Week 5 – Small Spaces

This Aesop store in Paris by March studios is set within the confines of a shipping container and uses the materiality of the wood create a rich environment












Aesop London by studiolise

After presenting my initial research on Newtown this week to the class which focused on gentrification and the role of artistic spaces I am thinking about how to transform my research into design possibilities but I am exploring design that uses small spaces well. One particular retail project I have been very impressed by are the Aesop stores. Each store from Sydney to Paris uses small spaces in a variety of ways that each have a distinct atmosphere, yet remain cohesive with one another. The lighting and materiality of the stores, down to the graphic design of the product all works harmoniously giving customers a rich experience. March studios is an Australian firm responsible for a number of these.

Another great example of the use of small space is this apartment in Hong Kong. Due to the population density, living in tight spaces is neccessary. How could this cultural norm be encouraged amoungst australians?

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After an inspiring and overwhelming lecture by Louise McWhinney about Typograpy and Visual Communication I will endeavour to find examples of work I like and start coming up with ideas for my book down the track. So far here are a few good ones:

NEO NEO | Graphic Design | Levis










A | architecture magazine layout









A | architecture magazine layout









Scheibler Mitte : Studio Laucke Siebein













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Week 4

I attended a talk by Bill Henson last week. I was fascinated by his description of the darkness and shadow in his work which he described as a way to stimulate  wonder, what goes missing in these shadows? Design that does not reveal everything upon first sight, or that challenges someones perception leaving them uncomfortable or intrigued is a powerful thought to me. As I am researching art spaces as part of my first concept presentation I try and relate Bill Hensons thoughts to this. I see that there is a clash between the often mysterious/chaotic artist studio Vs. the transparent nature of a gallery in which these works end up.

Photograph by Bill Henson from the 1995-1996 Untitled series

Ben Frost at Hibernian house opposite Central stn









There was also a site visit this week to the old tramsheds behind Newtown. The space is huge and the high ceilings have the overpowering and awe effect that you get from cathedrals where you find yourself looking upwards. Immediately I feel as if it would be perfect for some kind of performance/theatre space, something DRAMATIC. It reminds me of a project in Germany that converted an old factory into a music venue, leaving the factory very true to it origins.

I also looked a little further into the newtown arts school on Eliza street. Heres a description I found on it :
Built around 100 years ago, this venue is rampant with creativity, beauty and old school charm. The high ceilings and stunning roof design make it another unique contribution to the long list of fringe homes. The Ballroom began as a gentlemen’s club however is now home to a variety of creative talents. From kung-fu proffessionals, breathing lessons and in keeping with its old school feel, ballroom lessons. The venue is also a home for a variety of painters who permanently reside within the downstairs space. The School of Art is a self funded family business initiative. The ballroom looks amazing, I will have to try get inside for a site visit.

Newtown school of arts interior

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Week 3- New Beginnings, Newtown

So marks the beginning of 4th year. I came armed with a selection of ideas and works that I am interested in. These include the work of Tadao Ando, Parasite architecture, Japanese design, Abandoned spaces, Apartment living and Design that won’t date. These are cast aside as we discover our site for our major project is Newtown and we begin to explore and research the site together.

I am quite happy that Newtown is our site because I am very familiar with it and grew up there. When we are given the task to create a map with 13 points using only adjectives I struggle to understand its significance at first however I look at many familiar places with a new point of view and discover a number of finer details I would normally overlook.

On another tangent. I picked up a copy of Tom Dixons “Interior Worlds” and had a look through what was mainly pictures sourced from all over the world and arranged under the catergories materialism, constructivism, expressionism, primitivism, reductionism and futurism. The chapter on reductionism was of most interest to me and got me thinking about how design could challenge us to consume less and live simpler. I feel that the Australian dream of home ownership and a big backyard needs to be rethought as the city continues to sprawl and infrastructure cannot keep up. Perhaps we could learn to live in smaller spaces and share more facilities like heavily populated cities like Japan do?

Nakagin Tower interior

Nakagin Tower a capsule hotel in Tokyo that challenges peoples perception of space

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