AUSTRALIAN DESIGN CENTRE ~ 2022
On 2 June, 2022 the Australian Design Centre hosted a ground-breaking design event curated by Guy Keulemans and Trent Jansen, an auction of creatively repaired broken objects provided by notable climate change activists, creatives and champions of design from Sydney and the Illawarra. A selection of emerging and leading Australian artists, designers and craftspeople were specially commissioned to reinterpret these objects using innovative approaches to repair and reuse. In partnership with the ADC, the University of South Australia, the University of New South Wales and JamFactory Craft and Design, and funded by the Australian Research Council, this project develops and tests new models for the sustainable use of materials and products, establishing new opportunities for consumers, collectors and the public to thoughtfully and beautifully repair their broken things.
World renowned science fiction artist and body architect Lucy McRae has transformed a collection of unsalable garments from fashion designer Bianca Spender. Combining the garments with a well-used Knoll chaise lounge designed by Richard Schultz in 1966 and found by McRae on Craig’s List in Los Angeles, McRae creates a striking addition to her iconic survival/compression series.
Leading Australian industrial designer David Caon has repaired and transformed a broken Vespa motor scooter donated by actor and climate change activist Yael Stone. With a focus on function and aesthetic sophistication, Caon has updated the scooter through styling changes both bold and subtle and mechanical repair to deliver a sophisticated contribution to the custom and modding genres of automotive design.
Contemporary jeweller Kyoko Hashimoto received two broken model aeroplanes from musician and aeronautical design enthusiast Hugo Gruzman of Flight Facilities. Hashimoto has sensitively repaired a model Cesna 310 owned by Hugo’s pioneering aviator grandfather. Then, in collaboration with Australian-born, Texas-based visual artist Ebony Fleur, Hashimoto 3D scanned the model and minted an animated NFT of the aeroplane in flight. Rounding off her transformative repairs, Hashimoto has taken a model Qantas 747, the “Queen of Skies”, and transformed it into the zenith of jewellery typologies: a crown.
Nyikina artist and craftsman Illiam Nargoodah, hailing from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, received a broken axe from scientist, explorer and conservationist Tim Flannery. Through creative application of his metal working skills, Nargoodah transformed the axe into a poetic visual narrative or tableau vivant, expressing the power and agency of the axe as an instrument of production. Nargoodah then used a small off cut from this metalsmithing, and created a replica miniature axe, as a gift for Flannery.
Master weaver Liz Williamson and collaborator Tulla Carson were tasked with the challenge of restoring two extraordinary Plan-o-spider chairs owned by Sydney gallerist Sally Dan-Cuthbert, designed in France by Hoffer and manufactured by Plan in the 1950s. Williamson and Carson built on the provenance of the chairs and stretched the conventions of restoration by using new materials and a colour palette that brings these once disintegrating Plan-o-spider chairs into the 21st century. Williamson then used the scrap elastic from the old webbing to create a series of beautiful weavings, challenging the expectations of what can be done with waste.
Leading Australian furniture designer Adam Goodrum obtained a magnificent but damaged aluminium lamp, designed by the Campana Brothers and provided to the project by Italian furniture manufacturer Edra. In a poetic response, Goodrum chose to transition the lamp from a pendant lamp to a standard lamp using only the existing aluminium components of the original lamp. Goodrum and his studio assistant, Xavier Tafft, slowly and painstakingly disassembled and reassembled the hundreds of aluminium components to manifest this transformation.
From 2-10 June, 2022 this exciting and eclectic mix of objects was on display at the Australian Design Centre on Williams Street in Sydney. On 9 June, 2022 the works were auctioned by Andrew Shapiro, Sydney’s noted auctioneer with 30 years of experience across collectible design and decorative arts.
Australian Design Centre,
101/113-115 William Street,
2 – 10 June 2022
Image Credit – Traianos Pakioufakis