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Posts Tagged ‘design’

“Problem + Chainsaw = No Problem!” – the inspired animation of VDA Studios

In illustration, media, video on 13 August 2009 at 12:52 pm

A couple of mates, Rob Moffett and Benjamin Baker, were passing the time of day at work while making shipping pallets by kicking around ideas for a cartoon.

Their first idea was called Helpy the Helpful Turtle. “It was a faux-educational show about a man-sized turtle who spends each episode being abusive and failing miserably in his attempts to help children,” Ben says. “After a few voice recording sessions it was clear that making a cartoon based loosely on our own exploits was far more appealing.”

That cartoon became Friendcore, a few minutes of Flash animation they put up on MySpace and some blogs every couple of weeks. It was spotted by animator and visual effects artist Doug Bayne – from Double the Fist (he plays Mephisto) and The Chaser’s War on Everything – who was scouting for animated contributions for the ABC’s jtv, and in 2007 Friendcore started airing on national television.

jtv’s producer called about doing something similar for the new video game show, Good Game.

“At the meeting they asked us if we knew how to use After Effects,” Rob says. “I said, ‘Sure!’, and signed the contract. Then I had to do a crash course in After Effects.”

“We sort of jumped in the deep end on this,” Ben says, “but we figured learning a whole new program couldn’t compare to the hell of converting Flash animation to TV-compatible footage. Turns out it opened way more doors than we had anticipated.”

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Newcastle’s thriving zine scene

In media on 11 August 2009 at 9:06 am

Newcastle is home to two amazing resources for zine makers and readers. A zine is — well, I’ll let this typewriter explain.

zines 1

The community arts and media organisation Octapod houses a library of zines that the National Library of Australia assessed in 2004 as a “collection of national significance”.

It started when one of Octapod’s projects, the National Young Writers Festival, put out a call in 1998 for zines to be included in an anthology called The new pollution as part of the Loud media festival. Those first submissions formed the core of a collection which today is estimated at somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 zines from 1990 to the present – and it keeps growing.

zines 2

Unlike many other zine archives around the country, Octapod is committed to keeping its library accessible. Cataloguing and archiving the library is an ongoing project, with a work-in-progress online catalogue of the library available here.

In June 2008 Jessie Lymn, a PhD student at the University of Technology Sydney, wrote a well received strategy for preserving and maintaining the library. You can read her full report here.

zines 3

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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


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 »

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

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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 »

Heads up – five diary dates for Sydney Design 09

In architecture, exhibition, festival, graphic design, industrial design, photography on 29 June 2009 at 7:12 am
While the Sydney Design 09 festival (1–16 August) is still more than a month away, I wanted to give you advance notice of a couple of ticketed events that will sell out quickly, and some more to consider for your diary.
English lighting designer Paul Cocksedge is known for innovations like lights that can be switched on by drawing pencil lines on a piece of paper or moulded from styrene cups, and a waterfall bent out of shape by a static generator. The object he is pictured with here is filled with gin and tonic water and fluoresces under UV light. He’s the Sydney Design 09 international speaker and he’ll be delivering an illustrated lecture about his inspiration, process and work.
6pm Monday 3 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. $15. Book online here.
A pop-up restaurant? Why not? Eat Green Design is a purpose-built environment conceived by Collaborate’s Cilla Maden and designed by architect Hannah Tribe, with a menu of bio-dynamic and organic food devised by Danks Street Depot’s Jared Ingersoll. The concept demonstrates best practise principles in sustainable architecture and interior design, with tableware and furniture has been commissioned from Australian designers. A program of guest speakers who will lead discussion at each of the sessions will be announced shortly.
Breakfast: 8am–10am on 3, 5 and 10 August.
Brunch: 9.30am–11.30am on 2 and 9 August.
Dinner (three courses + wine): 6pm–9pm on 1, 6, 11 and 12 August.
Dinner (two courses + wine) 8pm–10pm on 4 August.
Outside these times, the venue will be open for coffee. Breakfasts or brunches are $66 a head and dinners are $110 a head. At the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. Bookings are essential, and you can book online here.
Pauline Kiernan in a gown by Theo Haskin of Salon Milano, Melbourne, 1956. Photograph by Bruno Benini.
Bruno Benini was an Italian-born Melbourne-based fashion photographer whose archive spanning 1950 to 2001 contains wonderful fashion shots and a suite of important portraits of actors, writers, dancers, designers and artists. The archive was very recently acquired by the Powerhouse Museum and its curator, Anne-Marie Van de Ven, will share her insights into it as she works through the acquisition process. Special guests will include some of Benini’s models.
12.30pm–1.30pm Wednesday 5 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. Free with museum entry.
Marcus Piper is the joint creative director of the internationally recognised creative agency one8one7
which is based on the south coast of NSW. one8one7 created the identity and campaign for Sydney Design 09. Thanks to technology and transport, Australia incubates great creative talent that works with clients around the world, as well as attracting them from overseas with our climate and lifestyle. Piper will be talking about  the benefits of working internationally and the effect the digital age has had on achieving international recognition “remotely”.
2pm-3pm Sunday 9 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. Free with museum entry.
SANAA: Christian Dior building, Omotesandō, Tokyo
Two big names in Japanese architecture, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, are the founders of the Tokyo-based SANAA (Sejima + Nishizawa and Associates). They are staging an “architectural intervention” at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation during Sydney Design 09: a translucent curvilinear acrylic wall that meanders through the gallery creating a sense of interior/exterior space. There will be a free public forum chaired by Margaret Throsby, with speakers including Professor Leon van Schaik, Professor of Architecture (Innovation Chair) at RMIT and Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
 3pm–5pm Saturday 15 August, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 16–20 Goodhope St, Paddington.

While the Sydney Design 09 festival (1–16 August) is still more than a month away, I wanted to give you advance notice of a couple of ticketed events that will sell out quickly, and some more to consider for your diary.

Paul Cocksedge

British designer Paul Cocksedge is known for innovations like lights that can be switched on by drawing pencil lines on a piece of paper or moulded from deformed styrene cups, and a waterfall warped out of shape by a static generator. The object he is pictured with here is filled with gin and tonic water and fluoresces under UV light. He’s the Sydney Design 09 international speaker and he’ll be delivering an illustrated lecture about his inspiration, process and work. 6pm Monday 3 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. $15. You can book online here.

Eat Green Desgin logoA pop-up restaurant? Why not? Read the rest of this entry »

Whippet good: designer Hugh Thomas

In furniture, industrial design on 25 June 2009 at 2:36 am

Here are a couple of impressive pieces of work by a young Sydney-based industrial designer, Hugh Thomas.

Hugh Thomas - Whippet Chair

This is his Whippet Chair, an intriguing, fluid take on a small chair. Its ergonomic tractor-seat is comfortable but not overly so, making it good for use in places that need fast patron turnover like cafes.

Hugh Thomas - doorstop 1 Read the rest of this entry »

Designs for living: he’s the real Ng

In exhibition, graphic design on 11 June 2009 at 3:10 am


There’s a ton of talent on show in this year’s Design Now!, the annual touring exhibition of graduate student designers in six categories: design for the body, the home, the built environment, communication, studio production and industry.

Catching Kollektor’s eye was a set of booklets by Eric Ng, a visual communications graduate from the University of Technology, Sydney.

The seven booklets are based on ideas from “A Sustainable Everyday” by Ezio Manzini, a pioneer of the “slow design” movement and professor of industrial design at Milan Polytechnic. (A slideshow of Manzini’s presentation is below.)

Manzini encourages designers to play a role in creating a sustainable future by rethinking our distorted relationship with the environment at the macro level.


Ng’s work, called Scenarios of a Sustainable Future, rises to Manzini’s challenge. He takes aspects of everyday life like getting up, dressing and eating, and illustrates how they could increase our well-being if we shake off our materialism.

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