Stories

Holzmarkt: How ‘Business Hippies’ Reinvented Berlin

The development of Holzmarkt has shown that Berlin is capable of both imagining and creating places of social cooperation. Once organisers of illegal raves, a group of friends are now building a whole new district; and with it, reimagining the city's future.

Greening NYC: Piet Oudolf’s New Perennialism

Architect Elliet Spring lived in New York for most of her twenties. On her recent return, she was greeted by a different city: no longer so much a concrete jungle, but a city layered with rich, generous vegetation - from the High Line to The Battery. The turn has been in no small measure the influence of one person, Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. Here, Elliet looks at Piet's seasonally sensitive, emotionally rich approach to planting, which has spanned a movement: New Perennialism.

Cascoland Kolenkit: Global Issues, Local Contexts

The neighbourhood of Kolenkit is not the sort of Amsterdam found in tourist brochures. But, in 2010, a group of community artists moved into “the most problematic neighbourhood in the Netherlands” and started working to improve Kolenkit's title. Rob Snelling tells the story of a community repaired with art and ingenuity.

Easy Noodle Salad

Jenny O'Keefe is a Castlemaine legend: a celebrant and a self-taught cook. With Assemble Papers, she shares a recipe for an easy noodle salad to Cat McGauran (another transplant to regional Victoria).

Ears #36: Autumn mix by Tiny Ruins

For the 2019 season of our beloved EARS mixtape series, Assemble Papers is partnering up with Courtney Barnett and Jen Cloher's Milk! Records. to bring you a year of good tunes from the indie Melbourne music scene.  Opening act: Hollie Fullbrook of Tiny Ruins brings us a folkie mix titled, simply, 'Autumn'.

Yandell Walton: Social Change, Small and Large 

Yandell Walton is alarmed by climate change. Emma McRae speaks to the Melbourne projection artist whose ephemeral installations probe the impermanence at the very heart of existence.

AP print issue #11: Transitions

As the eleventh print issue of Assemble Papers is about to land in Melbourne (and then travel beyond), editorial team Jana Perković and Cat McGauran explain some of the thinking behind the edition's theme. We live in a time that demands necessary change: but how do we face this urgency with a spirit of community and altruism?

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.

The Long Way Back: Russia

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.