Now in its 18th year, Sydney Design is the longest running design festival in the world. The nine-day festival covers all facets of design and engages with talent and innovation from inside the industry.
Sydney Design takes a more critical approach than other more commercial, trade-orientated festivals such as the Milan Furniture Fair or DMY International Arts Festival in Berlin. It is programmed by the venerable Powerhouse Museum and includes a host of intriguing and interactive events, exhibitions and workshops throughout the city.
This year’s festival follows the broad them of design futures. “We’re essentially exploring the boundaries between designer, producer and consumer,” says Powerhouse Museum programs manager, Janson Hews. “It’s about the way in which design practice is changing, the way in which production is changing and then how the way people consume has changed.”
At Powerhouse, Interface: People, Machines, Design will explore the history of design and information technology via visionaries such as Olivetti, Braun and Apple. A hands-on, 3D FabLab will showcase different digital fabrication methods, and the Sydney iteration of the Mini Maker Faire will unveil ideas and prototypes from tech enthusiasts, scientists and craftsmen. Late Night at the Museum will be the first in a new series of late-night events at Powerhouse, and will feature Future Classic DJs, Eat Art Truck and treats from Black Star Pastry.
Hack the Collection pairs 10 Sydney designers with 10 objects from the museum’s collection. Designers are given 3D blue prints and then asked to reinterpret, or “hack” the object. “This is about a museum’s collection being used as a springboard for new practice,” explains Hews. The roster of design hackers includes celebrated Sydney creatives Cinnamon Lee and KINK Studio.
Outside the museum, FBi Radio and Object Australian Design Centre will host Audio Design Museum – a daily audio tour uncovering Sydney’s design hotspots. While upstairs at Gaffa Gallery, there will be free screenings of Helectiva and Objectified from Gary Hustwit’s famed design-film trilogy.