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.

I Scream Factory x Habitat

Ice cream gets arty in this ice-cool exhibition by I Scream Factory at Habitat Chelsea. Mr Whippy look away now...


In the UK, we’re still clinging on to the last rays of summer. The Autumn/Winter collections may be filtering their way into stores up and down the land but as far as we’re concerned there’s still plenty of time for picnics, sunnies and ice cream.

So Habitat’s latest pop-up exhibition at the Platform Gallery in its King's Road branch couldn’t be timed better. From 20 to 30 August the gallery will be filled with striking photographs and artworks from art collective I Scream Factory’s clutch of creative talents, with ice cream as the central theme. We love Sara Mautone’s surreal images that turn ice lollies into fashion accessories, Lena Vazhenina’s 'Blue Series', in which an assortment of objects from hand guns to tulips are blitzed with melted ice cream, and Ting Cheng’s urban reportage style which captures what looks like death by ice cream – literally.

If that’s got you in the mood for a mouthful of the chilly stuff then there’ll be artisanal ice lollies on offer too from North London’s avant-garde lolly makers Ice Kitchen. Founders Cesar and Nadia Roden have ditched Strawberry Mivvis and Calippos in favour of grown up flavours such as Clementine & Wine, Pedro Ximenez Sherry and Grapefruit & Star Anise. 

We think this will be the most chilled out show of the summer so slip on your coolest shades, pop over to Chelsea and, to coin a phrase, 'suck it and see’...

ABOVE FROM LEFT: 'Vinette 3' by Sara Mautone; 'Blue Series 2' by Lena Vazhenina
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Mess 4' by Sara Mautone and Jonathan Tegelaars
BELOW: 'Ice 2' by Ting Cheng

'I Scream Factory' x Habitat runs from 20–30 August 2015 at Platform Gallery, Habitat, 208 King's Road, London SW3

Grayson Perry – Provincial Punk

Grayson Perry, our favourite cross-dressing Britart phenomenon, will be fixing his lipstick for his one-woman show at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. You go girl...


Grayson Perry occupies a pretty rarefied place in the British art world. An adept chronicler of everyday contemporary culture and a skilled draughtsman, potter and designer, he has managed to become much loved and sought after despite fiercely dividing opinion. 

This month sees the opening of 'Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk', a mini retrospective of Perry’s work at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, on England's Kent coast. A carefully edited selection of both unseen and well known pieces will chart Perry's progression from relative obscurity in 1980s Britain to high profile Turner Prize winner and celebrity with ultra-collectable artworks. 

TOP: Limited edition silk scarf, part of a small range of accessories produced exclusively for Turner Contemporary
ABOVE: 'Good Taste and Bad Taste' ceramic vase, 2007
BELOW: 'Early English Motorcycle Helmet' 2011

BELOW FROM TOP: Perry's alter ego 'Claire' steps out in style; A scene from Super 8 movie 'Bungalow Depression' 1984

Perry’s earlier outsider status informed his work right from the beginning as he embraced the DIY spirit of punk and utilised it to create thought-provoking and often controversial work. 

'I was a punk in the provincial sense. I was there in my bedroom with an old school shirt stencilling the word ‘hate’ onto it, looking out onto the lush turf of the north Essex countryside. Then, when I came to London, I was hanging out with people who were at the cutting edge of fashion – BodyMap, John Maybury, Cerith Wyn Evans, Stephen Jones and Michael Clark were part of my social circle at the time. And yet I was making pottery… with a Shetland woolly jumper view of the world and that was funny.

The idea of ‘Provincial Punk’ is an oxymoron but it encapsulates creatively some sort of spirit in my work that still goes on to this day. It is a very creative force, a willingness to turn things over, to not accept the fashion and to have a bit of fun. It is a kind of teasing rebellion; it is not a violent revolution.' 

At Turner Contemporary, Perry's famous ceramics will take centre stage, gleefully mixing cosy imagery with provocative text and sexually charged illustrations. Early ventures into movie making will make an appearance too, with previous incarnations of Perry’s alter ego ‘Claire’ making her screen debut. Collaged sketchbooks, prints and drawings from back in the day will provide insight into Perry’s creative processes and tapestries from his most ambitious work to date, ‘The Vanity of Small Differences,’ will tell the tale of England’s class-ridden society through Perry’s eyes.

ABOVE: Detail of 'The Walthamstow Tapestry', 2009, which examines our relationship with consumerism in the 21st century

Finally, to mark Perry's arrival at Turner Contemporary, a limited edition silk scarf, plate and mug depicting shattered portions of previous artworks are available. So if you want to channel your inner ‘Claire’ then head over to Margate before they’re gone…

'Grayson Perry – Provincial Punk', 23 May to 13 September 2015. Free admission