Take a quick (and educational) tea break with us! Customers are invited to book in a 10-minute Zoom or Microsoft Teams chat to learn about new products. Presentations are guaranteed no longer than 10-minutes plus Q&A. Choose from: ChillOUT Tree (recommended) Latest Linea additions. Wood Without Worry. Or request a custom presentation. Each participant will receive a T2 gift box (optional). Book by contacting us on email@example.com, or via the button below. Win one of three BLUNT umbrellas Tea Time bookings for Australian customers during August and September will go into a draw for a chance to win one of three BLUNT umbrellas, valued at up to $159. Winners will be notified on 1st October 2022. Image: BLUNT.
Trend Watch August 2022
Toronto switches smart city plans to urbanist’s wishlist:
Toronto is abandoning a smart city proposal for a new development along its waterfront, and a holistic off-the-grid development now leads the way, writes Karrie Jacobs for MIT Technology Review.
The new proposal, said to be an urbanist’s dream, consists of: “800 affordable apartments, a two-acre forest, rooftop farm, new arts venue focused on indigenous culture, and a pledge to be zero-carbon” – a significant departure in ethos from the original winning proposal from just a few years ago.
Former winner Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google, had proposed a $900 million “vision for a data-rich city within a city” on the foreshores of Toronto, known as Quayside. In May 2020, Sidewalk abandoned the plan, citing the Covid-19 pandemic to blame, though this came after years of public controversy.
Jacobs writes, “The project’s tech-first approach antagonized many; its seeming lack of seriousness about the privacy concerns of Torontonians was likely the main cause of its demise.”
The importance of human connection and nature in a highly driven technological world is more recognised in the new proposal; Jacobs says, “The shift signalled by the new plan, with its emphasis on wind and rain and birds and bees rather than data, seems like a pragmatic response to the present moment.”
Read the full article at MIT Technology Review.
Image: Waterfront Toronto.
Guidelines to a neuro-inclusive city:
There has been a growing awareness that more of our population is neurodiverse, however, invisible disabilities or health conditions are often not considered in urban design, writes Jane Bringolf for the Centre for Universal Design Australia.
‘Neurodiverse’ refers to “people who appear to have different behaviours and/or have a specific diagnosis such as autism or ADHD.” People who are neurodiverse can experience sensory overloads, and be affected by factors like noise and crowds.
“In Australia, standards focus on mobility, vision and hearing. Consequently they don’t cover invisible disabilities or health conditions. That’s why it’s dangerous to think that meeting legislated standards is sufficient to create access and inclusion for everyone,” they write.
Bringolf highlights a Master of Architecture thesis by Natasha Mickovski, from Laurentian University in Canada, that proposes Enabling Design Guidelines, an adaptation of the well-known Seven Principles of Universal Design focused on creating more neuro-inclusive cities.
They include points around spatial organisation, character, lighting, acoustics and thermal quality, transitions, sensory group and escape or reset zones.
Read more at The Centre for Universal Design.
Image: Natasha Mickovski.
The Street Furniture Australia factory, in Western Sydney, is both a manufacturing hub and R&D studio for our Australian-designed and made street furniture products. Recently we welcomed Tract Consultants to view the factory and meet our team. Director Julie Lee said: “It was a great opportunity for our team to look behind the scenes and understand the innovation, research and climate positive outcomes Street Furniture Australia is focusing on. Thank you for having us!” Clients are now invited to register for a fun and informative group event to see how products are designed, tested and built, and hear about latest products and projects. Your 2-hour tour (plus travel) includes: Transport to and from your office (within Sydney). Refreshments, with breakfast or afternoon tea. Factory tour. Meet our production team and …
Our US partner Spruce & Gander, Inc has treated San Diego customers to a fun afternoon of music, games, great food and wine at a Pop Up Picnic among the grapevines of Rancho Guejito vineyard – with the Linea collection on show. On display from Street Furniture Australia were select pieces from the sleek and minimalist Linea range, including Cubes, Platform, Sun Lounge, Seats, Curved Bench and Picnic Settings, with complementary Monsoon Litter Bins and Cafe Stools. Materials and colours displayed include Wood Without Worry aluminium woodgrain battens in the popular tones of Spotted Gum and Curly Birch, the new Earthy Pastel powdercoat range, and DuraBright fade-resistant colours. “This event was a success! We look forward to hosting more pop ups in the future. It was lovely to connect with …
What wandering can teach us about designing new spaces: Wenting Guo, Senior Design Lead with IDEO, describes the experience of wandering in Rome in early 2020, and learnings that can be applied to designing new spaces. Guo writes on the IDEO blog, “The joy of wandering comes from its unpredictability, which is always delicately balanced against the fear of being completely lost.” She shares how the physical environment can offer calming spaces in between places, where inspiration can be found through spontaneity and the unexpected. Wanderers of Rome will often notice the beautiful light as it plays against the dry Mediterranean climate and the architecture, Guo says, “It dictates and changes what we can and cannot see at different times, often revealing only a small fragment of the overall picture.” …
Animal crossing – world’s biggest wildlife bridge comes to California highway: Landscape architects from Living Habitats have designed the world’s largest wildlife bridge, to be constructed over a California highway. The overpass will allow fauna of the Santa Monica mountains to safely cross a dangerous 10-lane stretch, writes Katharine Gammon for The Guardian. Stretching 210ft (64m) long and 165ft (50m) wide across the 101 highway near Los Angeles, the overpass is designed to allow safe passage for lizards, snakes, toads and mountain lions. An acre of local plants on either side and vegetated sound walls hope to dampen light and noise for nocturnal animals as they slip across. The project is funded by around 60% private donations and has been championed by Beth Pratt, a conservation leader with the National …
Rise of the metaverse: ‘Metaverse,’ a term from the 1992 novel Snow Crash, in which people live as avatars in a three dimensional world, has recently hit the zeitgeist referring to virtual worlds in a burgeoning next phase of the internet. Architects, writes Chloe Sun for ArchDaily, could be facing crises in the physical world due to constraints of factors such as structure, and management, that limit the possibility of the discipline. The wake of COVID-19, she says, may further catalyse the rise of the digital alternatives to brick-and-mortar shops, houses and offices. The NFT industry also is rapidly growing, and unique digital creations, Sun says, are not limited to traditional visual art, but include digital architecture and landscape architecture. “Toronto-based artist Krista Kim has sold the first NFT-backed digital …