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.

Trent Jansen, Tidal Collection, 2014_Photo_Haydn Cattach.jpg

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.

6 FizzPicks for Sydney Contemporary 2017


Sydney Contemporary brings the best local and international art galleries to town. See our guide to six must-sees...


Get your art on at the third edition of Sydney Contemporary, an exciting showcase of 90 galleries representing more than 500 modern artists at Redfern's warehouse-chic Carriageworks. The four-day fair runs until this Sunday 10 September, including a mix of established and emerging talent (check out the Future section, for galleries going five years or less). Also up for grabs are installations, video, paper works, performance, a playfully interactive red room for children, and a programme of talks, tours and fringe events. There's tempting drinking and dining for refuelling, with tasty bites from Billy Kwong and Kitchen by Mike and pop-up bars by Glenfiddich and Petaluma.

Showcasing local galleries from Australia and New Zealand as well as global offerings spanning Singapore, Hong Kong, Berlin, Chile, Argentina, the USA and even Iran – look out for Tehran's Dastan's Basement (booth A03) with its hyper-detailed paintings – it's a huge gathering. So here our six of our favourites to get you inspired...

ABOVE: Robyn Stacey's mirrored camera obscura 'Double Take' installation, outside Sydney Contemporary art fair at Redfern's former railway yard Carriageworks


May Space: Catherine O'Donnell
Combining incredibly detailed drawings of windows and doors with a graphic mural of a house, Catherine O'Donnell's 'Urban Perspective' installation at Sydney gallery May Space (booth A14) is startling. O'Donnell grew up in an estate building in Sydney's western suburbs, which informs her work. "My drawings are an exploration of the architecture , culture, and history of the urban environment with a current focus on 1960/70 housing estates," she says, homes she feels are overlooked, both aesthetically and in human terms. "I employ realism as a catalyst to ignite the imagination of the viewer and invite them to look beyond the mundane and banal."

ABOVE: Catherine O'Donnell's charcoal on paper 'Urban Perspective' (2017) at the May Space booth, inset in a charcoal wall drawing

Sabbia Gallery: Honor Freeman and Pippin Drysdale
Sydney's Sabbia Gallery (booth G08) specialises in Australian contemporary studio ceramics and glass, bringing high-end craft to the fair's art and design table. We loved Adelaide talent Honor Freeman's dazzling ceramic work 'Soap Score' (2016), containing a circle of 656 slip-cast porcelain pieces resembling shards of soap, reflecting the amount of soap an average human supposedly uses in their lifetime. The textures, shapes and faded pastel colours are beautiful, reflecting Freeman's long preoccupation with being an 'alchemist of domestic clutter'. Established Freemantle artist Pippin Drysdale's boulder-like series of porcelain works are also striking, incised with gorgeous coloured glazes, so fine they almost resemble glass.

ABOVE FROM LEFT: Honor Freeman's slip-cast porcelain 'Soap Score'; detail of its 656 components; Pippin Drysdale's seven-component porcelain 'Geikie Gorge I – Devil's Marbles III' (2017) in foreground, both Sabbia Gallery


Martin Browne Contemporary: teamLab
Digital art gets the nod at Sydney gallery Martin Browne Contemporary (booth E10), which stars a large-scale, nine-channel digital work by Japan's teamLab. Entitled 'Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity' (2017), it's a mesmerising nature-meets-tech spectacular of shifting colours, light and moods, with an algorithm creating an endless moving image of flowers being born, budding and blooming, then withering and dying. Rendered in real-time, not a pre-recorded loop, it takes its cue from the local sunrise and sunset, changing throughout the year, so it's never the same twice. "The picture at this moment can never be seen again," say its makers. Sneaky art hounds who charm their way into the fair's VIP lounge can see another stunning, six-channel teamLab digital creation – 'Four Seasons, a 1000 Years, Terraced Rice Fields – Tashibunosho' – in which computer-generated workers in rice fields respond to real-time weather, daylight and seasons in the Japanese region, ploughing in sunshine, sheltering from rain or dancing at night. While the original landscape has been largely unchanged for a century, the art work will be ever-changing, a new frontier for modern art. Look out for the collective's eight interactive Future Park installations at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum this summer.

ABOVE: Japanese collective teamLab's endless digital work 'Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity' (2017) at Martin Browne Contemporary's stand


Yavuz Gallery Projects: Lucas Grogan
You'll find colour inspiration aplenty at the fair, but Melbourne-based muralist Lucas Grogan's installation for Singapore's Yavuz Gallery Projects (booth A07) has the blue mother lode. Taking up major wall space, his trio of graphic ink works 'The Library' and single piece 'The Collection' all depict shelves of fictitious blue books with cheeky titles on the spines, mingled with the odd horse-head ornament, urn or bowl. As Grogan quipped on his Instagram, "If you spot a typo, keep it to your f••king self." Known for detailed, witty street art in trademark indigo blue, teamed with turquoise, navy and white, he's a colourist to watch.

ABOVE: Detail from multi-panel 'The Library' (2017) by Lucas Grogan, ink, acrylic and enamel on marine ply at Yavuz Gallery


Arterial Gallery: Hayden Fowler
It's not often you see a performance art work involving a guy trapped in a cage with a dingo, but Hayden Fowler offers just that in 'Together again' for Arterial Gallery (booth G03), donning virtual reality goggles which trigger Australian landscape images, while a motion sensor worn by his companion Juno places the wild dog in the frame too. It's shades of Joseph Beuys' 1974 action with the coyote, but given a 21st-century new-tech spin, exploring the growing gap in our relationship with the natural world. Don't miss Fowler's second installation 'Australia' near the VIP Room, a colonial-style table loaded with white bones, linked to a tannoy, a challenging comment on Australia's painful treatment of its first people.

ABOVE: Hayden Fowler's plaster, polymer and sound 'Australia' (2017) installation for Arterial Gallery comments on the violence of colonialism


107, Blak Mirror
Small but packing a mixed-media punch, local Redfern gallery 107 (booth C06) shares bold contemporary work by Aboriginal artists in its group show 'The Gilded Age', presented with Blak Mirror. Riffing on the glossy veneer covering today's pressing political and indigenous issues, it includes work by Jason Wing, Amala Groom, and Adam Hill (aka Blak Douglas) – who created the suspended gilded bat above – with traditional wooden shields by Chico Monks, inscribed with cartoonish phrases ('Oops', 'Bang', 'Sorry!'), sitting alongside Nicole Monks' 'Wabarn-Wabarn' chair, made from kangaroo leather draped in plush kangaroo pelts.

Finally, look out for 'Edition', a curated selection of design-art furniture near the entrance area, showcasing pieces by top brands Gufram, Established & Sons, BD Barcelona Design, and the limited-edition 'QTZ' chair by local talent Alexander Lotersztain for Derlot, curated by Sydney furniture label Living Edge. Who said art and design can't mix?

ABOVE: 107 gallery's group stand, including an amazing golden bat by Blak Douglas, bones and other mixed materials, foregrounding Aboriginal  perspectives

Sydney Contemporary is at Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Redfern, Sydney until Sunday 10 September 2017; opening hours 10am-6pm Saturday, until 5pm Sunday. For ticket and visitor information click here.

Sydney Design Festival Top 12: Part 1

Aki Inomata, Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs series, 2009–16_Courtesy of Maho Kubota Gallery copy.jpg

Sydney Design Festival brings exhibitions, talks, films and workshops to town. Here's Part 1 of our Top 12 FizzPicks. See our follow-up post for six more must-sees…


Sydney Design Festival transforms Australia's most vibrant city from 2 to 11 September 2016, offering more than 100 inspiring design experiences citywide, bringing people, ideas and disciplines together. Now in its 19th year, the festival is led by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), with core events at its Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. 2016's theme is 'Make or Break', creating something new by reimagining the old, reflected in exhibitions, talks and workshops. Here are six of our top 12 FizzPicks, with six more to come...

ABOVE: Aki Inomata, Why Not Hand Over a 'Shelter' to Hermit Crabs? series, 2009-16, courtesy of Maho Kubota Gallery, from exhibition 'Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital'


Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2-3 and 7-10 September (11am-5pm, free)

16-20 Goodhope Street, Paddington
Paddington gallery Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation hosts ‘Green Ladder’, a grid-like alfresco forest room installation of eco-friendly bamboo by influential Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia, exploring the potential of ‘green steel’ scaffolding to bring nature back to the city. It’s the fourth in SCAF’s ‘Fugitive Structures’ series of annual architectural pavilions, and runs until 10 December 2016. Also look out for Australian architectural photographer John Gollings presenting ‘The Hero Image’ at SCAF on Thursday 8 September (6pm-8pm, free, but register), a visual collection of defining images of ancient and modern work from around the world.

Powerhouse Museum, Saturday 3 September (10.30am-5pm, free with $15 museum entry)
500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Indigenous Design Day celebrates indigenous design talent, bringing together three events at Ultimo's Powerhouse Museum. In his groundbreaking initiative 'Virtual Songlines' (10.30am-11.30am), Brett Leavy strips back the contemporary Australian landscape to reveal its pre-colonial contact environment. Leavy will discuss this virtual, interactive tool, and its potential future applications. 'Deadly Designers Now' (12.30pm-1.30pm) sees indigenous talents share their success stories. Finally, 'Indigenous Technologies in the 21st Century' (2pm-5pm) explores the ethics and opportunities presented by new 3D scanning and printing techs in the context of cultural objects, curation and the preservation of heritage.

OUT OF HAND: Materialising the Digital
Powerhouse Museum, 3 September-25 June 2017 (10am-5pm, $15 with general admission)
500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Discover cutting-edge design innovations at major show 'Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital' at the Powerhouse Museum. Touring from New York's Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), the exhibition delves into the growing role of digital manufacture in design, architecture, fashion, science and contemporary art, with fresh Australian and AsiaPacific examples. Highlights include radical Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen's 'Bubble Dress, formed from silicone-coated glass spheres, US designer Michael Schmidt's fully articulated 3D-printed gown, originally modelled by burlesque queen Dita Von Teese, a 3D-printed jet engine, and Sydney artist Louis Pratt's 3D printed and scanned sculptures (pictured). Don't miss designs by Ron Arad and Zaha Hadid.

KINTSUGI with Studio Enti
4, 7, and 10 September (see link below for hours)
20-28 Carrington Road, Workpod 1, Marrickville

Learn the traditional Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold or silver lacquer, accentuating the cracks, at workshop Kintsugi with Studio Enti in inner-west Marrickville. Studio Enti, run by maker Naomi Taplin, is known for covetable handcrafted modern porcelain tableware. Repairing broken crockery never looked so beautiful!

Theatre, Powerhouse Museum, Tuesday 6 September (6.30pm-8.30pm, $40)
500 Harris Street, Ultimo

We’re huge fans of the worldwide PechaKucha events, originated by Klein Dytham architects in Tokyo in 2003, in which designers give a snappy slideshow while talking through their work (the word is Japanese for chit-chat). For 'Pecha Kucha: Sink or Swim' in the Powerhouse Museum, seven leading creatives, including graphic, digital and motion designers plus colourful Sydney artist Ken Done, take seven minutes each to share career smashes and screw-ups.

Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Wednesday 7 September (6pm-8pm, $20)
Lower Ground Floor, Paramount House, 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

Catch a screening of seminal 1965 cult film Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard at Surry Hills’ gorgeous intimate Art Deco Golden Age Cinema & Bar. Dealing with themes of technophobia, digitalisation and creativity, this cult sci-fi classic is set in a tyrannical dystopian space city run by a computer that doesn’t allow emotion of love. Rock up early for pre-screening drinks and toast #sdf16!

Sydney Design Festival runs from 2 to 11 September 2016, with events based across town including the Powerhouse Museum hub. See our follow-up post for six more FizzPicks.

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;