Melbourne Design Week 2019 – 6 Must-Sees

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This year’s Melbourne Design Week offers a thought-provoking mix of exhibitions, talks and tours. Take a peek…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

2019’s Melbourne Design Week features more than 200 exhibitions, talks, tours, films and workshops, with events across town and in neighbouring city Geelong. Running from 14 to 24 March, Melbourne’s largest festival programme to date celebrates both local and international talent, with the core theme of ‘Design Experiments’ – asking how design can shape the future. A mix of ticketed and free activities embrace diverse challenges from the environment to social issues and materials. This year’s festival wraps up on Sunday, but many of the inspiring shows continue beyond the weekend. Here are six of our top FizzPicks…

‘SOMEWHERE OTHER’: JOHN WARDLE ARCHITECTS
Ground Level/Foyer, NGV Australia, Federation Square
Until 28 July (10am-5pm, free)

Visitors are invited to peek through five portals within timber and steel structure ‘Somewhere Other’, a compact, interactive experience by Melbourne practice John Wardle Architects. At NGV Australia until late July, this intriguing installation was first shown as part of 2018’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale (pictured, top and above). Each of the wooden volumes, voids and apertures in its interconnected series frames views of the studio’s projects, the Australian landscape or the craft of collaborators including artist Natasha Johns-Messenger and filmmakers Coco and Maximilian.

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‘NEW VOLUMES BY ARTEDOMUS’: AN INSTALLATION BY FIONA LYNCH AND THOMAS COWARD
TDF Gallery, 14 Little Oxford Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

We’re big fans of Artedomus’s ‘New Volumes’ collection, which showcases solid marble homewares by eight Australian designers. This Collingwood exhibition, curated by interior designer Fiona Lynch and designer Thomas Coward, represents the range in an installation that follows the journey of this sculptural material from the ‘ground to the house’, contrasted with a series of chunky marble plinths.

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‘MATERIAL THOUGHT’
Modern Times, 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Presented by Fitzroy interiors store Modern Times, group exhibition ‘Material Thought’ explores material through the work of innovative Australian designers. On show are furniture, lighting and objects by nine top talents, including Henry Wilson (‘Stone Surface Sconce’, in Calacatta Marble, above), Coco Flip and Christopher Boots, all illuminating themes of design experimentation and sustainability.

’CLEMENT MEADMORE: THE ART OF MID-CENTURY DESIGN’
Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Swanston Street
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Fans of modernism will enjoy exhibition ‘Clement Meadmore: The art of mid-century design’, a homage to the acclaimed Australian talent. The first major survey of Meadmore’s industrial design practice, it explores the inspirations that shaped the renowned sculptor’s early career as a designer. Part of a new wave of Australian design in the Fifties and Sixties, Meadmore championed streamlined forms, fresh materials and new manufacturing processes. His furniture and lighting appeared in the houses of iconic architect Robin Boyd, with well known designs such as his 1951 corded dining chair on view at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

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‘WELCOME TO WASTELAND’
Compound Interest, 15-25 Keele Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

Presented by Friends & Associates, ‘Welcome to Wasteland’ shares the work of cutting-edge local talents involved with sustainable design. Featuring architects, industrial designers, furniture makers and researchers, the show explores the potential of waste materials recycled into fresh, eco-friendly products. Typically innovative is Vert Design’s ‘HuskeeCup’ made from coffee husk waste, their collaboration with Spark & Burnish to craft ‘Marine Debris Bakelite Door Knobs’, and Maddison Ryder’s use of discarded Iceberg lettuce to form ‘Lettuce Eat’ disposable plates. Other materials in the mix include waste glass, ceramic, plastic, oyster shells, rubber bands, paper pulp, denim jeans, pigs’ blood and even golf balls!

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WORK SHOP: FIONA LYNCH
7 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

A curatorial showcase of experimental design, fine art and objects, interior designer Fiona Lynch’s new permanent gallery Work Shop aims to celebrate work by Australian and international designers and artists, as well as doubling as a testing ground for her own studio’s practice. For Melbourne Design Week, the debut show curates a selection of pieces examining the tension between resolved and incomplete elements, including ceramics by Olivia Walker (black porcelain collapsed vessel, above), burnt wood bowls by Makiko Ryujin, paintings by Jiaxin Nong and lighting design by Mary Wallis.

www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbourne-design-week
Melbourne Design Week 2019 runs until Sunday 24 March at venues across the city and Geelong

LDF 2018 – 11 Fizz Faves for London Design Festival

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Enjoy all the fun of the fair at this week’s London Design Festival, with our 11 must-see installations and showcases around town…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

This year’s London Design Festival is in full swing, bringing a bewildering array of new design launches and exhibitions to town. We’ve already shared our top tips for the thought-provoking London Design Biennale and festival hub the V&A, but here are 11 citywide FizzPicks for design inspiration, taking in landmark projects, alfresco installations and seductive showrooms.

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ES DEVLIN: ‘PLEASE FEED THE LIONS’
Attracting Insta love in Trafalgar Square – as well as confused looks from tourists – interactive design ‘Please Feed The Lions’ is a collaboration between British artist/stage designer Es Devlin and Google Arts & Culture. A fifth fluorescent red lion has joined the square’s big cat statues, roaring out a crowd-sourced, collective poem. Tap in your word via the on-site screen or online to see it displayed in LEDs in the lion’s mouth. The streaming text is also projection-mapped over Nelson’s Column and the lion at night. Naturally, we fed it the words ‘design’ and ‘fizz’.
Trafalgar Square, London WC2 (18-23 September)

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KELLENBERGER-WHITE: ‘ALPHABET’
Sit on a letter or make words with the 26 vibrant, alphabet chairs at interactive installation ‘Alphabet’ in Broadgate. An experiment in folding metal to create a typographic system, the bespoke seats were designed by London graphic design consultancy Kellenberger-White, known for their playful approach to typefaces. Their inspirations ranged from Bauhaus designers to artist Bruno Munari. Each chair is a different colour, daubed in specialist industrial paint, ranging from orange to cornflower blue.
Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, London EC2 (15-23 September)

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SCHOLTEN & BAIJINGS: ‘TIME FOR TEA’
Take ‘Time For Tea’ at Fortnum & Mason with help from Scholten & Baijings. The Dutch design duo will draw on more than 80 global designs for this installation celebrating the dainty ritual, drawing inspiration from the store’s signature eau de Nil colour and gorgeous green hues. The tabletop setting encompasses a new porcelain tea set produced by 1616/Arita, plus furniture, accessories and limited-edition pieces contrasting tradition with cutting-edge Dutch creativity. Featured products include chairs by HAY, Moroso and Karimoku New Standard, curtains by Maharam, and marble tables and flooring by Luce di Carrara.
First Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1 (15-23 September)

TOM DIXON: ‘ELECTROANALOGUE’
UK designer Tom Dixon hosts ‘Electroanalogue’ at his new HQ and shop The Coal Office in Kings Cross. Expect product launches, live demonstrations and workshops exploring digital innovations and traditional craft, including group show ‘Hyper Real’. Mates on board include Bill Amberg Studio (see below), sound designer Yuri Suzuki, Ege carpets, Kirkby Design, Formica, Spiritland bar and Teenage Engineering showcasing a synthesiser in a Seventies-style disco. The space is part of Coal Drops Yard, a cutting-edge shopping and dining street opening on 26 October with design by Thomas Heatherwick.
The Coal Office, 4-10 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1 (15-23 September)

BILL AMBERG: ‘PRINTED LEATHER LAUNCH’ AT TOM DIXON STUDIO
Luxe leather brand Bill Amberg Studio presents a stunning new collection of digitally printed leathers, including British contributions from Faye Toogood, Timorous Beasties and Tom Dixon, and American-based interior designers Alexandra Champalimaud and Natasha Baradaran. It’s a gamechanger for the industry, with patterns spanning colourful sketches, splattered damasks, lace, circles, foil and rock graphics.
The Coal Office, 4-10 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1 (15-23 September)

LEE BROOM: ‘OBSERVATORY’
British boy wonder Lee Broom brings his stellar-inspired lighting collection ‘Observatory’ to his Shoreditch showroom, a hit in Milan and New York. Playing with vertical and horizontal space, sculptural and spherical form, and light reflection and refraction, the third edition of this glamorous yet ultra-contemporary range includes pendant and table lights, making luxe use of LEDs and bespoke bulbs designed in-house.
Lee Broom, 93 Rivington Street, London EC2 (18-23 September)

HOUSE OF GREY
Book online to see House of Grey’s gorgeous North London pop-up exhibition ‘In the Neighbourhood’, a brilliant edit of local and international designers, artists and makers in two residential settings. Curated by Louisa Grey and Morgwyn Rimel, elegant townhouse ‘The Grey House’ creates a calm atmosphere celebrating texture, neutral tones, handmade craft and natural materials. By contrast, loft-style ‘The Blue House’ occupies a converted Methodist congregation hall, with vibrant, bold colours and eclectic contemporary designs. Furniture, textiles, accessories and lighting are on show, flanked by art and plants. Talents include Henry Wilson, Noorstad, Frama, Muller Van Severen for valarie_objects, Dirk Van Der Kooij and Dinosaur Designs.
By appointment only, North London (15-21 September); for availability check here.

THE CONRAN SHOP
The Conran Shop hosts two cracking shows for LDF18. At the Marylebone Store, ‘The Conran Shop x Carl Hansen’ celebrates on-trend indigo, with exclusive editions of the Danish’s firm’s furniture transformed by the deep blue hue. Think Carl Hansen & Søn’s ‘CH4 Wishbone Chair’ by Hans Wegner with an indigo lacquer and Hiut denim seat pad. A stool and chair by Kaare Klint’s also get the denim treatment. At Chelsea’s Michelin House store ‘The Conran Shop x Pinterest’ features a maze of giant red pins, channelling the social media inspo site, while visitors can Pin and save products as they shop using an app and innovative Near Field technology microchips hidden in tags. Pincodes on display reveal the inspiration behind key designs.
The Conran Shop, 55 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1; Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 (both 15-23 September)

MATTER OF STUFF
Prepare to be transported by London design research gallery Matter of Stuff. In Kings Cross, their pop-up Concept Gallery at Fenman House has been designed by Raw Edges. Hung with wooden dowels suspended by blue string, the space celebrates materials, finishes and texture, including marble and ceramics. It’s the ideal backdrop to Matter of Stuff’s collection of furniture and lighting (by Bohinc Studio and Uufie) plus a curated mix of global brands including CC-Tapis, Made in Ratio and La Chance. Matter of Stuff also explores blown-glass at site-specific exhibition ‘Blown Away’ at Mayfair restaurant/bar Sketch. Don’t miss the new borosilicate glass ‘Bubble’ chandelier by master glassblower Simone Crestani. Magical.
Fenman House, 5 Lewis Cubitt Walk, Kings Cross, London N1; Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, London W1 (15-23 September)

The ARAM GALLERY
Covent Garden’s The Aram Gallery presents ‘Hilos Invisibles’, a collaboration between Montevideo-born designer Matteo Fogale and seven Uruguayan design studios, including furniture, lighting, mirrors and accessories in brass, glass, wood and concrete. Inspired by the work of modernist Uruguayan architect Julio Vilamajó – a design consultant on New York’s UN Headquarters with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer – the project was born of a 2017 residency and workshop at Montevideo’s Vilamajó House Museum, built by the architect in 1930, and draws on his architectural design details.
110 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2 (17 September-27 October)

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THE NEW CRAFTSMEN
A serene sanctuary, ‘The New Craftsmen x Malgorzata Bany’ offers zen time out from the frenzy of LDF18. Hosted by contemporary British crafts showroom The New Craftsmen in Mayfair, London-based, Slade-trained artist and designer Malgorzata Bany presents her collection of sculptural furniture, objects and table lights, including new additions to the popular range. Materials span Jesmonite, metal and handmade paper, with minimal yet organic forms. Bany also shares her edit of the store’s other makers. And breathe…
34 North Row, Mayfair, London W1 (15 and 17-22 September)

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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