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.

New Designers 2016

The best of this year's UK design graduates are to be found at the annual New Designers show in Islington, London, which kicks off today...


It’s that time of year when design colleges across the UK wave goodbye to the students they’ve taught for the last two or three years and unleash them on the world at large. The annual New Designers exhibition at London's Business Design Centre in Islington is where you’ll see the largest gathering of design graduates from different colleges under one roof – ideal for spotting talent or unearthing new makers for future commissions.

Split into two, Part 1 (29 June-2 July) showcases Textiles and Fashion, Costume Design, Jewellery and Precious Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass, and Contemporary Design Crafts, while Part 2 (6-9 July) concentrates on Furniture, Product and Industrial Design, Illustration, Animation, Motion and Digital Arts, Spatial Design and Graphic Design.

Both shows bring back selected graduates from the year before to exhibit in One Year On, a special section devoted to designers in their first year of business. Curated by jeweller and photographer Rheanna Lingham, it’s a chance to buy products directly from these new creatives and to see how they've flourished since graduating.

ABOVE: Sarah Christensen's 'Foya' sideboard is inspired by the flamboyant linings of jackets
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Sunglasses' illustration by Ana Jaks
BELOW: Rosamund Hanny's 'Wings and Feathers' textiles incorporate hand and digital embroidery, sublimation printing and exhaust dyeing

This year the Fizz is looking forward to seeing Rosamund Hanny Textiles whose lyrical designs have led to a collaboration with fashion house Paper London, Sarah Christensen’s angular 'Foya' sideboard, and graphic printed vessels by ceramicist Hannah Tounsend who received a ‘John Lewis Loves’ commendation at New Designers 2015. We’ve also got our eye on Ana Jaks, whose colourful illustrations have been commissioned by the Financial Times Magazine, Amelia’s Colouring Book and Yubl, and Corin Kennington whose love of typography has inspired projects for Polpo restaurant and handprinted murals at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.

ABOVE: Hannah Townsend's ceramics feature graphic printed textures and marks; Typographic designer Corin Kennington leaves his mark on the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch and a detail from his typeface 'Lune'

With over 3,000 emerging designers on show, it’s fertile ground for discovering the next Thomas Heatherwick or Jasper Morrison, so keep your eyes peeled as you might just find yourself rubbing shoulders with the design stars of the future...

New Designers Part 1 is on now until 2 July; Part 2 runs from 6 to 9 July 2016. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1. Tickets from £16

New Designers 2015 – Part 2

We've been thrilled by Part 1 and can't wait for Part 2 of New Designers 2015, the London show that brings this year's freshest design graduates under one roof. Plus we've got a little something for you too...


If Part 1 of New Designers 2015 is anything to go by, Part 2 is going to wind up the show in style. We've been blown away by the level of talent this year, having seen quite a few 'want it now' pieces with textiles and wallpapers being particularly strong.

Fancy free entry to Part 2 of the show, followed by a three-course meal at Frederick's with champagne, plus a limited-edition bottle of Absolut Vodka? Seriously, what's not to like?
Just answer the question below for the chance to win this Fizztastic prize.

Which young British design star is hidden in the following anagram?
R  O  M  E  O  B  L  E

If you think you know who it is, email your answer to with 'DesignFizz Competition' in the subject field by 30 June 2015. The lucky winner of this incredible prize will be chosen at random on 30 June. See below for terms and conditions. Only UK entrants over 18 can enter.

So we're looking forward to Part 2 (1-4 July) which brings in furniture, product and industrial design, graphics, spatial design, illustration, animation and digital work. Once again One Year On will showcase graduates in their first year of business, some of whom are selling their debut commercially produced collections at the exhibition.

To cap it all, we have a very special competition to win two VIP passes for unlimited entry to Part 2 of the show, plus a three-course dinner at rated Islington restaurant Frederick's with a bottle of champagne, and a limited-edition bottle of Absolut Vodka. See the panel to the right for details then read on for a few of our favourite things in Part 2...

ABOVE: JULIETTE NEVEU L'Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique Juliette Neveu has devised 'Twist:id', an ingenious puzzle that takes the place of passwords for all your internet accounts. Choose a configuration instead of a password, align the vibrant pieces correctly and the Bluetooth Smart chips inside each segment connect to your device to open your corresponding accounts. Passwords could soon be a thing of the past. 


Five Fizzpicks at New Designers Part 2

Beth Lewis-Williams' collection of illustrated lights explores the art of the lithophane, a process dating back to the 1800s which involved pressing images into translucent porcelain that was then backlit to reveal the design. Her mesmerising lamps portray contemporary scenes from Ramsgate beaches to London cityscapes and idyllic pastoral landscapes from a bygone era.

RICH ABRAMS Plymouth College of Art
Rich Abrams' illustration of synchronized swimming at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics makes us giggle. It manages to be witty and representational while also displaying a keen eye for colour and form. His flat almost naive style using subtle textures and muted tones is simple, direct and instantly engaging. Now if only we could remember where we put that swimsuit...

Rugs are like catnip to some designers, allowing them to play with texture, colour and pattern on a large scale. We love Robyn Hinchcliffe's geometric designs that recall the glamorous age of Art Deco. The 'Mohair Dot Carpet' (above) features soft grey ellipses, minty green ribbing and little bursts of orange. If we had one of these it would definitely be 'shoes off!'

MARIE BOURGAT Arts University Bournemouth
Textile designer Marie Bourgat's love of abstract art comes through loud and clear in her theatrical designs. The works of Henri Matisse, Kasimir Malevich and Stuart Davis have all informed Bourgat's compositions which resemble carefully constructed abstract paintings using a variety of techniques including digital fabric printing, freehand brush stokes and laser-cutting.

It happens to us all the time. We've been out and about, taking pictures, texting and Instagramming and before we know it our phone's as dead as a dodo. Frank Milani has designed a sleek answer to this 21st-century problem in the shape of the 'Popcord' charger. It's a clever little device that allows you to plug your phone into any USB socket to charge up. Small enough to fit on your keyring it's a discreet power source that comes into its own at the end of the day.

New Designers 2015 Part 2, 1-4 July 2015. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS Entrants must be 18 or over and reside in the UK. The winner will be selected at random from correct answers emailed to by midday on Tuesday 30 June 2015, and notified the same day. The Editor's decision is final. DesignFizz reserves the right to amend the terms and conditions for this competition at any time without notice. The three-course dinner at Frederick's includes a bottle of champagne, but no other drinks. The prize must be collected from New Designers, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 by 4th July.