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Design Hunter™ Q+A with Alice Blackwood

For the next four weeks Habitusliving is partnering with MINI to take our Design Hunters™ out on the open road in the new Countryman. This week we speak with Alice Blackwood, voice of DQ magazine – the definitive resource for the Australian architecture and design industry.

Your name: Alice Blackwood 

What you do: Editor, Design Quarterly (DQ) magazine

Your latest project: The relaunch issue of Design Quarterly magazine (on newsstands from 24 October!) – a completely refreshed version of DQ: you’ll find it in a new size and format, with new editorial vision. It’s been a journey of discovery and always a learning curve! What you’ll find inside DQ is more brand and business related news, more discussion and analysis, trade-talk and stories about the movers and shakers of Australian architecture and design.

What is your favourite…

Chair model: I’m loving my SANAA ‘rabbit ear’ chairs from Maruni. They have a touch of humour about them.

Residential space: I have to say, I was most inspired by the home of Alex and Georgie Cleary of Alpha60 (cover story, Habitus Issue#15). The refurbishment of a local town hall, and the making of a home/living retreat in such large sweeping spaces found me shifting my perspective on place making, and going large-scale within your own living spaces.

Decorative product: The new Hay accessories collection from Corporate Culture! Great patterns and colours. Also Harvest Textiles is on my radar – also great patterns and colours.

Functional product: Can’t go past a Dyson vacuum cleaner!

Handmade good: Edition X have the most beautiful wearable pieces – all by talented Australian jewellers.

Design classic: I was at Public Dining Room in Balmoral on the weekend, and admired their original fibreglassEames chairs. There’s a nice texture to the seats in that material.

Meal and restaurant: Burgers are all the go in Melbourne, and Huxtaburger is a favourite. However, Gorsky and Jones wins out for its simply delicious food. In Melbourne city, Virginia Plains boasts some beautiful, glass-blown lighting, and the whole fit-out lends itself to a divine dining experience. For a quick bite, Nama Nama sports some of the best bento – and great colour coding: yellow table tops, blue napkins, red chopsticks.

Drink and barJoe’s Shoe Store, Northcote; Gardels, upstairs from Porteno, Surry Hills; Ortiga upstairs, Fortitude Valley.

Item in your studio: My Moleskin diary. Handwriting cements the details.

Historical figure: Castiglioni – I would love to visit his studio in Milan.

Fictional character: Sherlock, the latest series. He’s always switched on, never switched off – in a similar way to the everyday Gen Y with their PMDs and social media apps (myself included).

Vice: Coffee by 9am.

Virtue: Top-of-the-class speller. 

Favourite long-distance drive: From Port Douglas up into the Daintree, up to the tip ofCape York.

Favourite short-distance drive: Melbourne to Foxy’s Hangout in Red Hill (wine at the end of the journey!)

Between beach, mountain and forest, which do you prefer? Beach – water and sun is essential.

If you go camping is it luxe or rustic? Generally rustic and relying on everybody else’s equipment!

What would you pack into the extra space of a MINI countryman? A tent, a mattress, a puppy, fresh food foraged from roadside stalls (avocados by the dozen etcetera)!

What colour would your MINI countryman be?  What does this say about you? Black. Makes everything look expensive, and you can easily accessorise with the colour black.

What does the term ‘Design Hunter mean to you? You’d needn’t be rich to be a Design Hunter… it’s not an exclusive category filled with expensive accessories. You are a design thinker and appreciator; you have a good eye; you enjoy texture and colour; perhaps you’re a NEO consumer; you engage with objects, pieces, details and styles because they hold a significance (whether that be aesthetic, intellectual, sentimental or other).

MINI Cooper Countryman

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