Object magazine 62 — Wood You Wear Review
Monday May 14 2012
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.
Object magazine 62 — MAD Open Studios
Wednesday May 09 2012
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.
Object magazine 62 — Vert Design
Thursday May 03 2012
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.
Object magazine 62 — Lola Greeno
Wednesday May 02 2012
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.
Object magazine 62 — Healthabitat
Tuesday May 01 2012
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.
Object magazine 62 — Cinnamon Lee
Friday April 27 2012
Cinnamon Lee began her metalsmithing journey at a TAFE course in Sydney, falling in love with the workshop and the process of manipulating metals into jewellery. However, a lighting project rounded out that course, and set her off on another path, one that took her to Canberra for her undergraduate degree in order that she could begin to work with larger objects.
Through her entire undergraduate degree in silver- and gold-smithing, Lee created only lights. But she is not interested in pursuing a career in mass-produced lamps for general consumption — she is attracted to what she terms ‘preciousness.’ Indeed, this is where she draws the connection between her lighting practice and her jewellery (which she has returned to since her undergraduate studies.) Lee says ‘I’m interested in using the same kind of philosophies that underpin making previous objects for the body, but not making them for the body.’
Object magazine 62 — Wear It Well
Thursday April 26 2012
Wear It Well is an essay by Marie O’Mahony on the value of fit within the sustainable fashion conversation. It is the first essay in a planned series within Object magazine, providing a more in-depth look into a topic authored by some of the leading thinkers of today.
How do we decide if a garment is sustainable or not? Natural or synthetic materials are one starting point. But we must also look at whether more than one type of material is used, whether the garment has lots of zips, buttons and how difficult these may make it to recycle.
Laundry use is another factor. A garment may be produced in a very environmentally friendly way but its laundry and care requirements may make it less sustainable over its lifespan.
Object magazine 62 — Design Emergency
Tuesday April 24 2012
Design Emergency is an outreach primary school education initiative developed by Object: Australian Centre for Design over the last eighteen months. Throughout the second half of 2011, four prototypes were trialed in different schools — one inner-city, one inner-suburban, one outer-suburban and one regional.
The program aims to instill design thinking principles into 8–11 year old students, with the hope that these creative problem solving processes can be applied broadly across the entire curriculum to build design capacity in these formative years. Combined with extensive teachers notes, the program offers an immersive and engaging learning system for primary school students.
Object magazine 62 — Collider
Monday April 23 2012
Collider is a multi-disciplinary agency and studio founded in 2002 by designer Andrew van der Westhuyzen, director Daniel Askill, and business manager and managing director Sam Zalaiskalns.
van der Westhuyzen and Askill met while studying design at university, but Askill has since transitioned into moving image, making Collider a hybrid design studio and production house. While graphic design has always been an important part of their practice, their work in moving image made the most noise early on, in part thanks to their award-winning 2004 short film We Have Decided Not To Die, directed by Askill.
However, in recent years Collider have begun to engage with longer-term arts industry projects, in addition to their agency-driven client work. After a successful project in 2003, Collider have been working with the Sydney Dance Company consistently since 2009, with most campaigns being a collaboration between the studio and Tim Richardson.
Object Magazine 62 — Serpent And The Swan
Friday April 20 2012
Serpent and The Swan is an up-and-coming Sydney-based fashion label begun by sisters Hayley and Lauri Smith in late 2009. Despite being only two years apart, this is their first collaboration together, with Hayley taking a more traditional route into fashion design than her sister, who came from a special effects and prosthetics background.
A family dinner conversation spurred the two to explore the possibilities a joint venture could hold. Hayley wondered aloud about making a cardigan with eyeballs for buttons, to which Lauri replied ‘Oh, I can do that,’ and Serpent and The Swan was born.
Originally hailing from Melbourne and obsessed with films such as Labyrinth and Dark Crystal growing up, the darker influence is definitely referenced in their work. The collection launched late-2011 was inspired by the Victorian-era mode of mourning, and the clothing, rituals and movements around it.