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The Powerhouse announces the program for Sydney Design Week 2021
Hong Kong Sampans textile design, gouache on paper, designed by Shirley de Vocht, 195–54. Powerhouse collection; Gift of Shirley de Vocht, 2002. Photo: Danica Micallef.



SYDNEY.- Sydney Design Week 2021 goes digital with a two-day Design Summit on the 16–17 September 2021. A program of panel discussions and talks will centre on the theme Hyperconnectivity, exploring the ties that bind us today. Curated by writer, editor and Creative Director Stephen Todd, the program connects local and international designers and global design centres including Lindsey Adelman, Ronan Bouroullec, Design Museum London, David Flack, Yasmine Ghoniem, Adam Markovitz, Jennifer McMaster, M+ Museum featuring Tina Pang and Gary Chang, Marc Newson, Ivana Taylor and Jonathan Zawada.

Sydney Design Week 2021 Creative Director Stephen Todd said: “Although our full vision for Sydney Design Week 2021 cannot be presented, we are excited to be presenting a curated program on our theme, Hyperconnectivity. Sydney Design Week will celebrate the fact that even when we are physically isolated, we can still find ourselves intrinsically connected.”

Lisa Havilah, Powerhouse Chief Executive said: “Sydney Design Week will now be a free program of online discussions, providing a platform for audiences to connect with Australian and international designers and design thinkers.”

Multi-disciplinary designer Jonathan Zawada discusses creation in the digital space and the recent rise and repercussions of NFT-minted work in Imagining Music. The two-time ARIA award-winner has created cover art and videos for musical acts such as Flume, The Avalanches, Rustie and Dua Lipa and will join curator Sarah Rees in conversation from his studio in Byron Bay (16 September).

A live panel discussion linking the Powerhouse and the Design Museum London will discuss ‘Discovered’ Designers for Tomorrow. ‘Discovered’ is a project by the American Hardwood Export Council and Wallpaper* that has commissioned a new generation of designers to conceive, create and manufacture a new piece of furniture or object inspired by life in a pandemic world. The panel will discuss concepts of touch, reflection and strength that guide each designers’ work, responding to the need for our everyday objects to combat isolation and help us reconnect (16 September).




On Friday 17 September, New York-based lighting designer Lindsey Adelman, Yasmine Ghoniem, founder of Sydney-based studio YSG, and award-winning Melbourne-based David Flack (Flack Studio) will discuss the topic of the contemporary workplace as a community.

Paris-based brothers and designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are internationally renowned for their designs, which have been featured in museums globally. Following their 2016 Rêveries Urbaines exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum (Germany) where they proposed a vocabulary of furniture/landscape typologies to enliven the public realm, the brothers have increasingly been invited to intervene in the urban landscape of major cities. An exclusive presentation and conversation with Ronan Bouroullec will see the renowned Paris-based designer share insights into his studio’s approach to designing at all scales and the ways in which good urban design can turn transitory spaces into destinations (Friday 17th September).

The panel Urban Transformers will be presented live from the new M+ museum in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. Architect Gary Chang will discuss his 32 m2 ‘Domestic Transformer’ apartment designed using a system of sliding walls to create a 24-room living experience, now permanently part of M+. From one of the world’s most populous cities, Chang and a panel including Jennifer McMaster, founder and principal of Sydney practice TRIAS and Powerhouse Senior Curator Katie Dyer will discuss designing for density (17 September).

The Powerhouse is home to the most extensive collection of work by one of Australia’s most acclaimed designers Marc Newson. To mark the 20th Anniversary of his landmark exhibition ‘Marc Newson – Design Works’ at the Powerhouse Museum, Newson will reflect on his most recognisable product designs (17 September).

The Sydney Design Week exhibition, Graphic Identities will launch at the Powerhouse when the museum reopens. The exhibition will present work by eight celebrated 20th century designers Gordon Andrews, Douglas Annand, Frances Burke, Dahl Collings, Shirley de Vocht, Pieter Huveneers (Tooth and Co), Arthur Leydin and Alistair Morrison. The design archives from the Powerhouse collection reflect a wide range of disciplines and pre-digital media used by the designers across advertising, publishing, fine art and textiles. The designers drew inspiration from Australian flora and fauna, as well as local and international collaborations, working alongside artists such as Bauhaus designer Lászlo Moholy-Nagy and painter Russell Drysdale AC. Charting pivotal moments in the history of Australian design, Graphic Identities explores the role of visual communication in shaping Australia’s cultural identity. Coinciding with Sydney Design Week, a selection of recently digitised work from each of the designer's archives will be presented through the Powerhouse collection online, one of the largest digitisation projects undertaken in Australia.

Full program details can be viewed here.










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