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.

Sydney Design Festival Top 12: Part 2


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


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...


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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! 

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.

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.