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.

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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’

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.

Workshopped 2015


The Fizz selects standout talent from Workshopped ’15, Sydney’s inspiring showcase of new designers


One of Australia’s longest running design exhibitions, Workshopped is now in its fifteenth year, and is an influential platform for supporting developing designers. It has shared the work of more than 350 designers over the years, including Viktor Legin, whose slim, steam-bent timber LED ‘Balance’ pendant light won third place at 2015’s Milan’s SaloneSatellite Awards.

A showcase for young and emerging Australian talent, Workshopped ’15 Sydney brought together prototype furniture, accessories and lighting (including Adam Cruickshank’s double-hooped LED ‘Ovalite’ pendant, above) from a brace of new names, curated over two floors at interiors store hub Supa Centa Moore Park. There’s still time tomorrow to catch the show, which features more than 50 industrial and product designers responding to the theme of ‘Design in Architecture’. Alternatively, check out our selection of up-and-coming names below…

Top tables
The small ‘Spade’ side table by Simon Colabufalo offers a serious hit of glossy red, combining oak and clean-lined aluminium, colour-matched with custom-turned bolts. Caren Elliss’s ‘T12’ side table celebrates underappreciated terrazzo, usually seen on flooring, but here a focal point on the table top, offering texture and unique pattern with every piece. Marble’s still on trend for furniture, and Elliss feels Cinderella material terrazzo deserves its hour in the sun. Laser-sintering is explored to futuristic, arty effect in the ‘Evolve’ side table, a collaboration by Michael Shepard and Adam Cruickshank. We like its skinny, see-through form and two-tone black and white base.

Stylish seats and storage
Ben Baker’s ‘Apeiron’ origami-esque stool can stand alone but used in multiples it creates a playful geometry. This shapely little number was inspired by sheet metal and tessellation, and is all about flexible function. Baker’s ash-topped ‘Flow’ bench is supported by a continuous loop of hand-bent steel, a sculptural metal spiral that can be powder-coated in a range of colours. It was originally designed using recycled materials from a skip. Bradley Saywell’s sexy ‘SSCT’ (Saywell Storage Coffee Table) caught our eye, with a sturdy yet lightweight steel skin and solid timber table top. A removable textile liner keeps your treasures in good nick. 

Poised pendant lights
Pairing porcelain edged with hand-woven rush grass, the minimal ‘Tao’ pendant lamps by Helen Chen draw on an almost 300-year-old technique and are made by Taiwanese artisans, yet look completely contemporary. Also riffing on nature, Sebastian Damm’s ‘Alga V2 (Beta)’ pendant was inspired by the molecular structure and bioluminescence of algae. A laser-cut shell is layered over an internal diffuser in amber or purple blown glass. Concrete, steel and copper – three key architectural materials – form the sculptural ‘Saddle’ pendant lights by Seaton Mckeon, which team bold form and texture. By contrast, the handcrafted ‘Lattu’ light by Farzin Adenwalla is inspired by Indian children’s vibrant spinning tops, combining a colourful metal frame with a hand-turned teakwood holder. Crafted by local artisans, each jaunty piece is a one-off, available in plated copper/brass and a choice of yellow, red, blue, cream, black, turquoise or lilac.

Accessories with attitude
It’s time for a new-look wall clock, and the ‘Orbit’ by Dorte Bell and Ian Johnson is happy to oblige. The front face forms the minute hand and the passing hours are marked by a chrome sphere orbiting the face. Appearing to float from the wall, its pure, abstract simplicity is influenced by modern architecture and the way the moon orbits the earth and earth goes round the sun. A design store should snap this up in no time! Inspired by nature, Helen Chen’s ‘Forest of Mirrors’ look like little round trees, and reflect and maximise the light in an interior space. They’re made from glass and marble in three sizes. Taking their cue from seductive Venice, Patty Hava’s ‘Invisible Cities’ candleholders have an elegant architectural feel, with precision-cut marble bases and an upper section in hand-cast, polished bronze. Ideal for canapés, the small ‘Chataku’ ceramic plates by Fukutoshi Ueno and Kenji Uranishi were inspired by traditional Japanese saucers. Crafted from Arita porcelain, their pretty, graphic patterns represent the seasons.

Workshopped ’15 is open daily, 9am -5pm, until Sunday 23 August 2015 at Supa Centa Moore Park, corner of South Dowling Street and Todman and Dacey Avenues, Kensington, Sydney