Interview with Peter Ho, PHOOEY Architects

PHOOEY Architects are a young, enthusiastic and progressive design practice from Melbourne, Australia.

Their portfolio extends from large scale master planning to small scale furniture design. They explore architecture which advocates for environmental, social and cultural awareness and consideration. PHOOEY Architects genuinely and actively explore the use of recycled materials while minimising consumption waste.

Directed by Peter Ho and Emma Young, PHOOEY Architects are currently producing a diversity of innovative projects including an education centre, multi-storey commercial complex & multiple dwellings.

Peter Ho has lectured in Australia and abroad. He has taught at the university of Melbourne and RMIT university. Peter is currently a judge on ‘the Renovators’. Hosted by Network 10, contestants are required to transform 6 houses into real estate gold. The renovations take place across the suburbs of Sydney.

PHOOEY Architects Headquarters – Image Source [1,2]

Archi-ninja Interviews Peter Ho from PHOOEY Architects

AN: 1. Which of your projects has been the most rewarding and why?

PH: The Port Phillip EcoCentre on the corner of the St Kilda Botanic Gardens was our first completed project in private practice. We started to ask questions about what role architecture might play in the discourse of a sustainable future including aiming to create zero waste by reusing the rubbish produced by design & what it might look like.

Port Philip EcoCentre – Image Source [1]

AN: 2. You are currently one of three judges on network TEN’s ‘the Renovators’, what have you learnt from hosting the show and what can the public learn by watching?

PH: I love the idea that architecture & design can help people do what they do in their lives better. As an architect & designer I’m learning to communicate in a mainstream language. The renovators viewers can learn home renovation tips about real estate, architectural design, landscape design, building & style.

‘The Renovators’ – Image Source [1,2]

AN: 3. How do you think architecture will change in the next 50 years?

PH: I think architecture will help society by communicating diverse identities about resilence & adaptation to climate change … preferably in an entertaining manner.

AN: 4. What changes would you like to see in the Architectural profession?

PH: I would like to see architecture become culturally & economically more accessible to mainstream Australia.

AN: 5.Do you think that architecture tends to be trendy today?

PH: It seems to work for Art Vandelay (aka George Costanza).

AN: 6. What would students learn from reviewing the body of projects you have completed?

PH: I’m not sure what they will learn … but they are likely to see some strategies & representations that aim to create zero waste. They may play with these strategies & develop other ways of doing & seeing. I advise students that there is no right or wrong answer. There is always just a better & more appropriate solution.

AN: 7. What are you most proud of in your career or any aspect of life?

PH: I am fortunate to share my life with Emma Young who is a strong, beautiful & clever woman who is mother of our children, Co-Director of PHOOEY Architects & inspiration.

AN: 8. Who do you think is the most overrated architect, and who do you think deserves more credit/recognition?

PH: I think Peter Ho is the most overrated architect. Honestly, he’s a bit of a one hit wonder. However he also deserves more credit/ recognition because he is trying to work out how architecture & design can take responsibility for rubbish produced by the design process i.e rather than pass it on to someone else to deal with.

AN: 9. What aspect of Architecture do you find most important?

PH: Understanding the aspirations of the people we are creating architecture for. Fundamental to our practice and design process is the exploration of diverse opinions & ideas.

AN: 10. What inspired you to become involved in Architecture?

PH: In Grade 4, I got caught up building the detail into a scaled model of a house. Right now I am inspired by other peoples stories & dreams.

AN: 11. What other interests do you have?

PH: Kung Fu. My favourite place in the world is the Middle of the d’Entrecasteaux Channel in Tasmania. Favourite book is Missing Forms by Collective Effort Press and favourite Music is TISM.

AN: 12. What is your favourite time of the day, and why?

PH: The silence & light at daybreak.

AN: 13. What would be your ultimate design project?

PH: A Borg Cube

AN: 14. Other than the Renovators, What are you doing at the moment?

PH: Recharging my batteries under the sun.

AN: 15. Who would you most like to work with on a project?

PH: I’d like to work with Heston Blumenthal & Nick Cave.

Children’s Activity Centre – Image Source [1]

The carpet couch 02 – Image Source [1]

Templestowe Reserve Sporting Pavilion – Image Source [1]

Prahran House – Image Source [1]

I’d like to thank Peter for participating in the interview, it was a pleasure. If you’re interested in getting in touch or finding out more about PHOOEY Architects, visit their website. You can also follow Peter or ‘the Renovators’ on twitter.

If you are interested in being interviewed and featured on Archi-Ninja, please contact me.


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