About Habitusliving

 

Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.

 

From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.

 

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

 

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The Unique Spiral Of The Vortice Sink

Vortice was created as a philosophical inquiry into the nature of design. Paolo Ulian and antoniolupi created this striking freestanding sink as part of a new project that began last year with the Intreccio sink, in a series designed to deepen the themes of contemporary matter, to investigate the complex dialogue between immobility and dynamism; between solidity and lightness; between reality and appearance. Human inspiration and advanced machine processing technologies came together in the creation of the Vortice sink. This unifying of man and machine is reflected in the design of the sink itself, which expresses the virtuous cycle between nature, man and machine. From a small yet sturdy base, Vortice develops upward through a revolving series of Carrara marble shapes, whose fluid and sinuous geometries reflect the nature of water, accentuated by the unique veins and the plastic-like behaviour of the material. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="96374,96375"] The result is an iconic structure with a strong expression that becomes the focal point of the bathroom it is placed in; a moving volume that connects man and nature. In addition to water, which has always been at the centre of all antoniolupi design ventures, the other protagonist of Vortice is air. Air is represented in the sink through the sensations of lightness and fluctuation that the superimposed but staggered stone layers are able to generate – resulting in an object that is clearly heavy and sturdy, yet channels an airy lightness around its presence. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="96376,96377"] Made from a single block of marble, the 16 layer design of Vortice is an emblem of uniqueness and legacy of Italian design. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="96378,96379"] Vortice is a sink with a sculptural yet graceful presence, it is a domestic micro-architecture that recalls the in shape and proportions of contemporary towers and skyscrapers that are transforming the cities of the world while remaining light. antoniolupi antoniolupi.it abc
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Truly Ground Breaking, A Visual Survey Of Architecture By Women

Breaking Ground: Architecture By Women is a new book by UK-based architect Jane Hall. Written at the time she was completing her PhD, it is a timely record of the extraordinary contributions of female architects, whether as sole architect or part of a larger team, to the global architecture industry. Somewhat of an architectural survey, the projects within span from 1912, Rock Crest-Rock Glen in Iowa by Marion Mahony Griffin, to 2019, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, England, by Stephanie Macdonald. Eleena Jamil, Eleena Jamil Architect, Bamboo Playhouse, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2015. Picture credit: Courtesy Eleena Jamil Architect. Photo: Marc Tey (page 102) Within a collection that exceeds 180 architectural projects, more than 150 female architects are recognised in works inclusive of both the private spheres (single + multi residential buildings, student accommodation, social housing) and private sphere (libraries, museums, workplaces, education + childcare and hospitals – even a petrol statin in Los Angeles by Mónica Ponce de León!). Australia carves out its own place thanks to Camilla Block of Durbach Block Jaggers for Holfman House in Sydney and Brit Andresen for Ocean View House in Mount Mee, Queensland. Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang, Writers Theatre, Glencoe, Illinois, USA, 2016 . Picture credit: Photo: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing (page 71) As you would expect, Breaking Ground recognises the work of the greats in Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Zaha Hadid, Lina Bo Bardi, Ray Eames, Carme Pinós, Odile Decq, and Jeanne Gang. Likewise, may of the modern world’s contemporary architectural masterpieces that were devised at least in part by women in the industry have their place in these pages. Buildings such as Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes, France, by Elizabeth De Portzamparc; The Broad in L.A. by Elizabeth Diller; Football Stadium Arena in Borisov, Belarus, by Špela Videčnik; and Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbajan by Zaha Hadid. Author Jane Hall is the inaugural recipient of the British Council Lina Bo Bardi Fellowship (2013) and a founding member of Assemble, the London-based, Turner Prize-winning multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art. Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women, published by Phaidon, is out now. Phaidon au.phaidon.com Sharon Johnston, Johnston Marklee, View House, Rosário, Argentina, 2009. Picture credit: © Eric Staudenmaier (page 104, bottom)   Lina Bo Bardi, São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brazil, 1968 (pages 28- 29)   Mariam Kamara, Atelier Masōmī, Hikma Religious and Secular Complex, Dandaji, Niger, 2018, with Studio Chahar. Picture credit: © ateliermasomi and studiochahar. Photo: James Wang (page 107)   Brinda Somaya, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, Olympic Swimming Pool and Stadium, Mumbai, India, 1986. Picture credit: Somaya and Kalappa Consultants SNK Mumbai (page 181)   Špela Videčnik, OFIS Architects, Football Stadium Arena, Borisov, Belarus, 2014. Picture credit: (Courtesy OFIS ARHITEKTI © Tomaz Gregoricpage 196- 197)   We think you might also like to get to know Penelope Seidlerabc
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Kerry Hill’s Architectural Legacy Lives On In Aman Kyoto

Throughout his decades as an architect, Kerry Hill was not one to subscribe to any formal design methodology. Instead, he spent his career in thoughtful pursuit of authenticity, allowing his work to realise itself through place, purpose, and material. Testament to this approach is Kerry’s body of work – spanning Asia, Australia, Europe, and China – which is internationally renowned for its culturally and climatically sensitive expression of tropical modernism. Nestled deep within a secret garden at the heart of a 32-hectare forest in Japan’s ancient Imperial capital, Aman Kyoto marks the latest instalment in the suite of luxury resort destinations designed by Kerry for Aman Resorts. Formed by a series of manicured platforms within a hidden valley, Aman Kyoto’s gardens are enclosed on one side by a trickling stream, and on another by an arboreal hill. Mature cedar, cypress, camellia, and Japanese maple trees form an ethereal landscape that evolves in colour throughout the year, transporting the garden from one season to another. Named the Kerry Hill Garden, in honour of Aman Kyoto’s designer and his long-standing relationship with Aman, the flourishing landscape stands as a living tribute to the late Australian architect. Originally intended as the location for a textile museum, Aman Kyoto’s site is the unrealised dream of its former owner – one of Japan’s most respected collectors of the obi. Now, the tranquillity and drama of this setting provide the foundations for the pavilions of the resort.  

Originally intended as the location for a textile museum, Aman Kyoto’s site is the unrealised dream of its former owner.

  True to Aman’s aesthetic and Kerry’s ethos, the structures of Aman Kyoto are exemplary in their elegance, simplicity, and sensitivity toward their verdant surroundings. The interior palette is neutral, complementing the work of local artisans; handmade raku tile panels grace the Living Pavilion while custom-made ceramic tiles decorate the restaurant. Strikingly minimalist in their design, Aman Kyoto’s 26 guest rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, framing spectacular views of the resort’s natural surroundings. Designed to foster peace, relaxation, and contemplation, the spacious and light-filled interiors celebrate the refined aesthetic and creative values of Japan. Tatami mats lay upon the guest room floors, while tokonoma alcoves provide focal points and quiet moments of artistic appreciation. All furniture pieces, including traditional Japanese lanterns, have been custom-designed and are exclusive to Aman Kyoto. All decorative artefacts, whether vases, artworks, or antiques, have been individually curated for each space.  

Handmade raku tile panels grace the Living Pavilion while custom-made ceramic tiles decorate the restaurant.

  As is characteristic of Kerry’s work, Aman Kyoto embodies a deep respect for the rich culture and natural beauty that surrounds it. In this respect, Aman Kyoto has been holistically designed to operate as an ecosystem; an invitation to experience the authentic Japanese art of hospitality, in which every element works in harmony and perfect balance. The garden is cleverly designed to self-irrigate through the collection of rainwater via the site’s numerous caves and water tunnels, while the Aman Spa features traditional onsen bathing facilities are filled with water from a local spring. In the restaurant, Chef Kentaro serves authentic Kyoto-style cuisine, home-cooked with seasonal ingredients sources from the resort’s very own garden. Aman Kyoto has been thoughtfully designed to offer guests a fully immersive cultural experience for the mind, body and spirit. Recognised by many as Japan’s cultural capital, a visit to this mesmerising city is a must on any journey through the country. Now, Aman Kyoto allows guests an authentic yet contemporary architect-designed sanctuary, sensitive to the roots of its historic setting and pristine natural surroundings. Aman Kyoto aman.com We think you might also like Shishi-Iwa House by Shigeru Banabc
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Is Living Large Out Of Vogue?

Across the Indo Pacific Region, in cities and rurally, people are living smaller and with less. In a small space, more than anywhere else, is where clever, considerate and innovative architecture and design has its time to shine. These projects take into careful consideration the needs of its residents, their budgets, and their lifestyles to provide smaller footprint living without sacrifice.  

Boneca Apartment by Brad Swartz Architects

Brad Swartz Architects Boneca Apartment CC Tom Ferguson | Habitus Living For small-scale projects “the brief is often just to make it liveable” says architect Brad Swartz. Under the guise of his eponymous architecture and interior design studio, Brad and his team at Brad Swartz Architects, recently completed the reconfiguration of Boneca Apartment, a 24-square-metre studio apartment in the inner Sydney suburb of Rushcutters Bay. The space is more or less split in two. As you enter, the kitchen lines the left wall before the inbuilt double bed featuring hidden storage care of custom joinery. Between the kitchen and bed is a short corridor leading to the bathroom. A table for dining, studying or socialising sits in front of the door behind a two-seater sofa and the windows that line the facing wall. [gallery size="large" ids="85790,85794,85796"] Photography by Tom Ferguson. Read the full story here  

Type St Apartment by Tsai Design

Type Street Apartment Tsai Design cc Tess Kelly living When Jack Chen of Tsai Design was posed with the challenge of transforming a 35-square-metre unit into a one-bedroom apartment with home office, he created a clever multi-purpose timber joinery box that serves all rooms and offers the luxury, comfort and detailing found in a normal house. To overcome the constraints of the existing apartment, Jack concentrated on creating multi-functional spaces, de-cluttering, and maximising natural light. [gallery size="large" ids="79163,79168,79171"] Photography by Tess Kelly. Read the full story here  

Courtyard House by Sarah Lake Architects

Courtyard House by Sarah Lake Architects Located in the inner-city-Melbourne suburb of Yarraville, Courtyard House draws on the area’s industrial roots in its transformation of a single fronted worker’s cottage into a robust and spacious family home. But from the outset, the inherent nature of the site itself presented a number of orientation and spatial conundrums such as a slender, long plot. Architect Sarah Lake then proceeded to “cut out” a courtyard from this form, effectively opening the house up to the north but also making it one of the ‘rooms’ in the new living wing. As a result, the spaces may be modest in scale but they feel generous in proportion by virtue of high ceilings and large expanses of glazing. [gallery size="medium" type="rectangular" ids="94514,94509,94511"] Photography by Glenn Hester. Read the full story here  

Nulla Vale House and Shed by MRTN Architects

Nulla Vale MRTN Architects CC Peter Bennetts entrance In many respects, Nulla Vale House and Shed is no ordinary holiday house, where a comfortable, fuss-free lifestyle is a priority. “Our clients wanted a modest house where they could come together on the weekend,” explains MRTN director Antony Martin, “but they purchased this plot with the aim of really embedding themselves in the landscape.” Because the couple wants flexibility to potentially live there full-time in the future, they charged Antony with building a small home that could be converted into a larger house at a later stage. Their immediate need was to establish a connection to the landscape. The two structures are fundamentally sheds, but they possess an intrinsic quality that speaks of design intent well beyond the vernacular. The house – cranked at an angle and oriented north – is a rich bricolage of recycled bricks, salvaged corrugated iron, rough sawn timber and new galvanised roofing with pre-engineered timber trusses that are left exposed both internally and externally. [gallery size="medium" type="rectangular" ids="91059,91052,91056"] Photography by Peter Bennetts. Read the full story here   YT House by Rear Studio YT House Rear Studio AHO Design Studio CC Quang Dam dining space high ceiling In a built form that turns conventional notions of a house – four walls and a pitched roof – on its head, YT House by Rear Studio and AHO Design Studio presents itself in a somewhat disassociated manor. Simple geographic forms, on one end a circle and the other a rectangle, are connected by a seemingly floating roof that doesn’t quite cover the entire structure. Aerially, this is especially notable. [gallery size="medium" ids="84949,84948,84943"] Photography by Quang Dam. Read the full story hereabc
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What Did You Learn When Magnus Wästberg Was Here?

The Sydney event scene in the design space rarely has a night off. And recently in October architects, interior designers, specifiers, design enthusiasts and the local design media such as Habitus had one more, extra special reason to celebrate/congregate. Magnus Wästberg, CEO and founder of Swedish lighting company, Wästberg, made the 18-hour journey to Australian shores to visit his products at the Euroluce showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne. While he was here, Euroluce’s Sydney Light Studio was transformed, exhibition style, showcasing an extensive selection of lighting designs from the internationally acclaimed Swedish lighting company. Pieces on display included the W182 Pastille, W102 Chipperfield, W171 Alma, W132 Nendo, W103 Sempé and the impressive W151 Extra Large pendants. Furthermore, Magnus took the time during the course of the evening to share key points from his lighting manifesto, Lamps for Neanderthal Man, that centres on the evolution of lighting design through the ages. As alluded to in the product names of many of the pieces, Wästberg frequently works on collaborations with some of the most known and celebrated designers and architects the world over, including but by no means limited to nendo, David Chipperfield, Inge Sempé and Jasper Morrison. Wästberg is available across Australia through Euroluce. Euroluce euroluce.com.au Photography by Andy Robert [gallery columns="4" size="medium" ids="97111,97112,97113,97114,97115,97116,97117,97103,97104,97105,97106,97108"] abc
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Breathing New Life Into Rental Architecture

Bardolph Gardens is the transformation of an under-utilised space at the rear of two existing Californian bungalows into a two rental homes proving the value of rental architecture. “The dwellings are architecturally and formally respectful to the immediate residential context [of Glen Iris],” says Breathe Architecture director and design director Jeremy McLeod. “Celebrating the prominence of brick materiality in the surrounding context, the recycled brick façade adds value to the streetscape with a simple, contemporary aesthetic.” Jeremy is referring to the pitched façades which feature stacked bricks in an open-closed repeating pattern, the forms and aesthetics of which echo the neighbourhood character but with a definitively contemporary spin. The clients saw an opportunity to create an affordable rental solution and turned to Breathe to give it the design aesthetic, sustainable and budget-friendly solutions for which the practice is known. Consequently both dwellings were designed with sustainability as a core objective and, as a result, achieved a minimum 8 star sustainability rating. “With passive design in mind, the design incorporates plenty of thermal mass, prioritising winter solar hear gains, sun shading and cross ventilation,” explains Jeremy. The designer is also referring to initiatives like rainwater collection, on-site storage and re-use, a zero fossil fuel services system that includes a solar PV array and a heat pump system that supplies hot water.  “A considered roof pitch and external steel awnings work to maximise northern solar gain during winter and minimise it during summer,” continues Jeremy. “Internally, a vaulted, pitched ceiling adds volume and draws in light and warmth to the living areas.”  

The clients saw an opportunity to create an affordable rental solution and turned to Breathe to give it the design aesthetic, sustainable and budget-friendly solutions for which the practice is known.

  As expected, rentals properties demand a robust material palette and locally sourced recycled brickwork, polished concrete floors, timber veneer joinery, recycled timber bench tops and terrazzo tiles will contribute to the longevity of these homes. The full height, north facing glazing and pitched roofs contribute to a suffusion of light in the interiors as do the inside-outside connections to the outdoors via the kitchen and living areas. “Throughout the plans, a series of hit-and-miss brick screens create privacy for smaller courtyards and draw in air and dappled light to spaces beyond,” adds Jeremy. Logically, the bedrooms open out onto these private, landscaped courtyards with bathrooms enjoying a visual connection to the lush greenery. Breathe Architecture breathe.com.au Photography by Tom Ross Dissection Information Locally sourced recycled red bricks Polished concrete floors Blackbutt timber veneer joinery from Briggs Veneer Recycled timber bench tops from Urban Salvage Terrazzo Tiles from Signorino Vogue Wall and Floor Tiles from Classic Ceramics Agra Rug in Duchess from Armadillo & Co Hoshi Armchair and Hoshi Ottoman by Tom Skeehan Studio from Stylecraft Adapt Lounge and Duet Barstools by Ross Gardam from Stylecraft Pix Ottomans by Arper from Stylecraft Tommy Low Stool by Sipa from Stylecraft Lighting from Ambience and Beacon Lighting Cooktop, Oven and Rangehood from Fisher and Paykel  

The full height, north facing glazing and pitched roofs contribute to a suffusion of light in the interiors.

  We think you might also like this Design Hunter profile on Jeremy McLeodabc
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Behind The Scenes: Designing Innovation With Luke Di Michiel

The inimitable reality of the world’s cultural and environmental climate highlights the great need of remarkable advancements drive the evolution of the industry towards a more human-centric, sustainable and brighter future. Architects and designers recognise the power and responsibility that they have to, essentially, make the world a better place through the artistry and brilliance of design. Looking beyond the confinements of functionalism and practicalities, the nature of residential living has gone through an exciting transformation in the last decade. Bathroom spaces offer uninterrupted exclusivity within the home, putting the individual at the forefront of the holistic design. A pioneer of artistic brilliance, Caroma has redefined the art of cleansing and sustainable water innovation since its inception in 1941. Gone are the days where we looked at the bathroom as a simple wet space – it has transformed into an embodiment of a distinct lifestyle,and a means of self-expression. A sheltered haven, the reimagined bathroom space is truly something to celebrate. With a rich heritage of nearly 80 years, Caroma envisioned a bigger and bolder persona for the bathroom across Australia and beyond. The newest collection to the Caroma name is Elvire – a story of the Artisan and bespoke luxury. Awe-inspiring and revolutionary, the Elvire Collection reintroduces the Caroma brand by inviting the Australian nature into the home with a revitalised, contemporary and timeless soul. Designer Luke Di Michiel explored concepts of biophilia, health and wellness, and sustainability married with influences of the Australian culture and design landscape for this new-age collection. Recently, we had the utmost pleasure of speaking to him on his inspirations, the creative process and the unique story he wanted to express through Elvire. Habitusliving: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, including your history, background and role within the company? Luke Di Michiel: I completed a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 2003 at the University of Canberra and I was hired as an Industrial Designer at Caroma straight after in 2004. I was so excited to design with a company that had a strong manufacturing heritage and also be able to see the full production process within Australia. To be a part of the Caroma family meant a lot to me – a brand that was making big moves in sustainability and water innovation was monumental at the start of my career as a designer. Caroma gave me a platform to contribute to society and make an impact. In 2004-2005, the major drought in Australia played a big part in influencing how design could respond to major societal issues. Everyone felt the heavy impact of that time and this approach of using design to solve bigger issues continued throughout my whole career. Coming straight out of uni and straight into the workforce, did you have any role models that you looked up to and shaped you as the designer that you are today?  Being able to work with brilliant minds such as Dr Steve Cummings, who has been so synonymous to the Caroma brand and Australian design has been such a great foundation for all my roles here. The biggest thing that I’ve taken away from working at Caroma over all these great years is that there are only a few companies where you can really use design to make you feel like you’re making an impact. When you’re given this opportunity to create change on the problems that the nation faces, you take it and Caroma does that in every product. It’s not just about designing a product that looks good and putting it out there for the sake of it - we have to step back and think, ‘how can this actually help society and the present and future of the design industry?’ [caption id="attachment_96552" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Elvire: Concept Sketches by Designer, Luke Di Michiel.[/caption]   Firstly, congratulations on the recent launch of the new collection: Elvire. It is such a monumental addition to Caroma’s legacy of progressive bathroom design. What was the initial inspiration for the Elvire Collection? Thank you! We saw it as a great opportunity to reintroduce the brand to the Australian market. Caroma is a well-known name and it was time to celebrate everything that is unique to the company once again. We’re known for designing full bathroom collections with a great heritage of toilets – but we wanted to show that we can do more. And this was the perfect opportunity to show versatility within the brand once again. Exactly! We wanted to challenge people’s perceptions on who Caroma is and that we are wholeheartedly committed to progressive Australian design showcasing something distinct and unique in the market today. Our ability to design complete collections gave us an opportunity to reimagine how some of those elements could work in a new way and it all started with the vanity space. It wasn’t an area we’ve entered before and this made us explore and learn about how this is actually offered in the market. We looked at how everything in every space starts to link and work together – how the design plays into perspective of the bigger story. [caption id="attachment_96553" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Elvire: Concept Sketches by Designer, Luke Di Michiel.[/caption]   The vanity enabled an exciting conversation as it set a template or a perimeter for all the other elements to work around. It meant that every other product we design needs to work with this one vanity and it needs to fit within the bigger puzzle. We created a simple form that celebrates the materials in a classic and timeless way with longevity in mind. So with this we thought, well, where can this go? How do we continue this conversation? And what’s the benefit of presenting a whole collection to the user as opposed to a ‘mix and match’ option? Do you see it as a helpful solution for the design process? As a designer, you have to think of the consumer and think of their journey and well, designing a bathroom is a hard process and undertaking for anyone. You have the ability to put the ease and comfort of the user at the forefront with a refined and resolved collection, but still letting them have the ability to personalise the process as well. You’re empowering them with their own choice of finishes and colour options, interweaving a big element of involvement but with a helping hand. And that’s what the Elvire Collection does. That’s a good way to think about it – letting the design empower the consumer.  Precisely. It’s what good design is meant to do. [caption id="attachment_96574" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Elvire: Concept Renders produced by Caroma Visualisation Designer, Peter Sweatman.[/caption]   As you mentioned, the development of Elvire started from a simple conversation. So, walk us through the creative process – how did it begin and how did it develop? Were there any challenges throughout it? A big challenge was the materiality. Traditionally we create our products with Vitreous China and looking at how we wanted to present the core of Elvire in the vanity, we found that this material wasn’t suited for the new form and shape of the collection at that scale. We explored enamelled steel and it pushed us in new directions. The knowledge and application was all there so we just had to take it and put it in a new story. Strength within Caroma is our ability to offer complete collections. With Elvire, the challenge was to see how we could develop and design a full collection. Each product goes on its own journey and has its own associated challenges. I looked at it like Jenga – everything relied on each other and the range was only going to be strong from its overall cohesive nature. And if you pull each individual item from the collection, yes it’s visually strong and interesting. But once you pair that with everything else, it just continues to gain strength and a story when all the elements come together. Materiality played a big role in setting this collection apart from the others – adding a touch of nature and a new level of elegance. What was the story that you wanted to tell through that materiality, form and colour? I was always interested in bringing this element of timber into the design. The thinking behind that stemmed from wanting to introduce a bespoke quality and an idea that every piece was going to be unique. Timber was a great medium as every piece was going to have a different grain, a slightly different colour and tactility to make it personal to you. We’re delivering a mass produced product and the availability of having something that is exceptionally unique and different to the next person was a nice starting point to the materiality story for me. I also wanted to embrace the Australian connection to the outdoors. A big aspect in this country’s lifestyle.  When you’re in a country like this, it has to be! Simple, classic styles of materiality and colour speak to a sense of individuality that Caroma beholds – an exquisite beauty that people won’t easily get bored of. I find that the bathroom is an extension of the lifestyle within the home, but offering a sense of exclusivity separated from the other areas. And with the references to nature with the new materials – it becomes a sanctuary or a bespoke retreat. What made this material story so different? I saw a new story that was all based on how these materials worked together. We created something honest, tactile and uniquely Australian. Stepping away from form and function, the timber creates a bigger, stronger focal point and it was beautiful to have this natural material defining our new direction. It’s ultimately the star of the show. The details that it brings – you can’t deny the inherent beauty of it. It created a tactile aspect to the collection and that was a big turning point for us – we wanted the wood to invite touch and interaction throughout. By introducing new materials and reimagining old ones, we played up to the strength of the whole design aesthetic unique to Elvire. The form is timeless with a design longevity that plays a big role in the conversation of sustainability. Staying on this topic of sustainability and design longevity, how does Elvire reflect on where design and sustainability are in the 21st century? And how has Caroma captured a new essence or phase of that bigger conversation? Sustainability was omnipresent throughout all my roles. When I started in the beginning, bigger industry questions started to open up and it quickly pointed out that what we were doing at Caroma was more than just simple product design. This whole idea of sustainability is not something that’s ever been new to us. It’s been in the Caroma DNA from day one – where design and sustainability are intrinsically linked together. People are exceedingly more aware of the state of the climate and our need to be sustainable. It almost definitely needs to be front and centre of any product nowadays.  The consumer expectation is always front and centre, where people are looking at a product and consciously thinking about its impact on society. People are far more educated on how a product is made and people hold a strong value in its sustainability. The designer has a responsibility to consider that and be sustainably conscious from the beginning of the process. Does Elvire sort of act as a refresh button for Caroma’s sustainability practices?  Most definitely, it was an opportunity to bring in another element for the sustainability conversation. The ability to launch a collection like this with water efficient products is almost expected from Caroma and it’s normal. But, that choice of introducing the new material was important in showing that we’ve treated it with the same level of intention with every other product. By using timbers that are sustainably sourced from Tasmanian forests, we can present a beautiful piece of natural material – a living, breathing element from Australia and we’ve given it the care and attention that it deserves. We’ve been bold with what we want to show and we’re confident in what it represents. It’s a collection that invites and deserves respect to a piece of material that is unique to our land. That puts an emotional value to the collection – creating a unique connection between landscape and the customer. Did you envision this bigger relationship between consumer and product from the beginning?  Very much so. I feel as though successful design has the power to provoke feeling and emotion from the end user, whatever it may be. Elvire creates a connection with the Australian landscape and that is very important to approach that from a design and sustainability aspect. As a business, we visited all options from laminate to cheaper American timber options – but there’s nothing quite like Australian timber and having that identity to the range. It gives it a special charm that is undeniably Caroma. It sounds as though the partnerships along the way have been the driving force in the success of this collection. I suppose it would have been difficult to create on its own, especially with the introduction of new materials and processes. How have the collaborative relationships influenced the collection and your design philosophy?  The collaboration for this range was critical. The vanity space and the use of timber weren’t areas we were overly familiar with so the opportunities to partner with Australian manufacturers early on was vital in bringing this collection to life. Bringing in people like Port Stephens Joinery and Evostyle in from the start was important in creating early concepts and a cohesive story that showed them what we wanted to do. To have that collaborative journey from the beginning made us all say, “Yes, we want to work with you.” This was a partnership that had to be valued – everyone had different levels and aspects of expertise that we could bring to the table and join together to make something great. Were there any disagreements along the way or challenges that you had to overcome? Oh, the work was hard! But disagreements, no, we all valued and believed in the same things and I’m extremely grateful to have that supportive energy in the process. Elvire was built upon Australian design being engineered by Australian companies – pushing us to start an interesting discussion, fully committed to seeing where it was headed and it’s position in the market. We were all able to push each other from the beginning. It was a challenge to create a vanity design that was visually light with a thin edge and we just simply didn’t know how to engineer that on our own. However, by knowing and fully understanding what we wanted from the start made them determined to help achieve that dream. The energy and enthusiasm from supply partners was infectious and inspiring. Elvire seems like a celebration of Australian design itself – a representation of the heart and soul of Australian creativity in this wild, progressive world.  It’s something we’re extremely proud to be a part of. Every partner was excited to have the opportunity to be a part of something different and something bigger. Everything that represents Caroma also represents all the companies that we worked with and our shared ethos across the Australian manufacturers and designers. Everyone brought strengths that we could all develop together built on one strong and shared vision. Now the big question is: what does the Elvire Collection mean to you, Luke? Well. Ultimately, to me, Elvire is a product of partnership and a continuous journey and story based on principles that we’ve built together. It captures the greatness of collaboration in Australia – how fortunate, transparent and willing we are to collaborate in support of everyone designing for the present and future generations. With that, something unique can be developed. We couldn’t have done this without help from others. The collaboration really created this energy that ultimately helped everyone. At times, it was hard and we didn’t know where to go – but we could be encouraged by the hard work of what others were doing and their belief in it. No one ever thought that it was too hard. The collective motivation made everyone stick with it and push through it. Two years is a long time to develop a collection, and there were times where you lose a bit of momentum but we kept encouraging each other to just keep working through the challenges to the end. From those first conceptions, whoever we touched based with look at the range and said, ‘this is something different and we want to be a part of it.’ It kept pushing me and it kept pushing everyone. Would you say this is a big highlight of your career?  As a designer, it was an important milestone for me. It pushed me into new areas and challenged what I’ve been doing for awhile. I wanted to create something that maintained and celebrated the high standards that Caroma is known for and achieve that on a bigger stage. It was a continuous story of motivation, encouragement and belief that really paved the way for the Elvire collection. Caroma caroma.com.au We think you might also like to see more of the Elvire Collection. abc
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Sydney Gift Fair – Australia’s Industry Event For The Design Hunter

In February of 2020, the Sydney Gift Fair is coming back! The event will showcase the latest in interior design trends, wholesale products and plenty of thoughtful innovations, in a format that will lead the way for a new generation of trade events. Now starting on the Friday, the Sydney Gift Fair is committed to showcasing new talent, launching new and unique products to the design conscious buyer, and showcasing design and product trends. The exciting new feature of Artisan Lane will serve as a showcase for Australia’s artistic community, with its daily demonstrations being a key focal point for the event. In 2020, designers, architects, visual merchandisers and decorators will be visiting the fair at the Sydney Showgrounds, alongside thousands of retailers, hospitality providers and corporate buyers all looking to source furniture, lighting and unique interior furnishings. Packed with the latest colours, textiles and interior design trends, attendees can prepare to be inspired, with the finishing touches, décor and soft furnishings needed for that next project at their fingertips. From furniture and lighting, mirrors and artwork to bed linen, textiles, candles and storage, every room in the home, café or business is ready to be styled – all at wholesale prices. Aus-Gifts-x-Homewares-Edit Located in Sydney’s retail heartland at Sydney Olympic Park, it is now even faster to get to Sydney Gift Fair with the new M4 tunnel reducing travel times and giving you more time to explore what is on offer at the event. Plus, the Sydney Gift Fair team will be providing free return shuttles from the city and airport and free visitor parking each day of the event. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="96428,96427"] Opening Hours Now starts Friday 21 February 9am – 6pm (new opening day) Saturday 22 February 9am – 6pm Sunday 23 February 9am – 6pm Monday 24 February 9am – 5pm (new closing time) Registration for trade buyers is open and free from here. Sydney Gift Fair sydneygift.com.auabc