Iconic Australian Design
25 June - 16 August 2020
Design Tasmania is pleased to present ICONIC Australian Design curated by Ian Wong featuring over 100 products designed in Australia. From world-first innovation such as the Kambrook powerboard to household favourites like the Nylex Esky and highlights such as Grant and Mary Featherston’s Sound Chair: our daily lives are powered by the outputs of industrial design.
Image Credit: Supplied by the Curator Ian Wong 2020.
Image credit: Emily Dimozantos.
Image credit: Emily Dimozantos.
Image credit: Emily Dimozantos.
ICONIC Australian Design
Industrial Design is defined as the art or process of designing manufactured products. Our daily lives are powered by the outputs of industrial design- from cars and chairs to crosswalk buttons and powerboards– each balances form and function delivering products that are necessary. Many reach cult status and become becoming highly covetable and even collectable: some have pushed even further into our psyche and become ‘iconic’.
Designer Su san Cohn describes her transition into the field of industrial design thus: “Making inexpensive beautiful things is much harder than to do one-off art pieces. I wanted to take up that challenge.”
Designers working in the field of industrial design develop concepts and specifications aimed at problem solving; far from being a purely aesthetic exercise, they optimise purpose and value to bring innovative products and services into existence. The real challenge is overcoming the innumerable constraints to achieve actually getting something into market. The designs and designers represented in ICONIC have mastered this crucial balance, elevating them to this exceptional status.
ICONIC Australian Design celebrates award winning and innovative Australian industrial design and features iconic designs from the 1880s to the present day.
Over 100 products designed in Australia including the Wiltshire Staysharp knife, Décor BYO wine cooler, Rosebank Stack Hat, and the Grant and Mary Featherston Sound Chair will be on display. Some innovations, like the Nylex Esky, were the result of our the unique Australian climate and lifestyle, but others like the Britax baby capsule and the Kambrook powerboard celebrate the capacity of our industrial design profession to bring a world first innovation to a global marketplace.
Chances are, many of our visitors have at one time used one, owned one, or, at least, wanted one of these items.
Curated by Monash University Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design Ian Wong, was first presented at Monash University as part of Melbourne Design Week 2019 with the support of the Design Institute of Australia, and then its first touring venue was at the SASA Gallery - University of South Australia in 2019. The objects featured in the exhibition are mostly from The Ian Wong Collection and were recently featured in 100 Objects - Australian Design in the Home commissioned by the Robin Boyd Foundation at Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street House. The Tasmanian presentation will incorporate additionally sourced design objects from local design icons.
Curator: Ian Wong
Ian Wong | Curator & Senior Design Lecturer, Monash University
Ian Wong is a designer, collector, curator and senior lecturer at Monash University. Ian has been invited to curate exhibitions about his research on Australian Design in; Milan, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tianjin, Sydney, Adelaide, and his home town of Melbourne.
Exhibitions have included 100 Objects | Australian design in the home, I-CONIC Australian Design, 60 Years of Good Design, BlackBOX – Design and Innovation | Melbourne Australia, Innovators – Australian Design and Innovation, Zmood – Designing Holdens, and 150 Years of Design in Victoria.
The Ian Wong Collection has been a work in progress associated with his research and currently has over 1600 objects designed by Australian designers. Products designed by Ian as a director of EJO Design have ranged from one-off objects like the RMIT University Ceremonial Mace to brain scanning equipment, Antarctic sleds, and million-dollar highspeed agricultural sorting equipment. Ranges like the pak range for Silvan Australia have recently been reported as the ‘hills hoist’ of rural Australian farm life. This range continues to create significant commercial success for Silvan. Ian’s first product for Silvan, the trukpak, designed in 1989, is still a very successful product and most farms in Australia would have a product designed by Ian.
Ian is currently Director of the Monash Art Design and Architecture Industrial Design Centre (Kunshan) and Program Director - Master of Industrial Design at Monash Art Design and Architecture, Monash University. This double Master’s degree is delivered at the Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School Suzhou in China. Ian is President of Melbourne Movement and currently the China representative for the Design Institute of Australia.
Image credit: Emily Dimozantos
Mary Featherston AM is a designer specialising in research and design of school learning environments. Mary helped to establish Community Child Care in 1973, Melbourne Children’s Museum in 1985 and the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange in 1995.
In 1965 Mary began a thirty-year life and professional partnership with Australian designer Grant Featherston, they were inaugural inductees into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame.
Mary is an Honorary Senior Fellow University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor of RMIT University. She is an emeritus director of the Boyd Foundation and lives in a house/studio designed by Robin Boyd (1967) and Julian Featherston (2018).
Simon Ancher is an established award-winning designer and director of Simon Ancher Studio in Launceston. He is the former Director of the Furniture Design Program at UTAS. Simon's practice references subtle gestures, details and minimalist reduction. He appreciates and strives for pure simple design ideas and aesthetics.
"When things are pared back, you really notice the finer details of proportion, materiality, structure, and purpose."
Simon's work is also part of the Design Tasmania Wood Collection, view here.
Su san Cohn
Su san Cohn is an artist and designer of jewellery and metalwork. She creates her work through Workshop 3000, the studio she founded in 1980. Cohn brings a conceptual approach to her work together with an interest in contemporary culture and technology.
Cohn has a long-standing practice working across the art-craft-design divide. Her research based and collaborative process has included working with mathematicians, aerospace engineers and scientists to channel new technologies into her designs.
Anita’s curiosity & sensitivity is channelled into her whimsical creations of jewellery and sculptural homewares. The essence of her Tasmanian landscape has served as a soulful foundation, infusing her work with a strong narrative base that bridges function & form. This, coupled with her thoughtful choice of material and meticulous craftwork, elevates everyday objects to resonate on an emotional level with the user.
Anita has received significant recognition through exhibitions, awards and local & international media. Most notably, winning the Inaugural Alessi + Vogue Living Design Award and the 2015 New York City Design Prize for homewares.
‘Design makes me tick and good or bad, I see it in almost everything. Be it mechanics or Marmalade, it’s the fine tolerances of quality and aesthetic that can make something ordinary extraordinary.’
As Director and senior Industrial Designer of ISM Objects, Celina Clarke has established a career as a leader in lighting design while contributing to the creativity, integrity and advancement of Australian design.
Celina’s work is driven by discovery, possibility and problem solving and the satisfaction that comes from transforming an idea into a successful product. Her commitment to design is further expressed through her appointment as Chair of the Victorian Premier’s Design Award 2016 and continued membership of the Design Institute of Australia, Australian Industry Group and the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand. Celina has served as a Board Member and Vice President of Craft Victoria, and established ISM Sparks in 2005, an ongoing program that fosters emerging talent in Australian lighting design.
Phillip Slattery is a Director of Studio 2 & Associates Pty Ltd, a product design consultancy specialising in the development of innovative solutions incorporating smart design, material efficiencies and sustainable manufacturing practices.
Phillip is a graduate of Industrial Design, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Phill’s career spans some 40 years consulting to manufacturers, designing and developing products across a broad spectrum of industries including commercial office furniture, TFT based electronic equipment, consumer products, packaging, computers, industrial machinery and test and measurement instrumentation.
Phill’s work has obtained ‘Design Mark’ awards, several ‘Australian Design Awards’ and a ‘Prince Philip Prize’ for design excellence. Significantly the development of patentable ideas forms a key role in much of his work.
Phill has been involved in design education, lecturing at RMIT, Monash (Melbourne and Suzhou China) and Swinburne Universities.
Phillip Zmood graduated from RMIT industrial design and started working at GM Holden in Melbourne in 1965 as a staff designer. He was promoted to assistant chief designer in 1966 and made significant contributions to the HQ sedan, wagon and coupe (Monaro), and was chief designer of the Torana studio from 1969 until 1978. After working in Germany at Opel as chief designer, Mr Zmood returned to Melbourne and, in 1983, was appointed as the first Australian Director of Design at GM Holden. In his 37 years at Holden, Mr Zmood was directly involved in the design of Holden’s iconic muscle cars, including Toranas, Monaros and Commodores.
Image credit: courtesy of the designers
Ed Linacre & Viktor Legin
Copper Industrial Design
Copper, a Melbourne based design and fabrication studio specialising in contemporary luminaires, bespoke installations, sculptural works and experimental product development.
Forged in 2014 by two award winning designers with distinct approaches, aesthetics, and hair (red); the practice has grown through a shared passion for quality, innovation and sustainability.
The ability to design and fabricate custom pieces and installations has led to work with some of Australia's most renowned architecture and interiors firms; completing commissions across 4 continents; including the Australian High Commission, Nairobi, Kenya.
Over the years they have exhibited throughout Europe and Asia, received numerous accolades both nationally and internationally, hold eight international patents for medical devices and have lectured at both Swinburne and RMIT universities. They also collaborate with Mycelium Studios - of which they are co-founders - in the development of a range of Mycelium based biodegradable materials and products.
Copper live to collaborate and experiment in the pursuit of function and beauty.
Image credit: Emily Dimozantos.
Click to watch a video preview of ICONIC Australian Design curated by Ian Wong.
Relive the Opening
Design Tasmania is pleased to have hosted the online exhibition opening via Hopin.to. This video relives the video experience, featuring words from curator Ian Wong as well as introductory remarks from Executive Director, Claire Beale and Communications Manager, Clementine Blackman.
Video by Joffre Street Productions
A G Healing Trio, 401H Radio, Aegis CZ1000, Alessi Cohncave Bowl, Alessi Fruit Loop, Alessi Picantinno, Alessi Nut Splitter, Alessi Antechinus Knife, Alpha Chair, Ansett Inflight Dish, Australian Made Logo, Audio Tactile Pedestrian Detector, AWA PZ4 TV, AWA Transistor Radio, Bessemer Europa Serving tray, Bessemer Quartic Punch Set, Blundstone 500 Series Boots, Blundstone 980 Series Boots, Breville BSG1974 - Sandwich Maker, Britax Baby Capsule, Café Bar, Capri Canisters, Capri Casa Ware Canisters, Caroma Bathmate range, Caroma Bathroom Utility Stool, Clipped Wing Bench, Crystal Crown Corning Dishes, Crystal Crown Corning Hunter Glassware, Crystal Crown Corning Regis Glassware, Curve magazine, Daniels Sharpsmart, Decimal Coins, Décor BYO Wine Carrier, Decor Drink Flask, Décor Stack Fresh, Décor Wine Cask Cooler, Dorf Diamond Booster Tapset, Design World magazine, Duperite Measuring Cups, Duperite Qantas Salt and Pepper Shakers, Eveready Dolphin Lantern, Ferris Car Radio, Ferris Transistor Radio, Fink + Co Jug, Habana Beaker Set, Hecla Electric Iron, HK Monaro 1968, Hortico watering can, Kambrook Axis Kettle, Kambrook Powerboard, KE12 Electric Kettle, Keep Cup, Kempthorne Clipper light fitting, Knog Oi Bicycle Bell, Lockheed Lounge, Madame Ruby, Magis Dish Doctor, Malleys Esky, Nylex Esky, Nylex Qantas Ash Tray, Nylex Swing Top Tidy, Oates All Australian Mop Bucket, Orbitkey, Phillips FM 620 Radio, Phillips FM 900 Radio, Planet K100 Lamp, Ronstan Orbit Block, Rosebank Stackhat, Sabco Timer Tap, Shepherd Castors, Sunburst Coffee Table, Switch Battery, TAA Inflight Dish, Vulcan Conray Heater, Vulcan Quasar Heater, Willow Billy Can, Willow Alpine Jug, Wiltshire Bar B Mate & Tongs, Wiltshire Staysharp Knife, Wovo Lamp and more.
Simon Ancher, Mark Armstrong, Peter Bayly, Kate Bissett Johnson, Fred Blochlinger, Richard Carlson, Ken Cato, Simon Christopher, Celina Clark, Paul Cockburn, Joyce Coffee, Selwyn Coffee, Su san Cohn, Hugo Davidson, Brian Davis, Arthur de Bono, Stuart Devlin, Anita Dineen, Ken Done, Ian Edgar, Grant & Mary Featherston, Brian Fitzpatrick, David Flynn, Robert Foster, Charles Furey, Walter Gheradin, Jim Hannon Tan, Edward Healy, Barry Hudson, Bill Iggulton, Mark Johnson, Edward Kayser, Helen Kontouris, Adrian Knapp, Denise Larcombe, Jack Magree, Steven Martinuzzo, Mario Martkovich, Mal McKechnie, William Moody, Robert Morrison, Gerard Mussett, Carl Neilsen, Brodie Neill, Marc Newson, Charles Ng, Marc Pascal, Robert Pataki, Ron Rosenfeldt, Paul Schremmer, George Shepherd, Michael Simcoe, Phillip Slattery, Belinda Stening, Lionel Suttie, Paul Taylor, Wallace Tench, Bruce Thompson, Alfons van Maanen, Lisa Vincitorio, Anthony Wolfenden, Colin Wood, David Wood, Phillip Zmood and more.