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

 

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

 

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Reviving a rare walk-up apartment with timeless design

This private walk-up apartment on Moulmein Road is a rare property. It is 60 years old, and one of just 16 units spread across four storeys. Despite its dated interior, Damian Lee, a neurosurgeon, and his wife Faye Yang saw the possibilities and fell in love with the place. The newlyweds made the purchase and turned to designers Lim Jing Feng and Tricia Lee of ASOLIDPLAN to give them the bright, spacious and elegant home they desired and had envisioned. “The clients come from a big and very close-knit family where gatherings over dinners at each other’s homes are regular affairs. Hence a space where these social activities could potentially happen was an important requirement for the new home,” shares Jing Feng. As with such old apartments, the best strategy was a complete overhaul – to start from scratch on a clean slate, while working with the walk-up’s unique interior architecture. “The original balcony had been internalised to become an extension of the living room,” says Jing Feng, recalling what the three-bedroom unit had been like. “The kitchen was long and narrow, while the two bathrooms were so small that they couldn’t even fit a proper shower screen. After removing all the non-structural walls, the designers were greeted with four free-standing columns right in the centre of the house. “These columns demarcated a space right in the heart of the home where we felt a social space would fit naturally,” says Jing Feng. Such challenges in renovating an old walk-up were to be expected. “As with all old apartments, there were surprises and more surprises. We literally had to relook the whole layout after demolition was completed on site,” the designer shares. It was back to the drawing board for the design team. But the final outcome proves just as impressive. The new entertainment/living space is planned with social activities taking priority. The balcony has been reinstated with ventilation blocks that match the architecture, and this allows activities to spill into the space. Jing Feng shares that the client, Damian, also enjoys reading in the living room, because it feels so airy and open when the bi-fold balcony doors are open. Instead of a television in the living/entertainment room, there’s a projector that can be neatly concealed when not in use. From the hall space (social/living zone) beyond, the owner Damian exercises on his stationary bike using Zwift simulations projected on the screen. His wife, Faye also uses this space for yoga. The pièce de résistance of this apartment has got to be the grand, cantilevered Grigio Carnico marble dining table, which is supported by the existing columns in the heart of the house. This entire space is also softly embraced by curved rattan walls that create a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for social activities. “The insertion of a social dining space right in the centre of the home allows activities to spill into the two other spaces flanking the social space, namely the dry kitchen, and the entertainment/living space,” says Jing Feng. Glass sliding doors divide the kitchen’s dry and wet zones, ensuring light and visual permeability even when they are closed for cooking. And when the doors are opened, the two kitchens can be combined, allowing social activities to be extended further. The private spaces in this walk-up apartment are discreetly tucked away in corners, behind the curved rattan panels, and away from the main social gathering spaces. The common bath is spacious and light-filled, with enough room for a good size vanity and shower area following the renovation. The master suite is situated at the opposite corner and is a picture of serenity, with simple and well curated furnishings, and subtly textured walls. It is a calm and elegant space, much like the rest of this rare walk-up apartment. Project Details Interiors – Asolidplan Photography – Khoo Guo Jie We think you might like this landed house in Singapore, also by Asolidplanabc
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More than a glasshouse

Anonym Studio has designed a new house in a residential Thai neighbourhood that acts as an addition to the design studio’s first house on the site. The new property has been designed for the younger generation of an extended family that also live on the lush property. A section of the expansive garden was utilised for the new house, which has a distinctly different aesthetic to its predecessor. “The new house differs from the parents’ one, as it employs a modern-looking and more open layout,” explains the studio's co-director Phongphat Ueasangkhomset. “The house is built on the family property that already has the main house and kindergarten school (owned by the mother of the husband) in the same area. The clients needed privacy but the house still needs to be connected with the main house and to share the garden.” As a result the team actually employed a technique that is contrary to their normal approach in a scenario and orientation of this nature. “The façade on the west is very open with double-height glazing and exposure to direct sunlight,” explains Phongphat. “But because this side has an existing courtyard and garden with big trees that can be shared between two houses, we saw more pros in this direction.” In addition, the large trees, luscious plants and foliage filter the glaring sun, providing much-needed shade and privacy. In leveraging this trajectory, the architects also designed the courtyard as a space that can be used for outdoor dining and as a gathering space for both houses as well as serving as a small footpath for children to access the pool.

"The clients needed privacy but the house still needs to be connected with the main house and to share the garden."

From an accommodation perspective, the clients requested a large kitchen with a breakfast corner, a very large separate his and her closet, a bay window seat, a fully equipped gym, and an outdoor shower. The house is orientated north to south, with the court as a transition space. The interior aesthetic mirrors the owners’ vibrant personalities in the form of black and white patterned marble floor finish and brightly coloured artworks and furniture with  “fun factor”. Environmentally, multiple initiatives were considered. The team made use of leftover construction materials from the clients’ real estate development company including tiles and stone as well as re-using the steel structure from the clients’ previous sales offices to build the house. “In addition, our domain has water, which provides us a very pure water (we test it every month) all year long,” adds Phongphat. “We're looking to a solution with the district and local artisans to put a new wheel where the old one has been destroyed. If our calculations are good, it could generate hydro energy that could be enough to satisfy all the installations needs.” Project Details Architecture & interiors – Anonym Studio Photography – Courtesy Anonym Studio We think you might like Baan House by Anonym Studioabc
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When beauty becomes function, with V-ZUG

An affinity for materials: it’s the clear connection between Martin von Freeden’s youthful first efforts making boats from wood, to his current role as head of design at V-ZUG in Switzerland. For the past few years he’s been putting that affinity to good use, developing Excellence with sector-leading standards in material sustainability. But the excellence doesn’t end there – the new range has married V-ZUG’s signature mirror glass and minimalist aesthetics with a pioneering user interface. We caught up with von Freeden to hear how this self-confessed ‘hardware person’ is also steering the company’s digital evolution. How do you define excellence in a contemporary design context and how does the V-ZUG approach reflect this? MvF: For me, contemporary life at this moment [comes] with a lot of information. It's all over-designed and all very fast and the last two years was a very emotional world. [Our] idea is really to make this a very quiet design, a very timeless design, extremely reduced, we take everything away that's not necessary. The thinking is to make life easier, not more complex, because many products make it more complex. We try to go to the other direction. Our way, we call this ‘simplexity’. We do it with great functions in the cooking process. That means you can cook like a chef, but with only two or three clicks. Excellence takes V-ZUG to a new level in terms of its design interface. How did you resolve the technical innovations associated with that while still delivering ‘simplexity’ for the customer? MvF: The quality of the user interface and the software integration with the hardware [is] this challenge in usability. Because, like many companies, we are moving from a mechanical to a digital world. In the end, the best way is you sit together with the software team, with the laboratory, with the engineers and in these interdisciplinary teams you discuss – but always with the idea to have the customer in the centre of the table and sitting with us, to bring the best solution. And now we’ve made a very big step to compete in this digital world. That is the idea for the products – it’s only a piece of glass, but with a high-tech machine. I think this contrast is extremely interesting. Building on that idea of contrast – how have you enhanced the technology with the more tactile elements of the design, such as the new ‘circle slider’ that’s used to navigate the interface? MvF: If you zoom into the circle slider, we milled this into the glass, and it's very close to the screen. The idea was really to bring the hardware and software together – you have a better feeling of guidance with this movement. It’s like a mechanical knob, but milled into the glass with the screen in the back part, and that means the ‘knob’ changes digitally. So you have a combination of something hardware with something very flexible in the software, and this is like magic. And it’s also very flat, because we're seeing that kitchens want this more – and it's very easy to clean.   You’ve spoken previously about wanting to bring joy of use and creativity of use to V-ZUG customers. Why are these lifestyle outcomes, in particular, so important to you?  MvF: The most joy of use comes out when you interact with the new user interface, it's like a smart device and it's very flexible, you can individualise it. I think this is very fun and it makes sense because when you buy an oven or steamer you have it for 15 or 20 years and your life is changing. You can play with the product and it can [change with] your situation. Also how your day works – maybe in the week it’s something very fast [but] on the weekend we want to make something special. It’s this flexible life that we want to bring into the products. […] And one of my visions is to bring more lifestyle and more design quality into this world of home appliances. I say beauty is a function because I'm convinced if something is beautiful, you're going take much more care of it.   V-ZUG vzug.com  abc
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Ushering in a New Era of Residential Design

Embracing texture, colour, and aesthetic excellence has never been easier, as the latest innovation from James Hardie boasts unparalleled simplicity of installation and maintenance. In this edition of The Habitus Edit, we explore the design possibilities of Hardie ™ Fine Texture Cladding through remarkable collaborations with three renowned designers: Corner House by Retallack Thompson, Pleated House by Lineburg Wang and Zig Zag House by Preston Lane. These extraordinary projects remind us of the harmony that can come from the exceptional beauty of the Australian landscape, the future of contemporary residential design and the expert engineering of Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding. Product-led and editorially curated, The Habitus Edit offers a unique perspective on the exceptional designers and brands across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. Journey through the multidimensional capabilities of Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding on the latest edition of The Edit.abc
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We Want to Hear From You

One of the biggest lessons to come out of the pandemic is just how quickly things can change. Whole industries have been upended, the way we work has shifted, and the value of our homes has come into sharp focus. In a time of immense flux, it's no surprise that Habitus is also reflecting on our place in our readers' lives. While the core of Habitus and its approach has never wavered, we would like to ask you – our local army of Design Hunters – what it is that you love about Habitus. We want to learn more about who you are, what your interests are, what things do you read and where, and what it is that you like (or don’t like so much) about Habitus. We see this time, with summer creeping closer and the festive season nearly upon us, as a moment to pause and reflect. What can we change for the better? We would love to hear from you.

Take our Reader Survey here.

And to say thank you for your time, you could win an iPad.abc
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The right ingredients for the ultimate outdoor kitchen

After two years, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way people design their homes. A positive change has been an encouragement to go outside and reconnect with the natural world. After months of lockdown and people being stuck indoors, there is an increased desire for private outdoor spaces that enable homeowners to cook, eat, play and entertain in the fresh air, while avoiding crowded bars and restaurants. For post-COVID new builds and renovations, outdoor entertaining spaces will be high on the list of priorities. People are looking for creative ways to maximise outdoor living with functional, adaptable and beautiful solutions that can serve multiple purposes. These are the qualities sought after for modern outdoor kitchen designs. Today’s consumers have various outdoor kitchen solutions at their disposal but none with the design appeal, build quality, robustness and product selection to match quite like Artusi’s latest Outdoor Kitchens. The Artusi brand is a leader in outdoor kitchens and appliances, offering modern, modular concepts that combine attractive looks with intelligent engineering. Artusi Outdoor Kitchens offer exceptional practicality and versatility to create the perfect outdoor entertaining space for Australian conditions. Constructed from weatherproof materials and specifically designed for outdoor use, Artusi Outdoor Kitchens are available fully cladded or just a benchtop using Spanish-made Ascale stone that has ultraviolet, stain and scratch resistance while being fireproof and non-combustible. Galvanised steel panels finished in a textured black enamel complete this stylish and functional piece of outdoor furniture that is built to withstand Australia’s harsh elements. Artusi’s Aperto outdoor kitchen is available in two styles: Ferro and Ascale. The Aperto Ferro is designed to fit into any space and any budget, and features a 6mm Ascale porcelain stone benchtop in one of three standard finishes, and a satin black steel frame and base. The Aperto Ascale is a statement in style and functionality, creating a unique centrepiece in your outdoor living space. The Aperto Ascale features fully stone clad legs and benchtop in Ascale porcelain stone with a galvanised base frame. Three finish options are available: Imperia Black’s luxurious dark finish which is ideal for functional work surfaces; Torana Statuario’s classic marble finish; and Cosmopolita Gray’s cement-style finish that is perfect for industrial-inspired home designs. Bespoke stones are also available upon request. Artusi Outdoor Kitchens are also available in a variety of size and customisation options, enabling customers to find a solution that suits their needs. Available in 1.4, 1.9 and 2.4m wide units, there is an option that will work even in the most compact of spaces. Since launching in 2017, Artusi’s outdoor appliance offer has grown in range and strength, meeting the demand for flat-pack and hassle-free solutions. The Artusi built-in barbeque range has expanded into 60cm and 80cm widths as well as a new matt black option in the popular four burner 110cm size. Beverage storage options in single and double doors are available in black or stainless steel alongside two-burner cooktops with optional sink and tap solutions to complete the extensive appliance selection. Made and fabricated in Australia, Artusi’s Outdoor Kitchen and appliances are now on display at retailers nationwide and at its distributor Eurolinx’s showrooms nationally and online at artusi.com.au.

Artusi

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A Modern Kitchen for a ‘Caribbean Colonial’ Oasis

Located in Mount Martha on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, renowned designer Kate Walker’s glorious new coastal home ‘Biscayne’ blends its traditional British Colonial feel with a Floridian, Island flair. A refurbishment of an existing property previously known as ‘Fontainebleau’, Kate saw potential in the traditional colonial-style home with its impressive beachfront vantage point, turning it into a luxurious coastal residence through carefully thought-through renovation. The founder of design studio, KWD, Walker is at the helm of a dynamic team of project managers, interior designers and design professionals. Walker has a growing reputation for her innate sense of style and ability to translate ambitious design visions from concept to reality across any aesthetic. Walker’s latest work, Biscayne incorporates much of its existing architecture – its soaring 3m ceilings, impressive staircase and large double-deck verandah – to retain the home’s old-world atmosphere. Elsewhere, a stunning selection of hard finishes, soft furnishings, architectural details and joinery design throughout merges beautiful formality with a relaxed conviviality. The end result is a skillful blend of classic styles, modern luxury and resort-style living dubbed ‘Caribbean Colonial’. [gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="118231,118227"] Some major reworking of the residence was required for Walker’s new creation, particularly the design of the kitchen, which was situated in the darkest corner of the house and ill-suited to the demands of modern lifestyles. Walker knew that the quality and aesthetics of the appliances she chose would have a substantial impact on the space, which is why she partnered with Winning Appliances, Australia's leading supplier of premium kitchen and laundry appliances, to ensure her unique creative vision was achieved without compromising on convenience or functionality. Walker opened up the original U-style shape kitchen and transformed it into a stylish, luxurious, modern kitchen space that serves various purposes. The ILVE Majestic Oven with its white and brass details is the true kitchen centerpiece, with the ability to customise the colour of the unit and finish enabling Walker to select the perfect tone for her chosen colour palette. The ILVE Majestic Oven was also key to setting the dimensions of the kitchen workspace, as the bench size and height were based on the oven height and depth, and the oven legs determined the height of the kick plates. [gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="118235,118226"] Made in Italy, the ILVE Majestic Oven is the ideal intersection of functionality and aesthetics. It comes with touch control display with touch and sliding movement control, and a steam valve for dry or humid cooking. Designed for professional chefs, but equally at home in Biscayne’s modern kitchen interior, this freestanding unit opens up possibilities for the home cook without detracting from the home’s distinctive design signature. In the spirit of combining with style with performance, Walker installed a sleek Fhiaba refrigerator and wine cabinet. Exclusive to Winning Appliances, the Fhiaba range features advanced technology that makes it possible to create and maintain perfectly balanced preservation climates for optimal food and wine storage. An ILVE dishwasher provided a subtle yet valuable feature. Hidden behind cabinetry to preserve the kitchen’s flowing elegance, this fully-integrated dishwasher unit offers a multitude of wash programs, while being super quiet and efficient in operation. A sleek double-down sink and custom rangehood added the finishing touches to the updated space. This modernised kitchen helped complete the home’s Caribbean Colonial transformation from ‘Fontainebleau’ to ‘Biscayne’. All it took was the right design – and the right appliances – to draw out the potential of this old-world residence and turn it into a 21st century icon.

ILVE

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Re-engineering the kitchen to reflect contemporary lifestyles

Time and quality are synonymous with Brand Switzerland so it’s no surprise that there’s a cultural acceptance that good quality products take time to develop. Premium appliance manufacturer V-ZUG has embodied this national approach in Excellence by V-ZUG, the company’s first major product release in two decades, which was more than five years in the making. Leea Hiltunen, head of global product management, joined V-ZUG in 2015 as part of the 100-strong team involved in Excellence design process who worked together to ensure the company’s exacting standards were met, from the thousands of hours of testing within the food technology team, to the construction of a new factory that delivers the highest levels of sustainable production in the appliance sector. Indesign caught up with Hiltunen to hear more about how V-ZUG translates innovation into tangible experiences of excellence for its customers. Indesign: What are some of the functional aspects that illustrate how Excellence has been engineered for peak performance?  Leea Hiltunen: For me the absolute highlight is the user experience. We’ve integrated a full touch display, allowing the user to personalise and individualise the appliances to their own needs, and this is something the market has not yet seen before. I would say my personal favourite is the AutoDoor appliance without the handle; this is really the first appliance with a door that opens and closes automatically. It is really just super elegant. It's also so practical - you're saving one hand when cooking and it also makes the operation safe. Indesign: Seamless integration is a V-ZUG hallmark. How have you extended this particular attribute in the new Excellence range?  LH: We don't want to be at the centre, we want to melt in and make daily life easier. Nothing stands out, everything fits in, but when you need to interact, you can interact in the way you want to [such as] using the app, it might allow a different approach for people to use the appliance. So you can scroll to where your recipes are, you can send them to the appliance, it takes it over, and then it guides you in every step. [There’s] tips and tricks in the display as well, which I think is also seamless, because there's nothing more frustrating when you use an appliance if you don't know what is happening or what to do. Indesign: Another defining element of V-ZUG’s approach has been its focus on enhancing customer lifestyles by anticipating and accommodating different customer habits. How is this reflected in the new range?  LH: Daily life for many of us has completely changed and the demand for cooking at home has grown tremendously. But it's not just about cooking anything. We're talking about people who want to cook fast and easy. But then they also want to cook special gourmet dishes for their friends and family. What is clear is that we want to cook and we want to eat better, healthier and more balanced. And there, I would say that really, we offer everybody this possibility on a global scale [through customisation]. Then we built in dietary styles and national cuisines [into the appliance’s recipe book] to make it more international. Also you can either add or reduce the scope of food settings, so there’s the easy cook –  these are the semi-automatic programs – which guide you into the best operating modes. Everybody has different needs. I think that is the challenge to really work with all those needs and I think Excellence allows that in the best possible way, because you can really set the plans how you want to. Indesign: We’ve talked a lot about functionality and customisation here today – what is new in the Excellence with respect to aesthetics and sustainability? LH: So we really tried to bring in more harmony and symmetrical lines into the appliances to achieve a more timeless and iconic look and feel. The result is really beautiful, with clear lines and very little elements that actually disturb the eye, which makes the beauty. We kept our iconic black mirror glass option, but then we also added a new colour option to it with platinum mirror glass, to fit light- and natural-coloured kitchens. It really allows the seamless integration into a variety of kitchens. […] And then all processes have been designed in a way that we only use the amount of energy and water that we need to achieve the best results. So then we guide the user towards this, to make the best choices. [For example] we've guided the user that they need to actively set the light on if they want to have it, and we guide the user to start cooking in a cold cavity, because this is possible. Almost every dish, if you're not making a cake, it's possible [to use] the preheating time for cooking. [In the Excellence ovens] you need to actively choose preheating, and these small choices are actually for me the core of the sustainability, they're quite smart, because we know how to cook and we guide you there. It might not be your comfort zone, because we're used to using preheating because our mothers have done that. That was a core goal, that we wanted to have the best result in cooking, but in a sustainable way. Love this? Explore more stories from V-ZUG here.   V-ZUG vzug.comabc
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Habitus Gift Guides – The Textures of Christmas

What is the festive season without a sensory overload? With design-led gift ideas spanning all the senses – scents and sounds, the bright and bold sights, and the sense of taste for the culinary lovers – we now come to the textures, in our final edition of the Habitus Gift Guides. From the warm and fuzzy, to jewel-toned marbles, this list might not be comprehensive but it's well-thought-out with a range of pieces that just ask to be touched.  

Fluffy Lounge Chair

A fan favourite to come out of 2021, the Fluffy Lounge Chair designed by Fredrik A. Kayser in 1954, has been introduced to Australia by Norwegian brand Eikund through Stylecraft. Incredibly soft in its shaggy overlay, the Fluffy Lounge invites the user to be submerged in Norwegian sheepskin, with a sloping timber armrest to cocoon even more. Find out more  

Faded Neon rug by Tappeti

  Inspired by the shimmering tones of watercolour paintings, the Faded Neon rug by Tappeti is dynamic and eye-catching. Textural and tonal, the subtle colour shifts add layers and drama to any space – a rich tapestry underfoot. Find out more  

Towels by Baina

Made in 100 per cent pure cotton, all of the products by local brand Baina exude quality and classicism. Designed as part of your daily ritual, every Baina product will become a favourite part of the daily ritual of bathing. From hand towels to larger pool towels, each colourway and traditional checkerboard pattern is about evoking a nostalgic tone. Find out more  

Phoenix Tapware's Vivid Slimline range

Stylish, polished and curved, the Vivid Slimline range by Phoenix Tapware is an undeniable statement. As something that is used without much thought each and every day, the highly refined materials and forms of the Vivid Slimline range elevate tapware. Find out more  

Holdy Mousepad by Dowel Jones

Made out of vegetable-tanned leather in a mix of colours, the Holdy Mousepad by Melbourne-based Dowel Jones is a quirky addition to the home office and full of character. A practical product with a design flair, it makes the perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas. Find out more  

Huggy Armchair by Sarah Ellison

Designed like a comforting embrace, the Huggy Armchair by Australian furniture designer Sarah Ellison is all about its tactile, inviting form. Available in a range of finishes, the Huggy Armchair makes a friendly yet quirky statement in any space, made all the more powerful by the sense of touch it exudes. Find out more  

Quartzite from Cav'Art

  Luminous and rich in natural beauty, Cav'Art sources and selects the finest natural stones. No two pieces are alike, expressing a glimmering and colourful array, the range of quartzite is particularly unique, with rare stones from around the world. It will be a piece of art that you get to touch. Find out more  

Penney & Bennett sleepwear

Balanced and lightweight, New Zealand brand Penney & Bennett has a range of organic cotton voile sleepwear and loungewear in several sumptuous patterns. Designed to be airy to touch and soft on the skin, they're perfect for a lazy summer. Find out more  

Basin by Nood Co

Formed in high-quality concrete in a range of beautiful pastels, Nood Co basins are sculptural with a suede-like finish. Developed organically over time, a Nood basin is all about the materiality, which allows for a consistent colour. Find out more  

Cultiver bed linen

The final touch when resting your head at night is to fall asleep on soft all-natural, linen. Cultiver's range of woven European flax creates an incredibly durable but soft finish to their range of duvet covers and sheets. They make the perfect gift idea, a daily reminder to appreciate the small details. Find out more

That wraps up our journey through the senses with a range of products in the lead up to the festive season.

-abc
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A long-term relationship the V-ZUG way

The new product range from V-ZUG is called Excellence, but the term could easily be applied to everything this renowned Swiss appliance manufacturer does. V-ZUG’s commitment to high-performance doesn’t stop once the delivery van has sped off into the distance. In fact, it’s only just begun, with a comprehensive after-sales service providing customers with a range of tailored interactions, from insights into the products’ capabilities from the V-ZUG community of chefs and home cook heroes, through to its integrated product care systems. We caught up with Australian Managing Director, Nic Naes, to hear more about V-ZUG’s proactive, personal and approachable service promise. Indesign: What is the essential connection between V-ZUG’s overall ethos and its customer service approach? NN: Everything does come back to who we are as a company and who we are as a business. We speak with pride about being a boutique manufacturer and when we talk about ourselves as a boutique manufacturer or a boutique company, we speak with pride – immense, genuine pride – about our ‘smaller dimensions’ […] When you're proud of your smaller dimensions and proud of having a very curated approach to everything that we do, it does allow us to be much, much closer to the customer. Indesign: The obvious examples of this are your customer on-boarding, including V-ZUG’s Gourmet Academy, and the thoughtful ease of updating the products’ software with new features or functions. In what other ways does V-ZUG deliver on its proactive, personal and approachable service promise? NN: Customer experience needs to be framed around the term of V-ZUG Care, which we refer to as our warranty. The concept of how we deliver a brand experience to customers, if you had to find a place where similar things are available, you’d probably look at high-end automotive cars, not appliances. Because appliances are typically serviced in a reactive way. The oven stops working, you ring to service it. With V-ZUG Care, we are shifting this to be one step ahead. We have the technology and the know-how and this boutique scale of the business that enables us to be more proactive, so we can actually see in there a little bit earlier [to fix something before it becomes a problem], just like how you service a car. [More generally] we never introduce technology for technology’s sake […] we need to make sure that there's a genuine customer advantage in it. Indesign: How does the new Excellence then extend the V-ZUG commitment to enhancing customers’ lifestyles? NN: We believe we have found a really good mix [between design and technology with] a beautiful interface that's rapidly evolving. It's a beautiful interface via the connectivity on your smart device that enables you to push, create and upload recipes via your phone and push them to the oven and you can control the oven from the phone […] So much thought has gone into the Excellence range that we have effectively eliminated the need for the customers to make too many choices. In some people’s minds, the thinking is that in luxury and greatness, it’s about having all these different options and all these different choices.  We think the opposite: that luxury and greatness, it's about not having to make the choices. Indesign: V-ZUG’s focus on continuous innovation across the entire business, and not only in the products, comes through in so much of what we’ve talked about here. What can your customers look forward to next from V-ZUG? NN: As of November 1 we’re moving from a 5 year to 10 year warranty, and it's not a warranty that is cluttered with asterixes, excluding this and excluding that. We really want [the customer] to have complete peace of mind. Even things that are typically excluded from other appliances, whether it's the replacement of a light bulb, or things like that, we really want to have that super boutique experience. And coming back to the smaller dimensions, and our brand philosophy, is the reason we can do it.  abc
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What Can We Learn From Reddie Founder Caroline Olah?

Caroline Olah is the founder of Reddie Furniture. Design writer Sandra Tan catches up with Olah to discuss everything from Asian influence, to design heritage and manufacturing. How does your Asian-Australian worldview impact the way you approach design? CO: My father is Australian and my mother is Indonesian, and I’ve spent a lot of time in both places. Between that and having lived abroad, I’ve never had a singular aesthetic, it’s inspired by everywhere I’ve been and seen. Learning to understand the little details of Indonesian craftsmanship has really influenced the way I design our furniture. [caption id="attachment_118334" align="alignnone" width="1170"]An angular black and rattan Reddie chair next to a circular green table with a cylindrical base in front of a green wall. Reddie Furniture's Java Collection.[/caption] Many Asian cultures have a rich design heritage, but may not be ascribed the same prestige as European made. What are your thoughts on that? CO: Indonesians have been carving wood and making furniture for centuries. It’s in their DNA. And really, Europeans have been inspired by Asia since they began settling in the region. Rattan, for example – it’s everywhere now, but it originated from palm fronds in South East Asia. At Reddie we’re proud of that heritage, and try to give a voice to the craftspeople behind it. [caption id="attachment_118335" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Two angular black chairs with rattan inlays made by Reddie. Reddie Furniture's Live Work Live Collection.[/caption] What are the misconceptions that you’ve encountered about Asian manufacture? CO: That producing in Asia means you aren’t supporting Australia. We employ Aussies in design, marketing, logistics, everything. Having a factory in Indonesia actually allows us to support staff in both countries. There are still assumptions made about unethical working conditions in Asia. We pay above award wages in Indonesia and look after our people with healthcare, social outings, sports activities. [caption id="attachment_118337" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Two men measure the distance between a Reddie chair's legs in the Reddie factoy. The Reddie factory.[/caption] Reddie Furniturereddie.com.au This article was published in Indesign magazine #84, purchase your issue here.abc
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A Modern Embodiment of Traditional Hong Kong

Nestled in the quiet village of Lung Tin Tsuen on the outskirts of Hong Kong, Atrium House is a residential clubhouse that celebrates its location through a culturally-rich design that encapsulates Chinese architectural traditions. Hong Kong multi-disciplinary design studio via. was commissioned to design the plans for the ground floor of the multi-residential Atrium House, including the expansive outdoor area. [caption id="attachment_117459" align="alignnone" width="810"] Photography by Kris Provoost.[/caption] “The nature of the site led us to think about the many possibilities and how traditional courtyard houses could inform our spatial planning in a contemporary urban context,” says via. founder and principal Frank Leung. Because of the island’s high population density, a residence that provides ample living and recreation space is particularly desirable, making clubhouses popular in Hong Kong’s newer properties. Atrium House provides abundant recreation in a resort-like style centred around a prominent courtyard, and coveted views of rolling mountains in the distance, a rare feature for Hong Kong. The entrance to Atrium House lies across a floating bridge, and large timber gates mark the entrance to the clubhouse, framed by staggered blue bricks. These traditionally-proportioned bricks feature across the property, a reference to the blue-brick houses that became prominent in Lung Tin Tsuen village in the 1930s. [caption id="attachment_117465" align="alignnone" width="810"] Entrance, photography by Harlim Djauhar Winata.[/caption] “We were interested in building upon the architectural language to create a new, distinctive expression on the materiality,” says Leung. To achieve this, local heritage experts were employed to assist in the brick construction and bricklaying. Additionally, bespoke bricks were designed to achieve a unique curvature of the courtyard pavilions. Upon entry, a sculptural shadow wall (a traditional Chinese wall designed to protect the inside from the outside) is composed of hundreds of metal plates in a sunrise-hued gradient. [caption id="attachment_117466" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Photography by Kris Provoost.[/caption] “Our aesthetic narrative was inspired by the concept of “Light Moments”. Taking the changes of light in a day, colours of dawn, day, dusk and night are subtly embedded into interior spaces as a way to distinguish different functional zones, while also giving a sense of journey as one goes deeper into the site,” says Leung. Some of the metal tiles, which purposefully resemble glazed roof tiles from ancient Chinese homes, double as mailboxes for the units above. “We saw the opportunity of building a shared community that is rooted in the vernacular way of life,” says Leung. [caption id="attachment_117462" align="alignnone" width="810"] Photography by Kris Provoost.[/caption] To achieve this, a series of brick pavilions were developed to reflect the area’s context and heritage. The single storey pavilions establish a network of narrow paths that are reminiscent of ancient hutongs, the narrow alleyways common in large Chinese cities and they each draw on traditional elements of symmetry and order with repetitive structure and materiality. The pavilions surround a pool and greenery, swathing them in natural light and allowing plentiful ventilation. [caption id="attachment_117461" align="alignnone" width="810"] Children's area, photography by Kenneth Chao.[/caption] Each one houses social and cultural spaces, including chess and calligraphy rooms, a banquet dining room and kitchen, a children’s area, and a gym. A tea pavilion that features a commissioned jade-coloured ceramic coffee table and bespoke lighting and rugs, is angled west to make the most of sunset mountain views. Atrium House was designed by via. alongside AGC Design, QUAD Studio and Sirius Lighting Office for Hong Kong property developer New World Development. Architecture – via. [caption id="attachment_117464" align="alignnone" width="810"] Photography by Kenneth Chao.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_117468" align="alignnone" width="810"] Photography by Kenneth Chao.[/caption]abc