Stories

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.

Nomadic Life: Danielle de Picciotto & Alexander Hacke

Danielle de Picciotto and Alexander Hacke, who perform as hackedepicciotto, are legends of Berlin's independent music scene. They share their experiences, and what they have learnt from living on the road with Cat McGauran.

Unfolding Pavilion

Many people don't know that there is social housing throughout Venice: in the 1970s, the city embarked on an ambitious process of commissioning architecturally significant public housing projects that artfully blend into the city's medieval urban fabric. Possibly the best of them is Gino Valle's project in Giudecca, which featured in Unfolding Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Jana Perković spoke to the curators about why social housing still matters.

Remembering That Things Will Change: Warren Kirk

Affectionately known as the 'Westographer', Warren Kirk has spent decades capturing images of old Australian suburbia, the people and architecture. His photographs bring to the fore a hidden beauty, celebrating the regular, the vernacular, and the humble. Warren's latest book Suburbia ventures further to include suburbs like Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Dandenong and Clifton Hill. We bring you a selection of photos from Suburbia, with an essay by author and actor William McInnes.

Venice: Resisting Resilience

 Some of the highest storms have lately afflicted Venice. Volume editor and architect Francesco Degl’Innocenti reflects on the history of the lagoon, where the concept of dynamic equilibrium has been the cornerstone for the evolution of nature and architecture.

Robin Hood Gardens

One of the more controversial displays at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture was V&A Museum's decision to display a salvaged piece of the facade of the Robin Hood Gardens estate, rescued from demolition that started earlier in the year. UK-based architecture writer Owen Hatherley recounts the history of the building and the battle for its preservation. Is there a better way to engage with the historical legacy of public housing?

Heirloom Seed Hero

Clive Blazey and his wife Penny were early leaders in protecting heirloom seed varieties from extinction. His story features in The Planthunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos and Plants by Georgina Reid with photography by Daniel Shipp.

Saskia Sassen: The Limits of the Material

Prof Saskia Sassen spent her career researching the processes underpinning globalisation. Her early work described the rise of the new class of high-paid consultants, concentrating in a few 'global cities' and displacing ordinary families. Lately, she has turned her attention to the global housing boom. How have buildings become a speculative asset class? In conversation with Jana Perković, she explains what has happened since the Global Financial Crisis.

Living Closer Together Symposium: A Summary

On one of the coldest spring mornings this year, dozens of Melburnians hauled themselves out of bed to come and listen to a series of panel discussions on how we can create cities that, quite simply, work better for everyone. For those who couldn’t attend The Living Closer Together Symposium, here’s a short recap of the ideas explored across the four panels.

The Great Disruption: Proptech & ‘Generation Rent’

Move over, Airbnb: here comes 'proptech'. The new generation of apps goes beyond the dubiously-named 'sharing economy' to affect real estate in far more complex ways, from virtual bond deposits to micro-investing. Alexis Kalagas reports from London, where proptech is booming - together with the property market.

AP x Liquid Architecture: Why Listen to Plants?

In her latest work 'Why Listen To Plants?' sound curator Danni Zuvela invites listeners to spend time with plants and listen to them, in the shared space of sound. So often the loudest voices are the ones we hear in our society, but 'Why Listen To Plants' reminds us that the quiet also have things to say. J.G Biberkopf has created an engaging soundscape, to get you in the mood.

Jack Self: Scepticism & Imagination

It is late 2018, and we're so embedded in a system of global capitalism that at times it seems inevitable. But like any human construct, it is not. Jack Self is an architect, editor and the director of the Real Foundation, a cultural institute that explores alternative models of housing ownership and design of project finance. His mission? To end capitalism.

Real Estate Boom House

Some years during the Spanish real estate boom, which began in the mid-1980s and ended abruptly in 2008, more than 500,000 houses were being constructed annually all over Spain. In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, a photography and design project by Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, architect, curator and scholar at Princeton University, examines what is left.

Carme Pinós: A Social Constellation

For Catalan architect Carme Pinós, form follows social responsibility – beauty is a by-product of an architecture that places people, memory, context and physics first. Pinós's Mediterranean sensibility unfolds in her 2018 MPavilion commission here in Melbourne. She speaks to our editor Jana Perković about how buildings express their structure and architecture as an act of humanity.

AP#10: Housing

Who gets to decide how we all reside? Jana Perković and Eugenia Lim introduce the tenth print issue of Assemble Papers, dedicated to housing for all, and published in partnership with MPavilion.

Of Night and Noise: Music’s New Politics

Night is a time, not a space, but in cities around the world it is more and more viewed as a territory, with its own inhabitants, customs and forms of belonging. As new residents are attracted to the vibrancy of city life, noise complaints are on the increase - and so are the regulations. Will Straw, professor of urban cultures at McGill University, explores nighttime cultures in cities around the world.

Architecture and Appropriation

Cultural appropriation is an uneasy topic in architecture, but a new generation of young design practitioners is ready to change the paradigm. Louis Mokak, director of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria (IADV), questions Australia's colonial heritage - both in thought and practice.

Tomoko and Takaaki Shiratori in Komaba

Tomoko and Takaaki Shiratori have lived all over Japan; from a 'New Town' in Yokohama, to Aichi Prefecture and now in Nerima, Tokyo. Their shared love of gardening means the rooftop is filled with fruits and vegetables, while Tomoko has a passion for reading aloud and talking, which she says, keeps her energised!

On The Beach: From Shack to Sales Pitch

Jurien Bay and Wedge Island in Western Australia were landscapes once dominated by informal settlements. However, suburban developments are now reaching WA's central coast. Felix Joensson, from our West Coast partners Future West, asks the question – how do we create beachfront suburbs with soul?

Bakehouse Studios: Culture Is What We Do When We’re Really Living

For nearly twenty years, Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean had been supporting Melbourne's musicians and artists through Bakehouse Studios. Then in 2010 their beloved live music community came under threat, and their position at Bakehouse unexpectedly primed them for political activism - work that continues today.

Designing Club Culture: Don’t Fight It, Feel It

Born in the 1960s, discothéques were early incubators of experimentation in design, new media and ways of living. From fashion trends to regulations around noise, alcohol and propriety, what resonates above all is how nightlife shapes wider urban life. Alexis Kalagas charts a wonderful and colourful history of nightclubbing.

Portable picnic: onigiri

Onigiri is a staple found everywhere in Japan: from the aisles of convenience stores to fancy food halls. This week, the wonderful Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares two quick recipes for home made onigiri with mustard greens and umeboshi, and mushroom onigiri (scroll down for more), for a rice-filled belly on the go.

Reimagining the Gaybourhood

As a number of Melbourne's prominent gay venues started to close down, Sam Cremean felt a sense of loss. This prompted him to investigate what was happening to gay neighbourhoods internationally. He discovered that these important spaces were slowly disappearing from cities around the world.