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.

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.

Vivid Sydney 2016

Bright-spark festival Vivid Sydney illuminates the city again, bringing lights, music, ideas and design to the party

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Vivid Sydney is back, bringing illumination and inspiration to the Harbour City. Whether you're into laser light shows, 3D-mapping projections, large-scale installations, edgy gigs or intriguing talks, you'll find something to entertain you in this ever-popular event, which this year offers an extended 23-night run until 18 June.

Exploring lights, music and ideas, Vivid is the largest festival of its kind, shining a light on the city's architecture and technology, and tapping into light-bulb thinking. Alongside the core precincts, 2016 sees three more districts added to the mix – Taronga Zoo, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and mall The Galeries – as well as an expanded number of venues and guest speakers. There's also a cluster of strong design dates for your diary. Here are our top festival tips...

ABOVE: Vivid Sydney's Harbour Lights with ferries and boats lit by LEDs; Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are also illuminated
BELOW: Sydney Opera House's 'Lighting the Sails: Songlines' projection including art by Donny Woolagoodja; Customs House; MCA; Cadmans Cottage; Circular Quay

Vivid Light: Core precincts
6pm-11pm (until 18 June)
Kick things off at Vivid's hub at Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay, with more than 60 cutting-edge lighting installations along the Vivid Light Walk, including major projections at the Customs House ('Sydney's Hidden Stories'), MCA ('The Matter of Painting') and Cadmans Cottage ('Impossible Voyage'). A wow this year is the 'Lighting The Sails, Songlines' at Sydney Opera House, which screens work by six artists from different Aboriginal clans onto the building's shells. From vibrant flora and fauna to black-and-white human figures and earthy brown palettes it's a strong statement, including work by Fizz favourite, street artist Reko Rennie. Keep going into The Rocks, Campbell's Cove and Walsh Bay for more, including luminescent laneway stunner 'Tectonic', formed from 1,500 suspended, upcycled PET bottles filled with tonic water. Harbour Lights sees boats and ferries lit up with LEDs, while for the first time many of the skyscrapers facing the Quay are given the colour-block lighting treatment ('Dress Circle'). Intel's 'Drone 100' will see 100 illuminated drones take to the skies for five nights only (8-12 June, 7.55pm), performing a colourful choreographed seven-minute routine over Sydney Harbour. Controlled by one main pilot, the bespoke animation will be set to music.

BELOW: Martin Place's 'Fountain' installation; Central Park beckons with a 'Silent Disco' and architectural projections

You can spy the towering columns of light created by 'Geometrics' from across town, let alone from beneath the kinetic sculpture at central-city precinct Martin Place; nearby 'Fountain' live-streams global birth data as 'human water droplets' to highlight our burgeoning 7.4 billion population. Further afield, Central Park teams a 'Silent Disco' with arty projections onto the former Carlton & United Brewery building in 'X Factory' (5.30pm-10pm). 


Vivid Light: Taronga Zoo
Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman (5.30pm-9.30pm, last entry 9pm, until 18 June)
Vivid's wildest new precinct for 2016 is Taronga Zoo, featuring 'Be the Light for the Wild', an illuminated trail of 10 critically endangered species from Australia and Sumatra, including the Asian elephant and platypus. Created by Ample Projects, the giant multimedia sculptures include interactive lighting, sound effects and moving parts, making them among the largest and most technologically advanced lanterns to appear at Vivid. A supporting cast of creatures, from an echidna to a crocodile and pygmy tarsiers, ups the cuteness ante. Pre-purchase tickets online ($17.95 adults, $11.95 kids aged 4-15); entry costs aid the conservation effort.

ABOVE: Animal lanterns at Sydney's Taronga Zoo, including a vibrant echidna, pygmy tarsiers and a crocodile


Vivid Light: The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Entry Queen Elizabeth II Gates via Opera House Forecourt (6pm-11pm, until 18 June)
A new precinct for 2016 is The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, where trees and plants will be lit up with a magical cluster of light art for Vivid. Highlights include the glittering 'Cathedral Of Light', a sinuous long arched tunnel onlookers can walk through, framing views of the Opera House. Made up of thousands of dazzling LED lights, it takes its cue from the traditional arched windows of historic churches and is selfie heaven. Also look out for 3D-mapped fig tree projection 'Synthesis', interactive installation 'Sentiment Cocoon' and fantastical 'Will 'o the Wisps'.

ABOVE: The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, featuring Vivid crowd favourite the arched 'Cathedral Of Light', tree projection 'Synthesis' and interactive experience 'Sentiment Cocoon'


Vivid Music: Björk
Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh (10am-6pm, 4-18 June)
Tickets for Björk's two DJ sets for the opening of 'Björk Digital' at Carriageworks (3 and 4 June) went quicker than a hot toddy in a Reykjavik bar, but you can still see the world premiere of her new touring virtual reality project, which takes over the evocative former rail yards until 18 June. Divided into five spaces and accompanied by collaborations with key filmmakers and programmers, the exhibition draws heavily on videos created for recent album 'Vulnicura' (above) and 'Biophilia', including immersive spaces, surround-sound and 360-degree film. 'I felt it was time to premiere my recent virtual reality stuff,' says Björk, 'We have made seven 360-degree videos for 'Vulnicura', and I am enthusiastic about this natural continuity of the music video; the intimacy, and total merge of surround-sound and vision, makes VR an ideal home.' It's free to attend, but book asap for the virtual reality rooms.


Vivid Music: New Order
Sydney Opera House (until 5 June)

New Order's four gigs at the Sydney Opera House, showcasing recent album 'Music Complete', may be sold out, but you can still see images of the band, including iconic portraits of their earlier incarnation as Joy Division, in a free photography exhibition in the Concert Hall Northern Foyers. By UK photographer Kevin Cummins, known for documenting the Manchester music scene, it runs until 5 June (6pm-late). The show is accompanied by artwork for the band by seminal British graphic designer Peter Saville, famous for setting the house style for Manchester's Factory Records label as their hugely influential art director. As part of Vivid's 'New Order Project', a talk with New Order in conversation with filmmaker/MFS label head Mark Reeder has just been announced for Friday 3 June (6.30pm, Playhouse); get in quick.

ABOVE: New Order plays the Opera House (photo, Nick Wilson)


ABOVE: Factory Design District in Waterloo showcases local talent and products, such as ISM Objects' 'Wink' table lamp, Studio Liam Mugavin's glass-topped 'Tangle' table and Boardgrove Architects' 'Two Tables'

Vivid Ideas: Factory Design District
901 Bourke Street, Waterloo (3-5 June, 11am to 6pm, 5pm and 4pm respectively)

Factory Design District takes over creative co-working space COMMUNE in Waterloo for three days, hosting industry talks, demonstrations and workshops, celebrating Australian design talent, the authentic and the handmade. Over 30 local designers, producers and makers are on board, with a curated exhibition including furniture by Jonathan West, bespoke joiner JP Finsbury, Boardgrove Architects and Studio Liam Mugavin, lighting by Abalos and accessories by The Fortynine.

Up-and-coming Thirroul-based designer Trent Jansen, who worked with Marcel Wanders, is speaking on Friday (4pm-5.30pm, ticketed), while established brand founders from Dinosaur Designs, TaitMUD Australia and ISM Objects give a talk Sunday (11.30am-1pm, ticketed), alongside a showcase of their recent designs. New Zealand lighting and furniture whizz David Trubridge discusses design copyright on Sunday (2pm-5pm), which is also market day with COMMUNE's Locally Made (11am-4pm) featuring some of Sydney's best inner-west makers across crafts, arts, fashion and music. See Factory Design District's own website for full details. Food and drink is local too, with contributions from Newtown's Young Henrys brewing co, Bloodwood and Continental Deli, St Peters' Urban Winery and Mecca Coffee.

Vivid Ideas: Design (various)
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Level 6 Terrace Entrance (Circular Quay West Side)
The MCA is also hosting a few interesting design talks and interactive workshops, covering everything from humble design (7 June, 2pm-4pm) to 3D printing (8 June, 8am-10am) and the ethics of drones (8 June, 5pm-7pm). Check out Vivid's website for more events tackling architecture, digital design and so-now social media for your own lightbulb moment...

vividsydney.com
Vivid Sydney runs until 18 June 2016, with lights on from 6pm (usually until 11pm). Most of the public light art is free, but some events require booking or tickets. Lead image, Destination NSW

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