Excerpts Library

These examples of my writing are presented with the permission of the respective copyright holders, to whom I extend my thanks.


“Architects working in the area of Indigenous housing, particularly when it is remote, undoubtedly find themselves partaking of a discourse distant from, and at times even diametric to, that surrounding the Anglo-Australian model. It goes without saying that they will actively negotiate a crucial middle ground between spatial and sociocultural dimensions. Furthermore, they will most likely search for a balancing point between the substantial weights of pragmatic and metaphysical considerations. Yet despite the momentousness of these considerations, they may conclude, as did Finn Pedersen of Iredale Pedersen Hook (IPH) after working in Western Australia’s remote Tjuntjuntjara community, that a house is only a small part of a community. ‘It is literally a piece of infrastructure.’”

From ‘Tjuntjuntjara Housing’ in Architecture Australia (Architecture Media, Melbourne), May/June 2007, Vol. 96, No. 3, pp.70–77

Read the full text here: http://www.architecturemedia.com/aa/aaissue.php?issueid=200705&article=9&typeon=2

“Joo Chiat resonates with its own sense of place and character. Its quiet streets, its architectural links with the past, and its traditional trades and services build an intricately textured experience of everyday life for its residents. Here, potted plants and laundry punctuate back lanes; bananas grow in front yards; tools are tinkered with in dimly lit bicycle repair shops; otah fish cakes sizzle between banana leaves on the grill. This neighbourhood quietly beckons your attention while it simply goes about its daily business.”

From the introductory text in 24 Crane Road (a promotional book published by 24 Crane Road, Singapore), 2010.

See more text and interviews here: http://24craneroad.com/

Befitting its short life span, little more than paint was used to craft Reebok’s first pop-up store. However, the medium was well chosen and deftly handled by experimental design studio Formavision. The temporary retail space was located within a New York gallery, which itself lies within a warehouse building. In this context of art and shifting goods, Formavision mixed 1980s cultural cues with the principles of visual abstraction used by British vorticist artists of the early twentieth century.”

From Interior Pop! (an\b editions, Singapore), 2011, p.104

“There’s something a little twisted about The Manor. It’s not exactly perverse, more celebratory of cynicism. Perth’s bar and club scene was ripe for the arrival of a place that blurs the distinction between the empty dancing spaces of Northbridge, the brash and beer-soaked suburban pubs, and the intimate luxury bars of a few urban pockets. Designer Kristjan Donaldson of Space Consultants embraced The Manor’s intended sense of functional disjunction, as well as the operator’s aim to create a non-mainstream venue. Donaldson’s creation is one where embellishment tackles no-nonsense industrialism, establishment meets pop, and the solid frolics with the paper-thin.”

From ‘The Manor’ in Artichoke (Architecture Media, Melbourne), Issue 19, 2007, pp.87–89

“By engaging children in the fabrication of their own toys (with some adult help), Toy Folder encourages multiple learning experiences as well as good fun. Product designer Rodrigo Solorzano devised the toy-making system in response to the mass consumption and material wastage he perceived in the toy industry. In order to make toy animals such as a gorilla, shark, monkey, or bear, children must first transform Toy Folder’s cardboard packaging into a mini projector. A tear-out shape folds into a zoomorphic holder for the supplied flashlight, slides, and magnifying glass. Patterns for the various toys are then projected from the slides onto the construction material and traced. After cutting and glueing, the toys are ready for play.”

From Cardboard Book (an\b editions, Singapore), 2010, p.267

Read more about Cardboard Book here: http://www.anb-editions.com/new_releases.html

and here (co-edition): http://www.gingkopress.com/03-gra/cardboard-book.html

Read designboom’s book report on Cardboard Book here: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/8/view/12408/designboom-book-report-cardboard-book.html

“What does it mean to be Korean today? Minsuk Cho established Mass Studies in Seoul in 2003 to investigate architectural possibilities in the context of market-driven mass production and the population pressures of the contemporary urban condition. The design approach of this small practice incorporates exploration of the limits of building materials and techniques, space matrixes and culturally specific building typologies.

“Cho is interested in whether ‘heterogeneous mass’ is possible through architecture in the current Korean condition, where the traditional notion of ‘the public’ has been replaced by ‘market dempgraphics’, and public spaces have been replaced by large-scale shopping complexes and the virtual world. Here he talks about crafting an architecture of authenticity in a medium of generics.”

From ‘Interview with Minsuk Cho’ in Creative Capital: Shaping the legacy (Form, Perth), 2007, pp.42–43.

“The unique holiday house created in Bremer Bay by architect Daniela Simon of Perth firm SODAA (Studio of Designers and Architects) for herself and her family is the product of a multifarious study of landscape and place, and of how a holiday-maker would inhabit such a location. Signalling a contemplative coexistence rather than a proud invasion, the house hunkers down non-flamboyantly with components of rammed earth, concrete and rusted steel sheeting. Its cocoon-like spaces are ideal for holiday activities – sleeping, reading and cooking. While the armoured exterior takes the brunt of forceful winds, the ample views – both immediate and distant – have been keenly preserved and sensitively celebrated. In form, materiality and spatial flow, the house speaks of and to its site.”

From ‘Fireproof’ in Houses (Architecture Media, Melbourne), Issue 55, 2007, pp.42–48

“There is an unquestionable degree of familiarity attached to the woven object, the presence of which is certainly due to both its usefulness and relative continuity of form through the ages. Stylisation of woven forms may bear relationship to identity, but abstraction has typically been secondary to function. Materiality has been an indicator – historically of place, and now (with the appropriation of new synthetic materials, methods and styles) of time.”

From ‘Many Hands, Many Voices: Community, continuity and creativity’ in Cultural Strands (Form, Perth), 2006, pp.14–19

Read ‘Lightworks’ – my article discussing Formalhaut’s nocturnal art photography (Architectural Design Research, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008) here: http://issuu.com/brentallpress/docs/adr3_vol3_1

 

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