One of the events I went to as part of SF Design Week was Coffee with Interstice Architects. This local firm is run by a husband and wife team, Andrew and Zoee. Andrew is an architect and Zoee is a landscape designer.
The two of them collaborate on projects ranging from landscape projects, mixed use and residential. They also work towards driving change locally by activating the laneways in their local area.
Andrew and Zoee aim to recycle materials in all their projects where possible.
For example - in a refurbishment of a house facade, the team sourced cancelled or incorrectly sized glazing to create this very cool layered glass facade that altered the view when looking out.
Andrew and Zoee were very friendly and welcoming. We discussed how SF has changed over the last year in a number of ways including:
the introduction of more cycleways;
closing off streets with public open space;
activating sidewalks outside commercial, retail or hospitality shops.
There was a great example of how the local community sourced funding to help create a place to park bikes (including a pump station), play area, place to eat and drink, dog watering facilities and general community activation. It also acts as a traffic calming device and planting box.
It’s a fantastic idea and given SF has less car ownership, less outdoor space it’s a place for people to meet at no cost and utilise a space their homes may not supply.
They also demonstrated the way they provide designs to clients for feedback. The general process is to sketch, do basic 3D renders from floor plans and provide these to the client using a Virtual Reality app on a mobile or tablet device. The client can then view the design using Google cardboard glasses (to hold the phone) and look up to the ceiling and look at ceiling details or lighting, move it to the floor and see floor coverings. It also helps gives the client an idea of spatial planning. We're now seeing real estate being sold using this technology.
As we were talking about regeneration, parks and urban planning, I showed them Barangaroo, they took a keen interest in how Sydney is changing, the financial district moving, new park and transport infrastructure and improved harbour walking links.