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Pillar of Sophistication 精巧之核心

When Penny Sun looked to her Pillar development project in the prestigious Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, she was moved by the beautiful heritage listed church that was to become the property’s neighbour. Where some developers might have placed a fence, Penny saw an opportunity to embrace the presence of the church quite literally. She and her team at Miura Group worked with the architects to design a colonnaded, curved structure that would open the length of Pillar to the church, gently curving around the building. It was not necessarily the most cost effective design option, but it epitomises her development philosophy, one that respects the development’s context and looks to complement and involve itself with its surrounds.

This sense of purpose, integrity and respect is in Penny’s DNA. Her mother is of Manchu descent, a Chinese ethnic minority famed for horsemanship and archery skills in both men and women. 

China is well known for its preference of sons, but Penny’s family raised her and her sister to be strong and independent, giving them every opportunity men in the culture would receive. 

Her parents would even refer to Penny and her younger sister as “first son” and “second son”! This upbringing has been a major factor in her career journey and the success she has enjoyed.

She arrived in Australia as a student and completed three master’s degrees, in finance, accounting and management. After graduating, she entered corporate life and worked her way up through the listed company she joined, before deciding to take more control of her destiny and moved on to property development.

The world of property development is dominated by men, but Penny has brought the strength of her upbringing to bear and has shown remarkable progress in breaking down the gender divide associated with the industry. A no nonsense, “firm but fair” way of working has seen her deliver a range of projects, including a luxury beach house, a chic, 15 apartment development in Brunswick and now the aforementioned Pillar apartment development in Hawthorn.

A major inspiration in Penny’s life was her grandfather, a kung fu master. His own “firm but fair” style is characterised by a philosophy of stepping in and responding to help others, but never being an aggressor. Penny has modelled her own behaviours on this, and though she is known for being strong-minded, direct and opinionated, she’s also known for being uncompromisingly honest and dependable.

Penny’s success is steeped in laserlike focus on quality.  It’s clear that hers is no cookiecutter approach to building homes. It’s bespoke, purpose led development, created by teams of designers and craftspeople that have responded to Penny’s ethos and direction.

It’s not hard to see that Penny applies her experience when working with her teams. She sees the strengths and weaknesses in the team and sets them up so they complement each other. She really knows how to bring out the best in people. This approach has gained her respect in the industry, as well as results in the market.

It’s fair to say that there’s a strong sense of collaboration in how she works, forming the right team for each project and charging them with the responsibility for delivering high quality work. This is underpinned by a great ability to read the situation and the people involved. This ability itself seems related to some of her earliest experiences in China. Her family owned a timber business there and Penny learned from early on to recognise what quality meant. She visited plantations with her parents and came to know the different varieties of trees.

Her parents would expect her to know whether it was a hardwood or a softwood, and understand the best uses for each type. She learned to examine trees and see beneath the surface, understanding its value and appreciating its natural variety. Every tree contains its own imperfections, but if you know the timber well, you know how to work with those imperfections and get the best results from it.

That intimate knowledge of timber has also become a major characteristic of her design aesthetic. If there’s an opportunity to bring the natural world to the design through the use of materials like timber, she takes them. This appreciation of natural materials has become a hallmark of her developments.

Penny’s balanced approach to development is informed by her balanced approach to life. Her deep affinity with nature grew with her exposure to plantations and forests, and now through a range of outdoor activities, meditation and yoga, she cuts through the noise that life as a busy citybased property developer can bring. This allows her to crystallize innovative, inspiring solutions to the design problems she meets.

Penny is clearly not an average person. Focus, hard work and a love of meeting challenges head on sets her apart. It’s become apparent very quickly that the work of this exceptional young women is going to turn heads throughout the industry. More importantly, the quality of her projects will deliver incredible living experiences for those lucky enough to take possession of one of her homes. It’s worth keeping your eye out for her name and if you can, make one of her developments your home. 

当Penny Sun在著名的墨尔本Hawthorn郊区勘察由她负责的Pillar开发项目时,被比邻一座优美的文化古迹教堂深深吸引。在类似情况下,一些开发商可能会选择筑起围栏以隔开,但她却从中预见和教堂共依存的方式。

Penny与Miura集团建筑师团队联合设计了一个带曲线形态的柱廊结构,让Pillar项目具备朝着教堂敞开的盈余弧度,温柔地环绕着建筑。这并非是最有效控制成本的设计选项,但体现了她的发展理念­讲究建筑物和周围环境融为一体,浑然天成。

使命感、正直感和尊重感早就深植于Penny的遗传基因。她母亲具满族血统,为中国的少数民族,男女皆以骑术和射箭技艺闻名于世。众所周知,华人或中国家庭普遍重男轻女,但她的父母却自小灌输她们姐妹坚强独立的观念,给予她们不亚于男孩的任何资源和机会。父母甚至常会把她和妹妹以“长子”与“次子”名义看待。而家庭教育是她职业生涯顺遂和成功的一个重要因素,因为她感受快乐。

当年,她作为一名留学生来到澳大利亚顺利完成了三项硕士学位,包括金融,会计和管理。毕业后随之展开就职生涯,她在一家上市公司工作一路晋升,在思考决定自己的方向前,开始涉足房地产开发。

在由男性主导房地产开发领域,Penny凭借着坚韧不拔的品性,以令人惊讶的速度弥补了这项性别差异。精练、坚定且公平的工作方式让她取获负责一系列项目的机会,包括位于Brunswick区15套豪华海滩别墅公寓项目和前面提到位于Hawthorn的Pillar开发项目。

Penny的人生观深受她祖父的启发 – 一名功夫大师。他所提倡的“坚定且公平”的风格特点是一种哲学,可以介入或回应帮助别人,但是永远不要做侵略者。她以此为榜样并塑造自己的行为—意志顽强、单刀直入和固执己见,不过,她也是以绝对的诚实可靠而为人知晓。

她的成功源于对打造质量的坚定不移。千篇一律或模式化建设房屋方式是她所否定的,Penny倾向于目标明确的开发形态,由积极响应她的精神追求和方向的设计师和工艺团队所创建。可以说,她的工作方式具备强力的合作意识,整合高效的负责项目团队,提供高质量的工作成果。至于超前的情势分析和相关人员的解读能力,也似乎与她在中国早期的经历脱离不了关系。她的家族在中国拥有木材业务公司,Penny很早就从中认识到质量的意义。她跟随双亲参观种植园,深入了解不同种类的树木,而经过父母的科普解析,她学会分辨硬木与软木,并且知道每种类型的最佳用途。她学会了检验树木,透过它们的表皮,了解它们的价值,欣赏它们的自然变化,每棵树都有本身的不完美之处,但如果得以善用,类似不完美也可提炼为最佳的成效果实。

不难看出Penny将上述经验应用于她和团队的合作中。她擅长解读一个团队的优势和劣势,并设置互补形式,让人们发挥出最佳水平。这是她获得业界尊重以及拥有市场成果的典范作风。

另外,对于木料的娴熟运用也成为她设计中的一项特征美学。她不会放过任何可以使用木料设计的机会,尤其是穿插在带有自然环境元素的设计中。而关于天然材料的高度鉴赏能力已经成为她的项目标志。

Penny讲究均衡的工作项目格式也复制到她的生活中。她与大自然的亲密关系随着她沐浴在植物园林和森林中不断增进,现在更通过一系列户外活动,包括冥想和瑜伽以远离喧嚣。而作为一名忙碌的城市房地产开发商,她尽量捍卫自己沉静的生活模式。这也使她能够凝聚创新力,在遇到设计问题时刻启动鼓舞人心的解决方案。

Penny显然并非一般人。全神贯注、努力工作和热爱迎接挑战让她与众不同,让人很快感受到这名特殊的年轻女性的项目作品将在整个行业中发挥影响力。但更重要的是她的高质量项目-将为那些幸运的业主们带来更美好的生活体验。因此,值得密切关注她的名字, 亦或选择她的精致项目成为你的家。

Cutting Edge 切入中心

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Professor Sally Smart

Australia’s Top Contemporary Artist

Destined to be an artist, Professor Sally Smart is where censorship meets avant-garde and freedom. One of Australia’s top contemporary visual artists, Smart enjoys global representation for her work in large-scale cut-out assemblage installations. The recipient of numerous awards, Professor Smart is currently Vice -Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, and Deputy Chair at the National Association for the Visual Arts.

“I grew up in a very remote part of Australia – the Flinders Ranges. My parents owned a rural property and worked on sheep, cattle and grain.  Every morning I’d talked into a radio receiver and do my lessons by correspondence.” Her earliest inspiration was her great-aunt Bessie Davidson, a famous Australian artist living in Paris then. “As a young girl I knew there are women artists and that was really important for my own identity. It gave me a frame, so I just set about wanting to be an artist and now I am.”  Smart attended an art school in South Australia, then the Victorian College of the Arts where she did her postgraduate in painting and master’s in fine arts.

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I take things on to make sense of the world and make art. I hope my methodologies, interpretation and philosophies can give pathways to find poetry, to give voice, image and space to women.

Among her notable work, The Exquisite Pirate enlivens the legacy of female pirates. “I discovered there were actually a lot of women pirates, their histories often forgotten. Now I’m working on the artists of the Ballets Russes, discovering their colonialism, Orientalism, sort of like a western view of the east.”

Often called the politics of cutting, Smart sees her work from a feminist point of view, to cut things out of history and reconstruct them, to place women back in history if they have been cut out. “Women are disadvantaged in many industries. We must try harder, go further. It happens with people on the periphery but that’s probably an advantage for me.”

To young artists, I say, ‘education, momentum and collaboration’. Don’t get too hung up on failures.

Regardless of that bias, there are plenty of high moments for Smart. “Seeing my sculpture in Docklands, 19 metres across and 12 metres high, seeing the pieces being craned in the sky, that was pretty amazing for me. My first show of The Exquisite Pirate in New York was a highlight too.”

“Art is not a necessity, but we need art more than anything. That’s the paradox of art. When it’s taken away, then you realise something incredible is missing. Art has the power to make sense and manifest. It gives us a future, ways of celebrating, acknowledgment and relief.”

Sally Smart教授注定要成为一名艺术家,投身这个检视和自由前卫邂逅糅合的领域。身为澳大利亚最顶尖的当代视觉艺术家之一,她的作品在世界各地都有广泛的代表性。Sally Smart教授曾多次获奖,目前担任墨尔本大学副校长学者研究员,同时也是国家视觉艺术协会的副主席。

“我在澳大利亚偏远的弗林德斯山脉(Flinders Ranges)成长。父母有个生活农场,饲养牛羊和种植粮食。每天早上,我都要对着收音机进行函授课程。”她最初的启蒙来自她的姑婆Bessie Davidson,是当时旅居巴黎的一位著名澳大利亚艺术家。“作为懵懂的年轻女孩,女性艺术家的存在对于我的身份认知非常关键。这为我打造了开始想成为艺术家的梦想框架,直至现在完全实践。”

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“我们希望所有的澳大利亚人都能对此保持欣喜、尊重和敬畏之心,加倍珍惜岩石艺术的存在。”

Sally首先就读澳大利亚南部的一所艺术学校,随后进入维多利亚艺术学院(Victorian College of the Arts)完成绘画学士和美术硕士学位。在她出色的创作中,“绝妙海盗”让女海盗的文化历史变得活泼生动。“我发现实际上有很多女海盗的存在,但她们的事迹经常被遗忘。目前我在研究俄罗斯芭蕾舞团的舞蹈艺术家,探索他们的殖民与东方主义,像西方观望东方的视角。”

由于Sally Smart从女权主义者的角度看待本身的创作,她常被称为 “切割政治学”(politics of cutting),从历史的角度切入裁剪并重构,将女性重新置于历史之中。“女性在许多行业领域处于劣势,我们必须更加努力才能前进,这些常发生在周边人们身上,但这对于我可能是一项优势。”

对于年轻艺术家的建言,我要说的是“教育、动力和协力”,而且不要太在意失败。

而不拘于偏见,SallySmart也有许多闪光时刻。“看到我直径19米、高12米的雕塑作品在滨海港区(Docklands)天空中被悬吊起来,真是令人感觉不可思议。至于我在纽约“绝妙海盗”的首秀也是一大亮点。”

“艺术不是必需品,但我们最需要的是艺术,这就是艺术的悖论。当它消失,你就会意识到失去了无可比拟的力量,艺术使事物倍具意义和显现出来,给了我们一个未来,还有欢庆,感谢和释放的方式。”

Text by Sloane Patterson  / Photography by Layzhoz Yeap