Category Archives: Architecture

Recently I have been seriously considering returning back to University to do an Honours (Masters) or PhD in industrial design. Over the last few years and in conjunction with several books I have written this subject has become highly appealing. I conveyed these thoughts to a few tutors and they connected me with some local talent. Even though Australia hasn’t really exploited the luxury market there are some innovators in this region. For example, Lee Gray established a high-end audio company called Kyron, which he has successfully globalised. When we met recently I told him about a visionary mechanical engineer called Paolo Mastrogiuseppe. This creative powerhouse invents the most extraordinary Espresso machines and is an inspiration to aspiring designers. » Read more

As I have grown older my perspective on life has dramatically changed. The things I once held as important have less significance these days. Essentially (in my view) there are only two precious commodities, which are health and time. Paul Allen once said, “Our net worth is ultimately defined not by dollars but rather by how well we serve others.” Certainly, this incredibly successful businessman (co-founder of Microsoft) practised what he preached and donated vast amounts of money to laudable causes. On a smaller scale, ‘Only Watch’ has encouraged the world’s finest watchmakers to create unique 1/1 pieces for charity. As always the event (which is dedicated to research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy) attracted the Crème de la Crème of the industry including Konstantin Chaykin’s ‘Joker Selfie’ and sensational collaboration between De Bethune and Urwerk. » Read more

A few days ago I was having a meal with a group of new friends. We discussed many topics including our aspirations and future dreams for our children. My son has just turned 10-years old and is pretty obsessed with sports. In fact, he recently one a cross country event hosted by several local schools. Another activity he is passionate about is tennis and he following in the footsteps of local (Adelaide) hero Lleyton Hewitt. Certainly, at his age, absolutely anything is possible with a lot of hard work. I also believe when you advance to your adult most things are achievable (except for elite sports). Bespoke furniture maker Silvio Acosta is a good case in study. » Read more

A few weeks ago Schiffer Books kindly sent me an advance copy ‘Australia Modern’ (15 Houses in harmony with the land). The initial concept for this book was devised by my editor Cheryl Weber. However, as the book involved it became a three-way collaboration with myself, Cheryl and Professor Phil Harris (a prominent architect in his own right). Originally, I approached Phil Harris to write the foreword. I also wanted to feature one of the properties that he had designed called Fredrichstrasse House, which is located in Maylands, Adelaide. As the project evolved it became apparent that Phil’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the Australian architecture was crucial to the integrity of the book. Even many of my selections were featured, certain residences were excluded because they (general consensus) didn’t meet the criteria. » Read more

Many, many decades ago when I was a university student funds were in very short supply. As a leaving present, my parents have very kindly bought me a beautiful stereo system, with speakers and a turntable. I vividly remember listening to all my records (mostly Stevie Wonder) in the confines of my student digs. Even though my room was damp, cold and particularly small, I still look back at this period of my life fondly. Years later (2000) Nick Hornby’s acclaimed ‘High Fidelity’ novel was translated into movie form. John Cusack skilfully plays the owner of an old fashioned Chicago record store, which is declining due to an emerging digital age. At the end of the film (as the credits roll) the protagonist plays Stevie Wonder’s amazing ‘I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)’ from the 1972 album ‘Talking Book’. Literally, you could hear every crackle, which at that precise moment epitomized why I love vinyl. » Read more

Over the last few years, I have become a lot more conscious about my health and general well being. In my university days (many eons ago) I drank copious amount of beer and had a staple diet of junk food. Certainly, I don’t regret this lifestyle as it was a rite of passage. As a man in my early fifties, there are comprises and adjustment that are required to stay relatively slim. Some of the main changes I have made are eliminating processed food, reducing my alcohol consumption and intake of meat (mainly plant-based). However, there are indulgences like dark chocolate and espresso coffee that I simply can’t live without. » Read more

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

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