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Sydney Design 2014

Showcasing design creativity and ingenuity at its finest, Sydney Design is a celebration of beautiful objects and their impact on our everyday life and culture


Be inspired by an explosion of design energy across the city as Sydney Design 2014 takes centre stage from 16 to 24 August. Showcasing design creativity and ingenuity at its finest, Sydney Design is a celebration of beautiful objects and their impact on our everyday life and culture.

Now in its 18th year, Sydney Design is a cutting edge festival produced by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and presented at the Powerhouse Museum in conjunction with 50 plus cultural institutions and creatives across greater Sydney. Across nine action-packed days Sydney Design will feature exhibitions, talks, tours and workshops and is a must-see festival for all design-enthusiasts and lovers of all things innovation.

“Sydney Design is a showcase of the talented designers and thought leaders breaking new ground in design industries across New South Wales and around Australia. The festival is an important part the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to growing and developing the State’s creative economy,” said Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant.

This year’s festival theme ‘Design Futures’ is already generating a buzz within the design community. How we design, produce, consume and interact is being rapidly altered, fuelled by a wave of new technologies and platforms. Dissolving the borders between designer, producer and consumer, these changes open up endless possibilities for innovative design practice while shattering long-standing production and design methods. At a time when the only thing that remains constant is change, the festival celebrates the myriad of exciting ways designers and producers are harnessing this new technological revolution.

“Sydney Design aims to nurture and support design excellence at a local and national level and expose audiences to new and engaging ideas around design. The program captures design zeitgeist from 3D printing to our favourite devices,” said Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Director, Rose Hiscock.

A highlight of the festival is the Powerhouse Museum’s Interface: People, Machines, Design; an exhibition that explores how the vision of a handful of astute designers internationally has transformed information technology. The functional and clunky machines from just over a century ago have become sleek and ubercool, must-have accessories that most of us cannot do without today.

Drawing on the Museum’s collection, the exhibition will feature products designed and manufactured by Olivetti, Braun and Apple among others and include iconic examples of radios, typewriters, calculators, computers, digital media players, smart phones and tablet computers.

Other program highlights at the Powerhouse Museum will include its FabLab (Fabrication Lab), an evolving working space that will showcase contemporary and cutting edge applications of digital fabrication and design practice. Featuring a range of technology including Makerbot 3D printers, scanners and lasercutters, this hub for making in the Museum will provide the public with the opportunity to see how digital fabrication processes work.

Hack the Collection at the Museum brings together the creativity of a group of designers and the unlimited design possibilities of digital fabrication. Ten local designers will hack a selection of 3D scanned objects from the Museum’s collection, re-imagining and re-interpreting these in new and innovative ways, and display alongside the original.

Sydney Mini Maker Faire comes to Sydney Design showcasing more than 60 makers demonstrating the various ways they are harnessing new technologies for innovative design practice. Founded by Make magazine, the maker movement is a DIY phenomenon sweeping the world which embraces invention and imagination. From the most basic of backyard tinkerers to tech-obsessed geeks, the Mini Maker Faire will be a family-friendly celebration of innovations taking place in kitchens, garages and workshops across Australia. On the back of its first-year success in 2014, the Faire has been expanded to a two-day showcase of all things innovation and invention.

Another must-see event: Design Futures Late Night, where you can see performance artist Michaela Davies demonstrate how bodies can act as a technology interface. Try your hand at laser tagging or take part in the Augmented Reality Mobile Treasure Hunt, using your own Android phone to discover objects throughout the Museum. Interact with the light installation Orkhēstra or have your portrait drawn by Oscar the drawing machine.

Exploring the festival theme in exciting ways this year is COFA, presenting Feral Experimental a diverse program of exhibitions, panel discussions and workshops which bring together leading practitioners exploring the intersections of experimental design, design thinking and service design. See how these design approaches are being utilised to negotiate significant real world challenges from energy conservation to sustainable agriculture.

Once again a feature of Sydney Design is WORKSHOPPED14, showcasing the talent of a select group of Australian designers. Supported by the Powerhouse Museum, this annual event looks at the challenges of product design from prototype to production. Featured works will be on show this year at the Supa Centa Moore Park.


August 16, 2014 @ 10:00 am
August 24, 2014 @ 5:00 pm


Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street Ultimo
Sydney, NSW 2007 Australia


Powerhouse Museum

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