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“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill

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That’s what Nat said when I asked what she wanted me to cook for her birthday dinner.  Not a ringing endorsement.  And I understand why – history is not on my side.  For the record I’ve copied the photo of the last dish I was trying to emulate from Cuisine.  Below is the recipe.  Please feel free to cook this and show me how you got on.  I wasn’t that successful.  My cooking attempts often don’t look like the photo.

Which got me thinking about designing, when I never follow a recipe.  I never try to recreate a look.  Perhaps because I’m hopeless with cushions and I never know where to place the pomegranate…..  Or perhaps because my design is (unfortunately) more like a smorgasbord – with a bit of everything.  I like to think there is a coherent theme/story – I could be wrong.

Or perhaps because it’s true that I am good with leftovers – be it in the kitchen – or the rest of the house.  I like to work with what I’ve got.  But I also like to create something I’ve never seen before – something original (of course Austin Kleon would say nothing is original).  Let’s just make it tasty :-)

For the steak and asparagus

80g panko breadcrumbs
30g (large handful curly parsley, finely chopped
1 loosely packed cup mint, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil

In Melbourne (one of my favourite cities) OOF! have created this extension to a renovated Victorian shophouse located across from the local café in a central neighborhood hub.  How does your house shut out the world, but still sit confidently and comfortably within it’s environment? How does your house engage with it’s neighbours?  What kind of conversation does it start?  Is it as friendly, cheerful, and whimsical as this house?  I hope so (but suspect not).

Yes, it’s that time of the year when every-body is publishing ‘best-of’ lists.  I’m lazy – I haven’t even created my own.  Instead I’m sharing 9 Inspirational Design blogs from Design Good – their list is better than mine :-)

And they reminded me of Good Fucking Design Advice – if you visit their site you can buy the poster above.  I’m not going to buy it – I’m going to live it!

PS:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!