Lee Broom – Park Life

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British designer Lee Broom reveals ‘Park Life’, a dazzling pop-up exhibition in a car park in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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UK design talent Lee Broom is known for glamorous lighting, furniture and accessories. His shows are just as cutting-edge, with the rising star previously exhibiting his work in a mock department store, a mobile van (albeit one tricked out with an elegant room interior) and on a fairground carousel. Now Broom is taking over an underground car park below Space’s Sydney furniture showroom for ambitious pop-up ‘Park Life’, sharing his new lights with the public in a modernist maze. The Alexandria installation will be his largest to date, covering 4,000 square feet, with the free exhibition running from 14 to 20 March.

‘I am delighted to return to Australia to present this exciting exhibition with Space Furniture,’ says Broom. ‘Australia has been a big supporter of my work for many years and it is an honour to create such a significant installation to showcase my collection in Sydney.’

TOP: The entrance to Sydney’s subterranean ‘Park Life’ maze pavilion, with Lee Broom flanked by his ‘Orion Globe’ and ‘Orion Tube’ lights. ABOVE RIGHT: Fix up, look sharp… London lighting designer Lee Broom before he turned blonde for his Australian tour

A former actor and fashion designer, Broom is known for his trademark sharp look, teaming simple classic and street-savvy details. His designs also reinterpret classical styles in contemporary ways, giving them an unexpected edge. Expect more striking fusions at immersive experience ‘Park Life’, where he’ll be transforming the raw, concrete, industrial car park into his take on a trad English garden.

ABOVE: Lee Broom’s surreal modernist garden maze ‘Park Life’ in Sydney, a beautifully resolved installation featuring his lighting, accessories and furniture in a series of 16 illuminated room sets. Enchanting vignettes play with ideas from chess boards and Newton’s Cradles to cascading waterfalls and trompe l’oeil reflections

Channelling a meandering maze, the pop-up will take guests on ‘a poetic journey of discovery through hidden passageways, with tableaus and vignettes,’ says Broom, showcasing his lighting, furniture and accessories. Inspiration hails from 18th-century pleasure gardens, with their mazes and miniature waterways, amusing visitors with the latest art, architecture, music and illuminations. However, Broom gives the concept a modernist spin, aiming to create a sense of escapism, entertainment and drama.

ABOVE: More mesmerising moments from the ‘Park Life’ pavilion. A white polycarbonate box within the concrete car park, its interconnecting spaces are lined with pale gravel, with designs displayed beside classical statues on boxy, layered plinths. Black acrylic, cut-outs and mirror add surprise to surfaces

If Broom’s mind-bending 2017 trompe l’oeil installation ‘On Reflection’ at his London showroom is anything to go by, design hunters should be in for a treat. Broom chose to show in Sydney, not Milan this year, reaching out to his Australian and Asia-Pacific fanbase, and has put all his creative energy into crafting a surreally beautiful space, guaranteed to whisk visitors into wonderland.

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ABOVE: Lee Broom’s new ‘Eclipse’ pendant lights, updated in polished gold, will be showcased at the pop-up

Debuting at the ‘Park Life’ installation is a new version of Broom’s award-winning ‘Eclipse’ light in a polished gold finish, a warmer, softer interpretation of the original chrome. Like an elegant mobile, these sculptural pendants look different from every angle, with mirror-polished gold and acrylic discs interacting, simultaneously eclipsing and revealing their charms.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: ‘Eclipse’ chandelier three piece in sheeny gold. The design also comes as a table lamp, with all three variations available to order from April. Broom’s ‘Orion Tube’ and ‘Orion Globe’ pendant lights in polished gold

‘Park Life’ is part of Broom’s wider #LBTour of Asia and Australia, which has seen him give design talks at Space’s showrooms in Singapore for Singapore Design Week (4-17 March), and Brisbane, with another to come at Space Melbourne on 14 March (6pm-9pm) for Melbourne Design Week (14-24 March). Design fans can buy tickets to the Melbourne event, in which Broom will chat about his career, global brand and the experimental nature of design. Plans are also afoot for him to talk at ECC’s Auckland showroom in New Zealand. Don’t miss this illuminating talent…
leebroom.com spacefurniture.com.au

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ABOVE: Broom’s circular ‘Carousel XL’ pendant light in matte black at the installation, inspired by British fairground merry-go-rounds

Free exhibition ‘Park Life’ is at Space, 84 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria, Sydney, from 14 to 20 March 2019 (open daily 10am to 5pm); a launch evening on 13 March is by invite only. Lee Broom’s products are available exclusively in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia from Space Furniture. His ticketed Melbourne talk is at Space, 629 Church Street, Richmond, on 14 March (6pm-9pm)

Pictures: Craig Wall (Sydney installation)

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.

10 FizzPicks for Denfair Sydney 2018

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Contemporary design show Denfair hits Sydney for the first time this week, offering inspiration aplenty for design hunters

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Australia's leading contemporary design exhibition Denfair launches its first Sydney edition this week, after successfully establishing the event in Melbourne. Expect more than 50 local and international brands sharing new and bestselling products at Moore Park's Hordern Pavilion, with furniture, lighting, accessories, rugs, bathware, art and outdoor living in the frame. Running from 16 to 18 August, the show welcomes industry designers, architects, stylists and their clients over the first two days, with Saturday open to the public.

Keen design hunters can enjoy free tickets to the public day care of DesignFizz x Denfair by clicking on the following link. Trade visitors can register online, with an awards ceremony on Thursday night (6pm-9pm). Here are 10 of our top tips to whet your appetite...

ABOVE: Anaesthetic's new 'Duomo' light, shown here as a wall sconce or stem wall light. It comes in a range of finishes, from aged brass to powercoated, and in white, matte black, grey or aged brass colours

ANAESTHETIC
New Zealand lighting brand Anaesthetic, headed up by Ben and Kiri Wahrlich, engineers and makes its designs in Melbourne. Look out for their curvy new 'Duomo' light, which pairs minimal aesthetics with hand-finished aged brass. Inspired by Italian domed churches, the range includes a wall sconce, stem wall light, pendant light and table lamp, with several eye-catching variations.


ABOVE: Outdoor living brand Tait's 'Trace' sunlounge by Australian designer Adam Goodrum is new for Denfair Sydney; Goodrum's award-winning 2017 'Trace' outdoor furniture collection; Adam Cornish's 'Seam' chair for homes or offices launched at June's Denfair in Melbourne

TAIT
Australian brand Tait introduces Adam Goodrum's inviting 'Trace' sunlounge, the newest addition to his 'Trace' outdoor furniture collection. Made from airy stainless steel mesh, aluminium, sustainable timber and marbled porcelain, the range features a sofa, armchair, modular combination, coffee tables, drinks trolley and planter. Adam Cornish's award-winning aluminium 'Seam' chair, flaunting a seamed spine, is ideal for compact indoor or alfresco spaces.


ABOVE: Cult celebrates Arne Jacobsen's designs for Copenhagen's SAS Royal Hotel, including his iconic 'Egg' chairs; 'Pot', 'Egg' and 'Swan' chairs by Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen; his reissued 'Pot' chair in a range of colours with a chromed steel base; the 60th anniversary edition of 'Egg', 'Swan' and 'Drop' in a natural palette of Pure leather, Sera wool fabric and 23-karat gold-plated aluminium

CULT
Inspired by the Orchid Bar at Copenhagen's SAS Royal Hotel, Australian design firm Cult's Denfair stand celebrates 60 years since the hotel's design and its iconic chairs by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen. On show will be Fritz Hansen's limited-edition 60th anniversary collection including Jacobsen's 'Swan', 'Egg' and 'Drop' chairs, plus his newly reissued 'Pot' chairs. Scandi heaven!


ABOVE: 'New Volumes Collection 01' on show at Artedomus's stand, including furniture, lighting and accessories; Ros Gardam's 'Hemera' desk lamp; high and low 'Hurlysi' side tables by Thomas Coward; and the 'Bacchus' table by Tom Skeehan, all crafted from Elba stone

NEW VOLUMES c/o ARTEDOMUS
Quarried from beautiful, natural Elba stone in Greece, the 'New Volumes' collection presented by Sydney's Artedomus showcases simple, sculptural furniture, lighting and accessories designed by some of Australia's hottest talents. We love the Brutalist 'Hemera' desk lamp by Ros Gardam, the sensual 'Hurlysi' side tables by Thomas Coward and the 'Bacchus' coffee table by Tom Skeehan.


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ABOVE: Nood Co's new concrete 'Pill' basins in Australian-inspired colours will brighten up any bathroom

NOOD CO
Crafting contemporary concrete furniture and homewares, Nood Co launches curvy new pill-shaped 'Pill' basins at Denfair, available in 10 pastel-pretty colours from blush pink to mint and power blue. The squarer 'Cube' surface-mount wash basin comes in the same hues for bathroom bliss. They're among 15 new Australian-designed and manufactured products by Matt Di Costa.


ABOVE: Pitch Acoustics's sound-absorbent designs, including floor screens and fabric-covered MDF 'Timber' wall panels by Zilenzio; arrange the diamond-shaped components of Zilenzio's 'Fazett' wall-mounted system to suit your space

PITCH ACOUSTICS
Need to muffle sound in a stylish way? Sydney-based Pitch Acoustics offers innovative fabric-covered wood 'Timber' wall panelling by Swedish brand Zilenzio, from graphic wall pieces to elegant herringbone patterns, or classic full- or decorative half-wall panels. We also like Zilenzio's 'Fazett' wall-mounted system of diamond-shaped, fabric-covered MDF panels in different colours.


ABOVE: Swedese's 'Button' sofa and 'Spin' stool, both represented at Denfair Sydney by Cube and Circle

CUBE AND CIRCLE
Waterloo-based Sydney store Cube and Circle is exclusive Australian distributor for Swedish brand Swedese's covetable contemporary furniture, including Swedish duo Front's 2017-launched 'Button' sofa (which allows you to attach stylish accessories) and 2011's technically complex stackable wooden 'Spin' stool by Staffan Holm. They also represent Scandi brand Cuero Design.


ABOVE: Designer Rugs' range includes the graphic green 'Rift' rug and swirly blue 'Current' rug by Lia Pielli from the in-house 'Transient' collection, and the (wall-mounted) 'Corner Halving' rug by industrial design studio Mr Fräg, hand-tufted in New Zealand wool and bamboo silk

DESIGNER RUGS
Collaborating with Australian talents, Designer Rugs offers in-house and designer collections for residential and commercial clients, with contemporary rugs made from tactile New Zealand wool. Some are hand-knotted or hand-tufted, others include innovative materials such as gleaming bamboo silk or nettle. We love 'Rift' and 'Current' by Lia Pielli from 2017's 'Transient' collection.


ABOVE: The visually lightweight, rattan 'Wicked' armchair and 'Basket' tables by Alain Gilles for Vincent Sheppard, available in Australia from Cotswold InOut Furniture

COTSWOLD INOUT FURNITURE
For that indoor-outdoor lifestyle, check out Cotswold InOut Furniture, which will be championing pieces such as 2016's rattan and lacquered aluminium 'Wicked' sofa and armchair range by Alain Gilles for Belgian firm Vincent Sheppard, which specialises in Lloyd Loom woven furniture, alongside in-house Cotswold Teak alfresco designs.


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ABOVE: The Raconteur's five-strong 'Bondi' scented candle collection, featuring coastal imagery inspired by Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach

THE RACONTEUR
For a must-have local accessory, The Raconteur's luxe scented candles take inspiration from Sydney's Bondi, Melbourne, the Red Centre and Hamilton Island. Hand-poured in Sydney from soy wax and free of nasties, they draw on Australian botanicals, such as native Port Jackson fig and coastal banksia in 'Bondi 1' (one of five Bondi candles). Packaging incorporates evocative photos. Denfair sees the release of a debut Tasmanian candle, featuring boronia flower and native pepper.
denfair.com.au
 

Denfair is at Hordern Pavilion, 1 Driver Avenue, Moore Park, Sydney from 14 to 18 August 2018. Opening hours are Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday 11am-7pm (trade days) and Saturday 10am-5pm (public day). DesignFizz followers can get free entry to the public day by using link https://bit.ly/2M6HI18. Children aged under 16 aren't permitted.

Vivid Sydney 2018

Vivid Sydney brings light art, music and inspiring ideas to town, including impressive design talents. Strike a light!

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Vivid Sydney returns to illuminate the city for 23 nights, from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a vibrant mix of light, music and ideas. The largest festival of its kind, Sydney's winter-warmer promises eye-catching projections, light art, interactive installations, live bands and cutting-edge talks, with illuminating speakers, exhibitions and workshops.

Running from 6pm to 11pm each night, Vivid is divided into 11 precincts of light sculptures and installations, with new festival zone Luna Park at the iconic harbourside funfair. Favourite zones are back, including Circular QuayCity and Surrounds, Harbour Lights, The Royal Botanic Garden, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Kings Cross and Chatswood. Creativity will be front and centre, spanning digital, product and graphic designs. Here are six Fizz picks...

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Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical
This year's Sydney Opera House sails will be illuminated by site-specific kinetic digital artworks by graphic designer Jonathan Zawada. Entitled 'Metamathemagical', the 15-minute, recurring light show envisages Australia as an 'elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy.' We're big fans of the celebrated Australian artist, and recently explored his work with electronic musician Flume. Byron Bay-based Zawada took inspiration from Australian nature and its unique flora and fauna for the Vivid project. Responding to the 3D form of the Opera House's architecture, rather than treating it as a flat plane, Zawada drew on images of flowers, plants, feathers, rocks and human figures to craft a hyperreal 'saturation of colour, pattern and texture' (for more insights see this video interview). The visuals are teamed with a soundtrack featuring Air Max '97XO and EPROM.

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Virtual Vibration
Always a highlight, the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will be animated by 'Virtual Vibration', a blend of psychedelic art and more formal modernism. The large-scale projection mapping is a collaboration between Australian artist Jonny Niesche, electronic musician and composer Mark Pritchard and the Spinifex Group. Expect a shifting, sensory light experience playing with transparency, reflection and movement, set to mesmerising sound.

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Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation
Sydney Opera House curator Sarah Rees will join 'Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation' (5pm-6pm, 27 May), a talk highlighting the frequent collaborators' work and recent 13-minute film project 'The Four Worlds', inspired by Pritchard's haunting, ambient album of the same name. Zawada is responsible for the 'Lighting of the Sails' digital art illuminating Sydney Opera House this year, while electronic producer Pritchard's music is part of the nearby MCA's installation. Zawada has also created artwork for Pritchard's previous albums. Catch free screenings of the otherworldly film at The Samsung Lounge from 25 May to 16 June.

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Skylark
Interactive lighting display Skylark lets visitors put their own colourful mark on the city, lighting up Sydney Harbour Bridge and the surrounding skyscrapers of Circular Quay. Designed by Australian talent Iain Reed of 32 Hundred Lighting, this year's version of the attraction includes a dynamic new feature, Bradfield's Beacon, a custom-built, interactive laser atop the Bridge that's double the strength of any laser seen in the Harbour before. It will wash the Harbour and its headlands in colour, while 40 pillars of light above the Overseas Passenger Terminal adds to the spectacle.

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Dreams (Daniel Johns and Luke Steele)
Vivid packs a musical punch, with an extensive line-up of live bands, DJs, club nights and parties, including major acts Solange and Ice Cube. Our pick is Dreams on 29 and 30 May at Sydney Opera House. Exclusive to Vivid LIVE, it's the Australian premiere of the band, an intriguing collaboration between two of the country's most iconic musical talents: Daniel Johns (former frontman of Silverchair) and Luke Steele (Empire of The Sun, The Sleepy Jackson). If their recent tracks 'No One Defeats Us' and 'Silence' are anything to go by, the duo should deliver darkly charismatic performances and a bold, experimental sound.

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Good Design Festival
The annual Good Design Festival takes over two floors of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks from 25 to 27 May (7.30pm-10pm Friday, 4pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday). The established showcase includes a retrospective of the past 60 years of Australia's Good Design Awards, shares 260 award-winning international projects from 2018's awards, and predicts future talents in the NextGen winners category. The free public exhibition gathers diverse designs, from the Sydney Olympic torch to a deep-sea submarine, electronic bike, suspension tent and museum architecture. Book tickets online for the official launch party (5.30pm-7.30pm, 25 May) and for the 'Good Design Exchange' (6pm, 26 May), a talk hosted by Good Design Australia with graphic design whizz Vince Frost, CEO of Frost*collective, and other speakers.

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Vivid Sydney runs from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018; see the website for the app, maps, event guide and transport tips. Share your experiences on #VividSydney, #VividIdeas and #VividMusic

Sydney Open 2017

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Discover inspiring architecture, from skyscrapers to studios, at this weekend's Sydney Open

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney Open 2017 is catnip to architecture fans, throwing open the doors to more than 60 of the city's most inspiring spaces this weekend (4-5 November 2017). Much-loved heritage edifices and cutting-edge, future-forward buildings are in the mix at this annual event, run by Sydney Living Museums, so get out and about...

TOP: Taking in views of Sydney Harbour from George Street's EY Centre
ABOVE: Popular must-sees include the curvy cool Abercrombie Building at The University of Sydney, with its dramatic spiral staircase; Seidler's 50-storey concrete Australia Square building, set in an open but contained plaza; and the futuristic interior of the Reserve Bank of Australia, including a grand double-height lobby with granite-faced columns and a ceiling of gold-anodised aluminium

Go behind the scenes with expert-led Focus Tours on Saturday 4 November, featuring more in-demand destinations. Popular tours such as the St James Station Tunnels sell out early, but you can still bag a spot to explore Carriageworks railway yards-turned-contemporary arts centre with architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.

The real action kicks off on Sunday 5 November, with self-guided access to around 45 buildings around town, from the CBD to Central, Redfern and Eveleigh. There are 13 new attractions for 2017, including the Abercrombie Building at The University of Sydney by Woods Bagot and Dexus Place and The Terrace at One Farrer by Girvan Waugh. You can also see some of the most inspiring recent buildings, including 2016's curvy gold-and-timber workplace skyscraper the EY Centre by FJMT, as well as iconic designs such as the 1964 Reserve Bank of Australia (inspired by the International Style and built by the Commonwealth Department of Works) and Harry Seidler's art-wrapped, inclusive Australia Square complex, completed in 1967.

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ABOVE: The entry to 2016's EY Centre by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT), two overlapping rounded towers with graphic timber blinds on the glass facade, granite floors at street level and an eye-catching indigenous artwork in the main lobby

Architects studios will welcome design hunters too, including Candalepas Associates, DKO Architecture at Old Redfern Post Office, Grimshaw, JPW Studio (within Harry Seidler & Associates' Plaza Building at Australia Square), PTW Architects in Aurora Place, and Unispace (on Level 43 of Grosvenor Place).

It pays to plan your itinerary ahead of time, shortlisting favourite buildings and charting the most energy-effective routes (you can download an app and map from the website). Ideally book tickets in advance online (a limited number can be picked up on the day), and wear your Sydney Open wristband for quick access. You can keep track of the event's social media to avoid queues at hot spots (@sydneyisopen on Instagram and Twitter, @sydlivmus on Facebook, #sydneyisopen). Share your best pics for a chance to win design-led prizes. A series of free drop-in talks and tours should also earn a place on your Sunday schedule, and there are a few tempting food and drink stops for refuelling.

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopen
Sydney Open 2017 takes places across town from 4-5 November 2017; see website for visitor information and ticket passes. Basic entry is $49 for an adult Sydney Open Pass for Sunday 5 November, including access to more than 40 buildings; Member and VIP passes offer special extras. Most buildings are open 10am to 4pm on Sunday, but see website for specific venue hours.

Pictures: James Horan, Brett Boardman Photography, Peter Tabor