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A visit to Dubbo, with CUSP, cars, and a trip to hospital

The week before last I jumped on a plane and took the slightly-less-than-an-hour flight across the Great Dividing Range to land in Dubbo, a city of a little over 30,000 in the central west of New South Wales and famous around the country for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. My purpose for travel had nothing to do with the zoo (though I did go as a child and have fond memories), but to visit the Western Plains Cultural Centre, a wonderful regional venue who are currently playing host to CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade.

As part of CUSP, I’ve been going around to each touring venue and recording insights from local design figures, capturing their thoughts on the creative program, and hopefully gleaning a little bit of value that the program brings to their area. In Sydney I chatted to Jess Scully while the program was at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, and in Adelaide I spoke to Tim Horton at JamFactory. In Dubbo, WPCC curator Kent Buchanan put me in touch with Mark Nugent, a coachbuilder specialising in vintage and antique car restoration and construction.

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Listen: Can Design Change Communities?

On 31 August, 2013, CUSP designers Paul Pholeros of Healthabitat and Alison Page from the National Aboriginal Design Agency for our fourth and final Talk In Transit. On a train from Central to Casula Station, passengers were treated to a talk from the pair around the question ‘Are we evolving or revolving?’

Stream or download the audio of the talk below.

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Object Magazine 62 — Serpent And The Swan

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.

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What's on


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...
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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...
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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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