in Print

#5: The Ecological Age

We are now living in the age of the Anthropocene, an epoch in which the actions and impacts of humans have altered the biosphere – the global ecological system of which all living and fossilised beings are an interconnected part. Issue #5 – founding editor Eugenia Lim’s last issue at the helm – explores the potential for us to transition from outmoded, resource-intensive ‘Industrial Age’ behaviours towards an ambitious but achievable paradigm shift, living lightly within our planet’s carbon footprint.

Social Sense: MGS Architects

Can architects be agents for social change? Rob McGauran of MGS Architects in Melbourne speaks to Emily Wong about ‘meaningful’ architecture and ideas that aim to transform the city.

Tai, Simon, Leo & Gil: Welcome to the Dollhouse

For artist Tai Snaith and architect Simon Knott, good design is less about aesthetics than it is about what it actually means to live in a space: they believe architecture should be about people over built objects. Ghita Loebenstein and Tom Ross pay a visit to the couple's Northcote home, the 'Dollhouse', where they live with their two children, Leo and Gil.

AP Print Issue #5: The Ecological Age

What can art do? What can architecture do? Who holds the right to the city? Are nature and culture one and the same? How does thought become action? In this issue, my final as editor, I am preoccupied with these questions; questions I feel are personal, political and universal.

Tim Jarvis: 25zero

Tim Jarvis is a busy man. If he’s not undertaking expeditions to the North or South Pole, completing the first unsupported crossing of the Great Victorian Desert, or building an exact replica of the James Caird lifeboat to recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 voyage, he can be found doing public speaking tours, promoting his books or documentaries, or working as “a sustainability innovator” for Arup.

Unlearning Planning Practice: Libby Porter

As an associate professor at RMIT's Centre for Urban Studies, Libby Porter's work aims to position Aboriginal knowledge, people and culture at the heart of planning and urban development. Timmah Ball sits down with Libby to speak about how planning systems and environmental policies can incorporate Aboriginal knowledge, and how cultural ecologies can exist within rigid planning schemes and legislation.

Critical Charisma: Situations

For Claire Doherty, public art is an opportunity to inspire and surprise by engaging directly in people's lives. As founding director of Bristol-based arts organisation Situations, Doherty opens the public realm to art through unconventional, long-term programs. Rachel Elliot-Jones speaks to Claire Doherty on how Situations continually disrupts our expectations of public art.

Question Everything: Joost Bakker

The son of a fourth-generation tulip farmer, Joost Bakker was destined to love soil. Each week, he drives to Melbourne in a truck laden with seasonal goodness to create his floral­–industrial installations in some of the city’s top restaurants. Joost calls himself an artist whose mediums happen to include flowers, farming, architecture, design, hospitality and sustainability – a zero-waste de Vinci of our times.

Interior atmosphere: Berndnaut Smilde

In Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde's 'Nimbus' photographic series, clouds are created in the midst of human-made environments, with the artist treating the relationship between the clouds and their backdrops like classic landscape paintings – in which light, reflections and shadows are all part of the bigger picture. Here, Berndnaut shares his thoughts on creating the "ideal space" we see in his work.

Daylighting: D.I.R.T. Studio

Virginia-based landscape architect Julie Bargmann of D.I.R.T. Studio creates places that defy traditional notions of nature and beauty. To her, a landscape represents the intertwining of social and ecological cycles, over time. Emily Wong speaks to Julie about how she uses 'toxic beauty' to transform industrial sites into 21st-century public spaces with a past, present and future.

Shigeru Ban: Permanent Impermanent

Over his three-decade career, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has split his time between high-end commissions and humanitarian architecture for those who have, as he says, an abundance of "power and money", and for others for whom architecture is purely a means to survive. In the recent print issue of Assemble Papers, Eugenia Lim speaks to Ban about the quest for social purpose that drives his work.

We Are Nature: Olafur Eliasson x Lone Frank

Danish–Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson treats art as a means of turning thought into action. In 2014, Eliasson constructed a trickling, gurgling and crunching 'Riverbed' from blue basalt rocks at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. Here, he speaks with Danish biologist, science journalist and author Lone Frank about the ideas explored in that project and his work at large.

Urban-Think Tank: The Right to the City

As informal communities continue to house a major portion of the population in many economically diverse areas of Central and South America, Caracas- and Zurich-based interdisciplinary design studio Urban-Think Tank considers how architects can work alongside self-organised communities to help mobilise the collective agency of a population.

New Collectivities: MVRDV

As co-founder of Dutch architectural office MVRDV, Nathalie de Vries has continued to push the organisation in search of a humanist, hybrid approach to creating liveable spaces. Considering the city as inherently constructed, MVRDV's approach remains provocative as it re-imagines our cities moving into the future.