Stories

Redesigning Renting: Housing as a Service

Sharing economy increasingly means that we subscribe to a service (transport, music, even clothes and cars) instead of buying the thing. But how does this work with housing? Alexis Kalagas continues his research into start-ups that are redesigning renting.

Nurturing Collective Creativity: Naomi Milgrom

Melbourne may be Australia's arts capital, but Naomi Milgrom is now pushing it to the forefront of Australia’s design conversation. Jana Perković speaks to the woman behind MPavilion and Living Cities Forum about the importance of dialogue and disagreement.

Janet Laurence: Empathy for Fragile Creatures

Over 30 years, artist Janet Laurence's installations have explored the interconnectedness of all living things: minerals, animals, us. A deeply ecological sensibility permeates her work, which sits between sculpture, architecture and environment. With her first major survey exhibition now on at Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Rafaela Pandolfini visits Janet's studio to talk feminism, gardening and the Anthropocene.

Place & the Afterlife: French & Mottershead

UK artist duo French & Mottershead invite participants to think again about who they are, and their ties to place and one another. Video, performance, photography and sound are woven together to create tangible stories about living in place, borne out of rigorous research. Recently, at Dark Mofo, they gently led us into death. Cat McGauran met with Andrew Mottershead to discuss life & decomposition.

Danny and Jamee: Dreaming in an L.A studio

“I am a renter and housemate myself and wholeheartedly believe in shared living,” says Emily Hutchinson, who has lived in share houses in Melbourne, Sydney and New York, and has collected her experiences in the book Shared Living. “I hope I can shed some light on the world of grown-up share houses and encourage other housemates to consider their share house as a home and not a transient space.” In the second instalment of our 'shared living' special series, Emily takes us to Los Angeles for a real feat of living closer together: a tiny shared studio in Koreatown.

Waste No Food: Circular Food Systems

Our series ‘Circular Thinking’ brings together insights from our workshops on the circular economy. In  our last instalment, we look at what it takes to close the loop on food waste, with Kirsten Larsen and Jen Sheridan from Open Food Network.

Global Garbage: Where Does Our Recycling Go?

In our latest instalment of the ‘Circular Thinking’ series, we are going global. Where does our waste go? Does our recycling even get recycled? And what has China got to do with it? Professor of international urban politics at University of Melbourne, Michele Acuto, is here to help.

Circular Thinking: Zero-Waste Buildings

‘Circular economy’ is a fancy term for an industry that produces no waste. In practice, it means making products and materials more efficiently, and reusing them for as long as possible. This week we begin our series on Circular Thinking, looking at what circular economy might mean in practice. First off: buildings. No other human activity creates as much waste as construction – but what can architects and builders do about it? Our friends from Arup – the engineering masterminds – guide us through their research into zero-waste buildings.

Hiroshi, Haruna, Yuri & Noriko: A Dreamy Space for Weary Heads

Art curator Hiroshi and food designer Haruna Ito live with their baby Yuri and friend Noriko in a magical share house near Shinjuku, where one bedroom has been turned into an art installation for visitors to stay in. In our special two-part 'shared living' series, Emily Hutchinson looks around the world for some of the most inventive ways of living closer together. This story is one of many collected in Emily's new book Shared Living: Interior Design for Rented and Shared Spaces.

Russia: The Long Way Back

This summer, architect Vlad Doudakliev shipped his car to Vladivostok, from where he travelled overland across Russia with his dad, all the way to his native Bulgaria. In this special two-part travelogue for Assemble Papers, Vlad takes us through the vast, diverse landscapes of the largest country in the world.

Brooke Holm: Sand Sea

Photographer Brooke Holm shot her new series of works in the Namib Sand Sea, the oldest desert in the world. Seemingly never-ending sand dunes stretch for over 3 million hectares in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a unique ecosystem that survives mostly on condensation from the fog that rolls in off the coastline every morning. Namibia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and the first write climate change policies into their constitution.

Future Method: Land, Treaty, Property

Future Method Studio work across architecture, installation and speculative projects. Led by architecture practitioners and pedagogues Joel Sherwood-Spring and Genevieve Murray, Future Method is a unique practice in the Australian architecture landscape to put participation and decolonisation at the heart of their agenda.

Ruhrtriennale 2018: A Spatial Artistic Revolution

Ruhrtriennale is a festival of art nested within architecture. Taking place in some of the world's most imposing industrial ruins, it has pioneered an innovative approach to protecting industrial buildings and highlighting their cultural legacy. Manuel Zabel went to the Ruhr to see for himself.

A Bubble to Call Your Own: Home Futures

Every year. IKEA publishes a report on its research into how we live: our homes, after all, are a reflection of our lives. Just as our ideas of home are changing at an unprecedented pace - courtesy of WeLive, build-to-rent and co-living experiments - a lively exhibition at London's Design Museum looks at what the future of home looked like in the past decades. Alexis Kalagas muses on home utopias and dystopias.

Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA: The Artificial Belongs to Nature

Based in Tokyo, SAANA is a multi award-winning architecture practice, renowned for designs that are simple, yet exude a profound sense of purpose. In 2010, architect Keith Little took a highly coveted intern position at SAANA, where he learnt about the philosophy that shapes Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa's practice. Now, he returns to a dialogue with his former mentor.

Redesigning the Housing Market

Is housing really best left to market alone? Turns out there are many models for financing housing. Urban designer Andy Fergus shares his research into alternative housing models, from for-profit to non-profit. Choose your own adventure!

Assemble: A Contradictory Space

The British architectural collective Assemble (no relation) was founded in 2010, at the height of the Global Financial Crisis, to explore other ways of doing architecture. Today, they are a force to be reckoned with, reforming both the built environment and the art world. Cat McGauran caught up with Jane Hall and Audrey Thomas-Hayes from the Turner Prize-winning collective.

Playable Cities: Hilary O’Shaughnessy

Cities around the world are rapidly growing a new layer of digital infrastructure. But who, outside of the few data engineers, knows what information is being collected and to what purpose? This is something Hilary O'Shaughnessy wants to change. Her project Playable Cities aims to restore agency and creativity to the 'smart city' - and includes dancing under street lights.

How Finland is Ending Homelessness: Juha Kaakinen

In the 1980s, Finland's homeless rates were equivalent to Australia's today: 0.4%. Today, homelessness is all but eradicated, thanks to an innovative approach called 'Housing First'. Juha Kaakinen, CEO of Y-Foundation, Finland's largest non-profit housing provider, explains to Cat McGauran how the Finnish approach arose from the belief that 'everybody should be cared for'.

Ugly-beautiful Australia: Eugenia Lim

“There can be few other nations less certain than Australia as to what they are and where they are,” wrote Robin Boyd in The Australian Ugliness (1960), his examination of the national aesthetics. In 2018, artist and Assemble Papers founding editor Eugenia Lim contemporised the book's provocations in a video installation that will soon travel to Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) for The National 2019. Here, Lim reflects on the book's enduring themes - and how our relationship to architecture is as personal as it is political.

The Architecture of Least Resistance

Photographer Tom Ross has a keen eye for capturing architecture and its atmospheres. He's noticed Geelong, his former stomping ground, transform into Australia’s fastest-growing regional centre. Urbanisation has hit the Surf Coast, bringing a property and population boom and growing inequity. He reflects on the changing corridor between Melbourne and Geelong: the urban, suburban and peri-urban.

A Saturday spent at Women Design

To commemorate 100 years of women's vote in Britain, a two-day symposium on women in design took place at Design Museum, promising to explore historical injustices, and analyse contemporary design culture. Kate Riggs was in attendance.

Amsterdam Social Housing: A Primer

The residential variety across Amsterdam city is stunning. Some rents are high, but many more are controlled, kept affordable by non-profit associations that deliver the bulk of housing in the Netherlands. From the expressive brickwork of early 20th-century workers’ dwellings to a new generation of refugee-inclusive youth housing, Amelyn Ng explores the system of affordable housing allocation in Amsterdam.

AP x Liquid Architecture: Lilly Kane

Ritual Community Music is a year-long program of music experiences curated around the age-long association that music has to ritual, and ritual has to community. To bring the summer closer, and to close the year, local legends of experimental music Liquid Architecture bring us a mix by Lilly Kane which explores what a transnational community sounds like. Mat Spisbah, the program curator, introduces the last event of the year, a night of experimental rave on 8th December at Howler.