Author Archives: thedesignfiles

Open House part 2 – Plaza Ballroom

by Lucy Feagins

The Regent Theatre’s Plaza Ballroom in Collins st

Another ‘better late than never’ post I’m afraid! These shots are from the Regent Theatre’s Plaza Ballroom, also on show as part of the recent Open House event in Melbourne’s CBD.

The ballroom, built in 1929, is lavishly decorated in ornate Spanish Colonial style – features include an indoor fountain, curved ‘Juliet’ balconies, bronze chandeliers, highly decorative faux windows (backlit to simulate moonlight!) and ornate handpainted ceilings (pictured below). A little kitsch, but utterly breathtaking.

Incredibly, the Plaza Ballroom as it stands today is a complete restoration of the original, which was destroyed by fire in 1945.

I just discovered another lovely photo of the Ballroom, and a collection of very sneaky photos of the Open House Capitol Theatre tour on a blog called the grapevine. Read the text too – very funny!

ornate detailing with a Spanish influence

Intricate decorative patterns on the ceiling (top image) and even in the carpet! (bottom image). Apparently parquetry flooring is laid over the top of this carpet when required. Big job!

Gargoyles guard the exit

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Open House – CH2

by Lucy Feagins

mechanical timber shutters on the facade of Council House 2 in Melbourne

Better late than never with this one… sorry, I took the Open House tour of Melbourne CH2 (Council House 2) building over a week ago (July 20th) and am only getting around to posting about it now… aaaggh. What can I say – it’s been a busy fortnight! Anyway… thought it might interest Melburnians to see some shots inside the stunning Council House building. Over 25,000 people turned out on the day to take a peek inside 9 of Melbourne’s most famous buildings… the queues around were INCREDIBLE! Many waited around 2 hrs at some locations… jeepers. It’s fantastic that so many people braved the cold to learn a little more about some of Melbourne’s architectural masterpieces… but next time I think it might be wise to allocate viewing times and tickets in advance!

Those in the know will be aware that CH2 is the first purpose built office building in Australia to achieve a 6 green star certified rating. This rating is a measure of the building’s energy and water efficiency, quality of environment and resource conservation. It seems every detail has been considered in achieving this rating – special ‘night-purge’ windows open every evening to allow the night breeze to naturally cool the interior of the building… a water-mining plant in the basement treats and recycles water for washing, cooling and watering of plants, and the striking facade of louvered timber shutters track the sun to control the temperature of the building. More detail here.

I was most impressed with the incredible rooftop garden – those lucky council employees get to eat their lunch up there everyday… aghh! Beautiful.

CH2 facade

CH2 stunning sculptural reception desk on the ground floor
CH2 rooftop garden
view from the top…. ahhhh!

interior – the ‘wave’ shaped ceiling maximises air flow and makes heating and cooling more efficient. Those ‘radiator’ looking things on the ceiling are actually chilled ceiling panels, circulating cold water to absorb radiated heat from occupants and equipment. The concrete ceilings also absorb excess heat.

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Melbourne Design Market

by Lucy Feagins

Melbourne Design Market last Saturday – busy busy!

The Melbourne Design Market has gotta be one of the most popular events on the Design Festival calender. Saturday was the big day – and although I was there early, the crowds were incredible! The atmosphere was frantic, chaotic, friendly and fun – it was really encouraging to see just how supportive Melburnians are of local design talent. I think we can all learn a lesson here – if you want to get a good turnout for a design event in Melbourne, just make sure you’re offering something people can buy when they get there!

There were so many fantastic stalls, it’s hard to narrow it down… some of my favourites below:


Stunning ceramics by Gretchen Hillhouse

Zakkaya – always gorgeous homewares, gifts and kids stuff
furniture restoration in progress at Great Dane
Spacecraft – beautiful prints as always

Design House Stockholm – Scandinavian design at its best. Great ceramics and what about those bicycle baskets! I love them. If you missed the market, catch the new Design House Stockholm range in Melbourne and Sydney at R.G Madden.

Third Drawer Down showed their collection of limited edition screenprinted tea towels. Lots of familiar designs but a few newies too. They were frantically stretching their prints over canvas frames on the spot for customers… it looked a little stressful 🙂

Forgive the slightly blurry pic here – Chook Leaf showed their range of gorgeous hand-made leather kids shoes – Camper-esque but even cuter (for real). I wasn’t the only customer wishing they had adult sizes…. I spied one lady desperately trying to squeeze into the largest kids size… hee hee.

Basic Shapes showed some lovely illustrated kids wall charts… the graphics remind me a little of Charley Harper‘s stunning geometric animal illustrations. (Better shots on the Basic Shapes website). Dan Honey and partner Paul Fuog are behind this little Melbourne company… Ms. Honey lives up to her name – she looked super-sweet from head to toe (managed to get her perfect silver shoes in frame – check ’em out!), and Mr Fuog realised when I introduced myself that I had previously interviewed him for The Design Files – he and Dan are also known as 2 thirds of The Co-Op (super cool graphic design firm based in Curtin House). Small small world!

Another designer I stumbled across at the market after profiling her on my site a little while ago was the lovely Danielle Sanders of knitwear label Ellka. I couldn’t resist buying one of her beautiful knitted hot water bottle covers… (the grey one on the left there!) Stunning work.

Fable Designs shared a busy stall with kooky accessories by Limedrop and lighting design by Lists and Diagrams. I love the rooftop silhouette wall lamp by Piers Morgan (aka Lists and Diagrams)… also I bought one of Fable’s lovely printed tote bags…

Victoria Mason is another Design Files interviewee I met for the first time at the market…! (Thanks to Pip from Meet me at Mikes for the introduction!) Victoria’s beautiful stand was super popular… I could barely get a photograph! I also loved her packaging on display here (bottom image).

ps) must apologise for the shots! Dimly-lit carpark + bustling crowds = blurry photos and sketchy details! Oh well. All the labels featured here have great product shots on their websites, so please do follow the links…

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Patrick Blanc

by Lucy Feagins


Patrick Blanc’s vertical garden at Melbourne Central, installed last Thursday (July 17th) as part of the Melbourne International Design Festival

Patrick Blanc charmed a capacity crowd at BMW Edge last Friday evening, giving a detailed lecture about his famous vertical gardens as part of the International Design Festival. His lilting French accent and endearing pronounciations of English words (‘monthses’ = months), only added to the highly entertaining lecture… and while it did go on too long for some (around 2 hours), I was completely taken with the charming, eccentric Mr. Blanc.

Blanc attributed the enormous popularity of his work to the fact that more than half the world’s population now live in densely populated cities, and have less and less contact with nature than ever before. vertical gardens bring the natural world into the urban environment, and it seems everyone wants a piece of the action. Patrick Blanc has created his amazing installations all over the world – from hotels in st Tropez and the Qantas first class lounges (installations for ‘happy few people’ Blanc said, referring jokingly to the elite few who frequent such places), to the French Embassy in Delhi, art galleries in Japan, and even a collaboration with fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier. ‘This work is funny…’ Blanc said, showing an image of a fashion model wearing a botanical creation – ‘the guy is not so funny’ – referring to Mr Gaultier!

Mr Blanc was quick to (tactfully) dismiss misconceptions about his work. ‘I don’t like (ordinary) gardens at all’ he said! He made it clear he’s not a landscape architect or a gardener… and certainly not a designer (although he acknowledges the great interest in his work from the contemporary art and design worlds). He explained that first and foremost he’s a botanist, and he approaches his work from a scientific perspective rather than an aesthetic one. He explained the architectural arrangement of his installations – designed to allow each plant to catch the maximum amount of light (taking into account shade tolerance, leaf shape and arrangement etc). He doesn’t see himself as a designer ; ‘the artistic work is not my work’ he says, ‘this is the work of nature… nature organises itself perfectly’.

We learnt that a vertical garden, once installed, requires minimal upkeep, and is more self sufficient than a normal, ‘horizontal’ garden. There is no loss of water – all water drained at the bottom of the watering system is re-used, and no soil means no percolation, therefore no wastage. Where his gardens are placed in large interior spaces (such as his installation at Melbourne Central), water is recycled from the air conditioning system of the building to water the plants.

It’s clear that the secret to Mr Blanc’s success is the sheer passion he has for his work, and for the study of plants. He described visiting Singapore three days prior to his Melbourne visit, and discovering a new plant species while he was there. His excitement at this recent discovery was self-evident! ‘Just because lots of people go in a place, doesn’t mean there is nothing new to observe’ he said… ‘there’s always something new to observe in nature’.

Patrick Blanc didn’t get through all the images he had planned to show during his lecture, so below are the additional photos, including shots of some of his most recent works.

‘Green Symphony’ installation in Taiwan
Begonia masoniana
Ludisia Discolor from the orchid family
Caixa Forum in Madrid
installation in Seoul, Korea
interior installation in a private residence
Rhipsalis houlletian
Visit Patrick Blanc’s permanent vertical garden installation at Melbourne Central, next to the shot tower in the central atrium.

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Phoebe Porter – interview and studio visit

by Lucy Feagins

Jeweller Phoebe Porter hard at work ahead of her MIDF show Location Devices

One of the highlights of guest blogging for MIDF these last 2 weeks has been meeting Phoebe Porter, and visiting the beautiful studio she shares with fellow jeweller Blanche Tilden in Abbotsford. I feel so lucky that The Design Files constantly seems to put me in touch with such incredible, talented and inspiring people!

Phoebe Porter graduated from the Gold and Silversmithing Workshop of the ANU School of Art in 2001, and later went on to undertake a three-month Australia Council funded mentorship with established jeweller Blanche Tilden in Melbourne in 2005. Later that year, the pair established Studio Hacienda in Abbotsford.

Studio Hacienda is such a beautiful workspace… I always love to see where creative people work, and Phoebe’s studio certainly exceeded my expectations! It’s such a light, airy open space… I love the industrial elements, especially those amazing factory windows – it must be a wonderful place to work. I felt very special to be invited to visit – especially when Phoebe was so busy putting the finishing touches on her work only days before Location Devices was set to open! She and partner (industrial designer Tom Caddaye) were so welcoming and happy to answer all my questions, even though they were super-busy sanding and polishing simultaneously!

Phoebe’s work is thoughtful and meticulous – even the most miniscule of components are so perfectly formed and constructed. It’s a unique artisan that has the patience and skill to create tiny, detailed components so precisely that at first glance they almost appear machine-made rather than hand-crafted. Phoebe’s preoccupation with mechanical parts and repetition is one of the reasons for this attention to detail. Computers also often play a strong role in her work, both in the design process and in the making of models and templates, and also as a source of inspiration. This is certainly clear in her most recent work for Location Devices.

Location Devices is Porter’s first solo exhibition. The title of the show refers to the way we locate ourselves in the world, and the work explores ideas of belonging and ideological positioning. Inspired by the simplicity of a schematic map, (such as the famous London Underground map designed by Harry Beck in 1933), Phoebe has employed geometry, repetition, and bold colour in this show, and has used a variety of materials including aluminium, steel, silver, gold and specially sourced titanium ball-bearings. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a large ‘map’ made from brushed, coloured sheet metal. Locations are marked on this map by a a collection of metal clip brooches. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to purchase a clip from the Network and wear it as a tiny personal Location Device. As they travel off the wall, out into Melbourne and beyond, they will become a visible representation of a newly formed network, linking back to Porter and to each other.

Phoebe and her partner Tom Caddaye, putting the finishing touches on components of the Location Devices exhibition.

Tell me a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing now?

I’ve always loved making things and using my hands and I’ve always been attracted to process driven things (such as print making rather than drawing). I studied gold and silversmithing at Canberra School of Art, also doing a minor in glass and some product design which introduced me to computer aided design. After graduating I spent a couple of years working for a company providing specialist design and fabrication services for museums and art galleries. This allowed me to improve a wide range of skills, become more confident to work with industry and continue to develop my own work on the side.

In 2005 I undertook at three-month mentorship funded by the Australia Council and came to Melbourne (from Canberra) to work with Blanche Tilden. Later that year we established Studio Hacienda.

Hacienda Studio – the beautiful workspace of Phoebe Porter and Blanche Tilden, based in a boot factory in Abbotsford.

What were your goals in establishing Studio Hacienda? What importance would you place on being part of a creative network and/or collaborative working environment for a designer/maker like yourself?

For me the main goal in establishing Hacienda was to have a dedicated space that allows us to make the type of work we want to make, either individually or collaboratively. The space itself is one of the last operational factories in our area, built in the 1920’s as a boot factory and still operating as one today. It’s such a wonderful place to work, surrounded by the history of things being made entirely by hand. As well as the practical benefits of pooling resources, Blanche and I share a commitment to our practice that helps us keep going when things get hard. Our collaborative project General Assembly has generated a kind of momentum of it’s own through the overwhelmingly positive response it has received. It’s a project that encourages the audience to collaborate with us and gain a real insight into the making process.

Top image – Phoebe and Blanche hard at work assembling brooches for their Melbourne exhibition General Assembly, in which visitors were encouraged to compile handmade components to create their own unique layered brooch (photo credit – Rhiannon Slatter). Bottom image – finished brooches from the same exhibition (photo credit – Johannes Kuhnan).

Visitors to Melbourne’s General Assembly exhibition make their selections… (photo credit -Rhiannon Slatter)

Top image – Phoebe and Blanche back at the bench(!) for General Assembly in Canberra (photo credit – Andrew Sikorski). Bottom image – For this show, different brooch components were designed, drawing inspiration from Canberra’s architecture and urban planning by Walter Burley Griffin. (photo credit – Johannes Kuhnan)

Being part of a creative network is absolutely critical to the continuation of my practice. That is one of the main ideas explored in my current exhibition Location Devices as the process of re-locating from Canberra to Melbourne has caused me to really examine the links between people and places that form my own creative network.

How would you describe your own style of jewellery design?

Rather than being of a particular style, my work addresses ongoing concerns that inform the aesthetic choices I make. I aim to reduce each design to it’s necessary elements, often starting with the fastening mechanism, or catch, which then becomes an integral part of the design. I also use a range of industrial materials and processes, visually referencing manufactured parts to examine the value of handmade objects in a world full of mass production. In a time of ‘inbuilt obsolescence’ jewellery is one of the few things regarded as something lasting, to be cherished and passed on.

Which designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?

This is a hard question, as there are many people who have inspired me. Blanche Tilden has been very influential and helped me to develop the way I look at the world – being open to finding the inspiration for creative activity that is everywhere as long as you know how to look. Susan Cohn, Robert Foster and Cinnamon Lee are other designers/makers who’s work and practices, plus their sheer energy is very inspirational to me. Gijs Bakker is a great example of someone who started off making contemporary jewellery, but has gone on to work in so many other areas and has a great sense of humour in everything that he does.

Where else do you find inspiration – ie books, fine art, your environment, travel, your family and friends?

Inspiration can really come from anywhere, but here are a few examples of the inspiration for my latest project Location Devices:

An Interview in The Age with Helmut Lueckenhausen, (Dean, faculty of design, Swinburne University of Technology). He was speaking about a silver brooch given to him by the Crafts Council of Australia at the end of his presidency:

“It’s beautiful in it’s own right but it also comforts and liberates in ways that go beyond its design and technical success. It comforts because it is a reminder of the extraordinary people I’m connected to…It is one of the objects in my life that helps to liberate me from the fear of failure and disassociation that is at the heart of the human condition. It reminds me that I have belonged…It’s a brooch, yes, but it’s also a prop in my story about myself.”

A scene from William Kentridge’s Stereoscope, in which usually invisible lines of communication (connections between people) are drawn in cobalt blue, shooting from the telephone switchboard out in all directions across the city. He describes the scene:

“I had a section of the film that had to do with points of connection and disconnection…I wanted a sense of transience, of a city bustling, telegraph wires and power stations. Early on I knew that it would involve lines of communication, telephone switchboards.” – William Kentridge interviewed by Lilian Tone, 1999

The famous London Underground map, designed in 1933 by Harry Beck (an electrical engineer) and now used worldwide as a way of organizing and understanding the transit systems of major cities.

Components of Phoebe’s Location Devices exhibition at e.g.etal. Top and bottom images – ‘Transit’ necklaces (photo credit – Andrew Sikorski) Centre image – ‘ The Network’ detail of installation (photo credit – Tatjana Plitt).

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

There is no such thing as a typical day at work for me. It’s what I love about being a designer/maker and also what makes it hard. I could spend all day drawing up a file ready for CNC cutting by a manufacturer or I could spend all day at my bench hand finishing components or making rivets. On other days I might be going elsewhere to get materials or I could be writing a press release, putting together an application or answering interview questions! On July 25, I will be describing my practice to all the Studio Open participants and making them cups of tea…

What is the inspiration behind your MIDF exhibition ‘Location Devices’, and how would you describe the show?

I’ve already talked about some of the early inspiration for this body of work, which was generated by my experience of relocating from Canberra to Melbourne. The work is about connectedness and finding my way in a new city. Having experienced the discovery of a new city through street maps and transport networks, I decided to use schematic maps as a metaphor for social networks, direction and belonging – for developing a personal route through life.

The exhibition includes necklaces made of aluminium, steel, silver, gold and specially sourced titanium ball-bearings. These look rigid at first, but when worn, the necklaces move freely with surprising flexibility as the components pivot on the titanium balls. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a large schematic Network map made from coloured sheet metal. Locations are marked by a series of wearable metal clips designed to adorn clothing. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to purchase a clip and wear it as a tiny personal Location Device, becoming a part of this particular creative network.

Aside from your own show, what are you looking forward to seeing at the Melbourne International Design Festival ’08?

I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the Vertical Garden and hearing Patrick Blanc speak about his work. I also want to check out Julia deVille’s Prey as part of Pop Ups as I’m always interested in seeing the result of collaborative projects (she has collaborated with fashion designer Dhini). Studio Hacienda is participating in Studio Open for the second year. We were overwhelmed with the positive response we had last year, so we are looking forward to an even better day this year!

Phoebe’s desk

Location Devices by Phoebe Porter
Thurs 17th July – Sat 9th August
e.g.etal, downstair @ 167 Flinders Lane, City
free

Studio Open at Studio Hacienda
Friday 25th July
Free – registration essential
more info here

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Melbourne Unbuilt walking tour

by Lucy Feagins

A stepped pyramid, proposed by architect Peter Corrigan for Swanston st in 1986, as part of the National Library and Museum complex development.

On Saturday I braved the cold to preview the Melbourne Unbuilt walking tour, curated by Kate Rhodes of the National Design Centre as part of the Melbourne International Design Festival. The tour is an exploration of architectural propositions for the City of Melbourne – structures and buildings meticulously designed, planned, and budgeted for, but which for one reason or another never materialised. Melbourne Unbuilt resurrects 13 selected large-scale architectural projects, taking the listener on a self-guided audio tour of the CBD’s secret architectural history.

I know, I know, audio tour – seems a bit like homework doesn’t it? But hear me out! This tour really surprised me.

The tour starts at the National Design Centre, where you borrow a brand new ipod, programmed with 13 different commentaries (about 5 minutes each) from Melbourne architects, architectural historians and commentators. These voices guide you through 13 different proposed developments across the CBD. You’re also given a map with each location highlighted, and a brief summary of each proposal. In addition, the ipod contains photographs and images to set the scene.

For each location, the audio you hear has been recorded exactly where you stand. So, at location 2, standing in Federation Square looking back towards st Paul’s Cathedral, Peter Davidson of LAB architecture describes his concept for the ‘shards’ or smaller structures in his design for Federation Square. These, we’re told, were designed in response to an expectation in the brief that st Paul’s Cathedral was the most important structure in the area, and was not to be overshadowed! LAB’s goal was to create an archipelago of small structures amongst larger buildings, which would define the space and frame the existing neighbouring buildings. Throughout the commentary, it’s clear that LAB were dealing with several major limitations… and Peter Davidson’s frustrations are made quite clear! It’s incredible to hear a first-hand account of Fed Square’s much publicised controversies.

In particular, Davidson refers to The Visitor’s Centre, initially designed to be 22m high, to frame st Paul’s Cathedral, when viewed from Fed Square. It was proposed that ‘framing’ the Cathedral in this way would visually incorporate it into the Federation Square development. Interestingly, Davidson points out that this has been effective to some extent, as the Cathedral has since changed in main entrance from Swanston st to Flinders st, to face Fed Square.

top – Federation Square showing the Visitor’s Centre as it stands today (the glass structure left of frame – covered in advertising!), bottom, LAB’s proposed Visitor’s centre.

The top image here shows the Visitor’s Centre as it stands – 6m high to comply with regulations. The bottom image is LAB’s proposed design – a 22m high structure which, in conjunction with the Eastern shard on the opposite side, contains the view of the Cathedral, thus incorporating it into the space. Peter Davidson explains how the imposed changes impacts the overall coherence of the project. Make up your own mind on this one! I must say… I think he talked me round!

If you’re still not convinced by LAB’s version of Fed Square, have a listen to Denton Corker Marshall‘s unsuccessful proposal… The Yarra is a much more significant feature for John Denton, who describes a winter garden enclosed by glass roof sections, referencing the parallel train lines of the railyards. At the river, a gallery space of brightly coloured boxes (DCM’s hallmark) would sit up and look out over the water. The ground would be cut away to bring the entire structure down to the river level… and the heritage bluestone vaults (pictured) would remain as passageways through to the walkway along the Yarra.


Denton Corker Marshall‘s Federation Square proposal – check out that tower!
heritage bluestone vaults on the Yarra River

I love the hint of rivalry in John Denton’s voice as he recalls LAB’s problems with the ‘shard’ buildings on Flinders st. According to Denton, DCM anticipated problems here, therefore deciding to set their buildings back from Princes Bridge!

One of the more surprising propositions mentioned in the tour is at location 5 – Flinders st Station. Architectural historian Rohan Storey explains that the iconic station was once widely condemned as an ‘ugly behemoth’ during the 1960’s and 70’s. At this time a scheme by Lend Lease/Meldon Properties and Yuncken Freeman Architects proposed that the bulk of Flinders st Station be demolished and replaced with a retail development, carpark and two office towers! Luckily the National Trust stepped in and fought to preserve the station we know today.

top – Flinders st Station today, bottom – Yuncken Freeman’s 1976 proposal for the station’s redevelopment.

I could go on… there’s so much to learn about Melbourne’s secret history. I was truly inspired.

And the best bit – you’re the tour guide! You can choose your route – you start where you like, you skip what doesn’t interest you, you can stop somewhere nice for lunch…! It’s completely up to you.

Melbourne Unbuilt guide map

Melbourne Unbuilt audio walking tour
July 17th onwards
Starting at the National Design Centre

corner Flinders st and Russell sts, Federation Square
$5.00

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INDEX : Design to Improve Life exhibition

by Lucy Feagins

The INDEX award exhibition at Federation Square

Although the official opening for the Melbourne International Design Festival is still a few days away, the madness seems to be just settling in! My Saturday was crammed full of MIDF previews and meet-ups… and despite the cold, Federation Square seemed abuzz with anticipation…

The installation of the INDEX award exhibition from Denmark was certainly causing a stir on Saturday, as the National Design Centre team frantically installed the last of the acrylic exhibit ‘bubbles’. Federation Square was bustling with visitors, and even before the exhibition was fully installed, there seemed a lot of interest in these mysterious spherical showcases popping up everywhere.

The National Design Centre team, hard at work installing the INDEX award exhibition at Federation Square

The effect of these oversized clear bubbles en masse is truly breathtaking – even more so against the backdrop of Federation Square. The spherical shapes seem so perfectly juxtaposed against the fractal facade of Fed Square’s main buildings… all those sharp angles and jutting shapes somehow seem to lend a new aesthetic to the exhibition.

One of the fantastic things about the design of this exhibition is the fact that it draws such a varied audience – families, commuters and tourists alike can engage with the exhibits in a very spontaneous way. Plus the novelty and visual effect of encasing each exhibit in its own self contained ‘bubble’ is so engaging… these playful shapes give the exhibition a personality of its own – it seems friendly and approachable! Spreading the exhibition out over the perimeter of a public space like Fed Square means that the INDEX award show is likely to reach more viewers than any other event in the festival.

But enough about the exhibition design – the work on show, too, is a fantastic collection of some of the most unique concepts in socially conscious design from across the globe. Design to Improve Life is the focus of the show, and designers from all over the world are represented. Some of the most interesting exhibits are based on the simplest of concepts… my favourites below:

Antivirus – A Cap to Protect by Han Pham of Denmark
Antivirus – A Cap to Protect by Han Pham of Denmark won the people’s choice awards when it was first exhibited in Denmark in 2007. This fantastically simple idea is a solution to the problem of infection associated with the improper disposal of used syringes. Apparently 16 billion injections are administered world-wide each year, and 50% of all injections in the developing world are considered ‘unsafe’. In addition, many waste-pickers in developing countries are infected by needles which have been incorrectly disposed of.

The Antivirus Cap system complies with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation that sharps be segregated at point of use. The antivirus sharps container turns any aluminium can into a safe sharps disposal unit. The used needle is safely and permanently locked inside the can. The container can then be disposed of without fear of contamination.

Interestingly, this system was designed by Han Pham, a Vietnamese-born refugee, who in her childhood had suffered an infection which she contracted through a tetanus vaccination which was administered using an infected needle. Han Pham’s early experiences have greatly influenced her own design practice – more info here.

iUVO Play Cures – a mobile infusion system for children designed by Kaspar Matthison-Hansen, Kaspar Nedergaard Sorenson, Denmark.
More than a million sick children per year are treated with infusion-therapy at hospitals. Existing infusion systems are cumbersome for children, limiting their mobility and freedom. iUVO Play Cures is a mobile infusion system which children can wear like a backpack, allowing them to play and interact with other kids, and providing relief from the constant reminder of their illness. The system can be used by children at young as 2 years old.
The COVER stool by Alain Berteau (Belgium)
The COVER stool by Alain Berteau is a simple solution to the problem of over-packaging and excess waste. The strong cardboard polyhedron-shaped box contains foam padding and a recycled fabric cover – everything you need to turn the box itself into an upholstered stool/side table. Packaging waste is completely eliminated, and energy is saved in both production and shipping.
INDEX award exhibition
Perimeter of Federation Square
(starting at Russel st, outside the National Design Centre)
until Sunday 27th July
Free

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