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Sydney Design Awards — Entries Now Open

The Sydney Design Awards launched last night at the Beresford Hotel in Surry Hills, announcing entries are now open in over fifty categories, covering the marketplace, space, visual, object, experience and fashion.

Presented by design100, who have put on the similar Melbourne Design Awards for the last three years (entries for which are also now open), Object is happy to be on board as a Principal Partner of the event.

The Sydney Design Awards are somewhat unique amongst design awards, as they reward not only the designer, but those responsible for commission, sponsor or otherwise fund the project. In this way, they seek not just to recognise the talented designers and design firms operating in the Sydney market, but also those individuals and organisations who help to make it happen.

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Change is Afoot with Retail — & Collect is Having a Sale!

Object’s 2015 Vision coincides with our upcoming 50th anniversary and is a reimagining of what kind of institution we will become and how we work in the future. It is also largely about securing a permanent home for Object that will allow us to be innovators in the way we engage with audiences. If you are unfamiliar with our 2015 Vision click here.

As we enter new and interesting times for the sector as a whole, Object has spent much time working with its passionate Board of Directors considering new models of operation that will work to support our ambitions for 2015.

One key change is the decision to suspend our current retail operation – Collect. This is certainly not a decision to stop retail activity; in fact it is what will enable us to become bigger and better at a potential retail venture in the future. The suspension of retail as we know it will provide us with the opportunity to explore and expand on new and innovative retail ideas.

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Alice Rawsthorn — Happiness & Design

Alice Rawsthorn has a long and detailed history with design, which is well elaborated on at her website. She is presently the design critic for the International Herald Tribune and is a former director of the Design Museum in London. She delivered the keynote address at 7 Kinds of Happiness, held as part of DesignEX.

Rawsthorn kicked off her keynote address by defining design as a resourceful, intuitive response to a problem — whether that means crafting a clay cup so you no longer have to drink with your hands, or developing quantum computing so that your iPad can get a little lighter.

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Object magazine 62 — Wood You Wear Review

Linda van Niekerk’s exhibition Wood You Wear? boldly and aptly questions assumptions about functionality and provenance and reflects her curious and audacious process in creating her new jewellery designs.

The small scale of the community in Tasmania and connectedness inherent in this proximity has led to a collegiality among designer makers and a collaborative spirit. In this exhibition van Niekerk capitalises on these exchanges through the design process she employs.

To create these new works there have been ‘partnerships’ with six different designers makers who each knowingly, either at the time of making or event after, have consented to van Niekerk using their completed components or discarded remnants as the major feature of her jewellery. Remarkably she resists temptation to re-design, adapt or re-mould, instead simply honouring the form and subverting the function.

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Object magazine 62 — MAD Open Studios

In a successful attempt to enhance the experience of their visitors, New York City’s Museum of Arts and Design established the Open Studio Program in 2008. A three month in-house residency, the program allows six artists to work in a studio on the sixth floor, providing them with prime public exposure. In addition, museum visitors are given the opportunity to learn about craft and design practice. However, by blurring the line between a private studio and a place for unrestrained public discussion, one begins to question the benefits of this noon-traditional space.

As well as more conventional jewellery and ceramic practices, the current program houses Don Porcella, a pipe-cleaner sculptor whose thoughts on the Open Studio Program provoke the same fascination one gets from looking at his hand-made tools.

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CUSP, Marketing & the AdA

Object is excited to announce that the Australian Design Alliance has come on board as an Industry Partner for our creative program CUSP: Designing for the Next Decade. As part of this partnership, AdA Executive Director Lisa Cahill joined the Object team for a day planning marketing and communication ideas for the program.

Last week I joined 10 people from the fabulous Object team to design a marketing strategy for their new project. CUSP: Designing for the Next Decade kicks off in Sydney in March 2013. It will involve 12 amazing Australian designers doing groundbreaking work towards evolving a better future for us all. I’m there because the Australian Design Alliance is a partner on CUSP and Object is one of our valued associate members.

The great thing about being part of this project is that Object takes design thinking into every aspect of the work they do. Everyone at Object is involved in making this project happen — marketing, admin and curatorial staff, producers, the General Manager and Director all contributed.

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Learning About Crowdfunding

Today started early with me stumbling through my routine before coffee & heading to a talk before work. Things started to look up when I found $2 on my bus seat- bonus!

I was on my way to the first Creative Mornings event in Australia, a guest talk by Pozible Co-Founder Alan Crabbe on how crowdfunding can benefit the Australian creative community.

What is Pozible? What is crowdfunding you ask? Well these are fair enough questions as even though I am rapidly finding myself immersed in crowdfunding at the moment at work it wasn’t that long ago that I too knew nothing about it.

It first came up on my radar earlier in the year when a couple of friends sent me an email about their crowdfunding project on Pozible. Then low and behold when I was called back for my second interview at Object I was asked to give a presentation on crowdfunding and how I would plan a campaign. Needless to say it was a fast learning curve for me but I obviously pulled off the presentation as here I am working at Object!

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Object magazine 62 — Vert Design

Andrew Simpson, director of Vert Design, sees his role as to create ‘beautiful forms that relate to people in whatever level they’re meant to.’ And for him, those forms can be anything from a chair to a conveyor belt piece — while the latter might generally be regarded as less aesthetic than the former, its beauty is in the realisation of its purpose.

Simpson refers to his practice, currently consisting of seven designers, as a ‘design house’ rather than a studio. He defines a design consultancy as a ‘gun-for-hire’ practice, and design studios as practices that produce their own concepts and take them to market. Vert sits somewhere in between — they work with a lot of clients on various industrial design products, but will also develop their own products and pieces, both functional and purely aesthetic.

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Object magazine 62 — Lola Greeno

In late 2011, Object announced the next two recipients of the Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft honour, which has shifted to being a biennial event, with alternating years seeing an exhibition centred around a particular craft medium.

With Nick Mount taking the 2012 honour, 2014 will see Lola Greeno, an Aboriginal shell worker based in Launceston, open her Living Treasures exhibiton. With a career spanning over thirty years, Greeno is one of the most well-respected shell workers practicing in Australia.

Taking her cues from nature and history, and using the landscape as her studio as much as any dedicated space, Greeno herself was only inspired later in life, when she recognised how important the practice was to her culture and her heritage. Upon this realisation, she set about learning as much as she could from her mother, ensuring not only shell-work but family history remained intact.

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Object magazine 62 — Healthabitat

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, defines a ‘social business’ as a ‘cause-driven business’ where the ‘investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point.’ Paul Pholeros AM believes that Healthabitat, an Australian private company of which he is a co-founder and director, perfectly fits that definition.

Healthabitat had its genesis in 1985 when the three directors (Pholeros, Dr Paul Torzillo AM and Stephan Rainow) were working together at the Aboriginal-run Nganampa Health Council. The director of the Council, Yami Lester, had seen health programs rolled out that saw more people attending hospitals and doctors for treatment, but recognised that that didn’t mean the situation was improving — there were no programs aimed at stopping them getting sick in the first place.

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What's on

TOURING EXHIBITION

Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design

Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW 14 February - 11 April 2015

An exhibition of the most compelling works from 12 designers from the highly acclaimed “Workshopped” exhibitions held in Sydney. Workshopped has discovered, nurtured and launched the careers of...
Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design image

TOURING EXHIBITION

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels

Western Plains Cultural Centre NSW, 18 April – 28 June, 2015

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels is the eighth in our Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series. Our first Indigenous Living Treasure, Greeno is a shellworker and artist from Tasmania, whose...
Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels image

TOURING EXHIBITION

CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade

State Library of Queensland 01 November 2014 - 14 February 2015

Over the last number of years Object: Australian Design Centre has explored many notions of design. From Freestyle: new Australian design for living in 2006 to HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics in...
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