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.

Trent Jansen, Tidal Collection, 2014_Photo_Haydn Cattach.jpg

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.

Vivid Sydney 2018

Vivid Sydney brings light art, music and inspiring ideas to town, including impressive design talents. Strike a light!


Vivid Sydney returns to illuminate the city for 23 nights, from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a vibrant mix of light, music and ideas. The largest festival of its kind, Sydney's winter-warmer promises eye-catching projections, light art, interactive installations, live bands and cutting-edge talks, with illuminating speakers, exhibitions and workshops.

Running from 6pm to 11pm each night, Vivid is divided into 11 precincts of light sculptures and installations, with new festival zone Luna Park at the iconic harbourside funfair. Favourite zones are back, including Circular QuayCity and Surrounds, Harbour Lights, The Royal Botanic Garden, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Kings Cross and Chatswood. Creativity will be front and centre, spanning digital, product and graphic designs. Here are six Fizz picks...


Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical
This year's Sydney Opera House sails will be illuminated by site-specific kinetic digital artworks by graphic designer Jonathan Zawada. Entitled 'Metamathemagical', the 15-minute, recurring light show envisages Australia as an 'elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy.' We're big fans of the celebrated Australian artist, and recently explored his work with electronic musician Flume. Byron Bay-based Zawada took inspiration from Australian nature and its unique flora and fauna for the Vivid project. Responding to the 3D form of the Opera House's architecture, rather than treating it as a flat plane, Zawada drew on images of flowers, plants, feathers, rocks and human figures to craft a hyperreal 'saturation of colour, pattern and texture' (for more insights see this video interview). The visuals are teamed with a soundtrack featuring Air Max '97XO and EPROM.

MCA press still Jonny 8[2] WEB-1.jpg

Virtual Vibration
Always a highlight, the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will be animated by 'Virtual Vibration', a blend of psychedelic art and more formal modernism. The large-scale projection mapping is a collaboration between Australian artist Jonny Niesche, electronic musician and composer Mark Pritchard and the Spinifex Group. Expect a shifting, sensory light experience playing with transparency, reflection and movement, set to mesmerising sound.

ZAWADA_TALK_1900x900-DNSW (1).jpg

Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation
Sydney Opera House curator Sarah Rees will join 'Jonathan Zawada and Mark Pritchard in Conversation' (5pm-6pm, 27 May), a talk highlighting the frequent collaborators' work and recent 13-minute film project 'The Four Worlds', inspired by Pritchard's haunting, ambient album of the same name. Zawada is responsible for the 'Lighting of the Sails' digital art illuminating Sydney Opera House this year, while electronic producer Pritchard's music is part of the nearby MCA's installation. Zawada has also created artwork for Pritchard's previous albums. Catch free screenings of the otherworldly film at The Samsung Lounge from 25 May to 16 June.

light Beam.jpg

Interactive lighting display Skylark lets visitors put their own colourful mark on the city, lighting up Sydney Harbour Bridge and the surrounding skyscrapers of Circular Quay. Designed by Australian talent Iain Reed of 32 Hundred Lighting, this year's version of the attraction includes a dynamic new feature, Bradfield's Beacon, a custom-built, interactive laser atop the Bridge that's double the strength of any laser seen in the Harbour before. It will wash the Harbour and its headlands in colour, while 40 pillars of light above the Overseas Passenger Terminal adds to the spectacle.


Dreams (Daniel Johns and Luke Steele)
Vivid packs a musical punch, with an extensive line-up of live bands, DJs, club nights and parties, including major acts Solange and Ice Cube. Our pick is Dreams on 29 and 30 May at Sydney Opera House. Exclusive to Vivid LIVE, it's the Australian premiere of the band, an intriguing collaboration between two of the country's most iconic musical talents: Daniel Johns (former frontman of Silverchair) and Luke Steele (Empire of The Sun, The Sleepy Jackson). If their recent tracks 'No One Defeats Us' and 'Silence' are anything to go by, the duo should deliver darkly charismatic performances and a bold, experimental sound.

eoi-44411-VIVID IMAGE 1_3.jpg

Good Design Festival
The annual Good Design Festival takes over two floors of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks from 25 to 27 May (7.30pm-10pm Friday, 4pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday). The established showcase includes a retrospective of the past 60 years of Australia's Good Design Awards, shares 260 award-winning international projects from 2018's awards, and predicts future talents in the NextGen winners category. The free public exhibition gathers diverse designs, from the Sydney Olympic torch to a deep-sea submarine, electronic bike, suspension tent and museum architecture. Book tickets online for the official launch party (5.30pm-7.30pm, 25 May) and for the 'Good Design Exchange' (6pm, 26 May), a talk hosted by Good Design Australia with graphic design whizz Vince Frost, CEO of Frost*collective, and other speakers.
Vivid Sydney runs from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018; see the website for the app, maps, event guide and transport tips. Share your experiences on #VividSydney, #VividIdeas and #VividMusic

25XDesign: Amanda Levete's inspiring Melbourne tour

MPavilion 2015 architect Amande Levete shares her 25xDesign Melbourne inspirations for a smart tour


At DesignFizz, we’ve long been fans of Melbourne’s design charms, from modernist architecture to quirky laneways, cutting-edge shops and salvage-chic bars. So imagine our delight when we heard that Amanda Levete of AL_A studio, the UK architect behind this year's magical MPavilion, had teamed up with London Design Festival director Ben Evans to create a guide to Melbourne's most inspiring style spots.

Launched at MPavilion today, the 25xDesign smart tour was conceived by Evans as an interactive digital event, intended to celebrate design and place. You can experience Levete's 25 hand-picked, favourite Melbourne design destinations as a traditional walking tour, but that would be like so 1985! This so-now tour was developed with Google Creative Lab's 360 degree technology, so you can access the locations as a virtual immersion on your mobile or online (provided you've got compatibility, 'natch). Dubbed Story Spheres, the platform uses experimental browser technologies including webGL and 3js, and can be viewed on your desktop, mobile or via Google Cardboard for a virtual-reality-esque experience. Future tours will help design fans discover other cities with the help of select tastemakers, but Melbourne is the first cab off the rank.

Tours start and finish at MPavilion, in Queen Victoria Gardens, and include a thought-provoking mix of art, architecture, transport and streetscapes (think Melbourne's iconic trams and 19th-century laneways, right), plus drinking and dining dens (such as Patricia's cafe, right, by Foolscap Studio and Beyond the Little Pixels on Little William Street, with pavement pews formed from trademark Melbourne plastic crates).

We won't give the whole game away, but top picks include artist Ugo Rondinone's 2007 'Our Magic Hour' light art installation in South Yarra (main image above) as well as Napier Waller's 1933 Newspaper House mosaic (inset on mobile above), Carlton's kookily nautical 1936 Cairo Flats by Best Overend with their swirly cream stairways (above), and Harry Seidler's modernist 1980s 1 Spring Street block (formerly Shell House, above). So wherever you are, take a tour...

LDF 2015 – Top 5 Somerset House FizzPicks


Somerset House is a hotbed of inspiration at London Design Festival 2015. Here are five of our must-sees...


Historic, riverside Somerset House is a major new destination for London Design Festival 2015. More usually associated with London Fashion Week, it will present a flock of exciting design exhibits for LDF15 from 21 to 27 September, including 'Ten Designers in the West Wing' showcasing BarberOsgerby, Nendo and Ross Lovegrove among others, plus other inspiring shows. We suggest you take a spin around all of them, but these five are our FizzPicks... 

The Drawing Room by Faye Toogood
UK designer Faye Toogood's evocative take on a traditional English drawing room riffs on genteel styling to create a relaxed country house vibe. We often describe interiors as graphic, but these really are, with decor reimagined through charcoal sketches on walls, drawn on translucent plastic sheets. Toogood's sculptural 'Roly-Poly' furniture in charcoal-hued fibreglass beckons for lounging, flanked by quirky cardboard farm animals. To experience Toogood's Kvadrat coats, visit her immersive V&A installation The Cloakroom.

Connected by Pattern by PATTERNITY with Paperless Post
It's a monochrome, geometric pattern riot at 'Connected by Pattern', a bold black-and-white installation by London duo PATTERNITY with New York's Paperless Post. Ten invitations connect visitors with this party-ready space, allowing you to immerse yourself in the interior and connect with others, while discovering new patterns. We think it's a perfect Expressionist playground!


The Wave by Alex Rasmussen for Neal Feay
Surfing takes on a whole new meaning at 'The Wave' installation by Santa Barbara designer Alex Rasmussen. Reflecting the bewitching blue shades of the Pacific Ocean, it's made of more than 700 anodised aluminium panels, invisibly linked to form a structural swell. Fabricated by his factory Neal Feay, this mesmerising modular design was sent to London by FedEx!

My Grandfather's Tree by Max Lamb for Gallery FUMI
The most touching installation at Somerset House is Brit designer Max Lamb's 'My Grandfather's Tree', which sees his grandpa's ash tree repurposed as quirky furniture. In association with London's Gallery FUMI, it not only showcases incredible textures and forms, but also powerful emotions and relationships. The tree once stood proudly beside his grandfather's farm cottage in Yorkshire, before it died and began to rot. Lamb cut it down recently for safety reasons, but determined to give it an afterlife, preserving as much of the original, natural form as possible to craft stools, chairs and tables. Hewn into 130 logs, its 187 annual growth rings are still visible.

Transition; Warm/Wet by Arik Levy with Tabanlioglu Architects
French designer Arik Levy's 'FractalCloudWarm' sculpture creates a dazzling white sunshine effect with a cluster of LED light shards on the ceiling. It's part of 'Transition; Warm/Wet' by Levy with Istanbul-based Tabanlioglu Architects, a fusion of art and architecture exploring contrasts between light and solid, warm and cold, and dry and wet – another atmospheric encounter that ensures Somerset House keeps jaws dropping.

Somerset House's exhibits for London Design Festival 2015 run from Monday 21 to Sunday 27 September, at Strand, London WC2;

Nite Art 2015


Art-loving Melburnian vampires are in luck; Nite Art strikes again, with galleries open late across town tonight


USE 11666144_980262505359299_8173833577628198973_n.jpg

Fancy getting a Melbourne art fix? Now in its third year, Nite Art sees 30 art sites open late across three central precincts from 6pm tonight (Thursday 23 July). With more than 75 artists on display, it encourages fans to wander the city, checking out photography, painting, drawing, installations, sculpture, printmaking, and digital and light works, plus art happenings, talks and walks. DesignFizz can vouch for the fun factor, having cycled around 21 studios, museums and galleries on Nite Art’s debut event, stopping to quaff beers along the way. Who said art was intimidating?

To map out your Nite download a map, which details the three core precincts – City Central, Arts Precinct – Federation Square and the atmospheric University of Melbourne, plus some Open House Melbourne spaces. See our FizzPicks below or follow Nite Art’s suggested routes Mix it Up 1, Mix It Up 2 and Nite Seekers

City Central
Boasting 16 spaces, City Central precinct is a great place to start, including galleries in the historic, multi-level Nicholas Building (37 Swanston Street) and along popular eat-street Flinders Lane (look out for the projection wall by Roy Chu outside Chin Chin). Snoop around Blender Studios (110 Franklin Street), then see Dark Horse Experiment’s curated group show in the main space, including Adrian Doyle’s paintings riffing on suburban Australia. Next up, head to nearby Screen Space (ground floor, 30 Guildford Lane), where Amie Siegel and Victor Burgin’s exhibitions explore the connections between modernist architecture and new media technology. Fans of interiors should also make for the White Library, a small sculpture by Ruth Johnstone at the Athenaeum Library (188 Collins Street) inserting blank tablets among the shelves, a reflection of the compression of information in the digital age.

Arts Precinct – Federation Square
Online pre-bookings for Melinda Hetzel’s site-specific performance Fly By Night, journeying through the secret passageways of Hamer Hall (100 St Kilda Road), have been snapped up but walk-ups will be permitted where possible. It’s a participatory promenade involving dance theatre, music and digital technology. The central Arts Precinct – Federation Square zone also takes in two shows at ACMI (Federation Square), including inspiring new exhibition David Bowie is (on until 1 November 2015), which shares the influential videos, films, album artwork, stage designs and costumes of the genderbending UK music star. 

ABOVE: Julia Weissenberg’s Nothing to Retain (video still), Total House
ABOVE RIGHT: Nite Art's laser-eyed poster by Work Art Life Studios

USE 11221598_402018286650674_8309500687472186229_n.jpg
USE 11742822_880533932012309_1450458015265187443_n.jpg

ABOVE FROM TOP: Adrian Doyle’s Never Forget to Remember painting at Dark Horse Experiment; Late-night hub The Ian Potter Museum of Art

The University of Melbourne
The seven spaces around the University of Melbourne offer individual exhibitions and group shows such as Light Speculation at The Carlton Connect Initiative LAB–14 (700 Swanston Street, Carlton), which looks at light as a wondrous phenomenon. It includes Erica Seccombe’s GROW, a projection of mung beans and alfalfa germinating in 4D, which resemble alien life forms. The zone also hosts several shows involving Liquid Architecture, featuring sound installation and video, at the Melbourne School of Design (Masson Road), allowing access to its Japanese Room, designed by architect Shigeru Yura.

Open House Melbourne
Tying in with Open House Melbourne, which throws open the doors to intriguing spaces around town this weekend (25 and 26 July), a clutch of Open House Melbourne x Nite Art sites form part of tonight’s offerings. Julia Weissenberg’s Nothing to Retain is a two-channel video exploring a temporary reconstruction of a Mies van der Rohe-designed building that was never built. It’s being screened at Total House (aka TV House, 170-190 Russell Street), a hybrid car park/office/night club building which is one of Melbourne’s best examples of Japanese-inspired Brutalist architecture. Added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2014 and home to various design studios, it’s still the subject of debates about its preservation or redevelopment. The Default Collective’s site-specific video here focusses on the entrance lift. Booking essential.

Late-Night Hub
Wrap up at the event’s late-night hub at The Ian Potter Museum of Art (801 Swanston Street, Carlton), where you can enjoy a drink from 10pm until midnight. Julie Rrap’s video will be projected onto the building's wall and Melbourne band The Orbweavers will play around 10.15pm (just hashtag those dance moves #niteart15!). Alternatively, late-opening Art Bars around town include GoGo Bar (125 Flinders Lane) under Chin Chin, Bar Americano (20 Presgrave Place) and Hell’s Kitchen (20a Centre Place). Culture and cocktails go together like a Swanston Street horse and carriage!

Nite Art is on from 6pm until late tonight, Thursday 23 July 2015, in Melbourne