Sydney Design Festival 2019 – 5 Must-Sees


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


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…

Arborescence by Loop.pH.jpg

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’

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).


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

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’

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.


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

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.


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

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).

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.

White Rabbit Gallery: 'The Dark Matters'

It's the last chance to catch contemporary Chinese art show 'The Dark Matters' at Sydney's White Rabbit Gallery


Much as we love colour at DesignFizz, we're also enchanted by black. This week marks the last chance to encounter noirish thriller 'The Dark Matters', a brilliant exhibition at Sydney's contemporary Chinese art space White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, which runs until Sunday 30 July. Spanning darkly delicious sculpture, installations, painting, tapestry, and video works, it's an inspiring fusion of classical and cutting-edge techniques, drawing on calligraphy and computers to generate provocative pieces. Black, grey, cream and white star in its minimal, zen palette, albeit charged with political and emotional content.

TOP: Yang Mushi 'Grinding', 2013-2016, wood, lacquer and metal plate
ABOVE: Lin Yan 'Sky 2', 2016, paper and ink; Yang Yongliang 'Infinite Landscape', 2011, Blu-Ray video still

We were wowed by this introductory text by Elizabeth Keenan, which sums up the eternal appeal of black to China's creatives: ‘The ancient Chinese got their ink from smoky oil lamps, brushing away deposited soot and mixing it into a paste that hardened into “stones”. The black was pure, indelible and did not fade, and they fell in love with it. They used it not only for writing but for painting, which they saw as just another way to express their thoughts. By adjusting the ink’s dilution and the density of their brushstrokes, painters could create a multitude of shades, from deepest blue-black to palest dove grey. Black had always been the colour of mystery, night, the void. The better the artists got to know black ink, the more superficial, even gaudy, colour seemed. As the Daoist philosopher Laozi declared: “Colours cause the eye to go blind.” Black – utterly simple yet infinitely subtle – allowed one to see the truth.'

'Chinese artists no longer live in a simple, natural, orderly world. They get their blacks not just from ink stones but from printer cartridges, spray cans, propane torches, X-ray film, newsprint, polyester, computer bits and steel. And they use blacks to convey realities the classical masters never dreamed of: oil spills, air pollution, megacities, mass production and political machinations. The artists in this show don’t shun light or colour, but in using them they follow Laozi’s advice: “Know the white, but hold to the black.” Containing more than ever, the dark also conceals more than ever. And it matters more than ever that we see.’

ABOVE: Gao Ge 'Trinity', 2010-2013, carbonised wood, detail

Curated by David Williams, the show's standout pieces include Lin Yan's 'Sky 2' (2016) sculpture in the atrium, a suspended dark cloud formed from ink-darkened handmade Xuan paper, a comment on China's industrial pollution. On the top floor, Yang Mushi's spectacular installation 'Grinding' (2013-16) took three years of hard labour to complete, consisting of hundreds of black-lacquered wooden blocks, shards and scraps, sanded and shaped to form a graphic landscape. Wen-Ying Huang reinvents tapestry with 'Searching II' (2014) – shine a torch on it to reveal hidden images in reflective thread. Blu-Ray video 'Infinite Landscape' (2011), by Yang Yongliang, is reminiscent of traditional Chinese painting but on closer inspection you'll spy moving traffic, cranes, cable cars and construction workers amid its densely populated peaks. 

BELOW: Feng Mengbo 'Not Too Late', 2010, video installation still

Feng Mengbo, Not Too Late, 2010, video installation still.jpg
Tang Nannan, Billennium Waves, 2015, video (colour), 4 min 3 sec.jpg

ABOVE: Tang Nannan 'Billennium Waves', 2015, video (colour) still

Don't miss Feng Mengbo's video installation 'Not Too Late' (2010), which fuses calligraphic brushstrokes with the Quake III Arena combat game to mesmerising effect. You'll also be seduced by Tang Nannan's 'Billennium Waves' (2015) video, replicated endlessly in the room's surrounding mirrors, an inky-blue ocean that's both beautiful and threatening. And we go back to black...

'The Dark Matters' is at White Rabbit Gallery, 30 Balfour Street, Chippendale, Sydney until 30 July 2017; follow-up exhibition 'Ritual Spirit' runs from 30 August 2017 to January 2018, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm (the gallery closes for the re-hang in August).

Pictures: Courtesy the artists and White Rabbit Collection

20th Biennale of Sydney

Ming Wong, 'Windows On The World (Part 1)', 2014, mixed media installation with video. Courtesy of Para Site and Spring Workshop, Hong Kong. Photograph_ Glenn Eugen Ellingsen.JPG

Packed with contemporary art and installations, the 20th Biennale of Sydney still has two more weekends to go. Navigate the maze with our fave FizzPicks…


Every two years the Harbour City gets its art on, with the free Biennale of Sydney taking over town. Running until 5 June 2016, the 20th edition unveils work by 83 artists from 35 countries across seven major venues, dubbed ‘Embassies of Thought’, as well as a string of in-between fringe spaces. Around 70 per cent of artists are showing new commissions, many of them site-specific.

Under the artistic direction of Dr Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator of London's Hayward Gallery, the 2016 theme is based on a quote by US sci-fi author William Gibson: ‘The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.’ Inspired by the idea that access to information technology is still uneven globally, leading to a new poverty gap, the Biennale aims to address the time we’re living in now, as well as imagining where we're going. 'I conceived the venues as Embassies of Thought,' said Rosenthal. 'Each entwined and connected.' So while the Embassy of the Real deals with ways we perceive reality in the digital age, the Embassy of Disappearance 'explores how languages and cultures are disappearing' and the Embassy of Transition engages with the cycles of life and death.

With a blizzard of art up for grabs, even culture-vultures may get overwhelmed. Luckily, our FizzPicks offer edited highlights…

ABOVE: Ming Wong, 'Windows On The World (Part 1)', 2014, mixed-media installation with video
BELOW: Charwei Tsai, 'Spiral Incense: Hundred Syllable Mantra', 2016, spiral incense made of herbal materials


Mortuary Station: Embassy of Transition
Regent Street, Chippendale
Grab the chance to inspect the interior of Chippendale's Victorian Mortuary Station, an atmospheric heritage-listed former funeral station once used to transport coffins and mourners by rail to Rookwood Cemetery. Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai’s ritualistic ‘Spiral Incense’ installation sees smoking incense coils suspended over the prettily tiled platform, hand-inscribed with Buddhist mantras. Video art projected onto the waiting room floors ruminates on the impermanence of life. Outside, aviaries by London artist Marco Chiandetti host live birds pecking at classical sculpture body parts in an unnerving investigation of spirituality. Gothic or what?

BELOW: Jamie North, 'Succession', 2016, mixed materials; Lee Mingwei, 'Guernica in Sand', 2006 and 2015, mixed-media interactive installation

Carriageworks: Embassy of Disappearance
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
It’s hard for any art to compete with jaw-dropping former rail yards Carriageworks, but Sydney-based Jamie North’s sculpture-meets-nature installation ‘Succession’ rises like a biological wonder in this cavernous warehouse. Combining industrial waste products (cement, steel, steel slag, coal ash) with native Australian plants, organic matter and oyster shells, his karst-like cast-concrete forms incorporate miniature landscapes, riffing on distressed architecture. NY-based Taiwanese talent Lee Mingwei’s ‘Guernica in Sand’ – a transitory sand art piece taking its cue from Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting – may have been brushed away, but its blurry swirls of yellow, grey and white still hold a strange beauty.

BELOW: Lee Bul, 'Willing To Be Vulnerable', 2015-16, mixed materials; Korakrit Arunanondchai, 'Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3', 2015-16, HD video, denim, foam, wood; William Forsythe, 'Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, no.2', 2013, plumb bobs, string, compressed air cylinders, aluminium frames

Cockatoo Island: Embassy of the Real
Sydney Harbour
One of the strongest Biennale clusters, Cockatoo Island displays work surrounded by the eery ruins of Sydney’s convict, industrial and ship-building heritage. In the industrial sector, we liked Architecturally-influenced Korean artist Lee Bul’s huge, futuristic ‘Willing To Be Vulnerable’ installation, which mashed up metalised and transparent film, heavy-duty fabric, LED lighting, a fog machine, zeppelin-like inflatables and an ethereal air balloon in a bold red, white and black palette. Inspired by urban, eco and anti-authoritarian spiritual themes, Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s video of Bangkok life was powerfully immersive, but we couldn’t help appreciating the midnight blue-and-white dyed denim floor cushions for the lounging audience. Frankfurt-based American William Forsythe’s mesmerising kinetic work ‘Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time’ fills a distressed space with swinging strings, weighted down with plumb bobs, allowing viewers to interact with the movement. Shanghai's Xu Zhen deconstructs classical and Buddhist sculptures in a monumental work tackling the past, while Singapore's Ming Wong assembles a bank of video screens to show his own vibrant, kooky sci-fi films.

BELOW: Chiharu Shiota, 'Conscious Sleep', 2009/2016, beds, thread; Bharti Kher, 'Six Women', 2013-15, plaster of paris, wood, metal; Cevdet Erek, 'Room of Rhythms – Long Distance Relationship', 2016, mixed media and architectural additions

Taking over a heritage convict barracks, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota's spooky 'Conscious Sleep' installation is a wow, tangling old, upended dormitory beds in a spider's web of black threads. For subtle work 'Piedra en el Zapato', Colombia's Miguel Angel Rojas has crafted a fake, geometric-tiled floor from lime, charcoal powder and mixed materials in an old convict building. New Delhi-based Londoner Bharti Kher peoples an old room with touching nude plaster sculptures in 'Six Women'. By contrast, Turkish artist Cevdet Erek's 'Room of Rhythms – Long Distance Relationship' fills a ruined structure with sound art beats, emanating from black boxes.

BELOW: Sheila Hicks, 'The Embassy of Chromatic Delegates', 2015-16, sculptural elements, various fabrics, bamboo; Taro Shinoda, 'Abstraction of Confusion', 2016, clay, pigment, ochre, tatami mats; Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, 'Bathala', 2012, natural earth pigments on hollow log

Art Gallery of New South Wales: Embassy of Spirits
Art Gallery Road, Sydney
If colour and texture turn you on, then hit the Art Gallery of NSW for American artist Sheila Hicks’ sculptural ensemble ‘The Embassy of Chromatic Delegates’. Vibrant linen, cotton, nylon, polyester, bamboo and wood combine to form a dazzling acid-bright work (imagine this painterly palette used for high-impact rugs, wallpaper or cushions). Hicks’ acrylic-fibre ‘The Questioning Column’ hangs on the gallery’s facade, draped around a classical column like a rainbow waterfall. A world away, Tokyo’s Taro Shinoda channels minimal, neutral-hued interiors, with his ‘Abstraction of Confusion’, a simple tatami-mat platform that embraces simplicity and meditation. Shinoda’s hand-built installations and contemplative sculptural works are informed by karesansui, traditional Japanese garden design. Yirrkala-born indigenous artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu’s forest of logs almost has an oriental quality; stripped-back nature meets graphic mark-making.

BELOW: Nine Beier, 'Allegory of Charity', 2015, ceramic cups, coffee beans, resin, wood, metal; Céline Condorelli, 'Structure for Communicating with Wind', from the series 'Additionals', 2012-13/2016, metallicised space blanket, curtain tape

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Embassy of Translation
140 George Street, The Rocks
Danish artist Nina Beier caught our eye at the MCA with her striking installation ‘Allegory of Charity’, a series of suspended ceramic cups pouring coffee beans onto ‘Tileables’, a patchwork floor of outsize ceramic tiles. Think T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’: 'I have measured out my life in coffee spoons'. French talent Céline Condorelli’s fluttering gold curtain, ‘Structure for Communicating with Wind’, draws on architecture and notions of support, with a metallicised space blanket wafting in space.

Artspace: Embassy of Non-Participation
43-51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
A former artists’ squat turned experimental gallery, Artspace is showing London artist duo Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, including neon work ‘You are the Prime Minister’, backdropped by plush red curtains.

ABOVE: Karen Mirza/Brad Butler, 'You are the Prime Minister', 2014, neon
BELOW: Daniel Boyd, 'What Remains', 2016, site-specific installation, mirrored dots, synthetic polymer paint; Keg de Souza, 'We Built This City' installation, 2016, tents, tarps, hessian sacks, mixed media; Bo Christian Larsson, 'Fade Away, Fade Away, Fade Away,' 2016, mixed-media and performative installation

In-between Spaces
Scattered around town, fringe installations and acts also beckon, especially in the inner-west. One of our favourites is at Redfern Wall on the corner of Vine and Eveleigh streets near aboriginal heartland The Block. ‘What Remains’, by Sydney Kudjila/Gangalu artist Daniel Boyd, is a site-specific constellation of 12,000 mirrored dots covering a chunky corner of wall, backed by black paint. It shimmers and sparkles, reflecting passersby, and looks inky black or midnight blue depending on the light. For 'We Built This City', Perth-born Keg de Souza constructs a patchwork tent dwelling on Redfern's Vine Street. Wrapping up, literally, on a deathly note, Swede Bo Christian Larsson’s ‘Fade Away, Fade Away, Fade Away’ sees gravestones in Newtown’s Camperdown Cemetery covered in white fabric, creating ghostly sculptures from found-objects. Whipped up in his on-site workshop, they look not unlike pale Scandi chair covers. Who said art and decor can't be bedfellows?

The 20th Biennale of Sydney runs at citywide venues until Sunday 5 June 2016

Sydney Open 2015

For Sydney Open, the city’s best buildings throw open their doors, just for one day…


Architecture fans, rub your hands together in glee. The annual Sydney Open offers you an access-all-areas pass to the city this Sunday 1 November. More than 50 of Sydney’s most inspiring spaces will unlock their doors for 2015's event, with cutting-edge architecture, heritage edifices and art on display, as well as secret spots normally off limits to all but employees and bike couriers. Descend to disused station platforms, tunnels and crypts, ascend via glass lifts, galleries and roof terraces, or just swing by the quirky Sydney Masonic Centre to discover a hidden universe.

With Sydney Open's buildings list ranging from the CBD to The Rocks, Darlinghurst, Ultimo and Chippendale, it pays to plan your day. Buy a City Pass ticket online, pick up your wristband from one of three central venues, download the mobile app or map, and get ready to share your finds on social media (#SydneyIsOpen @SydLivMus). Adult tickets cost $49, or pay $99 for host Sydney Living Museums' membership deal for priority entry and extra benefits.

Also look out for free talks and tours at some buildings, and queues at others (the app and Twitter feed will tell you where to expect them). Opening hours are 10am to 4pm at most locations, but check the website for specifics. You can also enjoy special offers at Sydney Living Museums' three foodie outlets: The Governors Table, Bistro Mint and Hyde Park Barracks Café. But to feast on inspiration, here are our architectural must-sees…

ABOVE: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in The Rocks; looking down into the lobby of Deutsche Bank Place, CBD; the New Hall (Sydney Grammar School Assembly Hall) in Darlinghurst
BELOW: Reserve Bank of Australia Building foyer; Shakespeare Room, State Library of NSW; the Atrium inside 50 Martin Place, all CBD sites

CBD – contemporary meets heritage
Boasting 35 of Sydney Open's sites, the CBD is a dynamic tapestry of the old and new, from colonial sandstone to sheer 21st-century surfaces. Enjoy a sticky beak into the cathedrals of finance (from the Reserve Bank of Australia to Deutsche Bank Place) and religion (St Mary's Cathedral) here, as well as cultural icons such as the State Library of NSW. Fans of modern architecture should check out 50-storey Australia Square by seminal architect Harry Seidler, and his Grosvenor Place. To see a contemporary architecture practice, visit BVN.

Chippendale – creative quarter
Chippendale and neighbouring Ultimo form a new precinct for Sydney Open 2015. Peppered with independent art galleries and new-wave architecture, 'Chippo' is fast transforming into one of the city's most creative quarters. Don't miss newly launched boutique stay The Old Clare Hotel, revamped from heritage pub The Clare Hotel and a former Carlton & United Breweries administration building by Singaporean whizz Loh Lik Peng of Unlisted Collection and local architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. It's set on Kensington Street, where old workers' cottages are being reimagined as cafés and niche shops, backed by hidden hawker centre Spice Alley. Nearby Central Park Sydney is home to The Steps, design-led student accommodation by a team including Foster+Partners. For more morbid thrills, explore the Mortuary Station, an ornate Gothic Revival building once used by trains transporting the dead.

ABOVE: The Clare Bar inside The Old Clare Hotel; sandstone terrace on Kensington Street; The Steps Central Park, all Chippendale hot spots
BELOW: Ultimo's UTS Building 7, internal stairs, by Durbach Block Jaggers; interior of Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, UTS, by Frank Gehry; Denton Corker Marshall's green LED-lit UTS Building 11, exterior; UTS Building 7, exterior, featuring undulating colour and eco design

Ultimo – university smarts
The University of Sydney's Camperdown campus may win props for its pretty Oxbridge looks, but its upstart neighbour the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) is bagging kudos for commissioning contemporary architecture. For the Open, you can check out four of its buildings, from Frank Gehry's bricktastic Dr Chau Chak Wing Building for UTS Business School to Melbourne firm Denton Corker Marshall's green LED-lit, sheeny-skinned UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT Building. The Brutalist 1979 UTS Tower is rightly famous; perhaps less well known is the undulating UTS Faculty of Science and Graduate School of Health Building, by Sydney firm Durbach Block Jaggers in association with BVN Architecture. Inspired by a ripple in a grove of trees, its exterior draws on recycled glass, window boxes and refreshing colour with a bold concrete staircase making waves inside. Oh, to be a student again...

BELOW: Denton Corker Marshall's UTS Building 11 interior, puts the vertigo into Ultimo

Sydney Open takes place on Sunday 1 November 2015 at venues across town

Photo credits, from top: Brett Boardman, Deutsche Bank Place, Paul Eichorn, Reserve Bank of Australia, State Library of NSW, Haley Richardson, The Old Clare Hotel, Simon Wood courtesy of Frasers Property & Sekisui House, David Clare, Anthony Browell, Andrew Worssam, Darren Bradley, Andrew Worssam.

Sydney Architecture Festival

Sydney Architecture Festival kicks off today, with a special focus on new public walkway The Goods Line


It's going to be a sun-kissed long weekend in Sydney, the perfect weather to celebrate the four-day Sydney Architecture Festival. Running from Friday 2 until Monday 5 October, #SydArchFest will host a bunch of compelling events, talks and gatherings themed around the city's design priorities and dynamic architectural scene. Expect walks, music, films, food, children's activities and even yoga in the mix to ensure things don't get too beard-strokingly serious. 

We're particularly excited by Saturday's flagship day #TheGoods, hosted on and around newly opened public walkway/cycle path The Goods Line in Ultimo, designed by ASPECT Studios and CHROFI. Inspired by New York's popular aerial park The High Line, built on a historic freight track on Manhattan's West Side, The Goods Line is also set on a disused elevated former rail corridor, albeit a much shorter stretch. Wending its way from Railway Square 500 metres to the Powerhouse Museum, it's a short but sweet strip offering ringside views of the undulating brick Dr Chau Chak Wing Building for UTS Business School by Frank Gehry

Along the way, you'll find bright yellow pingpong tables, benches and picnic tables, as well as planting and trees offering spots for relaxation, study, performance, pop-ups or play. Already a hit with local students as well as workers at the nearby ABC, it acts as a green belt connecting Central Station and its Devonshire Tunnel with Chinatown and Darling Harbour in the city's most densely populated area. Two new cafés – MAAS Junction at the Powerhouse and 80 at Dr Chau Chak – ensure you won't go without a carb and caffeine hit.

#TheGoods offers a full day's action, from morning yoga and tai chi on the Goods Green via drawing and photography classes to SAF short films and sundown drinks come evening. During the day you can also meet an architect, field questions to a landscape architect, or Walk the Line to learn about the walkway's history. Most events are free, but booking is essential for some, so check online.

Next up is #NewCity on Sunday 4 October, which features three tours of architects' homes and fast-changing urban areas, hosted by Sydney Architecture Walks, including one exploring the Inner-City Suburbs of Chippendale, Ultimo, Redfern and Surry Hills. Monday 5 October wraps things up with #GoGlobal, starring TED-style talks at Sydney Opera House to mark World Architecture Day.

Sydney Architecture Festival runs from Friday 2 to Monday 5 October 2015 at various locations across inner Sydney;