For this issue, the author and former design editor of Monocle magazine visited an apartment on the river Thames, where Kiwi architect Giles Reid has worked his magic (p.104). What did you like most about visiting the London apartment? The position was incredible, right on the bend of the river looking east and west to quaint bridges in either direction. The attention to detail in the home was also quite spectacular, especially with the Japanese touches. Tell us about your book New Wave Clay: Ceramic Design, Art and Architecture. It looks at a fresh generation that's reinvigorating an age-old art. Focussing mainly on the design world, it's a global survey of some of the most interesting things being done with ceramics at the moment – furniture, decorative arts, vessels, murals, 3D printing etc. There has been a huge craft revival in recent years – New Wave Clay tries to make sense of it, establish best practice and work out where it will go next. You recently attended Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy – what caught your eye at the fair this year? The re-opening of the 1940s masterpiece Villa Borsani was a highlight. This was without doubt a perfect house, but I most enjoyed how it had been brought to life for the week by the magical yet simple touches of stylist Katie Lockhart and florist Sophie Wolanski. You really sensed their absolute thrill at being let loose on the place. Otherwise, in terms of trends, the maximalist aesthetic still reigns. As something of a purist, I am hoping that will blow over soon. So when are going to visit New Zealand? Imminently, I hope! I was last there when I was on staff at Monocle magazine for a press trip seven or eight years ago and have been dreaming of getting back ever since.
HOME’s staff writer explored the fascinating past of a landmark villa on Devonport’s North Head for our cover story on a clever renovation by Andrew Meiring (p.60). What’s your earliest architectural memory? I was very young, visiting the construction site of what was soon to be my own family's home, designed by architect and friend Ken Crosson. I remember climbing the interior wall frames and trying to imagine what the home would look like. I think it's really unique that architects can create places that come to hold such special memories. Tell us a bit about visiting the Devonport renovation by Andrew Meiring. It's not often that I cover a villa renovation that is so bold and upfront. I loved exploring the history of the home while seeing new stories unfolding in the form of a contemporary extension made for modern family life. You also interviewed the people behind the new Kowtow store in Wellington? I really respect Kowtow as a brand for paving the way for ethical business, not just in New Zealand but internationally. I knew sustainable design would form the basis of their store brief but to see it translated so smoothly and in a way that's so unique to their aesthetic is inspiring. You’ve written a lot about fashion – are there parallels with architecture and design? Despite their obvious differences, I think architecture and fashion are similar in that there's a lot more to the designs than having a roof over your head or coat to keep you warm. It's about being useful, but also building a story about ourselves and creating room to explore new ideas.