Sydney Design Festival 2019 – 5 Must-Sees

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Sydney Design Festival 2019 brings inspiring exhibitions, talks and workshops to town. Here are five Fizz faves for getting your design on!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney Design Festival is back for 2019, unpacking new design, sharing emerging and established talents, and tackling design challenges. This year’s theme is ‘Accessing Design’, making design accessible to fresh audiences, with the action spread beyond the obvious inner-city hot spots. Running from 1 to 10 March – but with many shows lasting longer – the festival also shines a light on local design, including indigenous creativity, hosting events from exhibitions to talks, workshops, open studios, screenings and parties. Here are five of our #SDF19 Fizz faves…

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TOP: Sydney Design Festival keynote speaker Rachel Wingfield of Loop.pH with a range of dynamic past projects. ABOVE: Loop.pH’s ‘Arborescence’ installation for 2014’s Amsterdam Light Festival, proposing a future hybrid of trees and street lighting harnessing the studio’s signature bio-luminescence. Think sustainable ‘living lighting’

FESTIVAL KEYNOTE: RACHEL WINGFIELD OF LOOP.PH
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
8 March (6pm-8pm)

London designer Rachel Wingfield, co-founder with Mathias Gmachl of Loop.pH, will give the festival keynote speech at Ultimo’s Powerhouse Museum. Launched in 2003, their spatial laboratory is known for cross-disciplinary designs that combine digital, light, art and craft details, often in public spaces. Exploring design, architecture and science, Loop.pH’s intriguing installations and experiences harness diverse materials from LEDs, electro-luminous fibres and NASA’s reflective silver mylar to carbon, bamboo and algae. Buy tickets to the talk online or check out Wingfield’s collaborative workshop ‘Archilace’ on Sunday 10 March (3pm-5pm).

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ABOVE: Mungo Scott Flour Mill, historic home to authentic Australian design showcase ‘Home.Grown’ in Summer Hill

HOME.GROWN//DISCOVERING AUSTRALIAN DESIGN
Mungo Scott Flour Mill, 2 Smith Street, Summer Hill
8-10 March

A three-day celebration of Australian furniture, lighting and home furnishings, ‘Home.Grown’ is presented by the Authentic Design Alliance and curated by its director Anne-Maree Sargeant. Expect three halls over two levels featuring exhibitions, installations and pop-ups, championing locally designed and made products and homegrown talents. All up you’ll discover around 175 designers and 100 brands. Ground Floor Hall 1 features a combined showcase of designers and smaller independent brands, spanning innovative lighting by Lumil, rugs by Designer Rugs and stylish storage by Sagitine, alongside a pop-up mini mart of Australian homewares available to buy from top3 by design. Installations occupy Ground Floor Hall 2, including ‘Undervalued’ by Nick Rennie, ‘Project Replica’ by Mitch Tobin, ‘Brand a Fake’ by ADA, ‘Used by 3018’ by Will Thompson, a Mercedes-Benz Design Award display and atmospheric photos of the historic venue itself. Upstairs, the First Floor Gallery presents curated zones by 10 established Australian design brands, including Nau, Catapult, Didier, Furnished Forever and Artedomus (‘New Volumes’). Talks, starring talents including Adam Goodrum, Adam Cornish and Christina Bricknell, tackle issues affecting the country’s design scene. The location is a wow too, with the event taking over the 1922 Mungo Scott Flour Mill. A free preview afternoon on Friday 8 March is by RSVP only; for the weekend, buy advance tickets cheaper online or snap them up at the door.

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ABOVE: Trent Jansen’s ‘Tidal Lounger’ chairs and ‘Tidal Coffee Table’, made from premium stainless steel wire for Australian outdoor living brand Tait, feature in ADC’s exhibition ‘Steel’

STEEL: ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE
Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst
Until 3 April (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Discover the innovative ways artists, designers and architects are using steel in the 21st century at this major touring exhibition from Adelaide’s JamFactory. Free to visit at Darlinghurst’s Australian Design Centre, it showcases the work of 29 Australian creatives, including Korban/Flaubert’s bold steel sculptures, Trent Jansen’s wave-inspired ‘Tidal’ outdoor furniture collection for Tait, and BVN’s graphic Australian PlantBank research building at Mount Annan in New South Wales. A selection of steely works is also displayed across the road at Stylecraft’s showroom (24/100 William Street). Fancy some craft shopping? ADC hosts a Makers Market on Saturday 9 March (10am-4pm), featuring more than 27 local makers.

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ABOVE: ‘Purple with Black, White and Blue’ photo (detail) by Jon Setter, part of the artist’s exhibition ‘The Urban Text’ at design store Koskela

JON SETTER: THE URBAN TEXT
Koskela, 1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
Until 31 March

This series of 12 minimal photographs explores the unnoticed aspects of urban environments and our everyday streetscapes. Detroit-born, Sydney-based Jon Setter’s free exhibition ‘The Urban Text’ is on show at inspiring design store Koskela in Rosebery, so call in for a culture fix, then stick around to shop for Australian-made furniture, homewares and accessories. The artworks are available to buy as unframed prints in three sizes, and their abstract, graphic, simple, colour-block style will look a treat on your wall. Feeling peckish? Three Blue Ducks cafe shares this atmospheric former factory space.

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ABOVE: Bernabei Freeman’s contemporary ceramic ‘Hybrid Vessel’ (2018), incorporating 3D-printed ABS and handwoven rattan, is part of digital craft show ‘Femufacture’ at The Japan Foundation

FEMUFACTURE: JAPANESE AND AUSTRALIAN DESIGN
The Japan Foundation Gallery, Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale
Until 30 March (closed Sundays)

Lovers of craft and design will enjoy cutting-edge exhibition ‘Femufacture’, which explores the interface of craft traditions and digital fabrication technologies. Hosted by The Japan Foundation Gallery, upstairs in Chippendale’s Central Park mall, it features new works by Japanese and Australian women including 3D-printed ceramic and hand-woven rattan vessels by Melbourne’s Bernabei Freeman (Rina Bernabei and Kelly Freeman). Mediums include weaving, wood turning, indigo-dyeing, paper cut, silversmithing and knitting, combined with 3D printing, CNC machining, coding and robotics. The show also includes wearable technology by light artist Erina Kashihara, who joins the gallery’s free panel discussion to mark International Women’s Day (8 March, 6.30pm-8pm).

sydneydesign.com.au/2019

Sydney Design Festival 2019 runs until Sunday 10 March at venues across the city, but many events continue beyond this weekend. For more inspiration check out SDF’s suggested itineraries, from free and family-friendly ideas to sustainable thinking and design after dark.

10 FizzPicks for Denfair Sydney 2018

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Contemporary design show Denfair hits Sydney for the first time this week, offering inspiration aplenty for design hunters

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Australia's leading contemporary design exhibition Denfair launches its first Sydney edition this week, after successfully establishing the event in Melbourne. Expect more than 50 local and international brands sharing new and bestselling products at Moore Park's Hordern Pavilion, with furniture, lighting, accessories, rugs, bathware, art and outdoor living in the frame. Running from 16 to 18 August, the show welcomes industry designers, architects, stylists and their clients over the first two days, with Saturday open to the public.

Keen design hunters can enjoy free tickets to the public day care of DesignFizz x Denfair by clicking on the following link. Trade visitors can register online, with an awards ceremony on Thursday night (6pm-9pm). Here are 10 of our top tips to whet your appetite...

ABOVE: Anaesthetic's new 'Duomo' light, shown here as a wall sconce or stem wall light. It comes in a range of finishes, from aged brass to powercoated, and in white, matte black, grey or aged brass colours

ANAESTHETIC
New Zealand lighting brand Anaesthetic, headed up by Ben and Kiri Wahrlich, engineers and makes its designs in Melbourne. Look out for their curvy new 'Duomo' light, which pairs minimal aesthetics with hand-finished aged brass. Inspired by Italian domed churches, the range includes a wall sconce, stem wall light, pendant light and table lamp, with several eye-catching variations.


ABOVE: Outdoor living brand Tait's 'Trace' sunlounge by Australian designer Adam Goodrum is new for Denfair Sydney; Goodrum's award-winning 2017 'Trace' outdoor furniture collection; Adam Cornish's 'Seam' chair for homes or offices launched at June's Denfair in Melbourne

TAIT
Australian brand Tait introduces Adam Goodrum's inviting 'Trace' sunlounge, the newest addition to his 'Trace' outdoor furniture collection. Made from airy stainless steel mesh, aluminium, sustainable timber and marbled porcelain, the range features a sofa, armchair, modular combination, coffee tables, drinks trolley and planter. Adam Cornish's award-winning aluminium 'Seam' chair, flaunting a seamed spine, is ideal for compact indoor or alfresco spaces.


ABOVE: Cult celebrates Arne Jacobsen's designs for Copenhagen's SAS Royal Hotel, including his iconic 'Egg' chairs; 'Pot', 'Egg' and 'Swan' chairs by Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen; his reissued 'Pot' chair in a range of colours with a chromed steel base; the 60th anniversary edition of 'Egg', 'Swan' and 'Drop' in a natural palette of Pure leather, Sera wool fabric and 23-karat gold-plated aluminium

CULT
Inspired by the Orchid Bar at Copenhagen's SAS Royal Hotel, Australian design firm Cult's Denfair stand celebrates 60 years since the hotel's design and its iconic chairs by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen. On show will be Fritz Hansen's limited-edition 60th anniversary collection including Jacobsen's 'Swan', 'Egg' and 'Drop' chairs, plus his newly reissued 'Pot' chairs. Scandi heaven!


ABOVE: 'New Volumes Collection 01' on show at Artedomus's stand, including furniture, lighting and accessories; Ros Gardam's 'Hemera' desk lamp; high and low 'Hurlysi' side tables by Thomas Coward; and the 'Bacchus' table by Tom Skeehan, all crafted from Elba stone

NEW VOLUMES c/o ARTEDOMUS
Quarried from beautiful, natural Elba stone in Greece, the 'New Volumes' collection presented by Sydney's Artedomus showcases simple, sculptural furniture, lighting and accessories designed by some of Australia's hottest talents. We love the Brutalist 'Hemera' desk lamp by Ros Gardam, the sensual 'Hurlysi' side tables by Thomas Coward and the 'Bacchus' coffee table by Tom Skeehan.


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ABOVE: Nood Co's new concrete 'Pill' basins in Australian-inspired colours will brighten up any bathroom

NOOD CO
Crafting contemporary concrete furniture and homewares, Nood Co launches curvy new pill-shaped 'Pill' basins at Denfair, available in 10 pastel-pretty colours from blush pink to mint and power blue. The squarer 'Cube' surface-mount wash basin comes in the same hues for bathroom bliss. They're among 15 new Australian-designed and manufactured products by Matt Di Costa.


ABOVE: Pitch Acoustics's sound-absorbent designs, including floor screens and fabric-covered MDF 'Timber' wall panels by Zilenzio; arrange the diamond-shaped components of Zilenzio's 'Fazett' wall-mounted system to suit your space

PITCH ACOUSTICS
Need to muffle sound in a stylish way? Sydney-based Pitch Acoustics offers innovative fabric-covered wood 'Timber' wall panelling by Swedish brand Zilenzio, from graphic wall pieces to elegant herringbone patterns, or classic full- or decorative half-wall panels. We also like Zilenzio's 'Fazett' wall-mounted system of diamond-shaped, fabric-covered MDF panels in different colours.


ABOVE: Swedese's 'Button' sofa and 'Spin' stool, both represented at Denfair Sydney by Cube and Circle

CUBE AND CIRCLE
Waterloo-based Sydney store Cube and Circle is exclusive Australian distributor for Swedish brand Swedese's covetable contemporary furniture, including Swedish duo Front's 2017-launched 'Button' sofa (which allows you to attach stylish accessories) and 2011's technically complex stackable wooden 'Spin' stool by Staffan Holm. They also represent Scandi brand Cuero Design.


ABOVE: Designer Rugs' range includes the graphic green 'Rift' rug and swirly blue 'Current' rug by Lia Pielli from the in-house 'Transient' collection, and the (wall-mounted) 'Corner Halving' rug by industrial design studio Mr Fräg, hand-tufted in New Zealand wool and bamboo silk

DESIGNER RUGS
Collaborating with Australian talents, Designer Rugs offers in-house and designer collections for residential and commercial clients, with contemporary rugs made from tactile New Zealand wool. Some are hand-knotted or hand-tufted, others include innovative materials such as gleaming bamboo silk or nettle. We love 'Rift' and 'Current' by Lia Pielli from 2017's 'Transient' collection.


ABOVE: The visually lightweight, rattan 'Wicked' armchair and 'Basket' tables by Alain Gilles for Vincent Sheppard, available in Australia from Cotswold InOut Furniture

COTSWOLD INOUT FURNITURE
For that indoor-outdoor lifestyle, check out Cotswold InOut Furniture, which will be championing pieces such as 2016's rattan and lacquered aluminium 'Wicked' sofa and armchair range by Alain Gilles for Belgian firm Vincent Sheppard, which specialises in Lloyd Loom woven furniture, alongside in-house Cotswold Teak alfresco designs.


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ABOVE: The Raconteur's five-strong 'Bondi' scented candle collection, featuring coastal imagery inspired by Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach

THE RACONTEUR
For a must-have local accessory, The Raconteur's luxe scented candles take inspiration from Sydney's Bondi, Melbourne, the Red Centre and Hamilton Island. Hand-poured in Sydney from soy wax and free of nasties, they draw on Australian botanicals, such as native Port Jackson fig and coastal banksia in 'Bondi 1' (one of five Bondi candles). Packaging incorporates evocative photos. Denfair sees the release of a debut Tasmanian candle, featuring boronia flower and native pepper.
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Denfair is at Hordern Pavilion, 1 Driver Avenue, Moore Park, Sydney from 14 to 18 August 2018. Opening hours are Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday 11am-7pm (trade days) and Saturday 10am-5pm (public day). DesignFizz followers can get free entry to the public day by using link https://bit.ly/2M6HI18. Children aged under 16 aren't permitted.

Design-Made 2017

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Indie festival Design-Made celebrates Australian design talent in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney's debut independent contemporary design festival, Design-Made, kicks off in Alexandria this week, showcasing a veritable Who's Who of more than 50 Australian talents. Expect a three-day programme packed with product launches, thought-provoking exhibitions and curated installations from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October, including cutting-edge furniture, lighting and accessories. The atmospheric main venue is former woodshed Sunstudios, normally used for photo shoots, with a few offshoot talks at the nearby Fischer & Paykel Experience Centre.

Founded by Kobe Johns of Factory Design District and Authentic Design Alliance director Anne-Maree Sergeant, Design-Made celebrates Australia-wide design, with an emphasis on original, local design and quality craftsmanship, engaging visitors in the creative process. You can watch Melbourne potter Colin Hopkins of Porcelume shaping porcelain lighting shades on a wheel, while listening to his own musical score (the results are represented by Spence & Lyda). Leather-cutting and print-making are also on display.

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Homegrown and international brands will share their collections – from Mud Australia to Cult and Singaporean furniture firm Castlery (collaborating on a new range with Australian designer Charles Wilson) – alongside an impressive roll call of independent designers and studios. It's a rare opportunity for Australian talents to show their work across diverse brands on their own stands, including Adam Cornish, Ross Gardam, Jonathan West, and the three Toms – Tom Fereday, Tom Skeehan and Tomek Archer. Free and ticketed talks and workshops allow you to get hands-on, plus there are parties to pep you up. Here are 10 FizzPicks to whet your appetite...

TOP AND BELOW: Ross Gardam's new 'Noon' collection at Alexandria's Design-Made show, including coffee table and mirrors
ABOVE: Furniture-maker Jonathan West's gleaming cabinet

'Noon' collection by Ross Gardam
Australian furniture and lighting designer Ross Gardam will be unveiling his graphic new 'Noon' collection of wall mirrors and coffee tables, made in Melbourne. Subtly exploring the passage of time,  the tables come in two sizes with surfaces including timber veneer, laminate, marble, and mirror, or a striking 'Tri-Cut' combination of walnut, marble and black glass (available from Stylecraft). The mirrors, set back from timber frames, feature clear, bronze and black finishes, or opt for wow factor with the 'Tri-Cut' configuration incorporating all three.


'Paperclip' collection by Seaton Mckeon
Sydney-trained industrial designer Seaton Mckeon's new outdoor furniture range 'Paperclip' for Stylecraft will be exhibited for the first time, styled by Jason Grant. Formed from powered-coated steel, the clean-lined, modernist-influenced collection consists of a stackable lounge chair (with Merbau timber armrests), chair, bar stool and low stool, bound to add graphic attitude to gardens. Finishes include wire and laser-cut perforated sheet metal, with a seductive choice of Dulux colours, from rusty reds to deep blues and eucalypt greens, as well as black, white and grey.

ABOVE: Seaton Mckeon's 'Paperclip' outdoor furniture collection for Stylecraft, including lounge chairs with wooden armrests, stackable chairs in green; and low stools in green and white


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'Igneous' wall light by Ash Allen and James Walsh
Crafted from upcycled bluestone waste, sourced locally, the new 'Igneous' light is by Melbourne designers Ash Allen and James Walsh, presented by Australian brand Catapult. Victorian bluestone is synonymous with Melbourne's architecture, but quarrying generates waste. The pair melted bluestone powder in a kiln to create this striking textured, patterned version of the stone, with a goldy-blue surface set off perfectly by the light's shadowplay. The gorgeous modern wall sconces are made to order, in two sizes, and feature a central gold-dipped bulb.

ABOVE: Meaning 'from fire', the 'Igneous' wall light by Ash Allen and James Walsh is crafted from waste bluestone powder using extreme heat


Good Design Australia showcase
Good Design Australia, a veteran prize dating back to 1958, will showcase recent Good Design Awards winners in furniture and lighting. Highlights include Canberra-based Tom Skeehan's minimal, Japanese-inspired 'Hoshi' collection of armchairs, benches and ottomans for Stylecraft, Adam Goodrum's ergonomic 'Bower' work-pod/seating screens and sculptural 'Malloy' chair for Cult design store's new Australian collection 'NAU', and Charles Wilson's 'Carafe' table for Herman Miller.

ABOVE: Recent Good Design Awards winners including Tom Skeehan's 'Hoshi' lounge collection of seating, benches, side tables and ottomans for Stylecraft, Adam Goodrum's 'Bower' screened desks and seats for Cult, and Charles Wilson's 'Carafe' table for Herman Miller


'LD' wallpapers by Local Design
Collaborative Sydney-based label Local Design is launching an eight-strong range of graphic, contemporary printed wallpapers, with Australian contributors including the label's creative director Emma Elizabeth, Kate BanaziDaniel Emma, Shilo EngelbrechtTom Fereday, Dowel Jones, Fiona Lynch and Tom Skeehan. Durable enough for use in schools, hospitals and public spaces, the large-scale papers are eco-friendly, due to their low chemical emissions. Banazi will be screen-printing 100 limited-edition prints at the installation, available for sale.

ABOVE: The brand-new 'LD' wallpapers by Local Design


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'Boulder' side tables by Dinosaur Designs
Best known for resin tableware and jewellery, Sydney's Dinosaur Designs unveils a box-fresh new collection of 'Boulder' side tables at Design-Made. Inspired by rock formations, as well as the serene palette of Stonehenge and Giorgio Morandi's still-life paintings, the hand-crafted pieces come in swirly whites, creams, blacks and greys.

ABOVE: Dinosaur Designs' new 'Boulder' collection of resin side tables


'Interpretations V' exhibition
A biannual group show exploring materials, 'Interpretations V' tasked eight Australian designers to explore paper (cellulose), in an exhibition curated by Vert Design's Andrew Simpson. Innovative prototypes include Tom Skeehan's 'SO' tactile paper light fixtures, formed from traditionally dyed pulped paper; Tom Fereday's timber-framed 'Pieman' chairs with woven paper cord seats and backs; Elliat Rich (of Elbowrkshp)'s pebble-like textured paper sculptures '7 Rounds', including photographic hints of hands; and Charles Wilson's delicate oval 'Lirio' picnic plates, intended to be held with a wine glass in one hand.

ABOVE: Paper prototypes for materials showcase 'Interpretations V', including Tom Skeehan's 'SO' paper lights in soft pastels, Tom Fereday's cord-strung 'Pieman' chairs; Elliat Rich's '7 Rounds' pebble sculptures, and Charles Wilson's 'Lirio' picnic plates


'Stitchfield' 2017 installation
Interactive installation 'Stitchfield', commissioned by Design Tasmania, is a modern update of a weaving or knitting circle. Suspended above Sunstudios' entry lounge, the gleaming metallic 'wave' is formed from interconnecting brass components, devised by Melbourne architect Claire Scorpo and Alice Springs-based designer Elliat Rich. It will be lowered twice a day during the festival, encouraging visitors to join the gathering of makers crafting this communal work-in-progress.

ABOVE: Interactive brass hanging 'Stitchfield', formed from circular components, will be expanded by visitors during the show


'26 Original Fakes' exhibition
Curated by Dale Hardiman and Tom Skeehan, 26 Original Fakes is a group show in the atrium highlighting Australia's unfortunate status as the 'Wild West' of fake designer furniture. With insufficient copyright laws protecting both established and emerging product designers, this show, backed by the Authentic Design Alliance, invited 26 Australian designers to riff on British talent Jasper Morrision's much-copied 'Hal' chair for Vitra, distributed here by Living Edge. Look out for Tom Fereday's 'Shadow Chair', a cast concrete form representing the negative space under a replica 'Hal' chair, suggesting that by buying rip-offs you are left with nothing but a shadow of the original.

ABOVE: Exhibition '26 Original Fakes' includes designs hacking replicas of Jasper Morrison's 2010 'Hal' chair for Vitra, including Tom Fereday's cast concrete 'Shadow Chair', Daast studio's 'Royalties Paid' chair engraved with a satirical letter from the Australian government, and Jon Goulder's Sydney Opera House-inspired chair, itself a rip-off of fellow exhibitor Andrew Simpson's earlier replica of a replica!


ABOVE: 'Light Hut' tiny house by duo Fresh Prince, outside the Sunstudios entrance, illuminated at night

'Light Hut' by Fresh Prince
Finally, just outside Sunstudios, 'Light Hut' champions the tiny house movement. Designed by Sydney studio Fresh Prince, this outdoor sanctuary is a small moveable structure that 'sheds the weight of a modern dwelling to return to bare, essential shelter.' Here's to treading the Earth more lightly...
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Design-Made runs from 27 to 29 October over two locations in Alexandria – Sunstudios (42 Maddox Street) and Fischer & Paykel Experience Centre (96 Bourke Road). Opening hours are Friday 27 (10am-6pm), Saturday 28 (10am-5pm) and Sunday 29 (10am-4pm); $10 on the door.

At Home: Modern Australian Design

Sydney's Old Government House has been given a magical contemporary twist with 'At Home', an inspired exhibition of modern Australian design

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

We love a ramble through a stately home, but for antiques plus attitude don't miss brilliant show 'At Home: Modern Australian Design', taking over Sydney's Old Government House in Parramatta until 22 January 2017. Hosted by the National Trust and curated by eagle-eyed design editor David Clark (who formerly helmed Vogue Living), it places hand-picked contemporary objects by over 60 of the country's leading designers cheek-by-jowl with historic pieces, exploring the nation's domestic aesthetics. The result is a marriage made in style heaven, with cutting-edge furniture, lighting, textiles, wallpaper and accessories both complementing and contrasting with the original interiors, making you look at them in a fabulously fresh light.

TOP: Adam Goodrum's vibrant aluminium 'Stitch' chair (2008) for Cappellini beside his wood and Marbro 'Broached Colonial Birdsmouth' table (2011) for Broached Commissions in the Old Government House dining room. Vert Design's 2016 digitally modelled, milky-white versions of Lucien Henry's 19th-century 'Waratah' decanter and 'Protea' cups perch on the table

ABOVE: Sarah King's leather-like carbon-fibre 'Carbon Wingback' chair (2009) in the governor's office, flanked by Daniel Emma's mixed-media 'D.E Desk' accessories (2010). Laundry marker on lino artwork 'The day a white man gave a black man (his) land' (2006) by Joan Ross hangs on the wall

For an atmospheric arrival, take the ferry from Circular Quay up the Parramatta River, then walk to leafy Parramatta Park where Old Government House oozes venerable charm. The 'country home' of the first 10 governors of New South Wales, from 1799 to 1855, it's Australia's oldest surviving public building, a convict-built World Heritage site and host to a significant collection of late Georgian furniture. But the period drama really amps up once you go inside, with the exhibition's subtle and striking juxtapositions of iconic, recent and new Australian designs inserted into hallways, lounges, dining room, bedrooms and even the kitchen. 'I hope it demonstrates the more expressive edge of contemporary Australian design,' says Clark. 'The hybrids and curiosities, the bespoke and beautiful, the exuberant, quirky and odd.'

ABOVE: Louise Olsen's handmade resin 'Liquid Moon' side table (2016) in 'Seaweed Malachite' for Dinosaur Designs, with toile artwork by Cloth's Julie Paterson; Korban/Flaubert's sculptural stainless steel 'Armour' screen (2012) in the hall, complemented by chequered floors

The kernel for the show sprang from the 2011 'Broached Colonial' collection by Melbourne design studio Broached Commissions, which included work by Adam Goodrum, Charles Wilson and Trent Jansen and riffed on colonial Australia. Clark was keen to see the pieces in the context of Old Government House, alongside other modern designs. While some contemporary items have a colonial feel – from decanters and tea sets to sleekly crafted wooden chairs – others are digitally produced, streamlined products that bring 21st-century bang to the building's vintage buck, or draw on radical materials including salvaged car parts, carbon fibre and glossy resin.

ABOVE: Curves in all the right places – created especially for the exhibition Fred Ganim's Belgian oak 'Plane' table (2016), with Japanese black stain, sits below the swirling staircase

An impressive roll call of local talent is on display, from Adam Goodrum's laser-cut, folding 'Stitch' chair, designed in 2008 for Italian brand Cappellini, to Grant and Mary Featherston's vintage 'Scape' armchair from 1960, reissued in 2016 by Grazia & Co. Established pieces by Marc NewsonRobert Foster and Dinosaur Designs are here, alongside newer creations by up-and-coming names. We love Adelaide duo Daniel Emma's 'D.E Desk' accessories, Henry Wilson's bronze 'Fin' bookends, 'Stack' trays and 'Surface' sconce lamps, and Trent Jansen's terracotta 'Jugaad with Pottery' vessels, created in India.

ABOVE: Broached Commissions' 'Piano' credenza (2013) by Adam Goodrum, made from piano ivory, timber and felt, sheet music and Victorian ash, with Charles Wilson's Tasmanian blackwood 'Government' side table (2007); The sci-fi shape of Marc Newson's tubular steel, foam and wool 'Embryo' chair (1988) contrasts with its heritage surrounds

Like a sinuous racetrack, Fred Ganim's undulating 'Plane' table occupies a startling location in the atrium, below the two-story building's curvy wooden staircase. Taking the spot usually occupied by a hurricane lantern by the hall's entry portico, ADesignStudio's 'Greenway' pendant lamp teams classic hand-blown glass and brass with 3D-printed polymers and LED lights, typifying the collision of old and new in the show. Another heavenly hybrid is the 'Waratah' decanter and 'Protea' cups, originally drawn by Lucien Henry (1889-91) but digitally remodelled by Vert Design in 2016, using 3D-printed polymers. Australia's decorative past meets its high-tech future...

ABOVE: Culture-clash rules in the upstairs lounge, decorated with terracotta 'Jugaad with Pottery' by Trent Jansen, 'Matisse' chairs by Frag Woodall, brass 'Don' coffee table by Don Cameron and zig-zag LED 'Sen' light by Liam Mugavin, all 2016; In the music room, Tony Kenway's maple 'Signature' rocker (1988) and Lucy McRae's vegetable-dyed wood and metal 'Broached Colonial Prickly' lamp (2011) for Broached Commissions add a slightly surreal touch

Lovers of wallpapers and fabrics should head upstairs, where prints and textiles draped on tables and tacked to walls include work by Anna Spiro (behind the interiors of Australia's Halcyon House hotel), Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, flora and fauna-inspired Cloth (aka Julie Paterson), photographer Martyn Thompson, painterly Shilo Engelbrecht, and nature-influenced Utopia Goods. There's a compact design store and alfresco cafe for shopping and sipping afterwards. The Fizz heard a rumour that the upstairs lounge is haunted, but there's not a ghost of a chance that would put us off this thought-provoking show!
nationaltrust.org.au/event/at-home
'At Home: Modern Australian Design' is at Old Government House, Parramatta Park, Parramatta, western Sydney, until 22 January 2017. Open Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm (last admission 3.30pm); AU$18.50 for adult tickets, online or on the door.

Pictures: Michael Wee

Rigg Design Prize

Catch the last weekend of the Rigg Design Prize at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria for an exciting survey of Australian talent...

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Ghostly houses, pandanus-leaf pendant lamps and futuristic loungers… Australian contemporary design is celebrated in all its creative diversity at the Rigg Design Prize 2015, which sees furniture, lighting, accessories and installations on display at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria.

The triennial prize is Australia’s most prestigious gong for contemporary furniture and objects, with AU$30,000 awarded to an outstanding Australian design practitioner. Established in 1994, the invitational showcase is now curated by the NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture, which looked for original, independent and current work. 2015’s winner, Adam Goodrum, was chosen by international judges Gijs Bakker (co-founder of Amsterdam’s Droog Design) and Wava Carpenter (a former Design Miami curator).

This weekend is your last chance to catch the show, which features seven design talents each populating their own zone with purpose-built installations, new and existing works. Proof that the Australian design scene is kicking goals…

Adam Goodrum
We first came across Sydney designer Adam Goodrum when his multi-coloured folding aluminium ‘Stitch’ chair for Italian megabrand Cappellini wowed 2008’s Milan Furniture Fair. Now he’s bagged 2015's Rigg Design Prize for his ethereal installation ‘Unfolding’, three miniature houses formed from transparent acrylic sheets with pastel-rainbow hues. They explore his fascination with 2D designs that morph to 3D, casting dreamy reflections. ‘I see the house as an expression of my career,’ says Goodrum, starting flatpacked but unfolding from experimental planes to an evolved form. An industrial design lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, Goodrum has also created standout furniture for Australian stores Tait (the sporty outdoor ‘Volley’ chairs) and Cult, as well as accessories for Normann Copenhagen and bespoke tables and benches for Canberra's Hotel Hotel. 

Daniel Emma
We’re huge fans of Adelaide design duo Daniel Emma, aka partners Daniel To and Emma Aiston. They create ‘the unexpected from simple objects using simple forms’, drawing on sculptural shapes, quirky colours and a playful sense of fun. 'It’s our version of existing geometric forms. It’s almost normal, but not quite normal.’ Industrial design graduates from the University of South Australia, both honed their skills at witty UK design store Thorsten van Elten. Their graphic room set at the Rigg Prize feels Memphis yet minimal, housing vibrant pieces such as their ‘Pick ‘N’ Mix’ table and bench for Tait and smile-inducing ‘Mish Mash’ chair and ‘Cherry on the Bottom’ light. Daniel Emma’s own-line ‘D.E’ desk accessories are home office heaven; their ‘Marble’ watch for Melbourne’s AÃRK Collective is equally covetable. 

Brodie Neill
We’d give Brodie Neill a straight A for his ‘Alpha’ chair, a solid wood, stackable A-shaped seat which drew admiring glances at 2015’s Milan Furniture Fair. It was first exhibited by Made in Ratio, the East London-based label founded by Neill in 2013. The University of Tasmania furniture design graduate is known for combining traditional craft and digitally produced designs in startling forms. Neill says, ‘I’m adopting processes that are more accustomed to the field of architecture, and physical processes more familiar to sculpture.’ Also on display in Melbourne is his star-shaped, slimline ‘Supernova’ table cast from recycled aluminium, his organic ‘Cowrie’ rocker in natural ash, clover-inspired LED pendant lights and limited edition chaise longues.

Korban/Flaubert
Is it sculpture or is it design? It's tricky to define Korban/Flaubert’s work, but this Sydney-based duo’s creations definitely turn heads. Australian metalsmith Janos Korban and UK-born architect Stephanie Flaubert bring a hybrid art-design approach to their Rigg display, which includes chairs, a sculpture/bench and a screen. Materials such as steel and aluminium are their inspiration, with the pair combining Korban’s metalworking skills and Flaubert’s conceptual model-making in abstract yet functional forms. 'We like getting down to the work’s emotional impact,' says Flaubert, 'what it does to your perception, the sense of your own position in space.’

Koskela and Elcho Island Arts
Sydney design store Koskela is known for its Australian-designed and -made, sustainable furniture and products. Here, partners Russel Koskela and Sasha Titchkosky have collaborated with the indigenous weavers of Elcho Island Arts, based north of Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory, on a bold collection of pendant lights and high-backed wooden chairs featuring pandanus leaf weaving. The project provides economic benefits for the local women, and helps preserve traditional craft techniques. ‘It’s more than a beautiful object, it is embedded cultural storetelling,’ says Titchkosky.

Kate Rohde
Imagine being invited to the Mad Hatter’s tea party – and Salvador Dali had done the styling! Colours and forms are surreal, theatrical and extreme in designer-maker Kate Rohde's synthetic Wunderkammer, a dining room set created for the exhibition featuring a table and chairs, tableware and wallpaper. The magical, zoomorphic installation mixes taxidermy with powerful prints, and rainbow-bright cast resin vessels with animal pelts. Rohde graduated from Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, taking an extravagant art sensibility into her sculpture, jewellery and design projects, including textile collaborations with Sydney fashion duo Romance Was Born. Her installation will also go on show at the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art until 15 May 2016.

Khai Liew
Born in Malaysia, Khai Liew arrived in Australia in 1971, and now crafts limited edition and one-off designs in his Adelaide studio. Having worked as a conservator and curator of Australian colonial furniture, Liew borrows from heritage techniques to create his sleek, timeless wooden furniture, combining beauty and utility. Here he's showing pale oak and maple tables, chairs and a wardrobe that feel traditional yet modern, featuring tactile details, cross-cultural references and subtly surprising shapes. ‘Beauty comes from taking something to its purest form,’ says Liew.

The Rigg Design Prize 2015 runs until Sunday 7 February 2016 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Entry is free; open 10am-5pm daily.

Photos: Brooke Holm