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).

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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.

Design-Made 2017

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Indie festival Design-Made celebrates Australian design talent in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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