Designers on your doorstep

Martha Ackroyd Curtis

This portable toilet is a functional household item. It is ideal for potty training, or to have outside as a portable toilet or even if camping is your 'home' it is ideal as well. This product is about the reality of human bodily function within the home. This potty; a functional and needed home item, is made from recycled Polystyrene, a recycled, functional product, and a needed product for the 21st century HOME.

IMAGE > Martha Ackroyd Curtis, <em>Poly-Potty Portable Toilet™</em>, 2021, recycled polystyrene, 50 x 45 x 25 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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I think the fundamentals of design have not shifted enormously in a sense of objects that are not technologically driven. If though it is about; comfort, your health, your physique then these are areas where growth in design has taken place. I think people can see how through this humbling experience a sense of the environment and products that base around sustainability, especially if you can venture no further than your literal ‘backyard’.

Working at home has initiated during lockdown ways of adapting. I feel we now acknowledge the internet more as a medium to express ourselves creatively. I have worked on projects that have utilised this especially when participating in festivals using live-streaming and this has worked in a lot of really productive ways as people have tuned in from overseas to view.

 I think people can see through this humbling experience a sense of the environment

I live in the City of Yarra with my partner. On our afternoon walks for example when we walk through Fitzroy, there is a small park opposite the charming Napier hotel. In that park is a sculpture with the words courage. The sculpture speaks to the LGBTQIA+ community and acknowledges us, and our history. Across from here is the Fitzroy town hall a beautiful 19th century building with the pride flag, and indigenous flags alongside. There is an apartment that overlooks the park, which has won design awards. The entry into the apartment lobby is lit by neon strips of colour. You can hear the whistling of the wind in the trees of that park. I find it peaceful; a sanctuary of suburban space.

Our upstairs space has windows on both sides, I can see the sprawl of Collingwood, Fitzroy, Abbottsford from our windows. My partner has her cooking books on the bookshelf, with my art books and literature books below it. We have a Yayoi Kasuma pumpkin on our 1930’s New York cabinet, our Keith Haring lampshade lights up the room. The smells of Taiwan offers it’s alluring scent from the kitchen. This is our safest space in the world.

My tiny chair from Bauhaus, Dessau in Germany is quite special. I stayed at the art school there, it was wonderful. On the same trip that I traced my ancestors - who came from Lithuania to Germany, to UK then Australia. The chair is smaller than my hand. A replica: Gerrit Rietveld chair. I visited Dessau again on a road trip from Berlin through to Munich with my partner. We made sure we photographed each other at the famous huge big red door at the entry to the design school.

Bubble tea

  • 30g Tapioca Pearl 
  • 10g Kuan Yan Tea leaf 
  • 50ml fresh Milk  
  • 100g brown Sugar 


Boil Pearl with water with a medium size pot until until pearl is transparent. Strain the pearl. Set aside.

Mix brown sugar (only 2 table spoons of the sugar) with pearl. Simmer Tea in a pot with 400 ml water from cold water for 30 minutes.

Add milk and rest of sugar to tea. Cook until boiling. Make sure the sugar has dissolved. 
Place your tea into the teapot. Waituntil it cools down. Add pearl to bubble cup glass. Pour over the tea. Add ice or extra sugar. 


IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.

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Designers on your doorstep

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