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

LDF 2018 – 10 Unmissable FizzPicks for London Design Biennale

London Design Biennale is a must for design hunters, bringing inspiring global ideas to Somerset House

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

One of our top tips for London Design Festival, London Design Biennale gathers creatives from 40 countries, cities and territories across six continents at Somerset House, all responding to 2018’s theme of ‘Emotional States’. Exploring ideas through design, architecture and technology – addressing social, political and environmental challenges – the second edition is a thought-provoking showcase, running until 23 September.

Influential museums and institutions are among the curators, including London’s V&A (‘Maps of Defiance’), New York’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (‘Face Values’) and Milan’s Triennale (‘L’Architettura degli Alberi’). All the participants are worth a look, but here are 10 of our favourite FizzPicks…

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AUSTRALIA: ‘Full Spectrum’
London-based Australian designer Flynn Talbot channels Australia’s recent referendum vote to legalise same-sex marriage with vibrant light installation ‘Full Spectrum’. A celebration of diversity, the ecstatic, immersive work incorporates an arcing curve of rainbow colour, inspired by the Pride flag, embracing the whole spectrum. Its suspended light screen is formed from 150 strands of fibre-optic light, each a different hue, using custom-made hidden LED modules and electronics. You can touch and move through the strands or simply feel the love.


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LATVIA: ‘Matter to Matter’
Visitors can leave fleeting messages on a wall of condensation at Latvia’s entry ‘Matter to Matter’, designed by Arthur Analts of Variant Studio, which shares the emotional impact of mark making. Taking its cue from the Baltic state’s humid climate, with capital Riga surrounded by forests and the sea, it’s a statement about culture, transience and nature’s power to reclaim human traces. Each message lasts only a few minutes on the green glass surface, before fading away. Complete with a wooden bench, the simple, sensory space won ‘Best Design Medal’ at the Biennale.


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LEBANON: ‘The Silent Room’
Escape from city stress in ‘The Silent Room’, Lebanon’s blue-hued retreat from the pressures of public space. Enter the perforated brick-and-timber tower and a staircase leads to a dimly lit upper level. Within this fabric-lined, insulated cocoon, speakers play a field recording of quiet urban moments. ‘Silence is becoming a commodity for the privileged,’ says designer Nathalie Harb, whose private shelter offers ‘the luxury of silence to everyone, regardless of background or status.’ Influenced by her crowded home city Beirut, she hopes her soundscape provides a sensory respite from the madding crowd.


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INDIA: ‘State of Indigo’
We love blue, especially dreamy indigo, but the dark history of indigo farming has remained mysterious. India’s pavilion, backed by The Gujral Foundation, illuminates the ‘State of Indigo’, sharing the colonial slavery and contemporary social issues behind this emotionally charged pigment. A natural colour created from the indigofera plant, indigo was used ‘to dye fabric, repel insects, treat ailments, disinfect, ward off spirits and even decorate an entire city’, says curator Priya Khanchandani, who wants us to experience the working conditions behind this blue beauty.


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GUATEMALA: ‘Palopó’
Pattern and colour can transform lives and economies as ‘Palopó’, Guatemala’s pavilion, proves. It promotes a project to paint a whole town in vibrant hues, inspired by local, ancestral textile patterns, turning it into a vast artwork to attract tourism. Led by designer Diego Olivero of Olivero & Bland Studio, Pintando Santa Catarina Palopó aims to support an impoverished town on Lake Atitlán. The London installation celebrates this social design initiative, harnessing floating geometric forms resembling the multi-coloured houses, flanked by a textile mobile by Zyle.


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GREECE: ‘ΑΝΥΠΑΚΟΗ – Disobedience’
Championing the ancient Greek concept of civil disobedience, Greece’s kinetic ‘ΑΝΥΠΑΚΟΗ’ installation challenges our perception of static architecture. Designed by Nassia Inglessis-led Studio INI, its 17-metre-long wall is formed from a steel spring skeleton and recycled plastic, so it flexes and morphs around the human body. Visitors can enjoy the transgressive walkway, passing through the wall and feeling it respond in return. A boundary, but also a rebellious, exciting space to explore, it suggests a new, more dynamic shape for future city buildings.


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ITALY: ‘L’Architettura degli Alberi’
Based on a 20-year study of trees, Italian pavilion ‘L’Architettura degli Alberi’ reflects a labour of love by architects Cesare Leonardi and studio partner Franca Stagi. The duo documented Italy’s trees to help landscape designers, crafting accurate, beautifully detailed drawings of different trees at a 1:100 scale. Expanding to include European and Central American trees, the book was finally published in 1982, featuring 374 evocative illustrations of 211 species. This installation presented by La Triennale di Milano shares 24 of them, ideal for inspiring parks and public spaces.


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EGYPT: ‘Modernist Indignation’
Winner of the London Design Biennale 2018 Medal, Egypt’s display ‘Modernist Indignation’ charts the sad loss of the country’s once-vaunted modernist architecture, now left to rot or actively destroyed by critics. The pavilion is an elegy to that vulnerable and dying design language, featuring a contemporary reinterpretation of a fictional 1939 exhibition put on by Al Emara, the first Arabic design magazine (published from 1939 to 1959). It also includes a video shot in the house of its founding architect Sayed Karim, his manifesto and logo, gradually erased on the floor.


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SWEDEN: ‘Coal: Post-Fuel’
Coal could have emotional value, becoming a desirable design material, according to this intriguing Swedish exhibit by Jesper Eriksson. ‘Coal: Post Fuel’ considers an alternative future for this Industrial Age power source, imagining its life beyond a dirty fuel for burning. His installation features furniture, flooring and objects made from solid coal, some in their raw state and other pieces processed into a black marble-like finish. Eriksson reckons ‘Britain’s most iconic material’ can be rebranded for architecture and interior design. Think organic, quarried luxury…


THE NETHERLANDS: ‘Power Plant’
Fearful about food security and the future environment? Luckily, The Netherlands is on top of things, with its ‘Power Plant’ pavilion showing how design can solve the problem of population-pressured food production. A futuristic greenhouse, it uses sunlight to generate both food and the electricity needed to grow it. Designer Marjan van Aubel is behind this elegant solution, with the building’s transparent solar glass, hydroponic system, vertical growth structure and specifically coloured LEDs fostering a year-round, high-yield indoor harvest.


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Finally, don’t miss The Refugees’ Pavilion, a temporary shelter housing objects designed by displaced people. The pavilion itself is the ‘Better Shelter’, winner of the Design Museum’s Design of the Year 2016, a structure that unpacks from two cardboard boxes, and can be assembled by four people with one hammer in just a few hours. Inside, visitors can see how refugees worldwide have customised the flatpack making it their own. Social design in action.
www.londondesignbiennale.com

London Design Biennale is at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2 from 4 to 23 September 2018. Book tickets online or opt for a guided tour.

Photos: Mark Cocksedge (Australia Pavilion); Ed Reeve

Vivid Sydney 2018

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

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Skylark
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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Jardan Sydney

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Australian interiors brand Jardan's new Sydney store has put the seductive into staircases

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Sculptural. Seductive. Super-stylish. The staircase at Australian design brand Jardan's new Sydney flagship store has been drawing admiring glances, from its pale, pretty-in-pink pastel colour to its gorgeous curves. Linking the shop's three levels, it's a serious scene-stealer, with a sinuous wooden hand rail, sleek, gold-edged wooden stairs and grainy marble flooring.

ABOVE: Poised in pink: the sculptural staircase is a centrepiece at Jardan
ABOVE RIGHT: The inviting gold-meets-glass exterior of Jardan Sydney's flagship new store on a corner of Paddington's Oxford Street
BELOW: The softly geometric staircase runs from the lower ground floor up to the first storey, lit by a skylight, with tactile details including a sinuous wooden handrail, marble flooring and gold-tipped treads

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ABOVE: A seductive first-floor living area at Jardan, painted to pick up the greens and blues of the trees, sky and Sydney Harbour. Covetable ceramics make great take-home buys

By Melbourne's IF Architecture, the store on Paddington's Oxford Street takes its cue from Sydney's shifting seasons, spanning the blues of the harbour, the green canopy of the city's hilly streets, and the reds and yellows of the sun. 'Colour is expressive light, and Sydney has light like no other place in Australia,' says lead architect Iva Foschia, who designed the different levels of the space to transition between whites, blues, greens, pinks, greys and blacks. Foschia also took inspiration for the palette from the colour systems of iconic Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, 'who used colour to enhance the emotions of people in his buildings', harnessing custom paints from Australian specialists Porter's Paints.

Sydney's creative families were another key influence for Foschia, including local interior designer Marion Hall Best (whose career from the mid-1930s celebrated bold colour, pattern and modernism), late artist Brett Whiteley (who famously painted the harbour in ultramarine hues), veteran artist John Olsen (known for his love of nature, greens and blues), and his daughter Louise Olsen and son-in-law Stephen Ormandy's homewares/jewellery brand Dinosaur Designs (beloved for its sleek forms and vibrant hues).

BELOW: Up on the first floor, Jardan's modernist-inspired, contemporary furniture is flanked by a fireplace and backdropped by airy views; Rugs and cushions are displayed on the lower ground floor, styled with a dark-grey sofa as a living zone

Melbourne-born, family firm Jardan sells Australian-designed and-made furniture and lighting, crafted using local materials to exemplary eco standards. Its own-label contemporary collections are displayed alongside a brilliant edit of art and accessories, from tableware to coffee-table books, rugs to vases. After closing its original Sydney showroom in Rosebery, Jardan launched a recent pop-up in Paddington, before finding a permanent home in Oxford Street's 1924-founded Alderstein House, an Art Deco building formerly occupied by Ariel Booksellers.

Styled like a home, the stunning flagship features dedicated zones for living, sleeping, dining and cooking – an alluring curved shelving area displays print titles, ceramics and plants, while upstairs there's an entertainer's kitchen – with lofty views over the harbour. Connecting the lower ground floor, ground floor and first floor is the eye-catching central staircase, flanked by sensual surface materials. Art is a highlight, especially Australian talent Kate Ballis' kooky-coloured 'Infra Realism' photos of America's palm-dotted landscape, pools and modernist architecture. You can even pick up a Maren surfboard. Only in Sydney...
www.jardan.com.au

BELOW: Blue-and-rust-grained marble etched with the Jardan logo forms the store's impressive entry wall (signage was created in collaboration with Seasaw studio); A sleek modern first-floor kitchen showcases tableware and vessels by local makers

Jardan Sydney is at 42 Oxford Street Paddington, Sydney. Click here for details of Jardan's Melbourne and Brisbane stores, also designed by IF Architecture

Pictures: Sean Fennessy

Melbourne Design Week 2017

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5 Top Tips for Melbourne Design Week

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

'What does design value, and how do we value design?' The inaugural Melbourne Design Week, running until 26 March 2017, tackles this topical question, with more than 100 citywide exhibitions, launches, workshops, tours and talks showcasing local and international talent. The first of four planned annual design weeks for the city, the 10-day festival is an initiative of the Victorian government curated by the National Gallery of Victoria, spanning iconic chairs, high-density apartments and indigenous design. Here are my five top FizzPicks...

ABOVE: Collingwood's 'Watchmaker' exhibition space, including surreal mirrored installations by Folk Architects, for Melbourne Design Week

CREATING THE CONTEMPORARY CHAIR

NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Until Sunday 26 March
Discover 35 inspiring seats at 'Creating the Contemporary Chair', spanning from 1980 to 2016, including designs by major names Tord Boontje, Konstantin Grcic and Patricia Urquiola. All recent NGV acquisitions, they include a stool coated in volcanic rock and a suspended chair resembling a killer whale.

ABOVE: Installation view of 'Creating the Contemporary Chair', The Gordon Moffatt Gift, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, including Jacopo Foggini's LED-lit 'Alice' armchair for Edra


WATCHMAKER


Piccolina Gelateria, 296 Smith Street, Collingwood
Until Sunday 26 March

A derelict historic Collingwood watchmaker's shop gets a minimal mirrored makeover by local studio Folk Architects in pop-up satellite space 'Watchmaker', which hosts six shows. Friends & Associates invites 26 Australian designers – including Tomek Archer, Tom Fereday and Ross Gardam – to reconfigure replicas of Jasper Morrison's oft-copied 'Hal' chair for Vitra in '26 Original Fakes', celebrating authenticity in a murky world of fakes. Hub Furniture's Jaci Foti-Lowe curates 'The Found Object', sharing inspirational pieces collected by Melbourne creatives.

In 'Undervalued' Australian designer Nick Rennie champions beautiful, useful designs costing up to $2, £2 or ¥2. Egg forms are explored in 'Ovoid', fine-art photos shot by Nick Horan. Interactive installation 'Apparatus 4' by 227768c is animated by an algorithm which causes its inflatable surface to undulate. Short film 'Untitled (with Gelato)', by Coco and Maximilian, looks at the design arc of relationships.

ABOVE: Converted store space 'Watchmaker', including Smith Street exterior; and installation views of '26 Original Fakes', presented by Friends & Associates, which riffs on replica chairs; Hub Furniture's curated exhibition 'The Found Object' showcasing creative collections; Nick Horan's 'Ovoid' egg photos; and interactive blue floor surface 'Apparatus 4' by 227768c


MODERN FORMS

NGV Design Store, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Until Sunday 26 March

From Brutalist Polish churches to Oscar Niemeyer's uncompleted designs for Lebanon's International Fairgrounds (interrupted by civil war), 'Modern Forms' recalls the architecture of post-war modernism. Warsaw-based Nicolas Grospierre's shots capture the sculptural, geometric nature of these unfamiliar works.

ABOVE: Nicolas Grospierre's photos for 'Modern Forms' include this 2012 shot of 'Bus Stop #4, Crimea, Ukraine' reflecting Soviet architecture


DESIGNWORK 01

Sophie Gannon Gallery, 2 Albert Street, Richmond
Until Saturday 25 March
Sophie Gannon Gallery presents contemporary Australian design at 'Designwork 01'. The sleek space showcases 10 designers, including Trent Jansen's sculptural Indian-inspired stools and vessels, David Mutch's acrylic leaning lamps, Ash Allen's recycled cork and tyre stools, and Dale Hardiman's 'Wood Is Made From Trees' customised timber IKEA 'Frost' stools, clad with native paperbark used by the indigenous Wurundjeri.

ABOVE: Ash Allen's ceramic 2013 'Dollop' pendant lights part of group show 'Designwork 01' at Sophie Gannon Gallery


VICTORIA TASMANIA GRADUATE OF THE YEAR AWARD 2016

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Brickworks, 490 Swan Street, Richmond
Saturday 25 March

Catch the work of local young designers from two states at the Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year Award 2016, presented by the Design Institute of Australia, which features furniture, industrial and interior design, as well as visual communications, textiles, fashion and jewellery.
ngv.vic.gov.au

ABOVE: Next-gen design talent on display at the Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year Award
Pictures: Tobias Titz, Wayne Taylor, Jeremy Dillon