in Print

#1: The Culture of Living Closer Together

Our first print issue features a selection of greatest hits from the website, exploring our commitment to local and international small footprint living and creativity.

The Cairo: romance and the minimum flat

A leafy art deco gem built by Australian modernist architect Best Overend, Cairo Flats was completed in 1936. This post-dated Overend's September 1933 article 'A Minimum Flat with Maximum Comfort' in the publication 'Australian Home Beautiful.' Writer James Stephens talks to former resident Kate Rhodes about the romance and quirks of her Cairo days.

Alain de Botton on Living Architecture

Alain de Botton is a Zurich-born writer and philosopher now based in London. His ‘philosophy of everyday life’ covers the stuff of human existence: love, travel, work, status, architecture and most recently, religion for atheists. A writer and thinker of many commitments and convictions, Alain put a few thoughts to email while in transit to Oz on a book tour.

The barometry of bees: Melbourne City Rooftop Honey

The story of bees is also the story of food security and ultimately, our future. Two people who've recognised the importance of the humble honey bee are Vanessa Kwiatkowski and Mat Lumalasi of Melbourne City Rooftop Honey, a beekeeping project that sites hives on rooftops and gardens across the city. Here, the duo speak bee health and proactive sustainability with Eugenia.

Best in Park: interview with Christina Teresinski

Christina Teresinski believes in dignity and dapperness for humans and dogs alike. As founder and designer at Best in Park, Christina and her team of craftspeople design for canines. In an industry that privileges gimmicks and expendability, Best in Park stands out by producing "old fashioned" products based on quality materials, champion workmanship and classic design.

Laurent Lafolie

James Geer is a much sought-after photographer whose love of sunshine and beauty has seen him travel the world, shooting pictures for publications and brands such as Monocle, Habitus, Gourmet Traveller, Levis and Hermes (just to name a few!). He has a real eye for portraiture and some of his more famous sitters have included Geoffrey Rush, Kimbra, Julia DeVille and Rose Byrne.

String garden by Pop Plant

Andy (Maxi) Walker & Gabriela Holland are the green thumbs behind Pop Plant, specialists in practical indoor plants for city dwellers. In 2012, the pair settled in Melbourne and have since built a name for their playful, savvy approach to urban gardening. No backyard, no dramas! Follow their step-by-step guide to create a serene string garden for your own home.

Sonsa of Smith Street

Few businesses on Smith Street (in Melbourne's inner city Collingwood) can boast thirty years of trading, and even fewer the status of a legend. As the neighbourhood trades in much of its grit and some of its charm, family-owned Sonsa Foods continues to prosper and provide for locals. Henrietta Zeffert visits before and after the shop's relocation to find out what changes and what remains the same.


At the core of Pollinate (our new extra) is the notion that the meeting of minds can generate “cross-pollinated” ideas while also providing insight into diverse creative processes. When we heard that TORAFU ARCHITECTS would be exhibiting at Mr Kitly, we got a bit “swoony”. Here was our first pairing, a chance for a significant Japanese practice and a Japan-obsessed design purveyor to converse.

Cities for people: Jan Gehl

Jan Gehl, renowned Danish architect, urban design consultant and champion of the human scale, is a great believer in walking. “There is more to walking than walking”, he says, a point which Mitra Anderson-Oliver has cause to reflect on over the two days spent pursuing Jan on foot during his trip to Melbourne for an international study tour, during the hottest autumn week in Victoria’s history.

Things revisited: Henry Wilson

Henry Wilson is an old soul. His utilitarian objects riff on the familiar, long-lasting language of inter-war design. What fuels his environmentally-conscious ethos is not flashy, biodegradable processes or what he calls "beating the green drum". Rather, it’s to design only that which is completely necessary; to use his head, hands & heart to craft pieces that will outlive him by many, many lifetimes.

Movement of the crowd

Photographer Rafaela Pandolfini naturally looks to the movement of the crowd in places where people are preoccupied with carrying out contemporary rituals. Art openings, parties, clubs, the beach and the park. Her interest is in the way people move together or alone, their shapes and patterns against vast or modest backgrounds. Their objects, their dress, and what they use and discard.

Fogo Island Studios – part I

Over the next few months, we’ll bring you four instalments in a bumper feature on Saunders Architecture’s striking Fogo Island artist studios. Nestled in the windswept landscape of the remote Newfoundland region of Canada, the four studios blend Saunder’s strong contemporary design nous with a highly-localised sensitivity and respect for the land. After all, Todd Saunders is a born and bred Newfoundlander.

Canine Contemporary: Architecture for Dogs

Kenya Hara doesn’t design ‘things’. His cerebral yet elegant work as the director of Hara Design Institute and Creative Director at MUJI, seeks to infuse a sense of identity and memory into design. One of Hara’s current projects is Architecture for Dogs, a travelling exhibition and online resource dedicated to the proliferation of novel, DIY architecture for man and woman’s best friend.

Fogo Island Studios – Part 2

Continuing our profile on Newfoundland native Todd Saunders' exquisite series of Fogo Island studios, Georgia Nowak takes to the Bridge, a secular yet spiritual work space for international artists-in-residence. Treading “ever so softly” on the landscape, the Fogo Island Arts studios become sculptural forms in the larger landscape.

Fogo Island studios – Part 3

In the third instalment of our feature on the Fogo Island studios, Georgia Nowak takes a look at Saunders Architecture’s contemporary take on the artist garret, the sleek and sculptural Tower. Of all the Fogo Island studios, project carpenters agree that the Tower was one of the most tricky to build.

Shantell: Go Home, Come Home

Shantell Martin was once an itinerant artist – now you could say the world is her home. After five years in Tokyo, the Londoner now lives in an illustrated bedroom oasis with walls adorned with her own drawings in Brooklyn, NYC. From performing in underground clubs to being featured in the NY Times, the New Yorker and TED, Shantell is an international star on the rise. Paul Barbera makes a home visit.

Fogo Island studios – part 4

In the fourth and final instalment of our feature on Fogo Island studios, we get to the pointy end of things with the sharp Squish Studio. A crisp, angular beacon of sorts, the Squish Studio sits on a strip of rocky coast just outside the township of Tilting. Visiting artists are invited to find momentary inspiration – tread lightly – before leaving the land just as it was before they came.

Law Street House

One of our favourite small footprint residential projects in Melbourne is the Law Street House, lovingly built by the hands of owner-architects, Bruno Mendes and Amy Muir of Muir Mendes. A poker-faced steel façade conceals the second storey within a cleverly-angled roof pitch. Clean and contemporary while retaining the quintessential ‘houseness’ of the site’s former Victorian worker’s cottage.

Beach Vernacular & Boyd: Kerstin Thompson

At the tail end of our southern hemisphere summer, Leon Goh speaks to Melbourne architect Kerstin Thompson about the quintessential Australian escape – the beach shack – her propensity for Robin Boyd-like simplicity, and the idea of 'making do' with less.

Carrer Avinyo

Carrer Avinyo is a 'piano nobile' apartment in Barcelona's Barrio Gotico neighbourhood, designed by London-based practice David Kohn Architects. It is a true homage to its surrounds, referencing the triangular forms of the building and the nearby public Plaça, and at only 90m² it demonstrates exactly how to beautifully and intelligently rise to the challenge of a small space.

Dan, Paul, Eike: Mid-City Mountain Cabin

Dan Honey and Paul Fuog are Melbourne design luminaries. Together with their young daughter Eike, they live in a Clare Cousins-designed apartment in Melbourne's iconic Bible House building. Olga Bennett visits them at home.

Zoned out

The new residential zoning scheme for Victoria, released by the State government last year, has huge implications for the urban fabric and social diversity of our city. Seeking to demystify an incredibly complex and confusing system of regulations, Mitra Anderson-Oliver delivers an urban planning 1-0-1 on how the zoning changes might affect you and your housing dreams.

Assemble Papers issue #1

Our first ever print edition features a selection of greatest hits from the website, exploring our commitment to local and international small footprint living and creativity. The aim of this printed version is to expand, reach out and connect with a broader audience, further pollinating the conversation, thinking and action around cities, design, architecture, art and sustainability.