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Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Robots, comics and one helluva slide night

In architecture, festival, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, technology on 29 July 2009 at 4:35 am

The Sydney Design 09 festival starts this Saturday, 1 August. Kollektor has already given you a heads-up about five great ticketed events, the talk on the Bruno Benini archive and the tour of treasures from the Caroline Simpson Library.

Here are three more events to consider: a collection of cool talks.

Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha – the Japanese term for the sound of conversation – is an event which gives anyone with something creative to share a forum. Presenters are allowed 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, and there are 20 presentations in a single night. Snappy!

Devised by Tokyo-based Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture in 2003, the idea of Pecha Kucha nights spread virally and are now held regularly in more than 100 cities around the world.

This will be the 12th Pecha Kucha night in Sydney. Confirmed presenters include Lacoste + Stevenson architect David Stevenson, artist George Khut and Triple J programmer and presenter Craig Schuftan. More will be announced here as they are confirmed.

Thursday 6 August, 6.30–9.30pm | Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh | $10

RoboCop

9 out of 10 robots will kill you

Who could resist the combination of robots and movies? Only something with milky android circulatory fluid flowing through its veins.

Tom Barker will be looking at the future of robots and humanoid design for the 21st century through the medium of movies featuring robots, sentient computers and androids. Selections include Metropolis (1927), Modern Times (1936), Forbidden Planet (1956), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Westworld (1973), Dark Star (1974), The Stepford Wives (1975), the Star Wars franchise (1977–2005), Blade Runner (1982), The Terminator (1984), RoboCop (1987) and I, Robot (2004). Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten not-so-little Indian boys: new work by Michael Parekowhai

In exhibition, sculpture on 23 July 2009 at 5:17 pm

You see the first figure at the top of the staircase as soon you enter the gallery. In its scale and pose, it reminds you of nothing if not a glossy version of a cigar store Indian, the figure used for 300 years to advertise tobacconists. Its boyish, doll-like face, however, shows that Michael Parekowhai has dived into the childhood toybox once again and come out to play.

Parekowhai 1

Parekowhai’s exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is titled Seldom is Herd. There are 10 of the figures in total – like the nursery song, 10 not-so-little Indians – all called The Brothers Grimm, arranged like giant toys, solo, in pairs and trios. There are also three figures of antelope standing on giant books forming oversized bookends.

Parekowhai 2

As always with Parekowhai’s work, the surfaces are seductively glossy and highly refined, almost jokey in their simplicity. But they are packed with ambiguity, attracting us with childish glee, unsettling us with their implications.

Parekowhai 3

Parekowhai’s work often plays out aspects of indigenous identity and colonialism and its representation. Rabbits, the great introduced pest species, are common motifs. So too are the players in the best known colonial drama in Western culture, Cowboys and Indians. Read the rest of this entry »

Fancy papers: design treasures from the Caroline Simpson Library

In interior design on 22 July 2009 at 12:56 pm

Caroline Simpson Library 1

“Seeing this collection is a challenge to your ideas about colour and pattern in the past,” says Megan Martin, Head of the Historic Houses Trust’s Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection.

Caroline Simpson Library 2

Indeed, flipping open a copy of Ackerman’s Repository of Art, a journal published in London from 1809 to 1828, reveals samples of vivid orange fabric with polka dots or vibrant pinks and yellows to be used as wall coverings, something you wouldn’t expect from Georgian times.

Caroline Simpson Library 3

The Caroline Simpson Library is a stunning resource for designers, homemakers, students and anyone working in visual media. Focused on the history of house and garden design in New South Wales, it houses over 2,000 manufacturers’ trade catalogues, more than 1,000 architectural pattern books and another 1,000 sample books taking in wall and floor coverings, soft furnishings and fabrics, and hardware and garden ornaments.

Caroline Simpson Library 6

Read the rest of this entry »

Stick one of these in your pants

In menswear on 16 July 2009 at 12:25 pm

I’ve been seeing Status Anxiety wallets around for a while but only recently found out that it’s an Australian brand started by a couple of guys in Cronulla. Props to them!

Status Anxiety 1

Status Anxiety 2

They’re designed to keep your wallet low-profile – if yours is stuffed with business cards, receipts, laminated photos and loyalty cards from every retailer, these could help cut the clutter and keep you in order.

Status Anxiety 3

The flip wallets are slimline and fun to use – just put your hard-earned on it, flip it around and it’s not going anywhere.

Status Anxiety 4

They’re a good-looking gift idea, too, packaged in reusable tin boxes and smart slip cases.

Prices normally run from $35 to $65, but for this week only there’s a 20% discount on everything through their online store. Sweet!

Details of stockists around Australia and in New Zealand here.

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Guerilla knitting in Sydney with Magda Sayeg

In knitting, public art, street art on 14 July 2009 at 10:40 pm

Magda Sayeg, the founder of KnittaPlease, was in Sydney on Monday 13 July. Kollektor was invited to join her guerilla knitting posse for the day.

Here’s a gallery of images from the event, taken in the centre of Sydney’s business district, around the Opera House and at Bondi beach. Click here for a slideshow.

About KnittaPlease

Paint and texta graffiti are so passé. Instead of tagging with a sign, the KnittaPlease crew bomb with wool. Leggings, beanies and scarves for statues, striped warmers for poles and parking meters.

The crew from Houston, Texas, formed in August 2005 when PolyCotN and AKrylik were frustrated with their collection of unfinished projects. The first knitted tag was a doorknob cozy on a clothing store. The attention it attracted lead to more additions over the next few days, and guerilla knitting was born.

It’s street art with domestic origins, confounding the line between illegal vandalism and decoration. Where a spray-painter might find a freshly painted stretch of wall an irresistible canvas, Knitta Please feel the same about ordinary urban furniture, from bike racks to park benches.



KnittaPlease’s Sydney visit was hosted by Diecast Agency, who take Australian fashion brands and people to an international audience. Magda Sayeg’s visit is part of a cultural exchange program that offers Australian audiences the opportunity to rethink the ways we can use textiles.



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50 years of Australian fashion: inside the Bruno Benini archive

In fashion, photography on 12 July 2009 at 4:07 pm

Benini 1

Bruno Benini was a pioneering Australian fashion photographer, bringing a European elegance to the field from the post-war period right through until his death in 2001. Together with his wife, Hazel, who played an important role in styling the photos, the Beninis were central, glamorous figures in Melbourne’s cultural scene for 50 years, documenting not just fashion through his commercial work, but also leading players in the world of arts and entertainment through portraits.

Photo N¼: 00x11085Left: Pauline Kiernan in a strapless evening sheath by Theo Haskin of Salon Milano, 1956. Right: Bambi Shmith (Patricia Tuckwell) in Hall Ludlow’s ‘Magpie’ tunic, 1957

His body of work was recently acquired by Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. Design and Society curator, Anne-Marie Van de Ven, targeted the archive for acquisition back in 1996. “I knew it documented post-war dress design and manufacture,” she says. “What delights me is the scope and depth of photographic representation of the clients, like Ninette and Solo, and the models like Janice Wakely, Maggie Tabberer, Jan Stewart, Nerida Piggin and Maggi Eckardt.”

Benini 3Curator Anne-Marie Van de Ven with part of the Benini archive still in its shipping crate. Read the rest of this entry »

Wounds in the land: Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of Australian mines

In photography on 10 July 2009 at 11:56 am

minescapes_03Super Pit #4, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

Calling this series “landscapes” or “minescapes” is too gentle to encompass what they depict. Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of Western Australian mines are woundscapes, evidence of the lasting and often devastating impact our demand for raw materials has on the land.

minescapes_02Silver Lake Operations #15, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia

Burtynsky’s images, commissioned for the FotoFreo 2008 Festival, show the rarely seen scale and effects of mining. (Take a look, for instance, at this satellite view of the Hunter Valley to see the surface mining not seen by wine-tasting visitors.)

“Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction,” he says. “For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.” Read the rest of this entry »

Surya Graf designs for the home

In furniture, industrial design on 7 July 2009 at 12:38 pm


Surya Graf, Screen 1

This three-panel screen by young Brisbane designer Surya Graf is a great way to divide up a space without it being a folding wall. Its open form is based on plant forms and the structure of DNA.

Surya Graf, Screen 2

The panels are CNC machined from marine-grade plywood and finished in clear or black varnish, with custom colours available by request.

Surya Graf, Taille

Perfect for small apartments, Graf’s ingenious “Taille” is a seat or a table, depending on how you orient it. It’s made from a continuous band of plywood, making light to move and strong to use. Read the rest of this entry »

Heaven sent: Saint Augustine Academy AW09

In menswear on 5 July 2009 at 6:36 am

Some key pieces from the current Saint Augustine Academy AW09 collection, designed by Sydney-based Alvin Manalo.

Saint Ausgustine 1

The collection is called Corpus Christi Carol, inspired by the Jeff Buckley version of a medieval hymn, and the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, which has a thriving motorcycle culture.

Saint Augustine Academy 2

The result is the mixing of religious and biker motifs with Saint Augustine Academy’s signature indie rock look, and some seriously formal options inspired by smart mods and elements drawn from the classic gentleman’s wardrobe. Read the rest of this entry »

Specs appeal: Kelly Thompson’s geek girls

In exhibition, illustration on 1 July 2009 at 1:01 pm

Kelly Thompson, MaggieKelly Thompson, Maggie

Geek girls are hot because there’s nothing sexier than brains. For every geek girl who spent her formative years buckling down with school books before blossoming into a smart woman comes Kelly Thompson’s new suite of drawings.

They’re being exhibited from tomorrow night at Melbourne’s Gorker Gallery under the title Bookworms Never Go to Bed Alone.

Kelly Thompson, MaryKelly Thompson, Mary

They remind me of Alberto Vargas’ famous Varga Girls, with a 21st century attitude. In a digital world where the geeks reign supreme, these women are both sexy and empowered. Read the rest of this entry »