NSW designers take up Powerhouse Residency as inaugural fellowship recipients
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, July 18, 2024

NSW designers take up Powerhouse Residency as inaugural fellowship recipients
Marlo Lyda, Joel Sherwood-Spring and Ben Styles, inaugural fellowship recipients of Powerhouse Residency.

SYDNEY.- Three talented emerging designers – Marlo Lyda, Joel Sherwood-Spring and Ben Styles – have been selected for the inaugural NSW Design (Early-Career) Fellowship – Powerhouse Residency Program, providing a rare opportunity to enrich their professional practice under the guidance of experienced mentors at Powerhouse Ultimo.

Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah shared her support for the initiative.

“We are excited to be providing this unique opportunity to three of NSW’s most talented emerging designers. The Powerhouse is committed to nurturing emerging talent and supporting their growth. We believe this residency will be a pivotal opportunity, fostering the development of their work and practice,” Ms Havilah said.

Create NSW Chief Executive Annette Pitman said this exciting new Fellowship promises to be a significant development opportunity for the three designers, transforming their work and practice.

“By investing in NSW’s design talent, the NSW Government is ensuring our creative industry flourishes as an engine room for the innovation and groundbreaking design needed to meet the challenges of our times and revolutionise how we live and work,” Ms Pitman said.

“I congratulate Marlo, Joel and Ben on bringing their bold ideas forward for exploration and development through this creative residency. It’s inspiring to see the talent and vision of professionals early in their careers which shows the depth of potential in the creative industry.”

The three Fellowship recipients will undertake a six-month residency of professional development at Powerhouse Ultimo. Each resident will receive $25,000 in financial support; mentorship by an established designer relevant to their field; studio space at Powerhouse Ultimo – including access to the museum’s curators and collection, workshop facilities and technicians; and connections within the sector to develop their networks and skills.

The NSW Design (Early-Career) Fellowship – Powerhouse Residency Program is made possible through a partnership between Powerhouse and Create NSW.


Marlo Lyda

The fellowship program builds upon Marlo’s graduation work Scraptopia (2021) from Design Academy, which demonstrates that copper can be reclaimed from electronic waste and transformed into desirable objects in an infinite cycle.

This new body of work will emerge from a uniquely Australian context, tracing the lifecycle of copper from soil to recycling. Drawing on archival documentation and first-hand research into copper mining in Australia, Marlo intends to develop physical outcomes (objects or furniture) that are ‘mined’ from a sustainable source – like copper recovered from our urban waste streams.

The fellowship will be pivotal in scaling Marlo’s existing research (in Scraptopia) to introduce larger objects and a system for their production. Particularly regarding approaching urban e-waste collection/recycling facilities to source materials.

Joel Sherwood-Spring

The program originates from asking what if an analysis of Architecture and Urbanism began with what and who is disappeared in the process?

By embracing a decolonial methodology of Indigenous Storywork the study further explores embedded relationality in Indigenous Knowledge systems and how that extends to the material world. This study seeks to locate the lineages and limitations of colonial thought and its materialising affects - as an epistemological base by which racial difference is consolidated in this country. Both in the histories of settler colonialism, but also, in contemporary articulations that continue to erase Indigenous cultures and narratives.

Ben Styles

Ben will research and explore radical innovation in the speculative re-design of consumer goods and appliances used to enhance our daily lives.

The vision and the outcome of the fellowship is a public cultural shift away from product overconsumption and wasteful design, and towards a sustainable future where user ownership celebrates the care, upkeep, and active role in the life cycle of the essential products we require.

In addition, Ben aims to use the extensive historical archives of the Powerhouse to conduct anthropological case studies of the design, assembly, and user-experience of three or more pervasive household consumer products. The body of work will be publicly presented both in exhibition of augmented post-consumer goods, and in the development and delivery of exploratory workshops where participants will engage directly with research concepts and hand building/crafting.

Located in Sydney, Powerhouse Museum is the largest museum group in Australia. It sits at the intersection of the arts, design, science, and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues.

Powerhouse Parramatta is the future flagship site of the museum and is one of the world's most significant new museum projects. Community, industry and collection will intersect to create a dynamic culturally engaged program that will redefine museums. As the first NSW State Cultural Institution to be based in Western Sydney, Powerhouse Parramatta will be a transformational cultural precinct in the fastest and largest growing city in Australia. It will be the largest museum in NSW with over 18,000 sqm of exhibition and public space, attracting 2 million visitors a year.

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