finding connection with like-minded people and a reduced energy footprint
— at
Nightingale Studios
Nightingale 2
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Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work you do?

I’m Marcelo Cummins, ironically a rebellious technically minded problem-solver (engineer), son of two bohemian artists who met while travelling and got married in Greece. My mother is from Argentina — hence the Marcelo — and father from Australia — hence the Cummins and me growing up here.

I work for a global wind turbine manufacturer, covering product growth and strategy for Asia. I’ve been passionate about renewables since adopting lefty/greeny values from my Latin American mother and having spent time in research at Melbourne University and volunteering with Beyond Zero Emissions before joining the industry six years ago.

How did you hear about Nightingale and what captured your attention about the model?

I had not come across the themes of intentional communities until doing the Centre for Sustainability Leadership (CSL) fellowship in 2017, where I was exposed to Common Ground, Urban Coup and Nightingale via the course’s general manager Alesha Younghusband, who is part of Urban Coup.

What captured my attention is the intentional ‘triple bottom’ line of ecological, social and financial sustainability that is at the basis of this development model.

What is your current living situation and why have you decided to make a change?

I’ve moved quite a bit in the last thirteen years, living with various folks and realised in the last twelve months that I really wanted to build a space for myself for emotional, physical and mental peace. I started looking for apartments throughout 2018 and am thrilled to nab a place at Nightingale 2. Very lucky.

Nightingale 2 is located directly on the Hurstbridge train line and in the centre of Fairfield Village. How do you anticipate this will affect your transport and shopping patterns?

Being an engineer, what popped out of my monster spreadsheet in the initial phases of brainstorming was that the project is within a five minutes walk to all the stuff I need: public transport (since I don’t own a car), food, fitness (gym/yoga) and so on. So I’m very satisfied that I’ll be able to meet many of needs by foot.

The team from Atelier Projects are leading the build of Nightingale 2 and resident site walks have commenced. Are you excited to be part of the construction process?

It’s exciting, for sure, to be able to watch the building sprout out of the ground and see it grow each month. It’s finally becoming a ‘real thing’. The monthly site walks will make the wait until settlement more bearable and increase the engagement and understanding in the property development process.

Through the construction of your home you will begin to meet other future residents. How do you anticipate this will affect the sense of connection and community at Nightingale 2?

I think it will reduce the wobbles of adjusting to a new place and help feel at home. I’m very curious to meet everyone and see how our values overlap — and where they don’t — to find connection with more like-minded people in tackling the problems we humans face in the world today.

Working collaboratively, Six Degrees Architects and the sustainability team at HIP V. HYPE have achieved an average NatHERS rating of 8.6 stars at Nightingale 2. Why is living in an environmentally sustainable building important to you?

From a measurable personal impact, it’s great to reduce my footprint and use less resources in the way I live. From a living-my-values perspective, I think it will give me a boost in motivation to recognise daily my passion for environmental sustainability and have that reinforced by the space I live in. I am confident that in a wider societal context, family, friends and the wider community that will come to visit will have the seed planted in regards to how we can do things differently.

Find out more about
Nightingale Studios
Nightingale 2
First published in
June 2022