Stories

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.

Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness

Where European architecture starts with the exterior shape of the building, Asian buildings are imagined from the inside out. Curators of the acclaimed Indonesia Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2018, Ary Indra and David Setiadi, elucidate how 'emptiness' is sculpted in Indonesian architecture, one remarkable building at a time.

Kids’ City Copenhagen

A combination of people-centric urban design, progressive parental leave policies and heavily subsised childcare is making it easy for families to stay in Copenhagen, rather than head for the suburbs. It is in this context that Kids' City Copenhagen was designed. Janie Green speaks with COBE founder & director Dan Stubbergaard, about the philosophy behind Kids' City.

Imagine Ageing: Sibling × Arup

We are living longer than ever before - but what services do we need to ensure livability at all ages? For Sibling architects, researching ageing now is an investment in our own future quality of life. AP editor Jana Perković brings Sibling director Timothy Moore into conversation with Bree Trevena, research manager at Arup Foresight, the engineering firm's think tank on urban futures.

Old Yet Relentlessly Modern: Kyudōkaikan

Western influence in Japan has a fascinating and turbulent history. Architect Keith Little looks at how that complex relationship is embodied in Tokyo's Kyudōkaikan, one of the few buildings to survive the rapid economic growth of the twentieth century. Recent restoration of the complex was funded through an innovative business model, which reflects the temple's masterful blending of the old and the new.

AP x Liquid Architecture: Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping is a part of life: we hear things that are not intended for us all the time. Yet the word’s meaning has changed over time. For our second collaboration with Liquid Architecture, sonic artist and researcher Sam Kidel has prepared us a mixtape that uncouples voice and personhood: “I created the mix as a tool for feeling into unsettled experiences of voice.”

Balimbing: Filipino Queerness

Gregory Lorenzutti was working in Tacloban City when he met a group of young performers preparing for the first fiesta since Typhoon Haiyan had devastated the region, 18 months earlier. In this photography series, Lorenzutti captures the beauty of Filipino queerness, and the complex story of how LGBTIQ families were affected by the city's rebuilding.

Farewell and Thank You Pino

Six years after co-founding Assemble, Pino Demaio has decided to resign from his role as Director. Pino remains focused on his strategic design practice, Local Peoples, and his editorial interests through Matters Journal.