A love for architecture and curiosity for design have been driving forces for design editor, commentator and curator David Clark since a young age – and there is no doubt they’ve taken him places. He has lived in London, where he made his way in the textiles trade; he has earned two bachelor degrees from the University of Queensland – one in Design Studies (Architecture), the other in Commerce; and he has worked in an architecture office in Brisbane. He has even dabbled in design tutoring.
Realising that he was more passionate about studying architecture than practising in the field, David eventually – perhaps fatefully – pivoted into the world of publishing. And Australia’s residential design discourse was changed for good. A couple of David’s most notable roles include his time as design editor of Belle and his ten-year tenure as editor-in-chief of Vogue Living. Suffice to say that, over the years, David has established himself a keen eye and an influential voice in the industry. And with an eye as keen and a voice as influential as his, we thought it quite fitting that he join us on the jury for Habitus House Of The Year.
One obvious thread of consistency throughout David’s career as a design-chameleon it is that it’s always been about design as a way of life. Coincidentally, David has similar things to say when it comes to his macro-view of Australia’s built-environment fields. “Architecture [and interior design] in Australia expresses its uniqueness in that interstitial space between inside and outside… it reflects a way of living, which is very relaxed,” he observes.
Though designing houses is something that David considers to be the predominant form of architectural expression in Australia – and something Australian architects are very good at – it’s not all sunshine and daisies in the field of residential design. As David puts it, “we have a really critical issue to face now, which is in the realm of affordable housing.” While there is no pleasure in acknowledging the void left in affordable housing solutions in the absence of critical architectural and design thinking, David sees nothing but great potential. Off the top of his head, he cites a number of intriguing solutions to issue emerging locally, such as The Tiny Homes Foundation on the Central Coast of NSW. “I think these are really interesting developments. These are things that can be driven by architecture.”
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor do effective solutions to global issues appear overnight. With this in mind, David is not seeking such when evaluating the 20 outstanding examples of residential design we’ve selected from our Region completed within the last 18 months. Instead, David’s approach to judging will be much more sensual than ideological. “For me, living in a house is all about sensuality,” he shares, “so I’m looking for houses that express their human side”. As for what that looks like, stay tuned to find out!
Habitus House Of The Year wouldn’t exist without the support of our friends, colleagues and regular collaborators in the industry. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our Major Partners Gaggenau, StylecraftHOME and Zip and Supporting Partners Armadillo & Co and Earp Bros. Likewise we would like to recognise our Television Partners for joining us on our journey to a new medium.
Meet the full 2019 Habitus House of the Year jury here.