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Sydney Design Festival to broaden the definition of design

<i>New Agency: Owning Your Future</i> by Sibling Architecture.

Sydney will become an international hub for practising, talking and thinking about design when the Sydney Design Festival begins on 1 March.

This year the festival, themed “Accessing Design,” will attempt to “broaden the definition of design and collaborate across disciplines and cultural divides” with a program of talks, exhibitions, events, tours and installations that knit together various design disciplines.

Lisa Havilah, chief executive of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, which curates the festival, said, “Sydney Design Festival has been running for over 20 years and has played a key role in the evolution of design practice in Australia and across the world.

“It is the role of festivals such as this to move industry conversations and connections forward. We look forward to learning from, and sharing with, the industry’s leading designers.”

ArchitectureAU has cast an eye over the more than 130 events making up the 2019 program in search of some of the festival’s best architectural highlights.

Agora – MAAS Architecture Commission

Following the inaugural MAAS Architecture Commission in 2018, which saw a series of oversized periscopes, designed by Sydney-based emerging practice Trias, installed in the foyer of the Powerhouse Museum, the 2019 commission will be designed by Penhale and Winter, a Perth- and Berlin-based practice, in collaboration with Kieran Murnane.

Titled Agora, the installation will be open to the public in the forecourt of the Powerhouse Museum for the duration of the festival.

The installation will comprise a pavilion made of utilitarian materials in a “classical arrangement” influenced by the agora, or central public plazas, in Ancient Greek cities. In keeping with this reference the pavilion will act as a meeting place and a venue for events and exhibitions for the duration of the festival.

For more information, go here.

New Agency: Owning Your Future

Melbourne practice Sibling wants to get audiences thinking about the future with this “public investigation” and design research project at the Tin Sheds Gallery.

With an exhibition and an accompanying series of events, New Agency will bring together experts in design, architecture and ageing to imagine what the “longevity revolution” will mean for the cities, homes and lives of Australians in the future.

Visitors will take part in a discussion about the dwellings of tomorrow and engaging in activities including “exploring precedents on a spinning Lazy Susan, a guided meditation, and sketching out their desires via a survey.” The interactions will for part of Sibling’s design research project.

New Agency runs from 1 to 4 March. Details here.

MAAS Indigenous Design Symposium

In keeping with the overall theme of the 2019 festival, this symposium will examine a complex set of design principles developed over more than 60,000.

Over a two-day program, presenters will share experiences, perspectives and knowledge from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective, asking “how we can engage-with, sustain and re-position skills and ways-of-doing” accrued over millennia.

The MAAS Indigenous Design Symposium takes place on 9 and 10 March.

Steel: Art Design Architecture 

This touring exhibition, organized by Jam Factory and presented in Sydney by the Australian Design Centre, is an exploration of the uses Australian architects, artists and designers have found for that most versatile of alloys, steel.

The works presented by 29 different exhibitors range from delicate jewellery pieces to large buildings, like the Australian Plantbank by BVN in the Australian Botanic Garden in Canberra.

The exhibition runs from 1 February to 3 April at the Australian Design Centre.

From 5 to 8 March a series of accessible tours for the aged, carers, school groups and deaf hard of hearing people will run. Details here.

Seidler Screenings: Architecture, Film and Music

The Rose Seidler House will host a night of architecture and film run by Sydney Living Museums on 9 March.

The evening offers a rare opportunity for design enthusiasts to see the interior of one of Harry Seidler’s most beloved residential projects, with interior design experts on hand to explain the methodology behind the design of the house.

The rare films aficionados of the Mu Meson Archives will also lead an audiovisual “journey through the sights and sounds of 1950’s Modernist ideas.”

The night will conclude with the Sydney premiere of Columbus, an American film which pairs the unique modernist architecture of Columbus, Indiana with a story of friendship and the complex family dynamics between the film’s protagonists.