Review: Sydney Festival’s Inside There Falls

By Penny Craswell

Inside There Falls, on at Carriageworks as part of Sydney Festival this month, is the most inter-disciplinary art piece I have ever experienced, combining paper art, installation, sculpture, writing, spoken word, costume design, music and dance. The piece is an installation by UK-based artist Mira Calix, with dancers from the Sydney Dance Company and choreography by Rafaela Bonachela.

Dancers and installation as part of Inside There Falls. Photo: Penny Craswell
Dancers and installation as part of Inside There Falls. Photo: Penny Craswell

As an audience member, the experience begins by being led into a dark room and asked to wear white overalls or coat, and being given a scrunched up paper object to hold. The sound of a woman’s voice  starts to emanate from the object, reading poetry on the body and identity, written by Sydney-based writer Brett Clegg and read by actress Hayley Atwell. Already the mood is set. 

Read more

London Design Festival guest post by twitter

Today, our first guest post comes in the form of some choice updates by excellent London-based design writer (and friend) Giovanna Dunmall who has agreed to let me blog her twitter feed during the London Design Festival.

Design writer Giovanna Dunmall at the Ace Hotel with Martino Gamper doughnuts as part of the London Design Festival
Design writer Giovanna Dunmall at the Ace Hotel with Martino Gamper doughnuts as part of the London Design Festival

Many of the posts are familiar names to us, including designers Omer Arbel, Philippe Starck and Barber Osgerby, brands like Wrong for Hay and venues like the Ace Hotel and V&A Museum.

Check out Giovanna’s web page here or follow her @JournoGiovanna. Read more

Sydney Open program architecture and design picks

By Penny Craswell

The Sydney Open program has been launched with over 50 buildings opening to the architecture-loving public on 2 November as part of the Sydney Architecture Festival.

Queen Victoria Building Dome. Image: Sydney Open
Queen Victoria Building Dome. Image: Sydney Open

There are some real treats in the program this year, including the chance to see inside the stained glass dome of the Queen Victoria Building. Only 100 people will win a golden ticket which grants them access to the dome via a spiral staircase. The building was built on the site of the original Sydney markets and has been through several stages of construction and renovation, with Romanesque and Art Deco elements. The latest renovation by Anchor Mortlock Woolley in 2009 features new green, blue and red walls used for wayfinding and to enhance the existing colours of the stained glass. Read more

Additional images of Melbourne Indesign installation

Just a quick update to my round-up of Melbourne Indesign last week. Space furniture has just sent through some wonderful new images of the Tanqueray Gin Palace by photographer Peter Bennetts.

140822 Eat Drink Design Pop Down 0133
Eat Drink Design Pop Down by DesignOffice at Space furniture. Photography: Peter Bennetts.


The palace was designed by Melbourne studio DesignOffice in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council, Britton Timbers and Architecture Media. Read more

Investment in Australian design at Melbourne Indesign

By Penny Craswell

One of the most important events on the Australian design calendar, Melbourne Indesign (previously Saturday Indesign) featured some wonderful content, especially from the largest furniture suppliers, and especially by home-grown talent.

Stylecraft celebrated Australian design at Melbourne Indesign. Image: Stylecraft
Stylecraft celebrated Australian design at Melbourne Indesign. Image: Stylecraft

CULT featured two impressive launches. The first was Wrong for Hay, featuring a mini-market enticing visitors on the day to buy a piece of the action and hosting a visit by London-based designer and founder of the brand Sebastian Wrong. He spoke on Saturday morning about the origins and aims of the brand, continuing his fostering of emerging design talent as initiated when he was at Established & Sons. “People are buying work not because of the designer name but because it works for them,” he said. Read more

MPavilion temporary architecture in Melbourne

By Penny Craswell

2014 was a good year for Melbourne-based architect Sean Godsell. His RMIT Design Hub building won a number of awards, including the AIA’s National Award for Public Architecture, and rightly so.

This year, he is the first architect to be selected to design MPavilion, a temporary architectural structure that will be built in Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, this spring and summer from 7 October – 1 February. Commissioned by Naomi Milgrom, a business leader in the fashion industry and one of Australia’s wealthiest women, this is the first of a new inaugural program, which supports architecture and design in Australia.

Naomi Milgrom and Sean Godsell. Photo: Earl Carter.
Naomi Milgrom and Sean Godsell. Photo: Earl Carter.

MPavilion takes its inspiration from the Serpentine Pavilion program of temporary structures in London’s Hyde Park which has been running every summer since 2000, with designs by well-known architects such as Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito, Rem Koolhaus, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel. Read more

Design writings: Chicago architecture biennale a no-brainer

“Besides Venice, whose architecture biennial began in 1980, scores of cities — from Sao Paulo to Istanbul to Denver — hold biennial exhibitions of art, design and architecture. Chicago will compete with them for exhibits, attention and tourists’ dollars. 

“The first biennial, which has secured a $2.5 million lead grant from British oil and gas giant BP, is planned for Oct. 1, 2015, through Jan. 3, 2016. If all goes well, it would be put on every two years … The real question is: Why wasn’t Chicago doing this before?”

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin on the new Chicago Architecture Biennale, to be curated by Chicago curator Sarah Herda and ex-Domus editor Joseph Grima.

Read the article here.

National Architecture Conference “Making” program released

By Penny Craswell

The National Architecture Conference program has been released ahead of the Perth event happening 8-10 May. The creative team behind the conference, Helen Norrie, Adam Haddow and Sam Crawford, have chosen “making” as their theme, with a focus on the process of architecture.

Highlights include world-renowned architect David Adjaye, whose recent work includes the design of the Skolkovo Business School on the outskirts of Moscow, inspired by the Russian Suprematist art movement. Other architects from Australia and around the world are speaking, with architects from Asian countries Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as speakers from the USA, South Africa, Chile and more.

This year, the conference will also have a kids’ program, including a design workshop and a creche.

Fugitive Structures at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation

By Penny Craswell

Two new structures straddling architecture, design and art by Robert Beson from AR-MA, and Tomek Archer and Toby Breakspear from Tomahawk // Archer Breakspear were commissioned by Sydney’s Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation for the second year of Fugitive Structures, a program inviting architects to use innovative design and technology to create small-scale temporary works at the gallery.

In the courtyard of the Sydney art foundation, Robert Beson and team from AR-MA has created a structure called Trifolium made of a skin of 152 Corian pieces thermally formed and robotically trimmed. The interior features 152 laser-cut cylindrical, black mirror-polished interior panels.

Trifolium by AR-MA
Trifolium by AR-MA. Photo: Jacob Ring.

Poly, the other structure, sits inside the gallery. Created by Tomek Archer and Toby Breakspear from Tomahawk // Archer Breakspear, this work is a series of structures, half furniture and half architecture, that can be rolled across the floor to create dynamic interactions.

Poly by Tomahawk // Breakspear. Photo: Brett Boardman.

Read more about Trifolium and Poly at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation.