Melbourne Design Week 2019 – 6 Must-Sees

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This year’s Melbourne Design Week offers a thought-provoking mix of exhibitions, talks and tours. Take a peek…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

2019’s Melbourne Design Week features more than 200 exhibitions, talks, tours, films and workshops, with events across town and in neighbouring city Geelong. Running from 14 to 24 March, Melbourne’s largest festival programme to date celebrates both local and international talent, with the core theme of ‘Design Experiments’ – asking how design can shape the future. A mix of ticketed and free activities embrace diverse challenges from the environment to social issues and materials. This year’s festival wraps up on Sunday, but many of the inspiring shows continue beyond the weekend. Here are six of our top FizzPicks…

‘SOMEWHERE OTHER’: JOHN WARDLE ARCHITECTS
Ground Level/Foyer, NGV Australia, Federation Square
Until 28 July (10am-5pm, free)

Visitors are invited to peek through five portals within timber and steel structure ‘Somewhere Other’, a compact, interactive experience by Melbourne practice John Wardle Architects. At NGV Australia until late July, this intriguing installation was first shown as part of 2018’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale (pictured, top and above). Each of the wooden volumes, voids and apertures in its interconnected series frames views of the studio’s projects, the Australian landscape or the craft of collaborators including artist Natasha Johns-Messenger and filmmakers Coco and Maximilian.

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‘NEW VOLUMES BY ARTEDOMUS’: AN INSTALLATION BY FIONA LYNCH AND THOMAS COWARD
TDF Gallery, 14 Little Oxford Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

We’re big fans of Artedomus’s ‘New Volumes’ collection, which showcases solid marble homewares by eight Australian designers. This Collingwood exhibition, curated by interior designer Fiona Lynch and designer Thomas Coward, represents the range in an installation that follows the journey of this sculptural material from the ‘ground to the house’, contrasted with a series of chunky marble plinths.

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‘MATERIAL THOUGHT’
Modern Times, 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Presented by Fitzroy interiors store Modern Times, group exhibition ‘Material Thought’ explores material through the work of innovative Australian designers. On show are furniture, lighting and objects by nine top talents, including Henry Wilson (‘Stone Surface Sconce’, in Calacatta Marble, above), Coco Flip and Christopher Boots, all illuminating themes of design experimentation and sustainability.

’CLEMENT MEADMORE: THE ART OF MID-CENTURY DESIGN’
Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Swanston Street
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Fans of modernism will enjoy exhibition ‘Clement Meadmore: The art of mid-century design’, a homage to the acclaimed Australian talent. The first major survey of Meadmore’s industrial design practice, it explores the inspirations that shaped the renowned sculptor’s early career as a designer. Part of a new wave of Australian design in the Fifties and Sixties, Meadmore championed streamlined forms, fresh materials and new manufacturing processes. His furniture and lighting appeared in the houses of iconic architect Robin Boyd, with well known designs such as his 1951 corded dining chair on view at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

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‘WELCOME TO WASTELAND’
Compound Interest, 15-25 Keele Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

Presented by Friends & Associates, ‘Welcome to Wasteland’ shares the work of cutting-edge local talents involved with sustainable design. Featuring architects, industrial designers, furniture makers and researchers, the show explores the potential of waste materials recycled into fresh, eco-friendly products. Typically innovative is Vert Design’s ‘HuskeeCup’ made from coffee husk waste, their collaboration with Spark & Burnish to craft ‘Marine Debris Bakelite Door Knobs’, and Maddison Ryder’s use of discarded Iceberg lettuce to form ‘Lettuce Eat’ disposable plates. Other materials in the mix include waste glass, ceramic, plastic, oyster shells, rubber bands, paper pulp, denim jeans, pigs’ blood and even golf balls!

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WORK SHOP: FIONA LYNCH
7 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

A curatorial showcase of experimental design, fine art and objects, interior designer Fiona Lynch’s new permanent gallery Work Shop aims to celebrate work by Australian and international designers and artists, as well as doubling as a testing ground for her own studio’s practice. For Melbourne Design Week, the debut show curates a selection of pieces examining the tension between resolved and incomplete elements, including ceramics by Olivia Walker (black porcelain collapsed vessel, above), burnt wood bowls by Makiko Ryujin, paintings by Jiaxin Nong and lighting design by Mary Wallis.

www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbourne-design-week
Melbourne Design Week 2019 runs until Sunday 24 March at venues across the city and Geelong

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.

At Home: Modern Australian Design

Sydney's Old Government House has been given a magical contemporary twist with 'At Home', an inspired exhibition of modern Australian design

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

We love a ramble through a stately home, but for antiques plus attitude don't miss brilliant show 'At Home: Modern Australian Design', taking over Sydney's Old Government House in Parramatta until 22 January 2017. Hosted by the National Trust and curated by eagle-eyed design editor David Clark (who formerly helmed Vogue Living), it places hand-picked contemporary objects by over 60 of the country's leading designers cheek-by-jowl with historic pieces, exploring the nation's domestic aesthetics. The result is a marriage made in style heaven, with cutting-edge furniture, lighting, textiles, wallpaper and accessories both complementing and contrasting with the original interiors, making you look at them in a fabulously fresh light.

TOP: Adam Goodrum's vibrant aluminium 'Stitch' chair (2008) for Cappellini beside his wood and Marbro 'Broached Colonial Birdsmouth' table (2011) for Broached Commissions in the Old Government House dining room. Vert Design's 2016 digitally modelled, milky-white versions of Lucien Henry's 19th-century 'Waratah' decanter and 'Protea' cups perch on the table

ABOVE: Sarah King's leather-like carbon-fibre 'Carbon Wingback' chair (2009) in the governor's office, flanked by Daniel Emma's mixed-media 'D.E Desk' accessories (2010). Laundry marker on lino artwork 'The day a white man gave a black man (his) land' (2006) by Joan Ross hangs on the wall

For an atmospheric arrival, take the ferry from Circular Quay up the Parramatta River, then walk to leafy Parramatta Park where Old Government House oozes venerable charm. The 'country home' of the first 10 governors of New South Wales, from 1799 to 1855, it's Australia's oldest surviving public building, a convict-built World Heritage site and host to a significant collection of late Georgian furniture. But the period drama really amps up once you go inside, with the exhibition's subtle and striking juxtapositions of iconic, recent and new Australian designs inserted into hallways, lounges, dining room, bedrooms and even the kitchen. 'I hope it demonstrates the more expressive edge of contemporary Australian design,' says Clark. 'The hybrids and curiosities, the bespoke and beautiful, the exuberant, quirky and odd.'

ABOVE: Louise Olsen's handmade resin 'Liquid Moon' side table (2016) in 'Seaweed Malachite' for Dinosaur Designs, with toile artwork by Cloth's Julie Paterson; Korban/Flaubert's sculptural stainless steel 'Armour' screen (2012) in the hall, complemented by chequered floors

The kernel for the show sprang from the 2011 'Broached Colonial' collection by Melbourne design studio Broached Commissions, which included work by Adam Goodrum, Charles Wilson and Trent Jansen and riffed on colonial Australia. Clark was keen to see the pieces in the context of Old Government House, alongside other modern designs. While some contemporary items have a colonial feel – from decanters and tea sets to sleekly crafted wooden chairs – others are digitally produced, streamlined products that bring 21st-century bang to the building's vintage buck, or draw on radical materials including salvaged car parts, carbon fibre and glossy resin.

ABOVE: Curves in all the right places – created especially for the exhibition Fred Ganim's Belgian oak 'Plane' table (2016), with Japanese black stain, sits below the swirling staircase

An impressive roll call of local talent is on display, from Adam Goodrum's laser-cut, folding 'Stitch' chair, designed in 2008 for Italian brand Cappellini, to Grant and Mary Featherston's vintage 'Scape' armchair from 1960, reissued in 2016 by Grazia & Co. Established pieces by Marc NewsonRobert Foster and Dinosaur Designs are here, alongside newer creations by up-and-coming names. We love Adelaide duo Daniel Emma's 'D.E Desk' accessories, Henry Wilson's bronze 'Fin' bookends, 'Stack' trays and 'Surface' sconce lamps, and Trent Jansen's terracotta 'Jugaad with Pottery' vessels, created in India.

ABOVE: Broached Commissions' 'Piano' credenza (2013) by Adam Goodrum, made from piano ivory, timber and felt, sheet music and Victorian ash, with Charles Wilson's Tasmanian blackwood 'Government' side table (2007); The sci-fi shape of Marc Newson's tubular steel, foam and wool 'Embryo' chair (1988) contrasts with its heritage surrounds

Like a sinuous racetrack, Fred Ganim's undulating 'Plane' table occupies a startling location in the atrium, below the two-story building's curvy wooden staircase. Taking the spot usually occupied by a hurricane lantern by the hall's entry portico, ADesignStudio's 'Greenway' pendant lamp teams classic hand-blown glass and brass with 3D-printed polymers and LED lights, typifying the collision of old and new in the show. Another heavenly hybrid is the 'Waratah' decanter and 'Protea' cups, originally drawn by Lucien Henry (1889-91) but digitally remodelled by Vert Design in 2016, using 3D-printed polymers. Australia's decorative past meets its high-tech future...

ABOVE: Culture-clash rules in the upstairs lounge, decorated with terracotta 'Jugaad with Pottery' by Trent Jansen, 'Matisse' chairs by Frag Woodall, brass 'Don' coffee table by Don Cameron and zig-zag LED 'Sen' light by Liam Mugavin, all 2016; In the music room, Tony Kenway's maple 'Signature' rocker (1988) and Lucy McRae's vegetable-dyed wood and metal 'Broached Colonial Prickly' lamp (2011) for Broached Commissions add a slightly surreal touch

Lovers of wallpapers and fabrics should head upstairs, where prints and textiles draped on tables and tacked to walls include work by Anna Spiro (behind the interiors of Australia's Halcyon House hotel), Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, flora and fauna-inspired Cloth (aka Julie Paterson), photographer Martyn Thompson, painterly Shilo Engelbrecht, and nature-influenced Utopia Goods. There's a compact design store and alfresco cafe for shopping and sipping afterwards. The Fizz heard a rumour that the upstairs lounge is haunted, but there's not a ghost of a chance that would put us off this thought-provoking show!
nationaltrust.org.au/event/at-home
'At Home: Modern Australian Design' is at Old Government House, Parramatta Park, Parramatta, western Sydney, until 22 January 2017. Open Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm (last admission 3.30pm); AU$18.50 for adult tickets, online or on the door.

Pictures: Michael Wee