Fenton & Fenton Sydney Pop-up

Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton is popping up in Sydney with a colourful 10-day showcase of furniture and art



Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton has garnered a loyal following for its bold, vibrant mix of contemporary furniture, accessories and art, curated with flair. Now the much-loved Prahran trendsetter is coming to Sydney, with 10-day pop-up 'A Home Away From Home' bringing directional design to The Studio in Rosebery from 20 to 29 October. Championing the brand's love of colour, style and travel, the free showroom/gallery event will help you kit out your home, with cutting-edge ideas and inspiration up for grabs.

Eye-catching art will be a major focus, with more than 70 works by 23 established Australian artists on display in a group show, which you can also shop online. Covetable names in the frame include paintings by Michael Bond, Carly WilliamsEmma Gale and Diana Miller, photography by Kara Rosenlund, ceramics by Louise Kyriakou and Jai Vasicek, handblown glass by Amanda Dziedzic, woven wall hangings by Maryanne Moodie, and metal sculptures by Dion Horstmans

Seeking fresh furniture and accessories for summer? The store's new arrivals will be unveiled too, including 'The Riad Collection' of fabulous Moroccan-influenced outdoor chairs, tables, swings and plant pots, which sports graphic patterns in pretty hues. Six room sets, surrounding a pink Moroccan-inspired courtyard, will showcase Fenton & Fenton's chic edit of designs, from living and dining zones to bedrooms, bathrooms and garden spaces. Cushion, throws, rugs, vintage finds and one-off pieces add more pizzazz.

Although the action kicks off on Friday 20 October, the brand is hosting an afternoon House Warming Party on Saturday 21 October (2pm-5.30pm), where you can meet the artists while enjoying aperitivos by Picco and DJ sets by Alice Q. Everyone's welcome, with free entry to both the 10-day event and party – just RSVP first online. Fenton & Fenton's consultants will be on hand to share advice on the collection, colour, styling and trends.

You can also discover Insider Secrets at three ticketed panel talks with creative talents, with themes ranging from sensual homes (6.30pm-8pm, Thursday 26) to entertaining (11am-12.30pm, Friday 27) and displaying art, collections and curios (10am-11.30am, Saturday 28 October). Brand founder Lucy Fenton will take part, alongside stylists, artists, florists, mixologists and chefs, including experts from home sound system Sonos and Australian modern lime paint company Bauwerk, which will launch a bespoke range of six new natural, eco-friendly paint colours at the show. Home sweet home...

Fenton & Fenton 'A Home Away From Home – Sydney' is at The Studio, 2/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney from 20 to 29 October 2017, 10am to 5pm daily. RSVP for the free pop-up event or party, or buy limited tickets in advance for the three talks ($35.57 each)

The Big Design Market Sydney

Need gift inspiration? Check out The Big Design Market in Sydney


Christmas shopping can be inspiring and support design talent too. For the first time, The Big Design Market brings more than 200 independent Australian and international designers together for three days of stylish shopping in Sydney, running from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 November at Moore Park's Royal Hall of Industries. The market then moves on to Melbourne (2-4 December), where it has proved a hit in recent years. Crafts, homewares, lighting, fashion, jewellery, lifestyle accessories, stationery and kids' kit are all in the mix, with a different line-up for each city and a focus on original, quality and sustainable products.

ABOVE: Sydney's line-up includes Bridget Bodenham's handmade ceramics; Robyn Wood's tulip-inspired timber and bonded parchment 'Bud' table lamp; Fictional Objects' soft-finish cotton bed linen sports minimal patterns

Some of our fave FizzPicks for Sydney include Bridget Bodenham's graphic, textured ceramic tableware; Angus & Celeste's quirky hanging planters; Skimming Stones' Australian-inspired porcelain; and artists Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran of Martinich&Carran's painterly plates. Fictional Objects designs subtly contemporary bed linen. For cool jewellery, don't miss A Skulk of Foxes and Emily Green's pastel-pretty pieces. Trent Jansen's 'Cyclesign' bicycle wheel reflectors, made out of recycled road signs and bike tubes, are eco-friendly stocking fillers.

ABOVE: Angus & Celeste's hanging 'Jelly' planters; 'Original Dutch' paper origami shade by Studio Snowpuppe from Paper Empire Australia; handmade 'Lion Snuggle' cushion and 'Elfie Elephant' soft toy from Miann & Co; 'Hydrangea Mixed Bead' necklace by Emily Green, featuring hand-formed polymer clay and rectangular brass beads

Creative types can get involved in workshops, with sessions on personalised colour palettes hosted by Sydney stylist supreme Sibella Court (known for her innovative hotel, bar and restaurant interiors, and inspirational shop The Society Inc. in St Peters). Melbourne illustrator Beci Orpin will also be teaching you how to design your own block printing stamps. Children can enjoy free kids' activities, plus a magical hand-painted forest play area by author/illustrator Penny Ferguson of Min Pin. This year's guest artist is renowned paper artist Benja Harney of Paperform, who will craft a colourful large-scale installation. 

ABOVE: Hand-painted ceramic platter by artists Martinich&Carran; artwork by illustrator Beci Orpin; cute paper works by Enemies Yay (illustrators Laura Blythman and Pete Cromer); 'Ice Cream Bicycle Bell' by Beep Bicycle Bells; Sydney distillery Archie Rose will be mixing vodka, gin and white rye cocktails at the market

You won't go home hungry with some of Sydney's finest food and drink purveyors setting up shop at the market. Mary's, Porteño, Smoking Gun Bagels and Taco Truck will be dishing up food, with sweet treats by Gelato Messina and All Day Donuts, and drinks by Tasmania's Moo Brew, Lunar Wines and Archie Rose Distillery, among others. Early birds can scoop designer showbags, limited to 300 a day, and filled with over $120 worth of treats from stallholders (just $15 each).

ABOVE: Stylist Sibella Court, with Instagram-friendly interiors from her Sydney store The Society Inc., just one of the talents hosting creative workshops

The Big Design Market is at Royal Hall of Industries, Errol Flynn Blvd, Moore Park, Sydney, from 25-27 November 2016; Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm; adults $2, free for kids 12 and under. See our follow-up post for more on Melbourne's market from 2-4 December 2016

Sydney Open 2016

Access all areas at Sydney Open this weekend, when the city's best buildings are thrown open to the public


Architecture and design lovers can explore some of Sydney's most exciting modern and heritage spaces this weekend, as popular annual event Sydney Open unlocks doors around town. The festival offers access to more than 50 inspiring buildings, usually off limits to the public, from award-winning contemporary offices, studios and galleries to historic government, state and religious edifices, ranging from the CBD to The Rocks and Barangaroo.

TOP: The rooftop view from Tower Two, Barangaroo, aiming to be the first climate-positive precinct of its scale in the world
ABOVE: In new commercial district Barangaroo, Two International Towers, at 200 Barangaroo Avenue, by Rogers, Stirk Harbour + Partners, features high-performance solar-shading facades; Hassell architects' studio, at Pier 8/9, 23 Hickson Road, occupies three levels of a historic Walsh Bay wharf; Grosvenor Place, 225 George Street, by acclaimed Australian architect Harry Seidler, includes back-lit golden onyx walls in the lobby

Snap up a Sydney Open Ticket to join in the fun on main day Sunday 6 November, with a programme of drop-in talks and tours hosted by architects and experts at select buildings ($49 for general admission). You can also book more in-depth, small-group guided Focus Tours on Saturday 5 November, or upgrade to VIP status for priority access on Sunday ($220; includes a preview evening briefing at Level 41 of Two International Towers, Barangaroo, on Friday 4 November). For updates on the day follow host Sydney Living Museums' social media @sydlivmus and hashtag your snaps #sydneyisopen. Our top FizzPicks include the innovative buildings pictured, most of them new on the list this year. Up, up and away!

ABOVE: Macquarie Group at No. 1 Martin Place includes a 2016 Escher-like staircase intervention in the seven-storey atrium by Fitzpatrick + Partners; The eco-chic new EY Centre at 200 George Street is the headquarters for Ernst & Young. By architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorpe (FJMT), its curvy form features natural timber and glass

Pictures: International Towers Sydney; Nicole England; Tim Jones; Brett Boardman

Dyslexic Design

A powerful exhibition at London's designjunction explores the link between dyslexia and creativity…


Thought-provoking exhibition ‘Dyslexic Design’, at Kings Cross’s designjunction event, explores the connection between dyslexia and creativity. Showcasing work by 10 dyslexic designers, including established and emerging names, the show encourages us to rethink this so-called disability. Yes, it’s a challenge, but can it also be a gift?

TOP: Handblown borosilicate glass 'Egg' decanter with cork details by Sebastian Bergne
ABOVE: Steam-bent wood 'No 1 Pendant' light by Tom Raffield; crystal 'Gauge' vase by Jim Rokos; 'Markets Royale 1816/2014' limited-edition archival giclée print by Kristjana S Williams

Defined as ‘a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling’, dyslexia affects 10 per cent of the UK population, four per cent severely. The project, in support of the British Dyslexia Association, is one close to designjunction show director Deborah Spencer’s heart. ‘I had dyslexia growing up which led me down the path of art and design. In many ways dyslexia defined me as a person.’

ABOVE'Knot' lamp by Vitamin; 'Surface' table by Terence Woodgate (with John Barnard); 'Hunter Jacket: Gorilla' jacket by Rohan Chhabra, which transforms into the shape of a gorilla

Curated by designer Jim Rokos as part of the London Design Festival, the five-day exhibition aims to disrupt perceptions of dyslexia, highlighting its close ties with design creativity, a positive spin on what can often be a stigmatised condition. Talented designers on board represent diverse disciplines, from industrial and product design to illustration, fashion, fine art, architecture and craft, including Terence Woodgate, Sebastian Bergne, Vitamin, Kristjana S Williams, Tom Raffield, Tina Crawford (aka Tobyboo), Rohan Chhabra, Bethan Laura Wood and Rokos himself. On show are furniture, tableware, lighting, art works, accessories and apparel, all enriched with unexpected perspectives.

‘It is my belief that I am able to design the way I do because of my dyslexia and not despite it,’ says Rokos. ‘I also firmly believe that other dyslexic designers have idiosyncratic styles because of their dyslexia.’ Environmental designer Ab Rogers, who devised the exhibition set, adds, ‘At times dyslexia can be frustrating for those who have it, and those who live with it second-hand, but it should still be celebrated as an asset, not commiserated as a fault.’

ABOVE: Designjunction show director Deborah Spencer; 'Dyslexic Design' exhibition designer Ab Rogers, and founder/curator Jim Rokos

Clearly, the show demonstrates that dyslexia needn’t hold you back in the creative industries, and in fact that seeing things slightly differently, through the lens of a dyslexic mind, could even prove an advantage. It examines the links between dyslexia and lateral, visual and three-dimensional thinking, while also acknowledging the challenges of working with a less common brain structure.

Examples of such innovative lateral thinking include embroidery artist Tina Crawford's detailed thread-drawn illustrations crafted using a sewing machine; jewellery designer Sari Råthel's fingertip rings; and Rohan Chhabra's endangered species series of hunting jackets that fold into a gorilla, elephant, rhino, antelope or tiger.

Don’t miss the panel discussion on ‘How to be Creative and Successful when you are Dyslexic’ (5pm-6pm, Saturday 24 September, The Gallery Room, Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1), bringing together many of the designers involved. Book your spot here. Even the typographic design of the exhibition's title tells a story; its font has been designed by Daniel Britton to take longer for a non-dyslexic person to read, mirroring the frustrations of dyslexia. Now that's creative...
thedesignjunction.co.uk   dyslexicdesign.co.uk

Dyslexic Design is at designjunction from 22-25 September 2016 as part of London Design Festival. Find it at Dyslexic House, No H9 (Fast East Side), Granary Square, King's Cross, N1

Save Our Sirius

Sydney's striking Brutalist housing block Sirius is under threat. Join the community fight to save it


Join a rally today – Saturday 17 September – to Save our Sirius, a rare example of Brutalist architecture in Sydney that's currently under dire threat. While Brutalism is winning fans all over the world, New South Wales officials have refused to heritage-list this stunning contemporary housing block, and have already started evicting elderly residents with a view to demolishing the block and rebuilding, part of a wider sell-off of community public housing in fast-gentrifying Millers Point. They argue they'll release more funds to develop increased social housing elsewhere (we've heard that one before!), but you can bet it will be way out west, with the city centre socially cleansed of working-class tenants. In recent days, a Green Ban has been placed on any future redevelopment of Sirius, calling on the government to respect the local community.

A bold, concrete building of repeated geometries, Sirius has housed up to 100 low-income tenants in stacked box apartments for almost four decades. It's not to everyone's taste, but it's exactly this tough ugly-beauty that's central to Brutalism's appeal. Buildings such as London's Trellick Tower by Ernö Goldfinger, Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation in Marseille and Sydney's UTS Tower by Michael Dysart are gaining a growing army of admirers, fuelled by books like Phaidon's recent release 'This Brutal World'. At a time when Brutalism is putting cities on the map, it's ironic that Australia should be aiming to sweep its inspiring architectural history aside.

Architect Tao Gofers built Sirius Apartments in 1978-79, and we love each unit's TV-screen-like floor-to-ceiling windows and its chunky stepped concrete form, dotted with verdant roof gardens. Sirius's location overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in The Rocks neighbourhood just adds to its appeal, but has also sadly made it a magnet for eagle-eyed developers.

'The State Government's decision to level the iconic Sirius Building and replace it with luxury apartments is an outrageous cash-grab that sets a dangerous precedent,' said Sydney mayor Clover Moore. 'By selling out our communities and our history to make a quick buck, they're undoing the very reason heritage legislation exists. Selling off social housing in Millers Point and now demolishing Sirius shows the NSW Government doesn't think public housing tenants deserve to live in the heart of our city.'

Those keen to push for heritage protection, and to save the building and its community, should meet at Customs House forecourt at 11.30am today, then march to nearby Sirius at 44 Cumberland Street for noon. See www.saveoursirius.org or Facebook for more details and future protest efforts.

You can also contribute to a crowdfunding campaign to take the NSW Government to the Land Environment Court to challenge NSW Minister for Heritage Mark Speakman's decision not to place Sirius on the State Heritage Register, despite unanimous advice from Heritage Council experts. Let's keep this brutal beauty alive...

Pictures: Katherine Lu and Barton Tailor

ABOVE: Snap up a signed print by Sydney illustrator James Gulliver Hancock to support the Sirius campaign: 'The amazing Brutalist Sirius building. We can't do without a diversity of architecture styles in cities with buildings like these that hint at an amazing sci-fi future'