Wrinkles in the City

French photographer and street artist JR has just finished working in collaboration with a Brooklyn based artist Jose Parla for the biennale in Havana, Cuba. Previously having worked on projects in LA, Shanghai and New York, his participation in the biennale involved a massive public art project using the buildings of Havana as his canvas.

JR photographs elderly Cuban locals and enlarges them to an enormous, over sized scale. Together with Parla they then paste the images on the buildings exteriors and Parla then paints over top. Parla also adds texture and depth by plastering the surfaces to further enhance the elderly images on the structures.

The ‘Wrinkles of the city’ project beautifully represents the people of that city and the architecture that it’s affixed too. The wrinkles on the elderly faces tell a very personal story with imperfections  celebrated. Similar to the portraits, the city’s architecture has a parallel story of time and the imperfections that have occurred during it’s life. Probably the most compelling feature of this project is the way in which we look at these building and the way in which we look at the local people. These elderly people and the aged faces upon the walls tell the tale of the life that exists or once existed within each structure. These people have lived through the Cuban Revolution like the building and both come together for this project.

Too often society is too focused on the future and never takes time to reflect on the past. Architecture sometimes can quite easily be knock down. Old buildings are steeped in history and removing them removes all the history and beauty of the past. Buildings and their imperfections should be celebrated, as life should be celebrated and I feel this project does exactly that.



vietnamese inspiration

Vietnamese / Japanese architect collaboration Vo Trong Nghia are the masterminds behind the Saigon house ‘Stacking Green’. The front and back facades are made up of layers of concrete planters cantilevered from two side walls. The effect is a stunning green wall of beautiful, tropical plants. Each of the planters has been designed with the height of the plants in mind, giving an organic staggered effect to the otherwise crisp and modern building. My favourite aspect of the house though, is the view from inside out. It’s a complete oasis once your inside the front door. A tranquil piece of architecture in an otherwise chaotic city.

vo trong nghia Saigon 'Stacking Green' house Vo Trong Nghia Saigon 'Stacking Green' house

Vo Trong Nghia Saigon 'Stacking Green' houseVo Trong Nghia Saigon 'Stacking Green' houseVo Trong Nghia Saigon 'Stacking Green' houseVo Trong Nghia Saigon 'Stacking Green' house

cycas design in Richmond this sat

Head down to our Eco Outdoor Richmond showroom in Melbourne to bounce some of your garden and design ideas off Mark Browning from Cycas Landscape Design. Eco Outdoor are privileged to be hosting Mark between 10-12noon on Saturday 5 November. So pop in with a load of ideas, a couple of pictures on your phone, some sketches, plant ideas or just come on in with an open mind and chat with Mark about how your outside space can be designed. See below an interview with Mark, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

A little from our Spring Expert In-Store

Richmond – 5 November 2011 – 10-12pm

Mark Browning

Cycas Landscape Design

Describe your style.

In a nutshell; modern contemporary. I love floating edges and cantilevers (hence why the guys and girls at Eco are always dropping rebated edge paver samples into my studio!). I also love natural stone and timber and always strive to combine natural materials into my designs.

What inspires you?

The American modernism and contemporary architecture in general; the Kaufmann House in Palm Spring by Richard Neutra in particular. The minimalist approach in landscape design always inspires me and I love seeing product used in unusual and challenging ways to create real beauty.

Your favourite outdoor space?

That’s a hard one… I’m torn between the magnificence of the Walls of Jerusalem national park in Tasmania and some of the incredible designed public spaces in and around Melbourne such as Federation Square. Oh and my own pool once the weather picks up!

One tip for people as they head into Spring?

Get ready for spring as soon as you can because the growth is going to be berserk. I’d also put your solar heating on for grand final day (either NRL or AFL) as a quick dip during game time can be very refreshing!

Mark Browning, Cycas Landscape Design Mark Browning, Cycas Landscape Design Mark Browning, Cycas Landscape Design

interview with luke baldwin of site landscapes

In only 9 days our Waterloo showroom will be hosting another Spring Expert in-store. Between 10 -12 on November 5 Luke Baldwin of Site Landscapes will be in the showroom to talk with you about your garden design. If there are any ideas you may have in the back of your mind, or maybe you’re looking for some inspiration come in and have a chat. Luke is the mastermind behind Site Landscapes’ beautiful work, so check out his interview below, click through to his website and come in and see him next Saturday, November 5!

Describe your style.

My style differs from garden to garden. The inspirational starting point for me is always different; we’re working with a different house, a different outdoor space, not to mention a different client. I try to understand what inspires my client and create a design that reflects that, and resonates with their home and any existing features outside.

What inspires you?

Change. I like the idea of changing a space to create purpose, style and function. For me, a lot of the devil is in the detail. I’m always looking for new design ideas and different techniques and methods. It’s the little things that bring a garden to life and create a space that people want to be in.

Your favourite outdoor space?

Commonwealth Park in Canberra on a sunny Autumn day and Ballast Park in Sydney – I love the form and scale of the place.

One tip for people as they head into Spring?

Spring is the perfect time to get your garden ready for summer! If you’re planning on getting some professional work done, now is the time to get some advice so you can get moving. Do the work now (or better still get someone else to do it!) and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the outdoor living space you’ve created as the weather warms up.

Luke Baldwin

Site LandscapesSite Landscapes

michael cooke’s open garden

It’s that time of year again when Michael Cooke, of Michael Cooke Garden Design, opens up the the gates to his central coast property Hawthorne Stud for the public to visit. Full of hidden areas, the garden twists and turns and takes you each time to a place more beautiful than the next. With a natural pond, jetty, stables, outdoor rooms, a swimming pool and the most stunning planting this open weekend is not to be missed! Swing by: 77 George Downes Drive, Central Mangrove 12th & 13th November from 10am.

Hawthorne Stud Hawthorne StudHawthorne Stud Invitation

interview with peter fudge

Our Danks St Waterloo showroom will be hosting the well known ‘Peter Fudge’ from ‘Peter Fudge Gardens’ on the October long weekend.

So if you are in town make sure you swing in and introduce yourself as we are really excited about having Peter join us and can’t wait to hear his design advice for everyone’s outdoor areas, so get organised now as it’s sure to be a hive of activity!

You can get a small taste into Peters style of work below or click here to be explore his projects and profile in a little more detail.

Describe your style Contemporary with a classic infusion. Architectural, strong and bold with eye catching planting schemes.

What inspires you? The simplicity of nature and how she arranges textures, colours and materials that are unique to each particular place.

Your favourite outdoor space? A garden designed early in my career, located in the Southern Highlands which continues to evolve and excite every year.

One tip for people as they head into Spring Think about how you can make your garden more functional, enabling you to utilise it as much as you desire once the warmer days and nights arrive.

interview with ken pattinson

Saturday the 1st of October, you can expect to see landscaping expert ‘Ken Pattinson’ from ‘Art in Green’ in our Brookvale showroom.

Ken will be ready to answer any of your questions and take at look at images, magazine cutouts, materials and just about anything that will help describe your space and what you would like to do with it a little easier. So start compiling it all now for the 10am kick off!

In the meantime, enjoy reading reading through our interview below with Ken and if you are interested in checking out more on ‘Art In green’ click here.

Describe your style Art in Green’s style has continued to be guided by the same objective for over 18 years… to create ‘gardens for life’. Our team works closely with our clients to assess their lifestyle, house style, site conditions and budget, and then work collaboratively, using our skills and experience to guide the process, to create the best garden for the client’s lifestyle.

What inspires you ? After putting in the hard work of seeing a project develop from an initial concept to a well built garden, there’s nothing like a clients joy to keep you inspired.  It’s also very inspiring to return to a garden that was completed several years ago and seeing the owners still enjoying the garden and keeping it looking great and developing to its full potential.

Your favourite outdoor space to visit ? My favourite space to visit is actually my organic veggie garden. I love getting out there and spending time turning the soil to cultivate plants that give such a great reward for your efforts. It’s also a great place to experiment with new methods of organic pest control and plant nutrition and develop knowledge to pass on to our clients.

One tip for people as they head into Spring Don’t leave it too late. Start preparing your garden now so that it’s ready to thrive as soon as spring arrives. If you’re thinking of putting in a new garden or renovating part of the garden start the design process as soon as possible so that it can be looking great for summer!