Inside the Collection

Category: Design and Designers

Beyond the object: collecting design process material

February 18, 2013

Debbie Rudder
This neat Australian-made Braille note-taker, the Jot a Dot,  is on display in the Powerhouse Museum's version of Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention. I selected it to complement the story of inventor Louis Braille, which came with the exhibition but without any objects.

Demolishing Darling Harbour

February 6, 2013

Charles Pickett
You might have read recently in the Sydney Morning Herald about the planned demolition of Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. The Centre’s architect John Andrews is not surprisingly unimpressed that another of his Australian designs is under threat after a mere 25 years of use.

In memory of Keith Hensel, Australian product designer

January 25, 2013

Angelique Hutchison
Keith Hensel was principal designer at Breville, and previously a designer with Sunbeam and Nielsen Design Associates. For more than 20 years he had been involved in designing household products from lighting to kettles, toasters to toothbrushes.

Opera House models

January 21, 2013

Charles Pickett
It is 56 years this month since Jorn Utzon's success in the design competition for the Sydney Opera House. During January 1957 the four judges (they were all architects: Cobden Parkes, Eero Saarinen, Ingham Ashworth and Leslie Martin) looked through more than 700 entries.

Tribute to Harry Rogers: legendary Qantas poster designer

December 14, 2012

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
Sadly, the Powerhouse Museum farewelled two more supporters this year – poster artist Harry Rogers (b. 20 November 1929 – d.19 May 2012) and his wife Valmai (Val) Rogers, who died on 23 November 2012.

Dream Homes

December 5, 2012

Charles Pickett
The poster artwork above is the work of

The future of Sydney’s transport – a view from the 1940s

October 8, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Why not a helicopter from Wynard to Town Hall? Charles Frederick Beauvais, an illustrator and industrial designer came up a with a variety of futurists transport solutions for Sydney in the 1940s. In this drawing of a futuristic Sydney he shows an helicopter bus service from Wynard Station to Sydney suburbs.

The Museum’s fotoplayer comes to life again

September 24, 2012

Kate Chidlow
The Powerhouse Museum’s Style 20 Fotoplayer is a wonderful instrument on display in the Kings Cinema within the Museum. It was made to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent movies and is an upright player piano, with an effects box.

The first pedal bicycle

August 17, 2012

Debbie Rudder
This early pedal bicycle is a good example of a velocipede or boneshaker. It is on display in the Powerhouse Museum during August 2012 as part of a small exhibition titled 'Bicycle: simple idea, complex evolution' that I curated for the Ultimo Science Festival.

Olympic Superbike

August 3, 2012

Margaret Simpson
With the 2012 London Olympics currently enthralling the world, it’s timely to have a look at the Powerhouse Museum’s Olympic bike. It was designed and made in Australia and similar ones were used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Olympic Games Torch, let the games begin

July 27, 2012

Anni Turnbull
  As the the 2012 Olympic Games opens in London who can forget the excitement of the Olympic Games in Sydney, the touring of the Olympic torch around the country and moment of lighting at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000?

How to make a stained glass window, Handel-style

July 18, 2012

Melanie Pitkin
Picture a large stained glass window inside a cathedral. You see a variety of colours - perhaps a contrast of red and blue, long slivers of yellow, or a striking sea of white. A pattern emerges, changing your interpretation of the window.