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At Hotel Hotel, we watch people with curiosity. What we see informs the way we design and think about our spaces. Our fascination with human actions and behaviours is the catalyst for Daily Rituals – a new creative project and ongoing study that explores the weird and wonderful things people do regularly as rituals.

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The daily ritual of burrowing into bed. Made in collaboration with U-P and Alyssa McClelland. Starring Alyssa McClelland in Creative Sun room 205.

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Daily Rituals by Jessica Tremp

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The daily rituals of Matt and Lentil

Matt and Lentil are farmers. In Tablik, out Shepparton way, they run a three acre farm of vegetables, fruits, flowers, eggs and dairy. Through their website Grown & Gathered they share their adventures in sustainable living and tips on how to master life’s fundamentals. They came to stay with us. It was lovely. We got a glimpse into the small but purpose-filled rituals that make up their daily life.

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New rituals for play

By Rachel Elliot-Jones and Dan Honey.


Play time is mandatory for both adults and children. It is recommended to laugh at least 15 times per day.
Nowhere Island Constitution, 2012


How many times did you play today? Was it once, was it twice, was it no times at all? Do you think you are ‘too old’ or ‘too busy’ or ‘too tired’ to let your mind wander and roam free. Has it been so long you’ve forgotten what it is to play? Allow us to give you a playful prod.


Play time is idle and unstructured – a delightful disruption to daily goings-on. When we play, we get lost in the moment. We aren’t fixating on outcomes or working towards an end goal. When we were kids, play was paramount. It’s how we made discoveries about the world around us, our bodies and universal laws. Thanks to play time, we learnt to problem-solve, think creatively, make friends and exercise our bodies and imagination.


So why does play peter out in adulthood? And how can we bring moments of play back to daily life? Can we find a way by connecting the freedom of play with the structure of ritual?


We all take part in simple rituals every day – mornings that begin with a carefully prepared tea or coffee, making a purposeful connection to green spaces at lunch, wilful avoidance of screens in the evening and nights that drift off with the turning of pages in a book. These deliberate acts are a form of mindfulness, helping to locate us in the present and prepare us for what comes next. A large portion of the rituals we enact each day are designed to bring calmness, tranquillity and poise. They are transformative in the sense that they bring slowness and solitude to our busy, highly connected lives.


Less commonly practised are rituals that are designed to bring humour, fun and discovery – rituals that help enliven our thinking, spark our imagination, widen our eyes and help us to connect with others physically.


There are some wonderful examples of interesting people incorporating ritualistic forms of play into their everyday.


Sabine Timm under her instagram pseudonym @virgin_honey takes daily walks on the beach, collecting small washed up objects. She playfully arranges these into tiny, fleeting sculptures.


British designer Daniel Eatock pairs and temporarily joins together two everyday objects – a basketball and a plunger, a watermelon and a swimming cap, an umbrella and a watering can.


Nomadic design collective, Field Experiments, during their three month residency in Indonesia structured in afternoon play sessions – where they would come together and stack, connect, balance and arrange their growing collection of everyday balinese objects.


Melbourne design duo Tin and Ed have established #tinandedRAD, an open-ended R&D project where they make playful arrangements from what is at hand. They document and share via their instagram.


Drawing from these influences we have created our own object-based play ritual. (We are particularly interested in object-based play. Studies show that in children, the more advanced your skills at object manipulation become, the richer the circuits in your brain will be – and we think the same goes for grown ups too). Give a go. Try it more than once. If you enjoy it, make it a regular thing. Share it with us.



  • 01

Find five things in the room around you


  • 02

Notice their different shapes, sizes, colours and textures.
Stack them one upon the other


  • 03

Observe how they fit together, balance or topple to the ground.


  • 04

Unstack and restack until you feel like stopping.


  • 05

Take a photo.
Allow a minimum of five minutes.

Share the photo on Instagram and tag @hotel_hotel and #hhdailyrituals or send it to us via [email protected]

Comb sculpture by Sabine Timm

Watermelon by Daniel Eatock

Adhoc Furniture by Field Experiments

Tin & Ed R&D

Tin & Ed try our Play Ritual #1: Stacking

More stacking by Tin & Ed

A small stack by Tin & Ed

A toppling stack by Tin & Ed

A balancing stack by Tin & Ed

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Junk Drawer Number Eighteen

The daily nap

FILED UNDER Daily Rituals Junk Drawer POSTED BY Dan ()

The daily rituals of others (part two)

Susan Sontag photographed by Peter Hujar (1975)

Susan Sontag

Starting tomorrow — if not today:
I will get up every morning no later than eight. (Can break this rule once a week.)
I will have lunch only with Roger [Straus]. (Can break this rule once every two weeks.)
I will write in the Notebook every day.
I will tell people not to call in the morning, or not answer the phone.
I will try to confine my reading to the evening. (I read too much — as an escape from writing.)
I will answer letters once a week.

Benjamin Franklin's daily planner

Benjamin Franklin

Morning: The Question. What good shall I do this day.
5 – 7am: Rise, wash. and address Powerful Goodness! Contrive day’s business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study, and breakfast.
9 – 11am: Work.
12 -1pm: Read or look over my accounts and dine.
2 – 5pm: Work.
6 – 9pm: Put things in their places. Supper. Music or diversion, or conversation. Examination of the day.
10pm – 4am: Sleep.

Gertrude Stein photographed by Horst P. Horst (1946)

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein found inspiration in her car. She would sit in it daily and write poetry on scraps of paper.

Gerhard Richter photographed by Lothar Wolleh (1970)

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter has stuck to the same routine for years. He wakes at 6.15am and makes breakfast for his family. He’s in at his studio by 8am. He stays there until the evening (with a short escape for lunch). His days aren’t filled with painting, but planning and procrastination. He doesn’t start painting until he has created a crisis for himself.

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The ritual of limbering up

The secret of Mike Whitney’s successful cricketing career is that he can bend from the hips. We learnt this vital sporting fact the day Mike came to stay. He led the ritual of limbering up in the Monster salon. We reached for the ceiling, we strained for our toes, we talked and we twisted. Turns out Mike is a bendy guy – he’s been stretching each day for the past 30 years.

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The daily ritual of long walks

Brothers Barrie, Bob and Chris Barton shared their daily ritual of long walks with us. We crossed the big road outside Hotel Hotel and wandered… Oh, the fish we saw…

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Junk Drawer Number Eleven

The Vernacular of Rituals

FILED UNDER Daily Rituals Junk Drawer POSTED BY Dan ()

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