Designers on your doorstep

Monash University

Angel Cao

This project explores a concept for a share house with short-term accommodation for up to eight tenants. The main demographic focuses on student housing and accommodation of young adults who may not have the financial means for private housing or individuals who wish to live in a communal environment at a low budget. 

Flexible accommodation is provided through modular furniture units that individuals are able to configure into functional spaces according to the requirements of each occupant. The project can be reconfigured to accommodate both large dormitories and private bedrooms. This sense of community is amplified through the provision of a public zone above the house which can be used for community gatherings and private events for the tenants. Public gardens and internal courtyards are utilised to reduce the boundaries between suburbia and the natural world; thus, tenants are able to stay close to home while still enjoying the natural world, in a way that is uncommon in low-cost communal housing.

Staying at home allowed me to realise in a deeper sense, that the nature of design is always creating an experience first, a sliding scale that is constantly oscillating between the ephemeral and something more permanent. I think it is really easy to think of design as a beautiful building, or the newest version of the latest phone, however, gradually I am recognising design as this continuous experience that I am living though every moment of my life.  

My favourite designed object in my home is currently my wooden nutcracker, I think it is just beautiful to look at. I have never tried to crack nuts with it, and to be honest I wouldn't dare. But I love the colour of it, it reminds me of Christmas, and the love, festivities and familial comfort that that brings, the way he fits into my hand reminds me of great adventures, arabesques and a melody that never quite disappears from one's memory. 


How will our ‘normal’ be redefined in the year 2099? Our climate impact is irreparably changing the earth. Life will transition to the night to escape the heat, and just breathing the air will become a health risk. Filtr will allow us to live comfortably in this world by filtering our sight and breath. AR enhancements will grant vision in smog and darkness. Our world is transformed to a clean paradise, revealing layers of information and even the faces of others otherwise hidden behind their Filtr. Filtr is a reflection of our practices in applying temporary solutions to permanent problems, interpreted through real-world environmental, technological and social trends.

Spending so much time at home has really exemplified how the space we occupy and the objects we use impact our quality of life, and the difference between things we actually need versus things that are just a luxury. It has highlighted the need for good design in the basic elements of our lives. A good, functional living space, or a well designed app for having video calls with loved ones doesn't look as good on instagram as a luxury car interior, but has a far greater impact on the quality of life for its users. 

My current favorite design object is my Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch. I love designs that can combine physical interactions into digital devices, and the way in which the mechanical watch hands move to complement the digital display is very immersive and cool.

IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artists. Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch by Fossil.

Designers on your doorstep

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