Stand-up comedian and former radio personality Tim “Rosso” Ross happens to be a serious architecture and design enthusiast. Coming up in August is The Mid Century Modern Project, the next instalment in a series of immersive, investigative and entertaining design-appreciation events and productions Ross has fronted in recent years. It will be held at a classic 1958 Harry Seidler-designed home, Kalowski House, in Dover Heights.
The event follows on from Ross’s 2016 ABC TV series Streets of Your Town. The series toured some of the country’s iconic and contemporary residential design, inspecting the possibility of a modernism revival.
“I've been collecting mid-century-modern furniture for over 20 years and it has evolved into a broader interest in design,” Ross says. “My interest started in the suburbs when I was a kid and we had all sorts of interesting houses either built or being built.”
At the event Ross will present the latest version of his Man About the House comedy show, which combines Ross’s love of design and his comedic charm. “We have just finished a season at the London Festival of Architecture and it features story, song and comedy, with a liberal splash of design talk,” says Ross.
At the show’s intermission, guests can experience the house through various sound, film, art and furniture installations. “The owner of Kalowski House is a friend of a friend,” says Ross. “She kindly offered an empty house and rather than dress it like a house I thought it would be interesting to work on a temporary exhibition.”
For it, wallpaper has been created with images of Sydney-born painter Paul Davies’s painting of the Rose Seidler house. There will be a Featherston room dedicated to furniture from the celebrated Australian Atomic Age designer, Grant Featherston. Ross has also created two short films for the house. He describes one as “very odd and hopefully a funny surprise”. The other is a “sci-fi-themed film” featuring the brutalist-style Callam Offices in Canberra.
The event will feature a specially created wine list from sommelier Matt Skinner of The Drinks List, and Ross is planning a partnership with his favourite Sydney chef (details to be announced soon).
There are three performances of Mid Century Modern Project, taking place on August 4-6. Tickets are necessary.