Stories

Footpath Trading: Pavement & Public Realm

Melbourne is (touch wood) finally exiting a dark winter of homebound isolation, hour-long walks and delivery food. As good weather arrives and rules are loosened, the government has outlined a pathogen-conscious plan for restaurant reopening that relies heavily on outdoor dining. This has already spurred debate about how we allot space on our streets and […]

Northside: Warren Kirk

Though change in our suburbs is inevitable, reminders of days gone by will always exist. The past catches up with the present in photographer Warren Kirk’s new book Northside: a time and a place. A tribute to our memories, and a reminder to look closer at the world around us, the book documents some of […]

Learning from Land: Elisapeta Heta

Architect Elisapeta Heta spent much of her time this year in the small town of One Tree Point just north of Ruakaka, on the east coast of Aotearoa New Zealand, in lockdown with three generations of her family. For her, the practice of architecture is intertwined with the practice of knowing oneself, knowing the fundaments of where you come from, and how you came to be upon land.

On Wellington: Loss and looking ahead

When was the last time you considered the value of spaces like libraries, town halls and theatres for your city? In Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, the slow erosion of the city’s civic functions over the past ten years has crept up on writer K. Emma Ng. She walks us through this loss, and […]

Artist Ian Strange on concepts of home

For some, home is a way of mapping and understanding the world. Artist Ian Strange interrogates concepts of home through site-specific installations in suburban locations, challenging notions of memory, safety and security. OFFICE, as part of The Politics of Public Space lecture series, met the artist on Zoom in April of this year to discuss […]

Transformative Change at Murundaka Cohousing

In the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg Heights, amidst the uniform rhythm of large single-family homes, one lot stands out. Its tall trees, myriad of parked bikes and the double-height windows of the large common house announce from afar that here, life is lived with a fuller breath. This is Murundaka, an environmentally and community-minded housing […]

Ears #41: Message to My Girl

For many of us in the midst of lockdowns here in Melbourne, music has been a guiding light through a challenging time. This month, in collaboration with our friends at Hope St Radio, Melbourne pop singer-songwriter Sweet Whirl – A.K.A Esther Edquist – brings us our spring edition of Ears, a mixtape compiled to transport you […]

Alternative ways of living with artist Satoshi Murakami

Houses are often thought of as fixed points in an urban landscape. What happens when your house moves with you? What if a house could generate its own income? Writers Grace Lovell and Yoshi Tsujimura visited Japanese artist Satoshi Murakami in his studio to discuss alternative ways of living. Satoshi Murakami lives and works in […]

Gamifying urban design with Block by Block

The development of our public spaces often feels hidden behind complex planning processes, motivated by the visions of a few. Could a more participatory design method help us to re-imagine the present and future of public spaces together? To find out, writer Robert Snelling chatted with Celine d’Cruz, vice president of Block by Block, a […]

Artist Ruth Buchanan on living life collectively at R50

As Oscar Wilde wrote in his 1889 essay ‘The Decay of Lying’, “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. When the boundaries are blurred between art and living, can alternative ways of life thrive? Our editor Sophie Rzepecky spoke to Ruth Buchanan, a Berlin-based artist originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, during the recent […]

Sign of the Times: Melbourne’s Industrial Skyline

The historical rooftop signs that dot the horizon lines of our cities are often symbols of a bygone industrial era, memories clinging to facades. As emerging technology transforms advertising techniques, and awareness of our consumption habits in relation to issues such as climate crisis develops, what will become of the humble rooftop sign? Writer Samuel […]

Reground: How to Avoid Waste at Home

In 2014, Ninna Larsen was working as a barista. Watching thousands of cups worth of coffee grounds going to landfill, she knew there must be a better use for this perceived waste. So she started Reground and teamed up with Kaitlin Reid. They began by taking coffee grounds from cafes and delivering them to local community gardens. […]

Max Delany: From Resilience to Sustainability

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have exasperated underlying structural conditions and inequalities we face as a society. Here in Australia, an underfunded art world is struggling to stay afloat. What do contemporary arts organisations and institutions look like in a post-pandemic world, and how can their financial models become more sustainable? Artistic Director and […]

Social Food Project: Zero Waste Beetroot Risotto

Whether he’s cooking with insects as an alternative protein source, or saving natives by eating invasive species, Ben McMenamin has been using food to start crucial conversations for years. As the founder of the Social Food Project, Ben loves to craft inventive and delicious recipes that help us eat our way to a sustainable future. […]

Christopher Hawthorne: The ‘Third’ Los Angeles

Chicago has the Chicago Architecture Center, New York has the Municipal Art Society, and Melbourne has countless public and non-profit institutions such as Open House, MPavilion and the National Gallery of Victoria to raise awareness and public literacy around design in our built environment. However, says Christopher Hawthorne, “There is no city that needs that […]

Mabu Mabu: Semur Chicken

Mabu Mabu is a Torres Strait Islander owned and run café, catering and food business with an emphasis on using fresh, seasonal and native ingredients to create beautiful dishes that bring people together. Nornie Bero is the head chef and business owner. A Meriam woman of the Komet Tribe, Bero is originally from Mer Island in the Torres Strait, and […]

Ex-Embassy

In August 2018, the former Australian embassy to East Germany in Berlin’s northeast suburb of Pankow hosted Ex-Embassy, an exhibition of six artworks and five texts, and an open research archive. Instigated and hosted by the artist Sonja Hornung, and researched and assembled with writer and artist Rachel O’Reilly as curatorial advisor, it included the […]

Ears #40: Old Hard Drive Mix by Mikey Young

As we head into Autumn here in Melbourne, and slowly start to ease out of the lockdowns which have changed reality for many, our partner for this year’s EARS mixtape series Hope St Radio brings us some tunes from their community. Sheltering in his house and studio in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula, producer and […]

New Metonyms: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Between September 2018 and July 2019, Ennis Cehic and Shantanu Starick travelled extensively through Bosnia & Herzegovina to compile imagery, texts and ideas for their literary photography book, New Metonyms. For many people Bosnia & Herzegovina still conjures up images of war, thus their mission was simple. They set out to demonstrate that Bosnia is […]

Forgotten Lessons: Vann Molyvann and the New Khmer Architecture School 

Vann Molyvann, the most prolific architect of modern Cambodia, forged buildings that respected the natural flow of water, air and light. Researcher and urbanist Bruno Friedel, walks us through some of his key projects in Phnom Penh, and interrogates the legacy they have left behind. Vann Molyvann left a Cambodia plunged into political crisis and […]

Rachaporn Choochuey: The Art of Living Lightly

Understanding how people live is at the core of design director Rachaporn Choochuey’s practice. She’s the co-founder of Bangkok-based architecture studio all(zone), known for their playful projects which utilise reuse and recycling, while employing local materials and building techniques in innovative ways. Emma McRae sat down in conversation with Rachaporn, after her presentation at the […]

The Fuggerei: 500 Years and Counting

Adequate and affordable housing is crucial to human dignity and a sense of belonging. The Fuggerei, the oldest private social housing complex in Europe, aims to provide homes to vulnerable people in the city of Augsburg, Germany. Katharina Prugger and Henry Trumble, investigate the Fuggerei today, as it continues to operate on the same model as […]

Refuge: When Art Meets Emergency

Protection from natural or human-made disasters in cities is often a top down affair, organised by federal or state government. What if communities were empowered to react with creative solutions in the face of catastrophe? Georgia Symons walks us through the interdisciplinary project Refuge at Arts House in Melbourne to discover what happens when art […]

Stanislava Pinchuk: An Art-Filled Stable in Carlton

Artist, Stanislava Pinchuk (Miso), while in Melbourne, lives in an art-filled, heritage horse and coach stable in Carlton, just north of the city. Her apartment is one in a cluster of five, arranged around a central bluestone courtyard. Upon arrival, the open-air courtyard with a central stair, this arrangement of buildings gives the sense of […]