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.

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!
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'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

Sydney Design Festival Top 12: Part 2

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In Part 2 of our hot design dozen, we round up six more must-see events at Sydney Design Festival 2016

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Want to make the most of Sydney Design Festival? Our FizzPicks bring you 12 of the best events in town, from talks to trend forums and larks in an urban park. Running from Friday 2 to Sunday 11 September, the festival is full of ideas and inspiration for design fans, with more than 100 events. For yesterday's first six tips see Part 1; or read on for six more suggestions...


SIX FIZZTASTIC MUST-SEES

BREAK IT TO MAKE IT
Frost, Thursday 8 September (6pm-7.30pm, $30)
16 Eveleigh Street, Redfern

In talk 'Break It To Make It', influential graphic designer Vince Frost, head of Sydney’s Frost*collective, and Andy Bateman, founder and CEO of Everyone, discuss the challenges of running a creative business, and how you often have to break your business to remake it. 'What got you here, won’t get you there!' Continue chatting next door at Cake Wines Cellar Door.


COLOUR AND TRENDS FORECAST 2017
Space Furniture, Friday 9 September (10.30am-12.30pm, DIA members $25, others $50)
84 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria

Get insights into key colours and trends for next year from industry experts care of the Design Institute of Australia's 'Colours and Trends Forecast 2017', hosted at Space Furniture’s glam Alexandria showroom. Selling out fast, so get in quick.


DIGITAL CRAFTS
Arte e Fabbricate, 9-11 September (11am-4pm)
44 Gurner Street, Paddington

An exhibition of new work by Sydney duo Bernabeifreeman (aka Rina Bernabei and Kelly Freeman), Digital Crafts explores the interface of craft and digital design practice, handwoven baskets and 3D fabrication. You may know the pair’s covetable collections for Australian outdoor furniture brand Tait, including graphic terrace tables, trays and planters.


BAMBOO BIKE HACK
MakerSpace &company, Saturday 10 September (10am-4pm, $60)
1/17 Barclay Street, Marrickville

Bamboo makes its eco presence felt at this bike-building hackathon, led by Indonesian designer Singgih Kartono (Spedagi and Magno), at MakerSpace &company in inner-west Marrickville. Using the Spedagi bicycle as a starting point, this is your chance to tinker and collaborate. It’s aimed at those with some experience or interest in bike building, and you can bring your own wheels along. The cost covers materials and lunch. Designs generated here will contribute towards bikes delivered to 2017's Cementa contemporary art festival in Kandos, NSW.


KORBAN/FLAUBERT OPEN STUDIO
Saturday 10 September (11am-3pm, free)
1 Hargrave Street, Paddington

Crossing the boundaries of art and design, creative pair Korban/Flaubert (Janos Korban and Stefanie Flaubert) is known for bold metalwork. Tour their new space at this Open Studio event at the iconic former Sherman Galleries building in Paddington, and see why they were nominated for 2015's prestigious Rigg Design Prize.


THE REALLY GOODS LINE DAY
Sunday 11 September (9am-4pm, free)
The Goods Line, Ultimo

This fun community day celebrates sociable urban space The Goods Line, linking Central’s Railway Square to the Powerhouse Museum, along the spine of a former elevated railway (think a compact version of New York's The High Line). Music, performances, talks, outdoor table tennis games and food trucks will occupy this award-winning linear park designed recently by ASPECT Studios. You can also enjoy botanical or architectural tours at Frank Gehry’s undulating brick Dr Chau Chak Wing Building for UTS Business School, which rears over the Goods Line. Happy #SDF16!
sydneydesign.com.au 

Sydney Design Festival runs from 2 to 11 September 2016, with a mix of free, bookable and ticketed events. For more inspiration, see our previous five tips in Part 1.

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