• DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007. Vogue magazine photoshoot

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

  • DIY Architecture, 2007.

DIY Architecture 

Brief:

  • Create a sleeping space for visiting artists, friends and family to stay for short periods in our Redfern artists studio / home.
  • Use at least 50% recycled stuff in the construction of the new room.
  • Source materials locally.

Formal aims:

The project sought to create an object, foreign in its materiality, engineering and aesthetic…

The design has real and non-real parts. Plants where chosen that are often reproduced in plastic.
The timber used in the work comes in various stages – unprocessed (log) – machined (plank) and reconstituted (particleboard).
At first, real fish inhabited the unlikely drinking fountain / fish tank (the idea being to create a mini, tongue in cheek aquaponic system) but after cleaning the tank once (time consuming, boring and smelly), I decided to opt for a large plastic fish!
Finally, the use of materials such as milk crates as structural columns and steps, and the suspension of the platform and supporting tree log to the ceiling with truck ratchet – tie downs, forces everyone (especially architects and engineers trained to think about this stuff) to evaluate the engineering logic of the work.

All these material and physical strategies seek to enliven both the object and the viewer out of a passive architectural state – where all the thinking and experiencing has been done or familiar to the point of numbness.
D.I.Y Architecture seeks to force the viewer to reevaluate the object and ask themselves: what is it made from? Will it support my weight? Are all the parts real? and finally, is this architecture that I like?

The iconic milk crate:

Light weight, strong, stackable and easily modified, the iconic milk crate – the starting point of so much DIY stuff! Used universally as a seat in the street, a handy container – and a thousand other users; the milk crate in Australia is the object that comes closest to transcending notions of individual or corporate ownership (in the eyes of most, but perhaps not milk distributors).
The generic milk crate ‘belongs’ to a fluid zone reminiscent of the White Bicycle Plan started in the 1960s by Luud Schimmelpenninck in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This so-called White Bicycle Plan was possibly the first large-scale community bicycle program. It provided free bicycles that were supposed to be used for one trip and then left for someone else.

Recycled materials and where they were sourced

Recycled materials

Milk crates Collected by Sydney City street ‘entrepreneur/homeless person’ – Adam
Timber Pine 35 x 75mm x 15m Existing in Studio stores
Plastic diffuser membrane – 0.6mm UV stable Left over from commercial light diffuser I made for Sydney restaurant in 2007
Foam base for seat Found in street 2004
Bed base Found in street 2001
Acrylic sheet Found in car park at rear of Australian Centre for Photography
Drinking bottle Found in vacant lot
Timber logs Sourced from Centennial Park Sydney
Plant clipping Removed from public garden beds near Chinatown (overgrown)

Purchased items

Milk crates (collected by Adam) @ $5 / unit 70.00
Milk crates collected by DIY team (all salvaged milk crates will be returned when the guest room is dismantled) 0.00
Aluminum flat bar (3 x 10 mm) x 7 53.90
Yellow tongue particle flooring board 3600 x 900 x 19mm 79.80
Timber Pine Gauge 35 x 75mm 45.32
Plastic cable ties x 3 packets 78.32
Steel tube 39.35
Codiaeum Variegatum 30.00
Ratchet – tie down (load 2 tonnes) X 2 115.35
Angle bracket 29.30
Galvanized plate (50 x 3 x 200mm) x 4 18.88
Potting mix 8.47
Pot plant containers 8.50
TOTAL: $556.19

Friends that helped make D.I.Y. Guest Room

Georgia Carins – partner
Josh – (Neighbour)
Gale – friend
Angela – flatmate
Scott – daytime co-tenant in warehouse