Category Archives: Lifestyle

A few days ago I had a very interesting meeting with a gentleman called Chris Clarke. I became aware of Chris after he appeared on the first ever episode of ‘Grand Designs Australia’. In fact, this particular episode was very moving because it chronicled his life after a devastating bush fire that obliterated his house (Callignee i). Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Chris built a much more modest one-bedroom version called Callignee ii. During our conversation, we discussed sustainable architecture and design as a model for the future. Certainly, Villa K by Paul de Ruiter Architects conforms to these standards. » Read more

A few days ago I had the enormous privilege to meet Dr Brandon Gien who’s one of Australia’s leading lights in the industrial design world. In fact, to many people involved in this field, Brandon Gien has almost rock star status. However, despite having a high profile status I found him to be a really warm and approachable guy. His speech at the ‘Good Design Forum South Australia’ was exceptionally well received. He focused on the importance of good design and its impact on society. How creativity and innovation can pay dividends. Certainly, as an artist/designer his message resonated with me because I always strive to produce something unique. These rules also apply to the ateliers I feature on Total Design including the talents of Romain Gauthier. » Read more

A couple of days ago I went attending the ‘Good Design Forum South Australia’. Overall it was amazing because it brought together Chief Executives, entrepreneurs, industrial design specialists and leading lights in the science world. Even better the event was situated at Flinders University at the historical defunct Mitsubishi car manufacturing plant, which is presently undergoing a mammoth regeneration programme. One of the keys speakers was Murray Camem, who has worked with iconic British designer Terrence Conran, global electronic giant Phillips and Boeings primary partner Teague. His credentials are exceedingly impressive but what really resonated me was one of Murray’s childhood pictures of him sketching. This illustrated that even the most ambitious concepts start from humble two-dimensional drawings. » Read more

Last week I featured an amazing New York inspired residence (11, Warrawee Dock)
in the Adelaide suburb of Port Adelaide. This area is tipped to be one of Australia’s property hotspots of 2019. It isn’t really surprising due to an abundance of brown belt land that enjoys phenomenal waterfront views. This year one of the regions most prominent developers (Starfish Developments) are planning to build 750 dwellings. The project called Dock One mainly comprises townhouses and apartments. On a personal level, I would be interested in one of the 3-storey residences with a roof garden. I have even approached the owner to see if I could customise one to my own specifications. The reason that I mentioned this is because many people who live in rural South Australia might even contemplate purchasing one as a holiday home. Instead of buying investment properties many people are considering this an option. » Read more

Approximately eight years ago I visited in Essen, Germany to celebrate a friends 40th birthday. The party was fantastic and absolutely our generous hosts catered for our every need. As a special bonus, we visited the Red Dot museum the following day, which rewards excellence in design. Recently I discovered that Australia has an equivalent organisation called ‘Good Design Australia’. Since 1958, they have recognised the importance of design in business, industry, government and the general public. That is why I was massively interested to hear Swiss brand DWISS have submitted their RS1-SG into the competition. » Read more

A few years ago my taste in art was exceptionally conservative and I gravitated towards realism rather than modern art. This predates my ever increasing passion for contemporary architecture. To date, I have written three global books about this fascinating subject and am awestruck by many of the residences featured. It has also made me appreciate how large vibrant paintings can literally transform a space, internally and externally. For example, massive oversized graffiti works are having a renaissance period. One of the leading lights in this genre is Chilean Muralist Inti Castro. I became aware of his immense talent when driving in a local suburb called Port Adelaide. » Read more

Over the last few months, I have been liaising with three different global publishers concerning three exclusive books. One of the projects is a unique book about Australian Architecture, which was very challenging but ultimately very rewarding. To complicate things even further I am English and my editor is located in Pennsylvania in the United States. Originally I compiled a broad list of potential residences, displaying many different building techniques. However, to ensure cohesion we decided it was prudent to involve renowned architect and university professor Phil Harris to curate a shortlist. Fortunately, a couple of projects from Melbourne based practise Austin Maynard made the final cut. » Read more

Over the last few months, I have been working fastidiously on my new graphic tablet. I decided to invest in this innovative device essentially to create more professional visuals for potential clients. Given the abundance of readily available Apps achieving positive results is pretty effortless. These digital paintings are also very quick to produce and submit electronically (unlike conventional pen drawings). This is why established illustrators like Gorgio Piola have transitioned to this medium, especially concerning watch design (for a brand of the same name). » Read more