22 December 2011

Seasons Greetings

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2011 has been an extremely special year for us..
With a little nervousness, we are stepping into 2012 with loads of excitement!

We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday.

xx Facet Studio

15 December 2011

Happy Birthday Facet Studio!

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Today is Facet Studio's 3rd birthday!

Tofu and Sesame cake to celebrate .. how so Asian of us!

returning from the office birthday lunch in our work-hood, we chanced upon the giant Snowman existing from nearby shop

Yoshi: "Hello giant Snowman! Take care not to melt in Sydney's Summer Christmas!"

Happy Birthday!
As Yoshi is flying off to monitor a construction site in Tokyo tomorrow, the official birthday party (if we eventually get around to organising it) will need to wait until his return..... in the mean time, we will push the Sydney jobs forward!

9 December 2011

Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Gala Party

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Further from the last post on IDEA Awards, here is a bit more detail on the Gala Party.

Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) promotes and rewards recent work in interior design and product design in Australia.  This year has been the biggest yet with over 400 submissions across all categories.  
It is one of the most noted annual award program in Australia.  The award ceremony took place at Ivy Sydney last year (2010), and ACCA Melbourne this year (2011).  Names of the winners were kept secrete until announcement at the Gala Party, although the shortlisted submissions were published in (inside) Magazine since August.  We flew down to Melbourne with two shortlists - Emerging Designer and Retail Design: Sneakerology/ Streetology - and were excited to be awarded Winner for the Retail Category!

People attending the Gala Party have all dressed up beautifully for the event, and arrived early for a glass of champaign before the actual ceremony.  I think we were the only Asians attending.

There were all these "mannequins" standing on poles while we entered the theatre for Award Ceremony..... then they started spinning as if there was no such thing as gravity! (ok by then I realised they were real people...) Not sure about the theme of this performance, but hey, it did a great job in hyping up the atmosphere!

The ticket was $145 per head, and was completely sold out with approximately 500 people attending.  It was quite spectacular.

When the ceremony reached the peak, it was announced: "Winner for Retail Category is.....Sneakerology/ Streetology by Facet Studio!!"
We were so excited, shook hands with people sat around us and headed towards the stage... which was quite far from where we sat..... and I had to noticed that Yoshi was too excited and forgot to put down the beer bottle he was holding the entire time..... which followed us up the stage, went to photoshoot for the Winners behind the stage (the photo on the top) and back to our seat.
I think we were too nervous that Yoshi had forgotten how to smile and luckily I barely remembered...

Although the trophy is physically quite light, to us, it is as heavy as gold.

To find out more on Sneakerology/ Streetology, check out our website:

Sneaky Peak

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I have many magazines I like... Frame is definitely one of them... so I was super excited when our project was included in this issue of Frame magazine!

Check out the Nov/ Dec issue!

30 November 2011

It's a Shoe-In!

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For some reason our contributor's issue of Singapore's prestigious "The Peak" magazine has only just arrived.  Sure has taken some time, but it is better late than never!

Sneakerology is included in the October issue, with a concise write up covering a range from design of the shop to the story behind sneakers... I have a soft spot for concise, yet exciting, writings.

The Peak is carried in the First and Business Class cabins of Lufthansa Airline.

29 November 2011

Winner of IDEA Awards 2011!

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Facet Studio has won the IDEA Awards 2011 - Retail category!

The winners of Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2011 were announced on November 25 at the IDEA Gala Party at ACCA in Melbourne.
We decided to attend last minute, flew down to Melbourne from Sydney at 6:45am..... very exhausted by the end of the night.  Well, turns out it was all worth it!

It was an interesting experience, and I will try to cover more on the event in the following blog entries.

Announcement on Australian Design Review website

The trophy..  it says "Retail WINNER Sneakerology/ Streetology by Facet Studio"

Whilst I am still waiting on some photos from the Award organisers, feel free to check out the web coverage here:

IDEA Awards official website
Australian Design Review

Here is a little on IDEA Awards extracted from the Awards official website:
The Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) showcase the best of Australian design. The prestigious awards program receives hundreds of submissions from across Australia each year and is recognised by the design community as the country’s pre-eminent design awards program.

This year was our biggest yet, with over 400 submissions across all 14 categories.

We are very excited and honoured to have been recognised amongst all the great projects, and a big "thank you!" to everyone who has made this project possible.  We will continue to deliver projects of high quality, and contribute to the architectural profession.

22 November 2011


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Our first publication in French!

What is it with French? Somehow everything seem so much more romantic when written in French.... although regrettably I can not read French.

Cover - Sites Archi

"Streetology - The Tube of the Year"...sounds like we are getting some award!


and some mention of Sneakerology, as Streetology's minimalist sibling...

21 November 2011

Uchi Shots

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We have tried taking some photos of Uchi Lounge ourselves this time.
These are trial shots, but we have not yet had the time to go back for a proper shoot so they are the ones on our website for now.
Ah it was difficult.... especially on a busy Friday night, all the curious patrons (some were very keen to be in the shot whilst some were totally unsure).. Although having people in the space really animated the atmosphere.  I always think, if a space looks better without people, there must be some thing wrong - Good that it is not the case for us.

So here are the trial / semi permanent/ permanent shots......

 From entry

From rear
Sometimes it is difficult to imagine the hard work behind the finished space; I mean, after all it is all worth it.
The 11m long steel beams look effortlessly elegant flying across the length of the space with a mysterious ribbon of light; 
The huge concrete table look stern and anchoring.

Well, these photos are from the day the table top was delivered to site...

The concrete table tops arrived from Adelaide after an unexpected delay.
To be precise, it is a product called GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete), which by incorporating glass fibres in the concrete cement mix, provides a denser and stronger concrete product - it is commonly used in public sculpture and prefabricated building facade panels. The huge table we have on site could not be manufactured in 1 single piece and was broken into 5 equal panels.

Each table top panel weighed around 200kg.
Due to the limited space, and narrow access way, the table tops were manually carried inside.  Even with 4 grown men it was not a easy task.
I think next time we will construct this by casting in-situ (which was first rejected by the builder but then was much to his regret)... entire process took half a day.
Later that night we found out the 5 panels had a certain order (with edge conditions) and the builders had to reshuffle the panels the next morning........ oh joy..

18 November 2011

Revitalising History

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In order to respond to the "oldness" of Seatondale, we went looking for some vintage recycled timber as an option for the flooring.

On top of timber, there are also recycled doors, recycled window frames, lead glass, etc... on display; makes me wonder who would be buying these? 
But the surprising amount of timber being recycled and reentered into the commercial market!! It is indeed a system which is making use of existing resource, revitalising commerciality and most of all, sustainable to the environment.

The timber which caught our interest this time, is recycled from the oldest timber bridge in Brisbane, Australia.  The timber bridge has been replaced by a steel bridge after servicing for over 100 years.  The entire bridge was constructed of Tallow wood,  in fact one of my personal favourite (S House was entirely floored and staired with Tallow); it has an elegant colouration more in line of "coffee", and beautiful linear grain.  This piece in the photo has been cut from a much longer structure for sample purpose.  This structure timber will be sliced into 10mm thick, 200mm wide planks, and fixed onto 15mm structure plywood substrate.

Comparing new (left) and recycled (right) Tallow wood.  The recycled timber has weathered enough so that it has stopped the movement within the timber itself hence a more stable product.  It was also more likely to be harvested from a larger, older tree back in the days, hence a deeper hue.

Other than Tallow wood we are also considering: Blackbutt, American White Oak, Spotted Gum.
We need to take the samples back to the Seatondale house for check on site; they need to be assessed more closely in its context.

Facet Studio Japan

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We have had this for a while now....but I have finally figured out a way to make a connection..... the bridge between Facet Studio Australia website and Facet Studio Japan website is now open!!

The way to access via Facet Studio Australia website is:

Enter http://www.facetstudio.com.au/, go to bottom right corner, click [STUDIO] > [WHERE] > [OSAKA JAPAN]..... Look below the photo of our Osaka office.......

........And voila! Click directly into the Facet Studio Japan website!

The content and the way we organised the Facet Studio Japan site is a cross between website and blog, have fun exploring!

10 November 2011

A forgotten press..

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For some reason I have been forgetting to blog about this extremely exciting press coverage we had with Japanese retail magazine - Shouten Kenchiku.

Lately we have had some chance to reflect upon particularities of retail design.
It is interesting about the nature of retail design, which is highly reflective of the "trend" and material connotation in relevance to "time".  However our approach to retail design has always been a dialogue between transience and timelessness, which (so we believe) prolongs the lifespan of the design.

This is our first printed publication in Japan.
Coverage on Habitat Antique

8 November 2011


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We have received our contributor's complimentary copy of "Sublime - New Design and Architecture from Japan".
Here is an extract of the book description:
Sublime is a comprehensive collection of current Japanese architecture, interiors, and products that showcases and explores the country's uniquely elegant design aesthetic. 
... Featuring visionary work by established names such as Tokujin Yoshioka, Kengo Kuma, and Toyo Ito, Sublime also introduces talent from a new generation that has found its own inspiring design style between a traditional Japanese approach and contemporary influences.
It is our first appearance in a book.
I must admit, it is extremely humbling to be included in a publication amongst so many excellent designs.
Habitat Antique

Tea Room

"Sublime - New Design and Architecture from Japan" is published by Gestalten, Berlin, available from Amazon.com.

1 November 2011

After Image

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Facet Studio is involved in the After Images, an exhibition and auction of sketches primarily by Australian architects of Japan, in support of the Tohoku region's recovery from the devastating earthquakes and tsunami of March this year.

The exhibition is until 12 November at Boutwell Draper Gallery, 82-84 George Street, Redfern.

Our works on exhibition (clockwise from top left): M House interior, M House exterior, Tea Room, Habitat Antique.

Exhibition Catalogue on sale for $15 donation

A buzzing atmosphere and great involvement at the exhibition opening night

25 October 2011

Seatondale gearing up

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We received a call from our client for Seatondale out of the blue end of last month.
(Previous entry on Seatondale HERE)

End of 2010 the project was left in a hopeful note, only to come back to a quiet 2011 due to the client's family matters while we marched along with other projects... and suddenly Seatondale is in full gear!
Since the call on late September, we have met the client a few times, met with Council a few times, and will be meeting with potential subcontractors tomorrow.

Lets see how it goes.

Here Yoshi is playing with his new camera at the site meeting... beautiful colour definition and details! But personally I have some problem with the extra extra wide angle....

12 October 2011

Contemplating "-ology"

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We have received our copy of the very first issue of Casa+Living magazine from Malaysia!  With both Sneakerology and Streetology included.

I quite liked the way Angeline from the editorial has written about and annotated our projects.. The article is titled: "Because Sneakers Are a Specialised Study of Their Own - 因為運動鞋也是一門學問", which captured the idea behind Sneakerology.

Basically, we were quite stuck for inspiration at the beginning of the design process. Back then, the shops had no names, we were obscurely designing a teeshirt shop and a sneaker shop. It is when we pressed the client to name the shops, and he decided on "Sneaker-ology" for the sneaker shop, we were finally able to capture a glimpse of a world that we were about to create - where sneaker advocates can learn about history and design of their loved sneakers, much like a museum, where knowledge can be gained.  Therefore each shoe is displayed in their own box, equipped with their own light and own assigned number, to draw attention to their individuality yet together the 281 shoes in a homogeneous system create a space of illuminance and euphoria.

From there we also named the teeshirt shop "Streetology".  It is a shop to reflect the study of street trends by visualising the commercial activity within the store - the stocks are on display; when one item is bought, it disappears from the display, hence creates a pattern as the result of demand.

Thank you Casa +Living magazine for the opportunity to participate in your very first issue ever, and I wish all the best to your publication!

26 September 2011

Are you in Tokyo in the coming weeks?

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The 10,000 World Architects Exhibition has now been set up at Tokyo International Forum!
Facet Studio is exhibiting amongst architects from all over the world... which is an exciting yet humbling experience.
Please visit if you are in Tokyo!

Here is an extract from the 10,000 World Architects website:
The UIA2011 Tokyo: The 24th World Congress of Architecture, held in conjunction with UIA2011 Tokyo, will take place in Tokyo, Japan from September 25 to October 1, 2011.
This will be the largest international architectural congress in the history of Japanese architecture, bringing together an estimated 10,000 architects from 128 countries around the world.
To mark the significance of this event, we are hosting the 10,000 World Architects Exhibition. Symbolizing UIA2011 Tokyo, this exhibition will convey the messages of architects from around the world through the medium of one project image per architect. Japanese and international architects are invited to participate in the creation of this exhibition, which is open to all architects regardless of affiliation.
The exhibition seeks to promote understanding of cultures in different countries through architecture, as well as to convey the architects messages and their works across a broad spectrum of society.

20 September 2011

Paddling under water

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With the media coverage we have been thankfully receiving, seems as though the architectural profession is a lot more glamorous than how it really is! 

Well, lets not get too ahead of ourselves.. architecture is a tough profession and will always be. Continual stubbornness in digging further and further for the right answer, and the endurance required for this perseverance, is something we never forget and always puts in practice.

Last week we have submitted a competition entry (details will be disclosed next month). 
After days and days of long - at times seemingly endless - hours, we have achieved a scheme we believe answers the brief and locale, with a right amount of poetry to finish off with a sweet aftertaste.

JJ had the biggest workspace in the entire office, taking over every available flat surface for model making

Yoshi taking photos of the model for presentation boards


ok, something was wrong with the camera setting, everything came out over-exposed.. I was not intentionally hiding images of the model!

19 September 2011

Glossy Streetology

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We have received a somehow peculiar coverage for Streetology in Gloss Magazine, Brazil.

It is not our usual market or media of promotion, but I must say, I am really glad that our projects have good appeal to a wide range of people and markets!
One of our concept for Streetology was to "visualise commerciality", and to have the shop as a visual reflection of the street trend - This in a way reassures us what we were doing was on the right track.