design mark on public spaces even now. This multicultural sensibility wasn’t lost on An Viet Dung, founder of Farming Architects and the lead architect for Koi Café. Situated in an old three-storey house, Farming Architects had to respond to this city’s rich identity, while also being mindful of the same environmental concerns felt in other Vietnamese cities. Like An’ Garden, sustainable living is at the heart of Koi Café. Koi Café stayed true to the city’s international ties, using Japanese ideology and age-old Asian legends as key sources of inspiration. The traditional Batrang tiled facade of the building makes a bold first impression, while inside a koi pond and waterfall makes a modern ode to the Asian legend, “Carp Leaping Over Dragon’s Gate” and encourages a momentary step away from the chaotic city lifestyle outside the café’s walls. Photography by Nguyen Thai [gallery size="medium" ids="74998,74999,75000,74997,75001"] Farming Architects farming-architecture.org   We think you might also like Five of the Best Café Lighting Designs.abc
Design Products

Blu Dot Is Recognised For Design Excellence

At a time where product design is at its most accessible, and interior design and architecture has made its way to a widespread, global appreciation, it’s ironic to notice good design, genuine design, and innovative design is increasingly difficult to come across. Cheap materials, impractical design, and ever-controversial replica furniture flood the market blind-siding even the most well meaning consumer. Perhaps this is why, now more than ever, it’s important to recognise industry players furthering the cause. Established in 1997, Blu Dot was the brainchild of two architects (Maurice Blanks and John Christakos) and a sculptor (Charlie Lazor), after Maurice and John, fresh out of college and looking to fill their homes with furniture that reflected their passion for art, architecture and design, didn’t like the pieces they could afford and couldn’t afford those that they did. So they sought to bring modern American design to an affordable market. And every day in the two decades since, that’s exactly what they’ve done. So it stands to reason they be recognised not only for their contribution to the industry and those who consume it, but for the designs they produce as they stand on their own. Blu Dot has proudly received the 2018 National Design Award for Product Design as awarded by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. “Many people in the U.S. did not have a reference for good design. These guys helped to define what modern design was to popular culture.” So says Rob Forbes, Founder of Design Within Reach and member of the 2018, interdisciplinary jury. The awards series as a whole were conceived as a way to honour lasting achievement in American design and awarded to those in recognition of excellence and innovation achieved. In Cooper Hewitt’s own words, the awards “celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of the impact of design through education initiatives.” [caption id="attachment_75652" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] The award, according to Cooper Hewitt, “celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of the impact of design through education initiatives.”[/caption]   If industry recognition doesn’t get your accountant over the line on some Blu Dot pieces for your own residence, perhaps some more traditional tactics will: from now until 30th June, all Blu Dot designs are 20 per cent off – no exclusions. So whether it’s the addition of a set of the iconic Real Good Chairs around your dining table, a Toro Lounge Chair in the corner of your bedroom, or a selection of pieces from the Modu-licious series that’s been missing, the time is certainly now and the price is most definitely right. [caption id="attachment_75653" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] Neat Chairs, Strut Table, and Perimeter Pendants[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_75647" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Bloke Armless Sofa[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_75655" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Toro Lounge Chair[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_75654" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Real Good Chair[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_75651" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Hot Mesh chairs[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_75650" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Field chair[/caption] Blu Dot bludot.com.auabc