When I arrive home every night, to our little terrace house in inner city Melbourne, I wonder what it looked like pre-bad-1970’s-renovation.

What were the weatherboards and double hung windows like before they were aggressively replaced with imitation brick veneer and aluminium window frames? How could the home owner justify such an extreme façade alteration, particularly one which has such an emphasis on replication rather than actual? If they were still around today would they be overcome with regret?

It is at this point that I sit down in my studio to go over the material palette for my sisters renovation. (refer to ‘Concrete’ post).

I am currently investigating artificial timber as a choice for the vanity joinery (as an attempt to lower my costs). A product supplier recently brought into the office a product that had most of us fooled. In the (altered) words of the great Fabio ‘ I can’t believe it’s not Timber’.

Highly durable, easy to install and some what cost effective it appears to be a good product for high use areas particularly kitchen and bathrooms.

Thinking back to the botched facade of my house I am some what torn with my opinions about imitating ‘natural’ materials. Often cheaper and more efficient I can’t help but question how can this compare to the experience of the real deal?  I guess it comes down to what we gain from the imitation (longer lifespan, more durability, better waterproofing) and what we loose from not obtaining the original material form. How does our experience and interaction with the physical world alter when we are surrounded by ‘fakes’ and will we (I) have regrets?.

I guess at the end of the day, the budget will always be the defining factor… Stay tuned…

Top: Noemi Goudal’s artwork did the blog rounds mid 2010, yet I feel it captures the potential beauty in re-representation of a material. The fabric can not capture all that a running river has to offer as a material yet replicates the flow and softness into one of the most beautiful photographs.

Bottom: The current material’s palette for my sister’s renovation


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