The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Parallels - Journeys into Contemporary Making

In partnership with NGV, National Craft Initiative presented Parallels – Journeys into Contemporary Making an international event exploring the future of contemporary craft and design.

Wava Carpenter (L’ArcoBaleno): Come Together

The most promising paths for today’s designer-makers exists in pooling resources, collaborating across traditional boundaries, and finding innovative ways to speak to broader audiences in all their guises.

L’ArcoBaleno is a new and rapidly growing global resource for exploring, discovering, and collecting extraordinary design from around the world. The site mixes a strongly curated marketplace with intelligent, magazine-style content covering innovative and intriguing work across the spectrum of design–from furniture, lighting, crafts, and decorative arts to architecture, travel, fashion, and technology.

After studying Design History at Parsons, Wava Carpenter has worn many hats in support of design culture: teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organising talks, writing articles, and all manner of work. She worked for many years as Curator of Design Miami.

Wava and the L’ArcoBaleno team travel the globe to discover material from the world’s most interesting galleries and makers. They offer fresh insight through diverse content produced in collaboration with today’s most forward-looking and influential curators, collectors, designers, artisans, and nerds. From design masters to emerging talent, they celebrate the people, places, and things that shape the design world, both past and present.

Cyril Zammit (Design Days): Dubai: design’s gateway to the Middle East?

At the forefront of the global market for collectable design, Zammit is building Design Days Dubai as an international magnet for makers, creators and collectors.

Approached by the co-founder of Art Dubai to start a fair entirely dedicated to collectible and limited edition craft & design – the first of its kind in the Middle East and South Asia, Cyril Zammit launched Design Days Dubai in 2011. He continues to coordinate with global design galleries, and to work with the renowned makers, designers and professionals from the design industry, to strengthen Design Days Dubai’s role as the definitive modern and contemporary design show, appealing to a broad public including design collectors, designers and architects.

Design Days Dubai is the leading fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectible and limited edition furniture and design objects. The fair presents craft & design from leading international designers and galleries alongside up and coming design from across the world. The fair also presents a strong non-commercial program consisting of education, workshops, installations and live performances.

Born in Paris, Cyril Zammit started his career at the Institut Français in Prague, relocating to London to work in the Cultural Department of the French Embassy. Following a move to Switzerland, Zammit managed the sponsorship for Montreux Jazz Festival, the International Sponsorship team of UBS, the Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra and later the sponsorship for Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach. In 2005, Zammit joined HSBC Private Bank (Suisse), as Marketing & Communications Senior Manager, where he signed and man-aged the sponsorship of Design Miami/ and Design Miami/Basel until June 2009 later joining the cultural department of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi, as Senior Sponsorship & Funding Manager.

Trevyn & Julian McGowan (Southern Guild): Design Commerce

How to build a credible industry through narrative, heritage and global exchange.

Trevyn and Julian McGowan have been exporting South African design to the international market for 10 years. In 2008 they saw the need for a platform to provoke new work at the very top end, and to show-case it collectively on the national and international design stage. Trevyn and Julian McGowan established Southern Guild as a forum for South African designers to challenge and support each other, unified by national origin, but with diverse views and voices, and the collection now has a reputation for innovation, excellence and a truly fresh perspective. On an annual basis, they invite a selection of the very best local makers, designers, artists, architects and upcoming talents to produce and premier original pieces for the Southern Guild collection that year.

As the sole gallery representing South African limited-edition design, Southern Guild finds that many international curators and critics hear the unique voice South Africa brings to the world. Southern Guild offers something grounded in social and political realities, narrative, a true bond with nature and a sense of human connectedness. Southern Guild has far less interest in trends or in the highly polished, technologically driven visions of design prevalent elsewhere.

Helen Souness (Etsy, Inc.): Creative entrepreneurs – new commercial models for makers and designers

Helen shares insights into new models of creative entrepreneurship gained through her role at Etsy – a global marketplace where people buy and sell handmade and vintage goods.

Helen Souness came into her role as Managing Director, Australia and Asia at Etsy in 2014 with the mission to develop the team and business within Australia and Asia. Her CV includes senior roles in market-leading companies including SEEK, Lonely Planet and Envato.

According to Souness, Etsy’s mission to ‘reimagining commerce in ways that make for a fulfilling and lasting world,’ was what first attracted her to the role. “It seems to me that the ways Etsy maximises the benefits to makers and sellers of craft, vintage and supplies is real proof of the company’s commitment to their local artists and suppliers, and this idea of reimagining commerce.”

Veena Sahajwalla (Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, UNSW): Revealing the beauty within

Turning waste into valuable resources is a new way to think. Our scientific breakthroughs in green manufacturing are reforming waste destined for landfill into beautiful materials.

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an ARC Laureate Fellow and the Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT) at UNSW Australia.

Respected as an internationally award-winning scientist and engineer, Veena’s research focuses on the sustainability of materials and processes with an emphasis on environmental and community benefits. One of her most celebrated achievements is the invention of a process of recycling rubber tyres in steelmaking, now known as green steel and commercialised in Australia and overseas by OneSteel.

Veena works collaboratively with companies and institutions and has established strong partnerships and a deep knowledge of industrial processes and problems. Heading up the SMaRT Centre, she provides leadership for research programs on sustainable materials, placing a strong emphasis on the skills and knowledge that are urgently needed to enhance sustainability.

Passionate about science and engineering and very active in communicating her ideas to industry, government, students and the wider community, Veena was a panelist on the popular ABC TV program, The New Inventors, a TEDx presenter in Sydney in 2011, she leads the Science 50:50 campaign to inspire young women into science, and is a regular guest speaker at conferences around the world.

Simone Farresin & Andrea Trimarchi (Formafantasma): Prima materia

On research, material and memory: Prima Materia discusses Studio Formafantasma’s approach through recent and upcoming projects.

Formafantasma’s work is characterised by material investigations and experimentation into issues as the relationship between tradition and local culture, critical approaches to sustainability and the significance of objects as cultural conduits.

In perceiving their role as a bridge between craft, industry, object and user, they are interested in forging links between their research-based practice and a wider design industry.

As a result, works by Studio Formafantasma have been commissioned by a variety of partners including Fendi, Droog, Nodus rug, J&L Lobmeyr, Gallery Libby Sellers and Established and Sons.

Whether designing for a client or investigating alternative applications of materials, Studio Formafantasma apply the same rigorous attention to context, process and detail to every project they undertake. The added nuance for the duo is that they do so with an eye to the historical, political and social forces that have shaped their environments.

Their work has been presented and published internationally and museums such as New York’s MoMA, London’s Victoria and Albert, New York’s Metropolitan Museum, the Chicago Art Institute, the Textiel Museum in Tilburg, the Stedelijk’s Hertogenbosch, MUDAC Lausanne, the Mint Museum of Craft and De-sign in North Carolina and the Mak Museum in Vienna have all acquired Formafantasma’s designs for their permanent collections.

In March 2011 Paola Antonelli of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and esteemed design critic Alice Rawsthorn listed their studio amongst a handful of practices that would shape the future of design.

Andrea and Simone are lecturing and heading workshops in various Education and Institutions. At the moment they are teaching at the ‘Well Being’ Department of the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Gijs Bakker:

Without concept, no craft

A product must have a soul – to be able to communicate, to tell a story.

Gijs Bakker was trained as a jewellery and industrial designer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Konstfackskolan in Stockholm, Sweden.

His designs cover jewellery, home accessories and household appliances, furniture, interiors, public spaces and exhibitions. He worked and works for numerous companies, including Polaroid, Artifort, Droog Design, Castelijn, HEMA, Royal VKB, ENO Studio and recently as creative director for Yii, Taiwan.

Bakker has taught at various schools, among which the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, Delft University of Technology, and the Design Academy Eindhoven where he worked since 1987 until 2012 (since 2000 as Head of the Masters Programme).

In 1993, Bakker co-founded Droog Design, a Dutch collective of designers, products and information. Together with Renny Ramakers, he was the selector and art director of all products within Droog Design until 2009.

In 1996, Bakker co-founded Chi ha paura…? (Italian for Who’s afraid of…?). With chp…?, the new brand name since 2013, they wanted to show the international design world that a piece of jewellery is more than a decorative fashion accessory. chp…? invites internationally acclaimed designers to create a special piece for the collection.

Gijs Bakker travels around the world to give workshops and lectures about his own work, Droog Design, chp…?, Yii /HAN gallery and is frequently a member of juries. Gijs Bakker’s work is represented in international public and private collections worldwide.

In current design projects, Bakker investigates the relation between craft and design. Since 2009, he is exploring this theme in his role as creative director for HAN Gallery, formerly known as Yii in Taiwan.

Sasha Titkosky (Koskela) & Mavis Ganambarr (Elcho Island Arts): When 1+1=3

Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr and Sasha Titchkosky discuss the cultural collaboration between the weavers of Elcho Island Arts and Contemporary design practice, Koskela.

Mavis Ganambarr is one of Australia’s leading fibre artists. She began fibre work under the watchful eye of her grandmother and aunties on Elcho Island where she lives with her husband and children. Passing on her knowledge of plants, recipes and techniques to a new generation helps them understand this important part of their culture and how to keep their country strong.

Ganambarr has worked collaboratively over the past two decades with other artists, curators and designers including Louise Hamby, Alice Whish and Sasha Titchkosky. She has exhibited work in the 16th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial, most recently at the Powerhouse and in the 29th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in Darwin.

Sasha Titchkosky is the co-founder of Koskela, a Sydney based furniture and product design company and retail store established in 2000 with Russel Koskela. Designing and manufacturing in Australia for the commercial and retail sectors, Koskela have worked with leading Australian corporations, architects and design firms to furnish domestic, workplace and university interiors.

Titchkosky and Koskela believe that great design can be used to effect social change. Collaborating with Yolngu weavers from Elcho Island Arts on interior and lighting products since 2009. The on-going collaboration aims to provide Indigenous weavers with an additional stream of income from their work and develop new and compelling contemporary design products for the interiors market. In 2010 the collaboration result-ed in the lighting products Yuta Badayala (translation “In a new light”) with the weavers contributing technical skills, material knowledge and artistic capabilities and Koskela contributing design and marketing skills along with their significant experience in the interiors market.

Antonio Aricò:

Welcome to A.Story

A warm welcome to Aricò’s world. Born and raised in the South of Italy, Antonio proudly represents a new generation of Italian craft and design.

After graduating from the Politecnico di Milano and a postgraduate course at the Alta Scuola Politecnica, he completed his training abroad, studying Metal & Jewellery Design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Scotland, Product Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and Traditional Furniture Design in Spain. For him, design encompasses many different values including objects rationality and people emotions.

Between Milan where he opened a studio/showroom in 2011 and Reggio where he was born and raised, Antonio works on personal limited collections and collaborations with big Italians brands such as Barilla Group, Seletti and Alessi. From his first limited edition collection ‘Back Home’ in 2012, Antonio’s work has a special focus on the relations between artcraft and design with a particular attention to Italian artisanal and strong artistic identities.

Passionate about his work and traditional techniques, Antonio presented his work around the world, DMY in Berlin, the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Maison & Objets in Paris and the Design Centrum Kielce in Poland, Wabi Sabi exhibition in Turin, Nomadismi exhibition curated by Lidewij Edelkoort in Milan and at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv.

Very close to his family, roots and culture, Antonio works hand in hand with his grandfather Saverio. He is now looking to expand his ventures and create new partnerships and collaborations around the world. Simple and rigorous in his design approach, spontaneous and enthusiasm in his work relations, Antonio proposes instinctive solutions in creating everyday objects with a special attention to details and the quality of the materials.

Simon Hasan: Design archaeology

Simon discusses how materials, process and making inform his working method – from one-off

to batch production.

Simon Hasan works in the territory between ancient Crafts processes and industrial design. His work is imbued with a richness and texture borne from the use of techniques and materials from these two contradictory worlds.

Simon’s approach can best be described as a type of ‘design archaeology’; a combination of historical re-search and hands-on material experimentation. The goal is to nurture compelling and relevant outcomes for any given context. Avoiding a particular aesthetic style, Simon’s distinctive work often layers materials, processes and textures to create long-lasting objects with a story to tell.

Graduating from the Royal College of Art (M.A. Design Products) in 2008, Simon’s collections of leather vases and furniture received widespread attention for the innovative use of the medieval armour-making technique, Cuir Bouilli. Simon’s output encompasses leading international design galleries, commercial and private commissions, (most recently with Fendi and Kvadrat), and developing his own range of self-branded pieces for retail sale.

He was part of the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence program (2011), and his mannequins for Fendi won a Wallpaper* Design Award in 2012. A fourth mannequin was specially commissioned by the UK Crafts Council for its Permanent Collection in 2013.

Simon runs the Design Through Making platform on the M.A. Design Products programme at the Royal College of Art.

Margaret Wertheim (Coral Crochet Project, The Institute for Figuring):

Woolly Wonder

Craft, geometry, marine science, and environmentalism combine in the Crochet Coral Reef project.

Margaret Wertheim is the founder of the Los Angeles based Institute For Figuring, an organisation devoted to the aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics. Through the IFF, she has created exhibitions and programming for galleries around the world, including the Andy Warhol Museum, the Smithsonian, the Hayward Gallery (London), and Science Gallery (Dublin). At the core of the IFF’s practice is the concept of material play. The IFF’s Crochet Coral Reef is now the largest participatory craft and science project in the world, and has been done by communities around the globe from London, New York, and Melbourne, to Latvia and Abu Dhabi.

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