Category Archives: Architecture

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

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

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

A few days ago I had the privilege of attending the wedding reception of beautiful Vietnamese and Chinese couple. Certainly, love was in the air and everybody really enjoyed the event. At my allotted table I was seated next to a delightful lady who was formerly a property developer. Interestingly she specialised in demolishing dilapidated older style houses and sub dividing. However, nowadays the margins are too tight and consumers desire more than generic properties. As a writer, I can totally understand that homeowners crave for individuality and that is why they commission architects to articulate their visions. » Read more

As well as being a writer and author I also have a major passion for industrial design. In fact, I am presently in the process of creating several bespoke timepieces with my Watchmaker friend Ben Birkett. Two of the watch cases are constructed from concrete and were made by English based craftsman George Slaughter. Originally I commissioned George to create some concrete buttons for my leather jacket brand ‘Morley Rose’. Based on positive results I wanted to explore how this amazing material would work in a horological context. Certainly, achieving the precise texture wasn’t easy but after 12-months of trial an error we got the correct balance. Effectively my objective was to create the same aesthetic used in contemporary modern residential architecture. » Read more