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.

'Pool' – Griffin Gallery

Head to West London's Griffin Gallery for an intriguing encounter with art inspired by the natural world...


The great British landscape has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists of every century, from the pastoral paintings of John Constable and the groundbreaking seascapes of JW Turner to the abstract works of Richard Long and Howard Hodgkin. It's a rich seam to mine, embracing the changing of the seasons, idyllic pastures and urban industrial settings alike. Now West London's Griffin Gallery has seized upon the theme of landscape and gardens to present ‘Pool’, an immersive exhibition curated by Rebecca Byrne and Liz Elton which displays works by 13 contemporary artists showcasing their own interpretations of this classic subject. Expect to walk through fields of pigment, be enveloped in fog and to interact with random performances in this modern-day garden of delights.

ABOVE: Ian Davenport working on 'Poured Painting: Magenta, Orange, Magenta', Sue Arrowsmith, 1999. Household gloss paint on MDF
ABOVE RIGHT: 'I Was Too Shy', Lee Edwards, 2010. Oil paint on conker
BELOW: 'Small Isles' series (9), Liz Elton, 2016. Digital pigment print

Fizz faves include Sue Arrowsmith's portrait of former Young British Artist Ian Davenport pooling gloss paint in one of his signature poured paintings, Lee Edwards’ depictions of tiny faces on conkers and Liz Elton’s moody digital pigment prints of Scottish island Eigg, which juxtapose frantic painterly marks with a serene coastal environment. Perhaps the Garden of Eden is alive and well after all...

'Pool' is on now until 10 June 2016. Griffin Gallery, The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London W11

Thorsten van Elten

Thorsten van Elten's new online design store specialises in vintage East German posters, toys, animal figurines and accessories, ideal for alternative Christmas gifts. Willkommen!


London-based German retailer Thorsten van Elten disappeared off the face of the design scene last year leaving us bemused as to what had happened to him. Having shut down his online store Theo, van Elten became something of an enigma prompting wild speculation as to his next venture.

Well, now he’s back, having spent a few months scouring Germany for vintage posters, toys and accessories for his new self-titled online shop 'You can take the boy out of Germany, but you can't take Germany out of the boy,' he quips.

ABOVE: 'Boar Family', £39. Hand-carved wooden animals in a forest setting
BELOW: Vintage East German film and public information posters, from £20

Having previously championed UK-based designers including Ed Carpenter, Alexander Taylor and André Klauser, this time around van Elten has focussed mainly on products from his homeland. Particularly interesting are the East German illustrated film posters, produced between the 1960s and 80s, which eschewed photography for hand-drawn imagery. Their naive graphics and typography hark back to more innocent times before computers and Photoshop ruled the roost.

BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Squirrel Matchbox Animal', £5; Miniature wooden 'Ford Sedan 1919', £16.50; Push-up wooden 'Wackeltier' dinosaur toy, £5.95

Cute hand-carved animals, miniature painted vehicles and toys from the Ore Mountains also show the signs of the craftsperson’s hand, making them very attractive to those who yearn for something tactile in the digital age. A quirky blog shares van Elten's travel finds.

So if you’re looking for Christmas gifts with real personality, step away from Amazon, pour yourself a glass or two of Glühwein and point your mouse in van Elten’s direction. We highly recommend it...

LDF 2015 – 10 London Design Festival Highlights

It may be the last day of London Design Festival 2015, but here are 10 top FizzPicks to end on a high...


So, the London Design Festival draws to a close this Sunday 27 September, but you can still cram a hell of a lot into just one day. With seven design districts beckoning, from Bankside, Brompton and Brixton to Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, Islington, Chelsea and Queens Park, there's plenty on offer. Here are 10 of our favourite shows and installations from this talent-packed week to tempt you to hit town for one last hurrah...

Walala in da House at Aria Islington Design District
Fans of East London designer Camille Walala's ultra-bright, bold geometric street art – a hit from Shoreditch to Sydney – will love her show 'Walala in da House' in the Islington Design District. Walala's trademark Pop-tribal digital prints look equally at home in her interiors range, exclusive to Aria store, featuring armchairs and shelving, graphic cushions, prints and ceramics. Walala (above) collaborated on the furniture with local designer-maker Dale Kirk and on the ceramics with innovative Stoke-on-Trent potters Flux (CoBaltum). It's like Memphis went raving, and we're up for joining the party.
Aria, Barnsbury Hall, Barnsbury Street, Islington, London N1


A Bullet from a Shooting Star by Alex Chinneck Greenwich Peninsula
Combining surrealism with spectacle, British sculptor Alex Chinneck has created 'A Bullet from a Shooting Star' out on Greenwich Peninsula, an area being developed for new housing. Don't worry, it's not a collapsed electricity facility. Chinneck has a knack for making the everyday extraordinary, and his 35-metre upside down steel pylon looks like it was shot into earth at a radical angle. Acting as an arrow to the neighbourhood, and a reminder of its industrial past, it's a star at LDF15 (the views from Emirates Air Line cable car are great). Also catch companion exhibition 'Straight Jacket Star Jumps' at nearby NOW Gallery, which sees a 20-metre pylon coiled bizarrely into a seven-metre-high space.
Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10

Momentum by Fredrikson Stallard Holborn
It may look like a boulder from the Red Planet, but this Mars-esque marvel is actually the squishy 'Species' sofa, formed from polyurethane, glass fibre and polyester coated in red velvet by design-art duo Fredrikson Stallard. It's on show at their theatrical Holborn HQ/home as part of their 'Momentum' selling exhibition, spanning experimental furniture, sculpture, product and print. Supported by David Gill Gallery, it includes one-off and edition pieces themed around bronze, steel and ice.
Fredrikson Stallard, 10A Warner Street, London EC1

Barber Osgerby Lanterns at Twentytwentyone Islington Design District
Fans of George Nelson's iconic pendants and Isamu Noguchi's 'Akari' light sculptures will love these contemporary new 'Hotaru' lanterns by Brit duo Barber Osgerby, launched at exclusive distributor Twentytwentyone in Islington Design District. Drawing on the traditional heritage of Japanese lantern-making, they're manufactured by Oseki using translucent handmade Mulberry bark paper stretched over a bamboo frame. Named after the Japanese word for 'firefly', they come in two shapes; 'Buoy' (above), inspired by the maritime markers, and 'Double Bubble', which fuses twin spheres. We think they look great in groups.
Twentytwentyone, 274-275 Upper Street, London N1

Donna Wilson SCP Editions at SCP Shoreditch Design Triangle
Serious design is all well and good, but sometimes only a ceramic critter will do. Fans of Brit designer Donna Wilson's cute animals motifs, usually seen on cushions, tableware and throws, will love her new earthenware 'Bear' and 'Bird' designs, part of SCP's small-batch SCP Editions released for LDF15 in the Shoreditch Design Triangle. Based on Wilson's illustrations, they're hand-painted and glazed in Stoke-on-Trent, and are available in various colours. SCP is also launching six sofas by six different designers for 'Sofa in Sight', including the minimal boxy 'Rochester' by lighting whizz Michael Anastassiades.
SCP East, 135-139 Curtain Road, London EC2

Twisting Tradition at Mint Brompton Design District
South Kensington store Mint, in the Brompton Design District, is known for its sharp, eclectic edits of the best new design. Discover cutting-edge and curious craft pieces in their LDF show 'Twisting Tradition', including Japanese brand Nendo's 'Tokyo Tribal' collection of chairs and tables for Singaporean firm Industry Plus, which incorporate woven baskets as supports and storage.
Mint, 2 North Terrace, Alexander Square, London SW3 (until 30 September)  nendo

Lenneke Wispelwey at SMUG Islington Design District
Dutch ceramicist Lenneke Wispelwey's contemporary new porcelain tableware teams sherbet colours and geometric patterns. In residence at Islington design store SMUG, she'll be launching new pieces, including the 'Pour Darling Jug''Fat Lady' and 'Queen Mother' vases.
SMUG, 13 Camden Passage, Islington, London N1

Pinch: Nim at Pinch Shoreditch Design Triangle
We're longtime admirers of British furniture label Pinch (Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon), whose sleek wooden designs always turn heads. In a new departure, though, the studio has launched its new limited edition 'Nim' table made from Jesmonite, channelling lava strata, stone and the weather. It looks like something forged from the natural world, not a man-made object; we want! Although their shop is in Clapham, their LDF show is at the Rochelle School in the Shoreditch Design Triangle, and includes elegant offerings such as the 'Leta' chaise and 'Eugene' table.
Pinch show, First Floor, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2

Tom Dixon: Multiplex by Tom Dixon Old Selfridges Hotel
Brit design star Tom Dixon and Wallpaper magazine present Multiplex, a playful take on an immersive, multi-sensory shopping mall, at the Old Selfridges Hotel behind Selfridges department store. Drawing on look, scent, sound, touch and taste, it includes design, technology, fashion, film and interiors, exploring ways in which we might encounter retail environments in the future. Under pressure from online shopping and rising rents for bricks and mortar, traditional stores need to reinvent themselves in the digital age. Shop till you drop at this trendsetting pop-up, which offers bespoke products, unique services and potent experiences, as well as new lighting, furniture and accessories from Dixon.
Multiplex, Old Selfridges Hotel, 1 Orchard Street, London W1 (until 15 October)

Darkroom is Five – 5 Years / 5 Products / 5 Shapes Bloomsbury
Circle, triangle, square, semi-circle, ziggurat. Directional design store Darkroom celebrates five years in business by launching five new products focused on five bold shapes. Expect 'Bauhaus Alphabet Pendants' from their first jewellery range, hand-dipped 'Monochrome' enamelware tableware, 'Shapes Scented Candles' in charcoal or white tea (housed in reusable glass containers with cork tops), handwoven 'Kilims' and Welsh woven 'Shapes Blankets' in grey, black and white geometrics with vibrant accent stitching. Shape up!
Darkroom, 52 Lamb's Conduit Street, London WC1

The London Design Festival runs until Sunday 27 September 2015, although select shows continue longer;

LDF 2015 – Top 5 Design Hotspots at the V&A

Five FizzPicks from the V&A for London Design Festival...


We're always happy to ramble around amazing art and design hub the Victoria and Albert Museum, but the London Design Festival provides the perfect excuse to head to this evocative grande dame in the Brompton Design District. A clutch of ten cutting-edge installations is upping the wow factor at the V&A until this Sunday 27 September, and there's even a curated festival shop for snapping up sharp designs such as graphic London art prints by Alfred & Wilde or limited-edition Mast Brothers chocolate bars in jaunty LDF red, white and black. To make the most of this weekend, here are our top five FizzPicks at the V&A...


Zotem by Kim Thomé with Swarovski
If aliens had landed in the V&A and wanted to send us a message of peace, they could do well to imitate 'Zotem', a towering 18-metre-tall monolith teaming abstract shapes with rainbow colours. By Norwegian-born, London designer Kim Thomé in partnership with Austrian crystal company Swarovski, the installation rises from the museum's Grand Entrance to the Ceramics Gallery on the sixth floor, embedded on both sides with more than 600 custom-made crystals. Scaled up to 2.5 times their usual size, they're displayed in a grid against matt-black aluminium, backed by a continuously looping roll of vividly printed mesh. The result is dynamic colour when light catches the crystals, like some kind of zany god. The piece looks digital but is actually old-school analogue, its name a hybrid of 'totem' and 'zoetrope' in reference to a 19th-century animation device. Thomé wants to draw visitors' eyes up to the glam, oft-ignored galleries overhead, helping them to discover the V&A's interiors afresh. As the Instagram hashtag goes #lookup.;

Barnaby Barford: The Tower of Babel
Someone else getting on a high is London artist/designer Barnaby Barford, known for his cheeky ceramic figurines that blend tradition with modern wit. For the V&A he has built The Tower of Babel from ceramic shops modelled on individual high-street stores in London. There's a sense of fun but also nostalgic sadness to this six-metre-high sculpture, as many of the 3,000 bone china shops, photographed by the artist and recreated in detail, represent the kinds of stores dying off in the real estate-crazed, consumerist capital. At the top of the pile you'll spy luxe emporiums and bling boutiques; at the bottom, derelict premises down on their luck. Don't worry, though, you can rescue them! All the shops are for sale during the exhibition, blurring the boundaries between art, design and commerce, with prices rising for posher properties. C'est la vie.

Mise-en-abyme by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale with Johnson Tiles
A colourful and immersive installation spanning the bridge over the V&A's Medieval and Renaissance galleries, Mise-en-abyme was dreamed up by London-based duo Laetitia de Allegri from Switzerland and Uruguayan Matteo Fogale. A landscape of overlapping, semi-transparent shapes, inspired by the Renaissance discovery of one-point perspective, it plays with viewers' sense of distance. The grout lines of the floor tiles, by Johnson Tiles, and their gradated custom-colours create an illusion of exaggerated depth, and of space closing in and opening out. As you walk through, the portals in the acrylic panels get smaller in a literal experience of perspective. The bright colours riff on the museum's historic stained glass, while the light, floaty feel contrasts with the heavy marble in the surrounding galleries. The title is French for 'placed into abyss', but this is one abyss we're happy to plumb.;

The Cloakroom by Faye Toogood with Kvadrat
At the Fizz we don't need an excuse to sashay around in a marvellous coat, but thanks to The Cloakroom by Brit designer Faye Toogood we can explore the V&A in style. At Room 55, visitors can don one of 150 navigational Toogood coats, crafted from high-tech, compressed foam textile 'Highfield' by Kvadrat, hand-treated so each is unique. Each coat comes with a sewn-in map guiding you on a tour of ten sculptural Toogood garment installations dotted around the V&A, inspired by her favourite pieces from a wood-panelled chamber to a suit of armour. The garments are formed from non-traditional clothing materials, including fibreglass, wood and metal, breaking down the barriers between fashion and design. Although Toogood is known for her furniture (see her graphic interior The Drawing Room at Somerset House for LDF15), she also crafts garments with her pattern cutter sister Erica, and the V&A coats are based on her voluminous early Oil Rigger design. 'I want to take people on a journey of discovery through the depths of the Museum,' says Toogood. The Sartorialist would approve!

Curiosity Cloud by mischer'traxler with Perrier-Jouët and Lobmeyr
Celebrating our interactions with transient nature and the Art Deco movement's love affair with insect motifs, 'Curiosity Cloud' is a bewitching kinetic installation by Austrian duo mischer'traxler in collaboration with French champagne house Perrier-Jouët. Set in the Norfolk House Music Room, it comprises 250 mouth-blown glass globes in three sizes by Viennese glass company Lobmeyr. Each globe contains a single hand-fabricated insect, printed onto laser-cut foil and hand-embroidered, representing 25 different species from common to newly discovered and endangered. From a distance they seem calm, but as visitors approach the softly lit installation they react via motion sensors, fluttering more intensely in their glass bulbs. The designers discuss the project here. If you miss it in London, why not catch it later in Champagne?

London Design Festival Shop
Need to refuel? You can't beat the Mast Brothers limited edition chocolate bars, specially created for LDF15 and sold at the pop-up London Design Festival Shop at the V&A, designed by LORIS&LIVIA in baby-blue Corian. They're too gorgeous to eat. Almost...

10-17. London Design Festival is at the V&A, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 until Sunday 27 September 2015. Open 10am-5.45pm;