Event/Exhibition: Enabled by Design-athon

Want to use your design and tech skills for a good cause? You’re in luck.

Enabled by Design-athon is a two-day hackathon-style event, whereby teams will find design- and technology-based solutions for everyday challenges as identified by people with disabilities, therapists, and caregivers.

The teams will be in the running for over $10,000 in cash and prizes.

Registrations are open until January 23, 2017.

For more information, head to Enabled by Design-athon Eventbrite page or contact amanda@remarkable.org.au.

The University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning – Level 3 Wilkinson Building, 148 City Rd, Darlington | February 24-25, 2017

Design: What Does ‘Design’ Really Mean?

by Mitchell Adams and Elizabeth Webster

In the race to stem the flow of complex product imports from low wage but increasingly skilled newly industrialised countries, Australia and other developed countries are nervously talking about the importance of research, development and design. This, they think, is where the high wage jobs will come from – and we in the ‘west’ have a unique handle on this. Thailand and China can assemble complex manufactured items, but ‘we’ have the monopoly on the inventive and creative parts.

Everyone is now hopping on the design bandwagon – design systems; design thinking; business model design; registered designs and design ideation. Even the economists are talking about design (in the context of a market).

But what is design really? In many respects, this is like asking fish where the water is. Every tangible product and intangible organisation has a design and always has had. But presumably, all those schools of design and designing businesses must believe they are adding value over and above what has been.

Design as applied art

Design is traditionally associated with applied art, or more precisely, aesthetically pleasing products. Applied art in this context includes recognisable areas such as fashion design, graphic design or product design.


Design as functionality

Traditionally the engineers also have used the term design. But this is to do with the functionality of the product, not its appearance. Hence, we have industrial design, engineering design and process design.

Increasingly, the term design now embraces appearance that is valued both for its own sake and because it enables desirable new forms of functionality. Apple is a champion of this. They require beauty in appearance but also demand that this appearance accommodates complex functionality. And they understand the power of a brand that can optimise these combined attributes. Consumers may not necessarily think about where the iPhone or MacBook is assembled, but they are being asked to turn their minds to where the product was designed. Hence Apple’s movement away from labelling their products as “Made in China” to “Designed in California”.


Design as process

Design has morphed again and now the term is used to describe a process that brings together seemingly unrelated groups of people to solve complex problems. The value here is employing design thinking to solve problems that ultimately enrich a user’s experience with a product or service. It is about creating an environment where stakeholders, not just the designers, can work collaboratively in the same space to solve the problem. Compared with the traditional ‘production line’ methods, these new design processes iterate between the upstream and downstream creators and end-users to produce an integrated and well thought through good and service.

The Centre for Design Innovation at Swinburne is a creature of this process. It takes a problem and creates outcomes that are end-user centric. Each problem requires a tailored working team with the right set of multidisciplinary skills. The aim is to enrich the end users’ life.

An example of a problem currently being tackled by the Centre is the reduction of head impacts during sports-related contact. The aim of the Centre’s Smart Cap and Gear project is to design an advanced wearable product that monitors in real time forces to the head and torso during sporting activities.

Likewise, at Swinburne’s Design Factory the group attest to the philosophy that design acts as a broker, bringing people together to solve complex problems. Along with their industry partner Visy, the Design Factory’s students and design coaches have recently redesigned the milk create. Helping to reduce the costs associated with storage, cleaning and theft, the solutions generated by the Design Factory are now with Visy’s supply chain stakeholders.

For many people design as process is nothing new. They have been doing this for…ever. This ‘movement’ is not aimed at them. The value in labelling an activity comes from highlighting what is implicit and enables those who do not work this way intuitively to change their behaviour. In this sense, bandwagon slogans and business review fashions do contribute to the economy. It’s just a pity they are using a confusing word.

The Conversation

Beth Webster, Director, Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Digital: Six Instagram Designers To Follow

As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, Instagram is not just a place to procrastinate or look at your friends’ breakfast – it is also a place to share one’s works and inspire each other.

With designers, this view seems more befitting than ever. Instagram could be portfolio to some and inspiration moodboard for others. Here are a few Instagram accounts that you should follow for some of the most creative, unique and forward-thinking works on the net.

  1. Lucia Litman

A photo posted by lucy litman (@lucialitman) on

As a photographer and food stylist, Litman’s work shows wit and charm through colourful palette and a spoonful of humour.

  1. Lauren Hom

A photo posted by Lauren Hom (@homsweethom) on

Hom is a designer, illustrator and hand letterer who is currently travelling around the world. She has worked on projects for clients like Starbucks, Youtube, Google and TIME Magazine.

  1. Daniel Aristizabal

A photo posted by Daniel Aristizabal (@darias88) on

Aristizabal is a motion graphics designer and animator. For imaginative 3D illustrations, look no further.

  1. Andrew Kovacs

Kovacs’s penchant for architecture is demonstrated in his account, through photographs of unique structures, floor plan sketches, and more.

  1. The Company You Keep

TCYK is a design-led company based in Melbourne. Specialising in brand identity and strategy, TCYK’s works will get everyone sold.

  1. Dwell Magazine

A photo posted by Dwell (@dwellmagazine) on

Dwell’s Instagram account offers compelling architecture and interior design photographs, from cottages in Baja California, Mexico to farm homes in Dolomite mountains in northeastern Italy.

Event/Exhibition: Soundscape Music Festival

Soundscape Music Festival is coming back to Marrickville this December.

Featuring artists such as The Lulu Raes, Tora, and The Ruminaters, the event will take place at the Factory Theatre.

Ticket prices range from $49-65.

Full Lineup:

The Lulu Raes
Moses Gunn Collective
Human Movement
The Ruminaters
Winston Surfshirt
Robbie Lowe
The Kava Kings
Space Carbonara
Adi Toohey
Jennifer Jennifer
Two Much – DJs
Comfort Club
Strange Associates
Mount Zamia DJS
Nick Stone

For more information and tickets, head to Soundscape Music Festival website.


The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville | Saturday, December 17, 2pm-10pm

Event/Exhibition: Akala and Artists in Conversation

How can hip hop music drive social change? BAFTA and MOBO award-winning UK hip hop artist and writer Akala will be joining a panel of local hip hop artists, students and activists to discuss the evolution of socially conscious hip hop music, and how it influences a new generation of artists and activists.

The event, presented by PS Music Group and Sydney Ideas, will feature the themes of remembering, race, rhythm and resistance, as well as a discussion of the Black Lives Matter campaign in the UK and US.

Hosted by Koori Radio’s Frank and Renee, the evening will include special performances by Akala and surprise guests in a freestyle cypher hosted by Izzy from Emcee-duo Izzy n The Profit.


  • Kween G Kibone, Emcee and performer, radio producer and presenter and youth activist
  • Evelyn Araluen Corr, PhD Candidate, the University of Sydney, working in Indigenous literature and activism. She lives on Dharug country with ancestral ties to the Bundjalung nation.
  • Jonathon Potskin, PhD Candidate, the University of Sydney, researching Indigenous youth and rap music in Canada and Australia
  • Kaiya Aboagye, PhD Candidate, the University of Sydney, researching Race, identity and Aboriginal Australian connections to Africa
  • Emelda Davis, Australian South Sea Islanders NSW State Alliance
  • Professor Juanita Sherwood, Academic Director of the National Centre for Cultural Competence at the University of Sydney

Friday, December 9, 7.30-9pm | Seymour Centre, Cnr of Cleveland St and City Rd, Chippendale

For more information and tickets, go to Sydney Ideas website.

Digital: Five Instagram Photographers To Follow

Instagram is not only a place to procrastinate – it could also be a place to find new inspirations and discover emerging visual artists.

A lot of photographers have featured their works and portfolio on Instagram for you to keep an eye on. Here are a few that you might like…


Michael Christopher Brown (@michaelchristopherbrown)

A photo posted by @michaelchristopherbrown on

Brown is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. His latest pictures were taken in Cuba and Congo.


Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea)

A photo posted by Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea) on

If you like rustic American scene and dogs, @thiswildidea would be the right account to follow. Humphrey’s pictures often feature his dog, Maddie the Coonhound.


Tiffany Nguyen (@tiffpenguin)

A photo posted by tiffany nguyen (@tiffpenguin) on

When she is not working as a dentist, the Los Angeles-based photographer would be trawling outdoors and taking pictures of natural landscapes.


Vicky Navarro (@lavicvic)

A photo posted by VickyNavarro (@lavicvic) on

For sharp urban photography with dark palette, check out this account.


Scott Schuman (@thesartorialist)

Schuman’s works show that fashion is not just about people on the runway.

A Brief Overview of Construction Art

What’s the deal with Construction Art? Is it really art? Is it important or had relevance towards the art movements we know today? Being a major influence in the Bauhaus and De Stijl movement,  Constructivism emerged as an artistic and architectural concept. In 1913, Constructivism was created by Vladimir Tatlin in Russia.

As a rejection of independent and sovereign art, Tatlin aimed  ‘to construct’ art for social purposes. During the 20th century, it influenced architecture design, graphic design, industrial design, theatre, film, dance, fashion as well as music. The definition of Constructivism was a combination of faktura meaning the particular material properties of an object, and tektonika, meaning its spatial presence.

It was known that the first  Constructivists were artists like Liubov Popova, Alexander Vesnin, Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, and theorists Aleksei Gan, Boris Arvatov and Osip Brik. They were early developers of a technique that we know now as the photomontage. Sharing similarities with Dadaism, the collage method was less destructive during the Constructivism movement.

In this day and age, many contemporary artists have taken upon literally deconstructions of the idea of construction art. With independent artists and online retailers selling very similar constructivism artworks such as photographs of excavators and machinery. You can find these works at Fine Art America.

Images sourced from Fine Art America.

Music: Field Day Sydney 2017

Music festival Field Day is coming on 2017 new year’s day, and it’s bringing some of the best musicians in the scene.

With headliners such as Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Alison Wonderland, and Tkay Maidza, Field Day promises a high quality mix of house, hip-hop, indie, and electronica in the sunny outdoor area of the Domain.

For more information, head to Field Day website.

January 1 | The Domain, Sydney

Event/Exhibition: Adobe Creative Jam Sydney

Adobe Creative Jam is hitting Sydney this December at Pyrmont, Sydney.

In collaboration with The Design Kids Sydney and General Assembly, Adobe Creative Jam event offers “two-part creative experience”, which includes presentations by renowned creative workers and Adobe Creative Cloud tournament for design duos.

Speakers for the night are Matt Jackson of The Affectors, Ian Haigh of Ketchup, Zoe Green of Co-Partnership, Anthony Dever of Industry 5000, and Brad Steven and Chris Laws of Born & Raised.

For more information and RSVP, head to Creative Jam Sydney website.

December 6, 6-9pm | WeWork Pyrmont, 100 Harris Street, Pyrmont

Design: Cheap Creative Workspaces/Studios to Rent in Sydney

In a city where renting prices are rising exponentially, finding an affordable space to work can be difficult for aspiring artists and designers. We have located 8 working spaces for rent that offer great facilities at a reasonable price – have a look below!

The Nest Creative Space

298 Botany Rd, Alexandria

The Nest

Source: Creative Spaces

Located nearby Green Square station, The Nest provides space for visual artists, fashion designers, prop makers and more. The space also allows short term and one-off lease! Prices start at $120 per week, inclusive of Internet service and other bills.

Australia Street Studio

71-73 Australia Street, Camperdown

Australia St Studio

Source: Australia Street Studio

For freelancers who love to stay near the city centre, this place would suit your needs. Located across the Camperdown Park, the studio offers individual desk and 2-person bay spaces with 24-hour secure access. Prices start at $470 per month.

Wotso Workspace

Level 2, 5 George St, North Strathfield


Source: Wotso

With high ceilings and modern industrial interior design, Wotso would be great for creative freelancers. With prices starting at $220 per month, the co-working space also includes showers, entertainment areas and beanbags. If your team is big enough, you can also apply for their serviced office spaces.

The Palace Studio

2/314 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville

the palace studio

Source: Brand X

The Palace Studio offers performing artists with a 15*9.5m rehearsal space, complete with sound system and air conditioning. Prices start at $14/hour for individuals.


281 Clarence Street, Sydney


Source: Gaffa

Need to be right at the heart of the city? Gaffa is located in CBD, close to Town Hall station. While freelancers and professionals could have 24/7 access to a desk space for $220 per week, jewellers could use Gaffa’s extensive jewellery workshop facilities for $25 per hour. Bonus point: it has a beautiful rooftop that is perfect for entertaining.