Penny Craswell is interested in the elements that make human-made things and places beautiful. Craswell is writer, researcher and editor by background, currently undertaking the Master of Design degree at UNSW Art & Design on the topic of design narratives. She has studied the rules governing shape, line, light, and colour within the context of practical application. During the course of this research and writing Craswell has observed concepts that seem to be consistently at play among objects and spaces that make them both functional and pleasing to the eye.
After being editor of influential design magazines Artichoke and Indesign, she’s now the contributing editor of Architectural Review Asia Pacific and Mezzanine. In the latest edition of AR, she explores notions of high rise living (with co-editor Peter Salhani) asking leading architects, designers and broadcasters, including the ABC journalist and presenter Fenella Kernebone and architect Graham Christ, to consider the ‘four pillars’ of successful high-rise environments: liveability, sustainability, civic presence, and amenity.
If you’re interested in reading more, pick up the May edition of AR issue 144. Or if you would like even more immediate insights into the 'hows and whys' of good design, you can check out Craswell’s blog – The Design Writer. Here she examines, among many other things, the influence of Japanese minimalism in the object design of Tom Skeehan’s Hoshi Lounge, and the process of re-establishing greenery in Ho Chi Minh City, a place where only 0.25% of the city is given to green space, in Vo Trong Nghia’s Green Ladder pavilion (commissioned by the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation).
And, in case you’re not up on the latest from the 2016 Milan Furniture Fair, Craswell can help out. She’s picked her favourites in furniture (Tom Fereday), fashion (Anouk van de Sande), lighting (Ross Gardam), garden stools (Max Lamb), and ceramic tiles (Barber Osgerby).