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homeless shelter

Found in his pocket.

I do not know how I find myself in such strange and bizarre situations.

I cooked dinner for my sisters last Thursday night and they left at 10pm.

At 10:30pm I received a call from Waverley Police Station.

Telephone script:

Police Officer: I am calling from Waverley Police Station, can you please confirm you are Nikita Sheth?

Me:  Yes, that is me. What has happened? Is everything ok?

(I start shaking, stomach churns and I feel like I am going to be sick….I think something has happened to my sisters. I then start to wonder whether I have recently engaged in any ‘illegal’ activity…unless, you include my ‘caroke’ – whereby i place my phone on my speedometer and film myself singing whilst driving the car…then not a chance…)

Police Officer:  We have a strange situation. A man has died in Bondi and we have found your drivers license in his pocket….

Me:  Oh my god. Is he ok?

Police Officer: No…I just said he died.

Me: Oh yes ofcourse…so what do I need to do?

Police:  We believe his death is not suspicious in anyway, it seems he was homeless and quite ill. Have you recently had ordered a new licence?

Me:  Yes, I lost my licence, so ordered a new one, but then found my old one…

Police:  Well, he must have stolen it from your letterbox. It is quite strange that he was carrying it around in his pocket. Anyway.. will you be at home in the next 20 mins? I can drop it around.

The police came and dropped back my license. I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. I felt overwhelmed with emotion for this homeless stranger. I somehow felt connected to his death. He died with my face in his pocket.

I immediately make myself a warm milo and sit in the kitchen by myself just thinking…

Is this some weird omen? Was he going to sell my identity? How long had he been homeless and sick? Was he in pain when he died? Had he left loved ones behind?

I know it sounds morbid, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this homeless stranger.

Whenever I see a homeless person, my mind fills with questions. I can’t help myself, I always wonder what life events have led up to their current situation? What it would be like to live without a roof over your head? Without a sense of ‘home’. It really does make me feel sad. As I am writing this…I am honestly tearing up.

The rain. The cold. The noise. There is no protection.

We get so caught up in our ‘own dramas’ we often take our homes for granted. A place which offers us security and privacy. A place which protects us from the outside elements. A place where we can ‘let go’ of the day and temporarily escape the outside world. It doesn’t matter whether it is a mud hut or a mansion. To sleep with a roof over your head is a true blessing.

There is nothing pretty about homelessness, but it has a face and the faces of people without a home are just like yours and mine.

I just feel so helpless, last year I started volunteering to cook for the homeless once a month (Click here). I know there is so much more I can do, but I guess it is a starting point. Spending time with some of Sydney’s homeless, has presented me the opportunity and allowed me to gain a small insight into the struggles they have to fight daily. One thing that has really resonated with me was the deep irony embedded within homelessness – many of the homeless people feel invisible, yet they have no escape from the public eye. It is this ‘social invisibility’ that is so debilitating and inhumane.

Underpinning good design is finding solutions to problems. It is no wonder that designers all of the world are continually endeavouring to ‘solve’ issues associated with homelessness through addressing problems from a designers perspective. As the briefing for the DR:2-11 Homeless competition stated; “The question is what can design thinking do to contribute to averting homelessness, mitigating its effects and improving the daily life of those who are homeless and proposing different and longer term pathways to social inclusion, housing, and employment”

Check out this article from Fast Ci Design – a series of portraits that confront stereotypes and humanises the homelessness..
Also, check out this blog. It is raw, honest and written by a man that was homeless for five years.
” As a homeless person, I do not want someone to feed me. I do not want someone to house me. I do not want a blanket, and I will not work for food! You have to ask me what it is I need if you want to have an effect”

 homeless shelter


(Image via Architizer)

Vancouver-based studio Molo Design came up with their concept for an easily adaptable shelter back in July of 2011: their “softshelter” system relies on stretchable expanses of kraft paper that can form soft, pliable grids of personal space that click together with magnets or collapse into a series of flat, stackable forms when decommissioned. 

homeless shelter

(Image via Telegraph)

A designer has developed a home that fits in your pocket. The Basic House can be folded and carried around, before inflating to provide a temporary shelter for four people. Martin Azua from Barcelona has constructed the portable abode from metallic polyester. It inflates using body heat or warmth from the sun.

homeless shelter

(Image via Europa Concorsi)


WheelLY a portable, rolling cart+shelter for homeless design by ZO_loft. Mobile architecture

homeless shelter

(Image via Woo Home)

Bulgarian designer Georgi Djongarski makes an unique tent for homeless people. Called I-gloobox, It is made of thick fabric, which is connected together with a band attached to the aluminium of folding. I-gloobox is effective to ward off the cold during winter, and easy to maintenance. Each pocket contains a sufficient property for the needs of these vagabonds.

min tang

(Image via Tree Hugger)

“Folding Bamboo Houses ” – Ming Tang’s temporary shelters “origami inspired” They were developed as temporary shelters for the homeless after last May’s earthquake in China that left millions homeless.

homeless design


(Image via Design Buzz)

Tiny mobile homes that can easily be carried around by a single person, these Instant Housing Shelters by Urban Nomads consist of a metal container with a pop-out tent-like structure, fitted with wheels. The housing unit contains a retractable padded bed, a first aid kit, mirror, whistle, multi-tool, flashlight and a plastic hood with a viewing window.



(Image via Web Urbanist)

Many homeless people gather discarded materials that have value, like aluminium cans, in bags or shopping carts in order to make a little bit of money. Designers Barry Sheehan and Gregor Timlin re-imagined the potential uses of that cart, creating a large, highly visible yellow push-cart that also functions as a shelter.



(Image via Paul Elkin)

Portable and water-tight, this concept for homeless housing by Paul Elkin could  meet the demands of a certain segment of the homeless population that prefers to remain transient. Resembling an extremely compact version of an RV, this low-impact structure contains fold-away furniture, a mattress, a toilet, and even a kitchen.

homeless design

(Image via Web Urbanist)

The ‘Hopetel’ proposes a transient solution for the waves of newly homeless people who have lost their homes due to foreclosure, providing a stable environment while they attempt to get back on their feet.

So there you have it…my round up of cool temporary shelter designs…hopefully some day these prototypes will go into production.

Have a good week!




architecture wave

Getting dumped.

Waves of nausea.

Waves of anxiety.

Waves of sheer panic.

………Waves crashing over my entire body.

Today was a momentous day. I completed my very first ocean swim. My friend, Clauds ‘signed me up’ a week ago. No time for training. No time for pre-race preparation. However, there was time for carb-loading (….like I need an excuse…). There was also time to purchase a long-sleeve rash vest…and yes, I wore it. I can not afford to get another shade darker.

I have always believed that indians lack ‘buoyancy’ (See my post on ‘indian buoyancy’ here). I do wish to disrespect indians, but I do believe we ‘built’ for land activities. But, today I defied all my pre-conceived notions and proved…that we are buoyant.

Admittedly, I did had a minor panic attack. For 300 metres, I literally couldn’t breathe properly. I was gasping. Gurgling. Half crying.  In between each gasp, I was cursing and telling myself this was how I was going to die. Sounds dramatic …but  given my ‘situation’ it was totally justified.

At one point, getting rescued by an attractive surf lifesaver on a jet-ski seemed like the only sensible decision. The waves made me feel like I was in a washing machine. Every time, I tried to take a breath…another wave punched me in the face.

BUT, I was determined not to be ‘rescued’. As my panic attack started to get worse, I suddenly realised that the ‘struggle’ was all in my mind. I would have to mentally ‘soothe’ myself…if I wanted to finish/survive.

I commenced practicing my yoga breathing and made a quick decision to engage in positive ‘self-chat’; “Come on Nix, these waves are like a metaphor to your life…stop resisting and just move forward”. …”Come on Nix, you have survived been dumped before..this is just a bit of water…just keep going”. My thoughts began to mimic the water….deep and intense.

Admittedly, I swam breaststroke for the majority of the race… but as my confidence grew \ (in the last 200m), I slowly transitioned into doing freestyle. It felt good.

The swim was life-changing. It was simultaneously physically, emotionally and mentally challenging. I have not been presented with such a demanding situation in a long time. It was well overdue.  It made me realise how powerful our minds are. It made me realise how are minds and bodies are connected on every dimension. It made me realise that sometimes you just need to breathe and ‘let go’….

Admittedly, I had real trouble getting back to the shore. I got dumped at least three times. My swimming cap came off. I then realised… that my legs could actually touch the sand. Highly awkward. So ….I just used my legs to walk out.

To top off the whole experience, the MC announced my name on the loud speaker…”Congratulations, Nikita Sheth”…(apparently with the new microchip  technology displays your name on a screen).

I immediately spotted my friend Clauds. We hugged, fist pumped the air and… I shed a small tear from the emotional trauma, exhaustion and relief that I had actually made it to shore.

AND admittedly, I haven’t taken my medal off all day. I am going to even wear it in the shower.

It will be a long time before I EVER do anther ocean swim …but for now, I am just happy it is another item ticked off my bucket list.

Waves. They can dump you. They can disorient you. They can challenge your stability, mental strength and resistance.

Waves. They can help you ride to shore. They can assist you. They can propel you forward. They can be full of possibility, hope and elation.

But that is the beauty of waves, you never really know the amount of force they will deliver. Waves are unpredictable in shape and form, yet they all have an undulating quality. They all embody the fundamental forces of energy. They can be soft and peaceful or energetic and forceful. No two are ever the same. They are the ultimate earthly frontier.

It is no wonder that waves have been such a source of inspiration to so many architects around the globe. Look at these beauties…

wave architects

The wave in Vejle, Denmark – Henning Larsen Architects.

(Image via Pin  Home Ideas)

wave architecture

Cardiff Bay by Light Bureau

(Image via Enlightermagazine)

wave inspiration

Wave mural by Dominique Antony

(Image via Dooby Brain)


wave architecture

(Image via CDN Photos)

architecture wave

(Image via Surfer Living)

wave architecture

GT Tower East In Seoul, South Korea by Architecten Consort.

(Image via thesetingstaketime)

And here are a couple of wave-inspired interiors…

wave architecture

(Image via  Julio Himede)

wave architecture

(Image via Cabbage Rose)

Happy Sunday night.

..and remember if you get dumped, just pick yourself and ride another wave back to shore.


Water Sign.

I was born on the Cancer-Leo cusp.

Emotional, nurturing, intuitive, sensitive, moody…possessing many of the Cancer traits, I consider myself to be a Cancerian.

Cancers are ruled by the moon and belong to the element of water.

Admittedly, I usually read both horoscopes and pick which one I like best….

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and I guess over the years I have come to believe in various elements of astrology.

Whilst I have never been a strong swimmer (i’ve heard Indians have a lower buoyancy to most), I do love the feeling of being submerged and moving through water.  After all, I am a water sign.

I never really swam at school…preferred being on land. However over the last few years, I have consciously integrated ‘swimming laps into my exercise regime and my ‘buoyancy’ has definitely improved!

Growing up, our family vacations revolved around the beach, but I have never lived near the water….

until  last week…

Yes, I made the move. Right near the beach. I have never considered myself a ‘beach babe’. I get way too dark, too quickly (ie. You can only see the whites of my eyes and teeth when the lights turn off) and I can’t stand on a surfboard to save myself.

But…there is just something so magical about staring out into the sea. I believe humans have an innate visual appreciation of the sea.

Many people seek out the ocean in times stress or emotional crisis. It is no wonder that popular holiday destinations are by the sea. I often wonder why this is?! Maybe it is the sheer vastness, that reminds us of the ‘bigger picture. Maybe it is the consistent movement of the water – large swells followed by stillness.  Or something to do with the smell and taste of salt.

Like us, the ocean has different moods. Dark and broody. Bright and exultant. It always in flux. Never the same. Each day it is different.

I believe that humans are possess some sort of archaic magnetism to the ocean. We recognise the ocean as part of us. I guess on some deep proverbial level it is – water is the lifeblood of humans.

Being near the water soothes me. It grounds me. A dip in the salt water, recharges my energy. I also found out that scientific research proves that the sound of waves alters wave patterns in the brain lulling you into a deeply relaxed state.

It is no wonder that so many people live by or on the water. Have a look at some of these ‘floating houses’  I found …such beauties…

house boat

(Image vua Kulfoto)

house boat


Atleast you wouldn’t have any trouble with the neighbours here!

(Image via Ms Arichter)


house on water

(Image via Becoming Roux)


house on the water

(Image via Pinterest)

House on the water in Bayview, Idaho. Photo by Katrina Bondra


house on the water


Coolest houseboat ever!!

house on water

(Image via Becoming Roux)

house on the water

(Image via Bourgeois Bohemianism)


house design


Dutch studio Ruud Visser Architects have tranformed a 1930s church into a house in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

(Image via Dezeen)



Only in Kashmir. Gorgeous.

(Image via Just Call Me Grace)


house boat

I love this one…it is like something out of a fairytale.

(Image via Pinterest)

And here is one of my favourite tunes; Frank Ocean, Swim Good:


Now…I just want to go live on a houseboat for a few weeks!


N x





acoustic panel

Blind Date.

For reasons, (that I am not going to get into)…I have embarked on a Dude Detox / Man Ban/ Men Zen.


It is day 22…


Anyways, the purpose of this whole ‘exercise’ is to spend time focusing on being the best person I can possibly be (i know it sounds a little cheesy…) but I believe that we can sometimes get so wrapped up in our daily routine that we often forget to ‘slow down’ and spend a bit of time looking inward and alone.


I am using this time to really do things I enjoy and not worry about what the future may or may not hold. In just 22 days I have visited an art events (Sydney Contemporary & Art Up Late 10th Anniversary), visited a museum, spent a whole afternoon in a bookstore café by myself just reading/writing/drinking coffee, gone on a bushwalk with my parents, attended a nude drawing class, swam countless laps (whilst getting 4 shades darker), attended numerous yoga classes, watched a foreign film, went to a hipster ‘soup party’, made 4 new friends and have re-connected with old friends…


However, I believe the best part that has arisen from this whole ‘dude detox’ is my discovery of the Achillies Running Group. It is a fantastic group which I am now proudly a member of!


Every Sunday morning (at 8am…a killer!) I now go running with visually-impaired individuals around The Domain & Centennial Park. Ok, so I am not going to lie….it has been a MASSIVE personal challenge. I was born with the ‘directional’ segment of my brain missing. I honestly can’t tell my left from my right. It is not a joke.  wish it was. I even repeated Year 1. The only way I can tell is from a small freckle on my left hand. This does not always work. At 3am after a big night out…. this ‘freckle’ becomes a little hazy (I apologise to ALL the Sydney taxi drivers who have driven around in circles….).


I really do need to improve my directional abilities as I nearly ran my visually-impaired friend into a tree last week. Luckily she had an amazing sense of humour…..I on the other hand was mortified.. (I am now spontaneously ‘pop-quizzing’ myself every day; ‘Point left….Quick, turn right..”. I Do it waiting for my morning coffee. I do when driving my car. Practise makes perfect…right?!


Spending time with the members of Achillies, has made me realise how our culture is so visually dependent. We rely on our vision so heavily, that sometimes we ‘forget’ we have 4 other wonderful senses.


Each Sunday I am paired with a different visually-impaired friend. Each with their own story and experiences. It has honestly opened up my world. I am almost a little envious – they experience the world so differently…in a way people with full-sight will never understand. I just feel so lucky to be a part of this group so atleast I can get a glimpse into a world without sight.

Just this morning one of the members told me; “Nikita, it is so great being blind – my electric bill will always be lower than yours and every time I go on a date the girl is a 10/10”.

Who needs man-dates when I can have multiple (amazing) blind dates each Sunday morning?


My job working at an Architecture & Design publishing firm is centred around the visual. What is the colour scheme of the space? Are all the pieces of furniture compositionally-balanced? Is the lighting to harsh? It seems that we neglect our other senses in favour of sight.

We should also be asking; How did the space filter sounds? What did the texture of the finishes on the wall feel like? Did the openness of the space make you feel a certain way?


However, spaces have so much to offer our other senses. Weshould really be making a conscious effort to invite all our senses to experience a space to endeavour to have a ‘holistic’ experience.

Since volunteering at Achillies, I have definitely become more conscious of sound. I know this is a little strange, but the other day I even tried to have a shower with my eyes closed. It was a huge struggle….I ended up getting shampoo in my eyes and then burning myself with the hot water. But after I relaxed a little I began to experience the shower like I never ad before. I focused on the sound of the water to gauge it’s pressure. I focused on the feel of the water. I also focused on the sound of my beautiful voice singing “Can’t Hurry Love” (Jokes! Ok, maybe not joking…something has to get me through dude detox!). It was a real eye-opening experience (excuse, the pun!). You should give it a try….


Architectural acoustics contribute significantly to the enjoyment and function of a space. For example a hospital or university lecture theatre require sound to be absorbed, whilst a concert hall needs to be designed to accentuate the characteristics of the music or actors voices. In the workplace, unwanted noise can interfere with privacy, concentration and productivity. Acoustic panelling is an important feature of many building spaces. Acoustic Panels help control or eliminate sound waves from bouncing off hard surfaces. See below for a round up of some aesthetically pleasing and well-designed acoustic panels.

acoustic panel

(Image via Formnation)

acoustic panel

Origami-inspired acoustic ceiling panels…gorgeous!

(Image via Designboom) 

acoustic panel

I love the texture and shapes of these panels.

(Image NoShapeNoShade) 

acoustic panel

(Image via Co Design)

acoustic panel

Meeting Space by Richard Shed Studio. So cute!

(Image via Yatzer)

acoustic panel

Hexagonal acoustic panels – a great way to add colour into a space.

(Image via Pinterest)

acoustic panel

(Image via mostbeautifulpages.com)

acoustic panel

(Image via designboom.com)

acoustic panel

(Image via Bertrand Grimont)

acoustic panel

Hoshakuii Station

(Image via Architonic)

acoustic panel

Gorgeous lines!

(Image via Designboom)

OK, I’m off to cook some dinner!

Happy Sunday NIght.

N x

sydney indesign

Getting SID faced.

For the last 3 days I have been getting absolutely SID faced.

No it is not a spelling error – SID is the abbreviation for the Sydney’s number one design event “Sydney Indesign” (This event is created/run by Indesign Group – the company I work for).

Although….admittedly, every night last week I was also getting quite sh*t faced too. Don’t judge…we had reason to celebrate!

nikita sheth

It has taken over a year to organise this event. Like when organising most big events, there is a certain void when it is comes to an end (although I think my liver and voice box are celebrating it is over).

Check out the website here: http://www.sydneyindesign.com.au/

How it works:

– The event was over 3 days.

– 6 different precincts around Sydney open up their showrooms. Buses take participants around to all the different showrooms.

– The Galleria (see below)

Whilst the event has been going for over 10 years. This year we decided that it was time to evolve. Drawing inspiration from Milan Fair, we introduced the “Galleria” – a gorgeous industrial warehouse at Australian Technology Park.

We aimed to step away from the whole ‘tradeshow’ concept and use this 3000 sqm to encourage to create an experiential space. We encouraged suppliers to encourage people to engage with their brands rather than their products. We encouraged creativity and collaboration. We wanted attendees to walk away feeling inspired, rather than with a catalogue.

It was an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase to the industry what they are all about – their personality, culture and energy – and gives our audience of architects, interiors designers and creatives the opportunity to discover new design, build their industry knowledge and develop meaningful relationships. It’s about educating, networking, socialising and exchanging ideas.

The result…..was truly unique. A complete visual feast. Your eyes couldn’t help but darting around the space – up to the ceiling down to the ground.

I met lots of inspiring people. I saw lots of truly innovative products. I couldn’t take the smile off my face (EXCEPT when I stacked it down the skateboard ramp (with a wine in hand) created by Mafi, a flooring company – SO embarrassing and I have a nice bruise on my elbow as a memento).

I feel so lucky to have been a part of Sydney Indesign. It was 100% a team effort and I admittedly am a little shocked that we managed to pull it off!).

Highlights; Special Sydney Indesign inspired Gelato Messina (by Designer Rugs), Indigenous dancing (by Tapetti Rugs), Educational Discussion Series (My favourite was; ‘Adaptive Reuse – Is the Old New New?’ involving Tim Ross), Beer Pong (at Blu Dot), a delicious lunch (by Coco Republic & Smeg)….and SO much more…

If you are interested keep your eye out for all the news on www.indesignlive.com and www.habitusliving.com.

Indesign event will be in Melbourne next year & it is free to register so keep your eye out…

Last night was our after party, it involved a lot of pizza and a little too many glasses of wine. We all definitely let our hair down…we deserved to ‘treat ourselves’!

Here is my roundup of the event…

sydney indesign


Bump in day…(on a side note: So many hot men constructing ‘things’…definitely made the day a little easier!)

sydney indesign


I never want to see a cardboard box again. Yes, we had to construct 800 of them for the Habitus lounge ‘feature wall’ #nobudget.

sydney indesign


The outside of The Galleria!

sydney indesign


Birds eye view of the Kezu showroom – such a stunning set up.



Nikita to All…I suck at this walkie talkie thing. Copy that. Over.

sydney indesign


Gorgeous umbrellas by Basil Bangs.


sydney indesign


Yes…this is the one I stacked it down.

sydney indesign




I am absolutely shattered. It’s only 8:19pm…but I think it is time for bed.

nikita sheth

Over & out.

N x

concrete jungle

Concrete Jungle – where dreams are made…


I came face to face with concrete very early on in life. And not by choice.


At age 2, (in true ‘red bull’ spirit) I attempted to ride my tricycle down a flight of stairs …. and laded face first onto the concrete landing.


I split my head open and still today have a scar on my forehead. (No.. its not cool like Harry Potter’s…its actually blue in colour and just acts as a daily reminder of my early battler days).


Concrete is commonly perceived as dull, cold and drab. It is often associated with depressing industrial buildings that lack any emotion or soul. I beg to differ. I believe that when applied thoughtfully, concrete can be very poetic. Some of my favourite buildings have been created purely out of concrete – creating strong lines, which command attention. There is nothing soft about pure concrete.


Every building in some way or form utilises concrete for structural purposes. I just love the way concrete can step out from behind the  (metaphorical) ‘walls’ and become the main feature. The architectural underdog prevails!


Concrete fits perfectly with an Industrial design style.  Exposed concrete combined with timber and copper creates a distinctly urban feel.


Whether it is polished or finished, I love the rawness of concrete.


Concrete is not loved by all. Treehugger blogger Llyod Alter argues that; “Concrete is just about the worst material going; it is heavy. And in a world where we worry about our carbon footprint, the manufacture of cement is responsible for 5% of the Carbon dioxide produced every year”. It is an interesting take and reinforces that every material has its own pros & cons when it comes to application. (Read More Here)


However, of late, concrete seems to be transcending the realm of architecture and sweeping the world of fashion and accessories. Concrete is inherently a very versatile material. Subsequently, from bags to jewellery to vases, concrete is increasingly being used as a form of artistic expression.


My friend Mel’s family owns a chain of pubs in Melbourne and they just renovated their fifth Melbourne venue ; “Prahan Hotel’.  Designed by Techne Architects, it is a concrete lovers dream – 17 concrete pipes, weighing between four and seven tonnes each, climb the side of the pub’s classic 1940s facade. Read more about it here on the Cool Hunter. I must to book my next trip to Melbourne ASAP – I need to see this!




concrete design

concrete design

“The use of large stacked concrete pipes for the street façade of the addition struck a chord for multiple reasons,” state the architects. “They have a depth and can be interactive, they have a dramatic, sculptural quality, they reference existing internal circular motifs and they suggest stacked kegs or barrels.” (Via Domus).

In anticipation of my visit to the world’s concrete jungle (aka NYC), I want to spread my love for concrete it is many forms.

concrete design


Concrete is sweeping the lighting world. MInimalist designs with clean lines. I love the above lighting – Heavy is a collection of thin-walled, cast concrete lights by Benjamin Hubert available as a pendant, desk or wall light.

(Image via Freshome)


A Douglas Friedman creation! Love, love, love that concrete staircase – although you wouldn’t want to stack it…

(Image via Pinterest)







concrete design

(Image via Freshome)

Concrete tiling adds texture to a space. The above Concrete Collection is designed by photographer Tom Haga who photographs raw and refined concrete walls, raw cinder block walls and even graffiti, in locations right across Norway. The high-resolution images are then transformed into wallpaper.

concrete chair


Not very comfortable…

(Image via Pinterest)


concrete architecture

Studio Seilern Architects

(Image via  backstage.worldarchitecturenews.com)

concrete ring


Gorgeous concrete rings (wouldn’t want to be punched in the face with one of these!)

(mage via designboom.com)


Concrete doesn’t have to be cold…

(Image via micasaessucasa.tumblr.com)

concrete bag

I am secretly in love with this concrete bag… Ivanka Design Studio. Gorgeous.

(Image via Design Milk) 


Gorgeous application of concrete.

(Image via riazzoli.blogspot.com.es)

concrete nespresso

Israeli designer Shmuel Linski created an espresso machine called Espresso Solo using concrete as the primary material. He wanted to make a desirable consumer product for the kitchen from concrete to complement the other more typical uses of concrete in our kitchens such as walls or countertops.

(Image via design-milk.com)

concrete jungle

(Image via edificecomplex.tumblr.com)


concrete jungle

(Image via archdaily.com)

concrete watch

(Image via dzmitrysamal.com)

concrete bag

Yes, please!

(Image via Pinterest) 

Hopefully I have inspired you to see concrete in a slightly different way. It’s not so boring….I could actually spend hours and hours doing this.

Officially obsessed with concrete. Yes…I am wierd.

Happy Sunday.

N x


The (orgasmic) event of the year…

All bias aside, this weekend I went to ‘the event’ of the year for all Design Lovers (in Australia).

Furniture. Showrooms. Crowds of Design Hunters. Mulled wine. Paella. Taps. Bathtubs. Art.

This year it took place in Melbourne (next year it will be in Sydney!)

Saturday In Design. (Hosted by Indesign – the company I work for).

7000 design hunters. 70 showrooms. 7 glasses of wine….every hour!

The event works like this:

* There are set preccincts in Melbourne (ie. Richmond, Collingwood etc)

* Commercial/Residential companies open their showrooms.

* They transform their showrooms and spaces, being inspired by ‘the theme’ (this year it was: Activate). They serve amazing food and even more amazing drinks (from botanical gins to mulled wine).

* Buses take scores of people around to the different showrrooms over the weekend.

* In the evening, we let our ‘hair down’ and have a few (too many) wines. This year they had organic gin infused with ‘Botanicals’ ..very interesting. After 4 of those..i don’t remember how it tasted!

I was honestly in my element. Admittedly, it was hectic (and very tiring) going to each and every showroom, ensuring all the clients were happy.

Best part about my job is that it never feels like work!

One of the best parts of Saturday in Design for me, was the installation art pieces. I love, love, love installation art. I love the way it has the capacity to envelope your complete being. It often forces you to readjust your perspective. It has a way of tickling your other senses, thereby making sight secondary. Whether you just want to reach out and touch something or transport you into a semi-meditative state via the sound an intallation piece can emmulate.

An amazing installation at Satrudau in Design was doen by Earp Bros – they are a tile company….Ket’s face it, tiles are not the most exciting thing, however they cleverly created a light & sounds show onto the tiles in a darkened room. I was immediatley transfixed and ultimatley sat for 5 minutes watching a bunch of tile son a wall…I genuinely felt like I had been entertained. OK, so it was no Destiny’s Child concert, but still…. best god damn tiles I have ever seen!

Here are some of my pics….

And here are some other awesome installation pieces I have found!

(Image via Pinterest)

(Image via Tumblr)


From greenfield-studio.com


(Image via Dornob)

The Lovers (Jetée) by Neomie Goudal

(Image via weepling)

(Image via From berndnaut.nl)

A people sculpture!

(Image via From khooll.com)

Ok, I am very sleep deprived…so over and out! Hope you enjoyed.

N x

Brothers or Lovers?

Long strong legs. Beautiful posture. Always supportive.


I have a deep love for chairs. Ones that resemble royalty, all upholstered sitting in a pompous dining room. Ones that are shabby, kicked to the curb like orphans. Even ones that molest you, enveloping your entire body, almost creating a sense of suffocation. I love them all.

Yesterday night  I had the privilege to see the premiere of Eames: The Painter & The Artist.

I’m not going to lie… I walked into the film thinking that Charles & Ray Eames were brothers. WRONG. They were lovers. The documentary unravelled the inner workings of the evolution of the Eames business and its legacy. In a synchronous manner, it detailed the development of their designs juxtaposing the societal context with the intimate journey of Charles & Ray Eames relationship.

At times, it felt a little too personal. I felt like I was watching Charles & Ray through their living room window. Catching glimpses of their most private moments. It was honest and at times quite confronting.

Ray Eames was a strong women. I firmly believe she was the brains behind the success of Eames furniture. Despite her being in Charles shadow, her eccentric and pedantic nature is what gave Eames designs their ‘edge’.

I definitley recommend you to borrow it on DVD.

Eames chairs are truly timeless. They are synonymous with good design. They transcend style, culture and social context – with the ability to assimilate into any space. They naturally command attention, without being ‘attention-seeking’.

One day it is my dream to own one!

(Image via apenthus.blogspot.com)

The famous lovers! Oh, so cute!

(Image via apenthus.blogspot.com)

(Image via LoneArrangers Tumblr)

This has to be my favourite picture! Very magical.

(Image via sfgirlbybay.com)

Actually no, this one is my favourite. Combination of my two favourite things – tribal rug with Eames chair. Really proves the timelessness of Eames designs .

(Image via media.tumblr.com)

Another beauty.

(Image via bloodandchampagne.com)

From 20kvadrat.se

(Image via theminimalisto.tumblr.com)

I love Eames Chairs…but perhaps not this much!

I’ve decided that I am going to draw/paint a series of Eames Chairs…it will do…FOR NOW!



Move up. Move down. Move In. Move Out.

Whilst watching a game of Olympics table tennis – a thought hit me sideways. If you strip away all the medallions, crowds, marketing surrounding at a fundamental level the Olympics is really about…human movement. Athletes moving in a certain way – jumping, swimming, throwing, spinning…

We are constantly moving. Everyday we move around various spaces. Interiors and exteriors. We sit. We stand. We dance. I believe we take our movement around spaces sometime for granted. Sometimes our surroundings are only consciously processed when something is out of place, when something looks extraordinary or when it inflicts pain (stubbing your toe against a skirting board = the worst pain EVER!)

Human movement is important for us to understand because it can be used to improve design.

Once a building is built we are forced to move around it in a certain way. The walls are fixed, so we change our behaviour. It is therefore important for architects, interior designs etc. to carefully study human movement and behaviour in order to create efficient designs!

Even the height and position of an persons head, eyes and ears impact how they perceive your building — influencing not only how they interact within it, but also, how they will remember it and explain it to others.

As part of my recent assessment, I had to draw a floor plan and note the ways people can interact and walk around the space (see below)

Check out these inspirational photographs of buildings and people moving about them….

(Image via sensingarchitecture.com)

(Image via pnch)

(Image via MInimalist Decor)

(Image via younesbounhar.com)

(Image via PInterest)

(Image via.calatrava)

My stomach is moving now….(I.e grumbling)- time for some some kettle chilli chips x

I like it on top.

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks immersed in the world of google sketch up. I’ve cried. I’ve smiled. I’ve wanted to punch my screen. It has been an emotional journey.

I’ve been completing the module – ‘Apply Residential Processes’ – essentially I have had to fulfil a brief for an open plan residential living/dining room;  source furniture, space planning and creating a 3D render in sketchup.

A key part of the assessment was to draw spacial & movement plans from a birds eye view. I love seeing things from this angle. The view from the top is like no other. It somehow puts things in perspective, yet creates a sense of being removed.

Here are my very first google sketchups….lots of ‘room to improve’ (excuse the pun!).




Menno Aden is a very talented artist who has creates a series of artworks, based on birds eye perspective of interiors. He installs a  camera on the ceiling of various rooms and takes pictures downwards of the interiors. The resulting images lay out space in symmetrical compositions that look like assemblages stripped off any kind of objectivity.

Behind his work is the  notion of surveillance which is systematically played out by the artist to hint at society’s voyeuristic urge that popular culture has made mainstream.



All image above via Menno Aden)

Looking at things from a different perspective – can be inspirational. can create art. can lead to clarity.

Give it a go.

Happy Sunday Night.

N x


Olympics – Sports-obsessed Sneaker Freaker strikes again.

Last Friday night, Sneaker Freaker walked into the house with a massive cardboard box. I am quite desentised to his large ‘cardboard box’ escapades- massaging footstools, automated robot cleaner, electronic salt & pepper shakers…I have seen the lot.

Proudly he announced, “We are new owners of an Xbox!”. Rolling my eyes ( I am adverse to any type of ‘gaming’) he quickly followed with; “BUT…it has Foxtel installed on it”. I suddenly changed my tune. I found myself very excited (grand designs, re-runs of offspring, movies….awesome.)

After setting up the Xbox, Sneaker Freaker went to Melbourne for the weekend  and I was left with the “Foxtel”. Woo…or not.

However, as I flicked through the channels…I found myself scrolling though the channels which looked like this…

London 1

London 2

London 3


Sports-obsessed, Sneaker Freaker failed to mention that he had only purchased the ‘Olympic Channels’. Ha.

I’m not going to lie – I am addicted. Yes, you have the Olympic ‘haters’ …and then you have the Olympic lovers (i fall into the second category). What is not to love -rippled muscles, hunky men, warm/fuzzy sportsmanship…oh and ofcourse excellent athletic abilities.

Yes, I have been struck down with Olympic fever. I have found myself immersed in the world of table tennis, gymnastics, air pistol (yes…it IS a sport). It is guilt-free procrastination. Instead of doing my Diploma assignments, I am supporting my country ( a way bigger, better cause than selfishly doing some manual drafting).

Watching these athletes transcends the screen. It provides the ‘average joe’  with a renewed sense of achievement and capability. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched sweaty, beer-bellied 50+ year olds try and ‘long jump’ at my gym this morning – all part of the gyms ‘Mini Olympics’. Good on them!

Ok, enough of my Olympic rant. Ofcourse there are the athletes…but then there are the buildings. The spaces & places the athletes use to compete. In my eyes, the buildings are just as important (and beautiful) as the athletes themselves…

London 2012 Olympic Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

London 2012 Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

(Image via Nest Interior Design)

2012 Olympic shooting venue designed by Magma Architecture

THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BY FAR…I love Anish Kapoor (have already booked tics to see his work at the MCA in Sydney in February- so excited)

Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond – Orbit London Olympics 2012

(Image via Arch Daily)

Inside the Olympic Village…must admit don’t find the interior (especially the bedspreads) too exciting.

(Image via idesignarch)

Also on a side note, I am a massive Banksy fan – was very excited to see these two new pieces pop up on his site!

I’m a big Banksy fan so I was thrilled when these two new pieces showed up on his site.

OK better go…Olympics are calling!

Ni x

Neglected Beauty.

Abandonment. Neglected. Isolated.

These are harsh words that immediately evoke a sense of desolation and lonliness. If a colour had to be assigned to symbolically represent these words it would be a bland grey.

Upon my daily walk to work, there is an abandoned house which I am consistently drawn to. Curiosity. engulfs me. Everyday, I greedily dart my eyes trying to catch a good glimpse and attempting to memorise all the derelict furniture and random objects that litter the garden. I never stop to stare. That would be ‘socially’ wrong.

Rusted. Fragmented. Chaos.

Whilst some may find that ‘dirty’ or unappealing – for some reason I find a certain hidden beauty in the abandoned house. I wonder who lived there. I wonder why they left. I wonder why no one has gone to clean it up. I almost like no knowing as it invited me to create my own story…

Abandoned spaces and places are random, but not unique. They are dotted all over the world. A space can only ever possess a certain amount of energy, the rest is filled by human presence.  I believe, that without human contact for a delayed amount of time- a building can lose it soul. It becomes souless.

Inspired by abandonment, I share the below images with you…in hope that you too, can see an element of beauty and mystery….

(Image via Pinterest)

(Image via From girlalamode.co.uk)

(Image via  Retronaut)

(Image via Yellow Trace)

(Image via The Coolist)

(Image via The Coolist)

(Image via commons.wikimedia.org)

(Image via lolli.soup.io)

An abandoned fairground..100% freaky.

(Image via lovethesepics.com)

So next time you see an abadoned space or place – don’t write it off as an eyesore. Instead, try to see the beauty in the colour of the rust, the texture of the broken or derelict framework/structure.

Happy Sunday Night!

N x