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Generally, I look forward to relaxing in front of the television on Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings. Primarily that is because I am treated to episodes of my favourite programmes that feature aspirational residential homes. I have always been fascinated by innovative architecture because it makes an indelible impression on an otherwise generic landscape. Far too many new builds are poorly constructed and devoid of any design merit. That is why homes like Siglap Plain by Aamer Architects really deserve editorial exposure. » Read more

A few days ago I had the opportunity to view a unique historic double fronted shop in a highly popular area of Adelaide. The building dates back to the glorious ‘Art Deco’ period and has a plethora of original features. Even though the property is pretty small (by Australian standards), it certainly has a lot of charm and would make a great gallery. I personally love the architecture from this era and previously owned a 1920’s semi-detached home in England. Recently I featured a timepiece from Richard Paige, that was inspired by New York’s iconic Chrysler Building on my website (Five Amazing Watches That Won’t Break the Bank). However, there are other beautiful ‘Art Deco’ influenced watches like the DR01 “Streamline” by David Rutten that are designed to make a bold statement. » Read more

Recently Schiffer Books kindly sent me copies of two books that had recently been published. The titles are Luxury Design for Living and Modern Masterpieces. Both feature some of the most exclusive residential homes in the world. From the outset Schiffer wanted to focus on luxurious properties with a strictly contemporary aesthetic. However, (as an exception) they did allow me to include a phenomenal German housing and office complex called Sonnenhof by J Mayer H Architects. Essentially this radical development is a perfect solution to modern day inner city living. » Read more

One of the main reasons I established Total Design Reviews is because of my passion for fine craftsmanship and design in general. As well as being a writer I also hold a degree in Illustration and enjoy creating large artworks. My latest composition is a large Bristlecone Pine tree, which I am painting in muted colours. I favour oil paints and my technique involves multiple fine transparent layers to attain a luminous effect. This involves a certain level of patience because I am fanatical about detail. I would also describe myself as a perfectionist and always try to achieve the best possible results. Ultimately that is why I appreciate traditional skills like engraving, especially in the context of horology.  » Read more

Even though I don’t in way perceive myself as a gambler I do occasionally (every week) purchase a lottery ticket. I realise the odds of winning are extremely unlikely and do not anticipate a large windfall in the foreseeable future. However, it is a bit of fun and I often daydream how to spend my (imaginary) gambit. One of my aspirations would be to design a modernistic concrete and glass home in collaboration with a renowned architect. Certainly, there are several to chose from in Australia many who have a passion for minimalism. On the wish list would be an Infiniti edge pool, cinema, chef style industrial steel kitchen and maybe most importantly an artist studio. Potentially this last requirement could be situated in a separate annexe similar to Chen + Suchart Studio Little Art Studio. » Read more

In March 2015 I attended Baselword and I had the opportunity to speak with many of my watchmaking heroes. Many were using different carbon composites and achieving some very positive results. This material was becoming increasingly popular because of its texture and lightweight qualities. After the show had ended I visited a manufacturing company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland to discuss a unique project. I had just created my own bespoke timepiece and had aspirations to develop a second. This company specialises in carbon watches and were experimenting with luminous technology. However, to produce a prototype was going they quoted around $15,000, which simply wasn’t viable. Fast forward a few years and I finally achieved my goal of creating the ‘Pure Carbon’. » Read more

A few days ago I had a very interesting meeting with a Professor of design at the city campus of Uni (university) SA in Adelaide. The main topic hinged around industrial design and the projects the students focused on. Interestingly all of their work was targeted at medical, defence, age care sectors etc. rather than a luxury lifestyle. This surprised me because I feel Australia hasn’t really exploited this market at all. Certainly, with a decline in manufacturing and a non-existent automobile industry there need to be a whole new mindset. Fortunately, a few artisans are striving to rectify this by creating some innovative products. A great example can be found in Lee Gray who is the CEO of exclusive brand Kyron Audio. » Read more

About a year ago I bought a second hand BMW i3 from an authorised dealership in Melbourne. Up until then, I had never considered purchasing an all-electric car because of the limitations. Sure, I am interested in the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. However, there are also many other practical issues to consider like charging times and accessibility to charging stations. Fortunately, one of my neighbours installs these stations and was able to fit a device in our garage. Certainly, I do not regret the acquisition but have to concede that I won’t be embarking on any road trips in the near future. Due to the scale and infrastructure in a country like Australia, it is unfeasible to contemplate travelling a large distance in an electric vehicle. » Read more