Stories

Made in Metropolis

A showcase of interesting people, creative enterprises and small businesses from our hometown and beyond the international dateline.

Tsuno: Roslyn Campbell

TSUNO is a young, female-friendly social enterprise manufacturing environmentally and socially sustainable menstrual wear. Emily Wong spoke to TSUNO founder and design-brain Roslyn Campbell about learning through doing, the value of community and breaking down taboos.

Schoolhouse Studios

For the past six years Schoolhouse Studios have channelled their efforts into providing cheap studio spaces to Melbourne artists and creative businesses. About to launch their first-ever fundraising exhibition at their Rupert St home, co-directors Alice Glenn and Hazel Brown tell us the story of the very bumpy road to Schoolhouse success.

STREAT: Goodness in every drop

Founded in 2009 by scientist-turned-social entrepreneur Bec Scott and her partner Kate Barrelle, STREAT has made a name for itself as a social enterprise that works with homeless and at-risk youth to introduce a sense of belonging through personal and professional development in a hospitality setting. Hudson Brown sits down with Bec to hear the story behind STREAT's success.

A Living Legacy: The Robin Boyd Foundation

Influential architect Robin Boyd, known for his sensitive variation of modernism, is a household name that stretches far beyond the architectural elite. Boyd’s is a legacy that has endured in his expansive body of work, lovingly upheld in no small part by the 2005-established Robin Boyd Foundation. Rachel Elliot-Jones visits founder and director, Tony Lee, at the Foundation’s headquarters in Melbourne.

Keys to the City: 3000 Acres

Since 2013, Melbourne community garden initiative 3000 Acres has been enabling residents to better access to their city by activating underutilised spaces in urbanised environments. Founded by landscape architect Kate Dundas, 3000 Acres was inspired by a similar New York-based initiative, and has found unique regenerative potential in the grey areas, nooks and crannies of Melbourne’s ever-adapting urban fabric.

Thirty years of Fringe Furniture

Since 1986, Fringe Furniture has been encouraging experimentation in emerging and established designers alike across the areas of object design, furniture, sculpture, lighting and art. In this special Made In Metropolis profile of a Melbourne institution, we speak to Fringe Furniture founder Bruce Filley about the evolution of the exhibition, and to current associate producer Vanessa Wright about what's in store for the future.

Flush with Promise: Who Gives A Crap

In the first of a series of articles we'll be republishing from 'Future West (Australian Urbanism)', a new print publication considering the future of urbanism through the lens of Perth and Western Australia, Timothy Moore chats with Who Gives A Crap founder Simon Griffiths about creating a financially stable social enterprise and finding the fun side of sanitation.

Brunswick Tool Library

Established in 2012, the Brunswick Tool Library has been welcomed by nearby residents in need of tools for small-scale projects and DIY jobs. Focused on providing artists, gardeners and renovators with an affordable way to take on a range of jobs, the entirely volunteer-run Brunswick Tool Library, led by president Karleng Lim, aims to transform the way we own and use tools.

Iggy’s Bread of the World

With its beginnings in Boston, Massachusetts, Iggy's Bread in Bronte came about as a happy accident during a visit to Sydney by owners Igor and Ludmilla Ivanovic. Fast-forward to 2016, and Iggy's Bread in Bronte is something of an institution in the area, with its community-focused philosophies driving the business. Regular AP contributor Rafaela Pandolfini takes a behind-the-scenes look at her favourite neighbourhood haunt.

Words with friends: The Good Copy

It’s hard not to let our enthusiasm get the better of us when tasked with describing Penny Modra and The Good Copy: the creative agency, studio, shop, library and grammar school nestled in the heart of Collingwood, that’s been home to so many writers since its inception a few years ago.

No Lights No Lycra: Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett

From humble beginnings in a Thornbury sharehouse to the basement clubs of Berlin, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett's organisation, No Lights No Lycra, has become a global phenomenon that is putting the fun back in people's lives. “We love the idea of interrupting people’s workflow, saying: nope, get away from your desk, stand up, move around and have a break."

Grafa: grounded in principle

Since 2014, Grafa’s collection of upcycled copper and Spotted Gum garden tools has earned a steady local and international following. Light years ahead of your usual Bunnings fare, Grafa's tools combine a minimal yet warm design sensibility with an environmentally sustainable ethos. Hudson Brown drops by Grafa HQ to talk to co-founders Travis Blandford and Harriet Devlin.

Self-made: Arts Project Australia

Since 1974, not-for-profit organisation Arts Project Australia (APA) has been championing the talents and wellbeing of artists with an intellectual disability through its open philosophy of agency, freedom and collaboration through art. On a wintery Thursday, Grace McQuilten visited our Northcote neighbours at Arts Project HQ to speak with Executive Director, Sue Roff.

Loose Leaf: adapt and evolve

Nestled in the backstreets of Collingwood is Loose Leaf, a one-of-a-kind space dedicated to flora. Owners Charlie Lawler and Wona Bae take inspiration from permaculture and continue to evolve their business accordingly. A serene escape from the grey surrounds of the wintery city, Anna Hickey speaks to Charlie, one half of Loose Leaf.

Inkster Maken: history and prehistory

Hugh Altschwager is a designer with a deep connection to the materials of his craft. His first range of products under his brand Inkster Maken – a nod to his Nordic background, taken from his mother’s maiden name and the Dutch verb ‘to make’ – is a series of hanging pendants and wall-mounted orbs made from hand-lathed South Australian limestone and reclaimed Australian hardwoods.

A Stitch in Time

The Frock Exchange in Sydney and Archive in Melbourne are in the business of extending mindfulness from our lives to our wardrobes – in a fabulous way! By slowing down the fast-paced, high-turnover fashion retail experience they encourage us to think independently, and with consideration, when it comes to the clothes we buy and the way in which we treat them.

Bondo: Familiarity through daily use

In Ben Davis' first article for Assemble Papers, he visits "handmade art store" BONDO to interview owner Yuichi Murakami about the iterative progression of the collection of objects he purveys, led by a long-held appreciation of the aura radiated by well-crafted things.

West Space: beyond the walls

With this year’s fundraiser just around the corner, Assemble Papers Editor Rachel Elliot-Jones met with artists Brigit Ryan and Akira Akira, along with West Space Director Danny Lacy, to talk about what it’s like to work within the unique John Wardle-designed space; how – despite its very special digs – West Space as an organisation transcends the walls that contain it; and why it’s important to support

Together in dreams: SUKU interview

SUKU is a homewares and textiles label founded by Melbourne-based Indonesian-born designer Christine Lafian. Dreamed up in the languid hours between sleep and wakefulness, SUKU is ethereal yet practical: forward-thinking products for the modern home inspired by Lafian’s experiences of tribal culture and craft. Heather Lighton visits SUKU HQ in Melbourne to find out more about Christine and her label.

Slow food spirit: Daniel Wilson

The slow food movement was born in 1989 to counter the developed world's increasing disconnection with 'good, clean and fair' food. Almost fifteen years later, the movement continues to counterpoint what it calls 'the universal folly of fast life', while battling its own commercialisation. Henrietta Zeffert muses slow food philosophy with cook Daniel Wilson in London.

View from above: creativity in Hong Kong

Late last year, Eugenia journeyed to Hong Kong – a megalopolis with the world’s tallest skyline – and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Now the world's third largest art auction market, Hong Kong's profile as an international destination for art & commerce is on the rise. What follows is our first international Made in Metropolis, a foray into vertical creativity.

Blood & Thunder

Kernow Craig, director at Blood & Thunder, has a contagious passion for design and printing. His “publishing concern” (aka studio) is a place with one foot in the printing presses of yore and the other in the binary soup we call the internet. Rafaela Pandolfini visits Blood & Thunder’s new studio in Darlinghurst, Sydney for an insight into a unique, print and pixel design business.

Best in Park: interview with Christina Teresinski

Christina Teresinski believes in dignity and dapperness for humans and dogs alike. As founder and designer at Best in Park, Christina and her team of craftspeople design for canines. In an industry that privileges gimmicks and expendability, Best in Park stands out by producing "old fashioned" products based on quality materials, champion workmanship and classic design.

Curiosity and the social creature

The Social Studio is nestled in the site of a former men’s rave clothing shop on Smith Street, Collingwood. After three years operating as a not-for-profit that encompasses a fashion label, a retail store, training and employment for young people, a café and a digital printing business – word continues to spread at home and abroad about this hybrid house of good things.