Trend Watch July 2022

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.”

Alluring spaces in Rome can be further enhanced with the magic of Italian coffee: not only a drink but an experience that allows time to sip and think.

“The bitterness and heat of the coffee, pleasurable to sip but difficult to gulp, establishes a minimum amount of time between things, allowing our thoughts to wander without the need to be somewhere.”

The fear of getting lost is delicately balanced against the joy of an unpredictable path, however Guo says that when in Rome, “Many streets follow old streams; a local rule-of-thumb for when you’re lost is to pour water on the street and follow it down to the banks of the River Tiber.”

Go for a wander with the full story on IDEO.

Photo: Ludwig Thalheimer.

“Trees aren’t a novelty” says Thomas Heatherwick:

Dezeen’s Tom Ravencroft delves into the architectural trend of integrating trees and greenery onto buildings, recently highlighted through a sculpture called The Tree of Trees by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, made for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The artwork is a large steel structure, a tree-like form that supports 350 smaller trees, installed outside Buckingham Palace in London. Heatherwick told Ravencroft the intention was to highlight the importance of trees, which he describes as “the superheroes of our cities and towns.”

Heatherwick says, “If you look across lots of our projects, we’re integrating nature as much as we possibly can. And I think that it would be good for the world around us if more designers and architects balanced the work that they did with the natural world.”

Ravencroft writes that the growing popularity of tree-covered buildings is at times countered by skepticism about how truly sustainable they are. He cites academic Philip Oldfield as writing that these trees are a ‘decorative flourish’ – with the embodied carbon of the concrete planters higher than the amount of carbon the trees would absorb.

Heatherwick responds by saying that buildings dressed with plants aren’t a fad, and that nature is a necessity to our lives, especially in modern buildings.

Read the full story at Dezeen.

Image: The 1,000 Trees project in Shanghai, Heatherwick Studio.


make an enquiry

Opening hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

enquire now

recent news

Join Us For Tea Time (via Zoom or Teams)

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 teatime@streetfurniture.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.

  • 25 sep 2020
read more

Linea range in San Francisco

Street Furniture Australia products will be on show at the ASLA 2022 EXPO in San Francisco, from November 12 to 13, 2022. Visit Booth 251 to see the sleek and minimalist Linea range, including Cubes, Platform, Sun Lounge, Seats, Curved Bench and Picnic Settings, and complementary Monsoon Litter Bins and Cafe Stools. Check out a variety of durable and low-maintenance materials and colours including five Wood Without Worry aluminium woodgrain batten shades, the new Earthy Pastel powdercoat range, and DuraBright fade-resistant colours. Street Furniture Australia will co-present the stand with California-based partner Spruce & Gander, who represent our products as an exclusive distributor in California, Ohio, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky. Dates and times:Saturday, November 12, 2022. 9:30am – 6:00pm.Sunday, November 13, 2022. 10:00am – …

  • 28 oct 2022
read more

Murri School receives Linea donation

Street Furniture Australia is donating $40,000 worth of furniture from breakout spaces from the 2022 Festival of Landscape Architecture: COUNTRY to The Murri School, an Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School in Brisbane. The collection of Linea Seats, Cubes, Curved Benches, Sun Lounges and Picnic Settings includes a pair painted by artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher, a Quandamooka, Nunukul woman of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) – commissioned by Street Furniture Australia and Blaklash Creative. Director of Blaklash Creative and member of the Festival Creative Directorate Troy Casey says, “A huge part of the festival was about how we can ensure that community gets something from it. We spent two days sharing our culture, our experiences, and the responsibility to positive impact. We can’t really do that without giving back to mob, …

  • 31 oct 2022
read more

related news

Trend Watch June 2022

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 …

  • 10 jun 2022
read more

Trend Watch May 2022

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 …

  • 19 may 2022
read more

Trend Watch April 2022

‘I wanted that self-reliance back’ – disabled hikers forge a new path: A growing movement of disabled people are taking steps to enable independent access to the natural world, writes Amanda Morris for the NY Times.  The pandemic has brought a rise in outdoor recreation, with growing visitation numbers for national parks, however not all are equipped for accessibility. Disabled people are taking initiatives to improve independent access, including “publishing trail guides, establishing nonprofits to empower others through equipment, advocacy and training, and testifying before congress,” says Morris. In the United States in April 2021, “disability activists testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill, in front of members of the House National Resources Committee, which oversees the Park Service, to push for greater accessibility in outdoor spaces and call attention to …

  • 7 apr 2022
read more