Inside the Collection

Category: Design and Designers

From the moon to Camp Quality: Norman Hetherington’s puppets

December 3, 2013

Damian McDonald
Norman Hetherington was a creator of wonder, but also, what may not be as well known, he was a creator of edifying realism. Having served in the Second World War, Hetherington got a taste of and developed a talent for performance art, being part of an entertainment unit.

A private tour of the post WWII chair collection with Dr Paul Donnelly

November 25, 2013

Lynne McNairn
The image above shows a few of the chairs in storage at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre: the museum's off site storage and collection care facility at Castle Hill.  The collection stores are generally not open to the public but behind-the-scenes tours and open days are programmed throughout the year. Please be seated was one such tour conducted for Sydney Design 2013.

Casinos and stadiums: Philip Cox

November 4, 2013

Charles Pickett
The architect Philip Cox recently told us what we already knew:  Star casino in Pyrmont is by far his worst building. Needless to say a Star flack was immediately reassuring the media that almost none of Cox’s 1997 design had survived the casino’s recent renovations.

Bionic body parts – Cochlear in the collection

October 21, 2013

Angelique Hutchison
Recent news of a bionic eye prototype being tested by Bionic Vision Australia is exciting for medical device research in Australia. There’s a number of other ‘retinal prosthesis’ devices being developed in Australia and overseas.

The Opera House industry

October 18, 2013

Charles Pickett
We’ve just installed a small exhibition to mark the fortieth anniversary of Sydney Opera House on 20 October. The anniversary, by the way, is of the official 1973 opening by the Queen, not the first public performance there on the 28 September 1973, an interesting choice of dates.

The original Sacco beanbag – very cool design

September 23, 2013

Lynne McNairn
Beanbags are something I take for granted.  They can be found  in many homes,  in family rooms, teenage bedrooms  and even as pet beds.  They are available in most ‘bargain’ stores and are a symbol of casual (even grotty) student households.

Learning from Denise Scott Brown

September 20, 2013

Charles Pickett
You might have been following the controversy about Denise Scott Brown and the Pritzker Prize. In 1991 Scott Brown’s husband and professional partner Robert Venturi was awarded the Pritzker Prize (often described as architecture’s Nobel Prize).

Condom architecture

September 4, 2013

Charles Pickett
Re-skinning of buildings takes several forms, not all of them particularly reputable. During the 60s and 70s salesmen prowled the suburbs, seeking out fibro and weatherboard cottages that could be re-clad with aluminium or vinyl.

The communising of the mobile computer devise

August 14, 2013

Damian McDonald
'The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall'.  Che Guevara Computing devices are now so ensconced in our lives that the notion of being deprived of one of these devices is seen as a removal of liberty.

Museums and modernism in Marseille

August 12, 2013

Charles Pickett
I’ve been holidaying in Europe recently; mainly Italy and Greece, but we also managed a day in Marseille. France’s oldest and second-largest city is European City of Culture for 2013 so there is even more to see than usual.