Friday Five with Jon Clements

Jon Clements, one-third of the Melbourne, Australia based architecture firm Jackson Clements Burrows, is the subject of this week’s Friday Five. As one of the founding partners, he’s worked on completed projects in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Spain, leading to numerous institute and industry awards and having their work widely published, including right here on Design Milk. Clements was most recently the President of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, which connects Victoria’s architectural community. Want to see what this modern marvel finds inspirational? Check out his five picks…

1. Inspirational Person \\\ Marc Newson
The diversity of Marc’s portfolio is incredible. I continually reflect on Marc’s ability to shift the ordinary into the extraordinary and the reductive simplicity of his design approach. I have a passionate interest in aircraft construction and from a personal perspective I will always view Marc’s Lockheed lounge as a significant piece of 20th Century contemporary art.

2. Advanced Design \\\ Bugatti 100 Air Racer
The Bugatti 100 Air Racer is the perfect example of interdisciplinary design. Advanced technology and innovative engineering combined with pure aesthetic beauty. Designed in 1938 by Ettore Bugatti to compete in the Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race and capable of 855kph, it is possibly the world’s most beautiful aircraft. It was also the source of five modern patents including the inline engines, V tail mixer controls, and the automatic flap system.


3. Perfect Place \\\ Kimberley Coast – Western Australia
In 1990, I travelled through the Kimberley’s by car and I had always longed to return to explore the coast by boat. In 2006, I sailed from Darwin to Broome in a 40ft yacht. Words cannot explain the beauty and perfect isolation of this incredibly remote and inaccessible part of the world. It is essentially untouched by European settlement and for the sake of our indigenous heritage I hope it always stays that way.


4. Essential Health \\\ Longrain
If I could only ever eat at one restaurant for the rest of my life it would be Longrain. Southeast Asian cuisine that is diverse, innovative and always incredibly fresh. Fortunately Longrain is conveniently located across the road from our studio.


5. What I Can’t Live Without \\\ Flight
When I am not at work I often retreat to a hangar at my farm to pursue my interest in building and restoring aircraft. Whilst flying involves three dimensional thinking that can be directly related to architectural design process the conscious mind immediately shifts into a focused and essentially uninterrupted space which is the ultimate retreat from the intensity of the studio. I spent more than 2000 hours building this aircraft (Vans RV-7) over a period of four years and I utilised many of the technical skills that I have developed through architecture. I can’t imagine the day when I open the doors to the hangar on a Friday evening and the RV is not waiting patiently for a dance amongst the clouds.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.