The good, the bad and the ugly..

The great Autsralian malaise in housing is the relentless and near universal "fugly" approach to design. Tim Winton captures this in his photographic essay book "Small Town". When a carpenter is busy banging together pieces of 2x4 and going hell for leather with a nail gun and plywood sheeting, architecture isn't even on the horizon. Things get worse when bricks and concrete enter the lexicon, as any notion of "shack chic" evaporates and is replaced with fugly permanence.

By way of antidote, the 10X10 volume 3 published by Phaidon is our benchmark for high quality contemporary architecture. The mega practices are generally not featured in this book, which has a focus on innovative and progressive designs by up and coming architects.

10x10 volume 3

$10,000 'half houses' by Alejandro Aravena

Fugly under construction in Patonga

Shack attack, Blue Mountains