Category: Design and Designers

Ultimo on the edge

July 21, 2014

The Powerhouse is located in what is now the densest suburb in Australia. With 14,300 people per square kilometre Pyrmont/Ultimo packs more residents into less space than any suburb or town in the nation.

Powerhouse goes to Venice

June 11, 2014

The Venice Architecture Biennale launched on the weekend. As the new Australian pavilion is under construction the Australian exhibition for Venice uses augmented reality apps to create Augmented Australia, a virtual, mobile exhibition.

Monterey Moderne

June 9, 2014

With design historian Michael Bogle I recently completed a heritage report and a visitors’ guide called Monterey Moderne.  Commissioned by Rockdale City Council the report and guide are about a group of 1930s houses in the streamlined Moderne style in the small suburb of Monterey on the western shore of Botany Bay.

3D printing in the Powerhouse Museum collection

June 4, 2014

3D printing is the buzz word of the moment. Some say we will all soon be printing out nifty little plastic things on our home 3D printers. It is already possible to replicate body parts for implantation in the human body.

The Art of Curating

June 2, 2014

As the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney undertakes a restructure, downsizing staff numbers as it endeavours to become more nimble and sustainable, curators will soon be re-applying for their jobs.

Telling the Strictly Ballroom story

April 28, 2014

Back in 1992, when Strictly Ballroom had just been released its producer Tristram Miall donated the movie costumes to the Powerhouse. Tristram was aware that this was not just any movie wardrobe. The costumes are the product of lengthy research – our collection also holds albums of snapshots taken at Dance Sport events while the costumes were being designed.

Fibro coast

April 16, 2014

The Gold Coast City Gallery has been displaying the exhibition Fibro Coast; it will soon be at the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery. Fibro Coast is about the holiday architecture that is still a feature of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

Max Dupain and Chris Vandyke

March 17, 2014

You might have seen the story re the State Library of NSW's recent acquisition of a photo album containing a different version of Max Dupain's well-known 1937 'Sunbaker' photo. That Max disliked the widely published version doesn't strike me as headline cultural news (well done to the State Library's pr people tho).

This week, in Game Masters, Part II…

March 5, 2014

As promised, the newly acquired Magnavox Odyssey gaming console went on exhibit in the Game Masters exhibition mid-February. If you’re looking for it, it’s just before ‘Arcade Heroes’ in the alcove of Game Masters; just across from the double click showcase housing similarly exciting game consoles from the Powerhouse Museum Collection.

Neons and museums

February 17, 2014

A few years back I was interviewed about the fate of Sydney’s neon advertising signs: 'The great age of neon has passed,' laments Charles Pickett, a curator of design and society at the Powerhouse Museum, an institution that houses the AWA sign that once sat atop the eponymous1930s skyscraper, and a

Love and jewellery

February 14, 2014

Love it or hate it, it’s Valentine’s Day! A day that has celebrated romantic love in the West since the Middle Ages, it is often marked with the giving of gifts as tokens of love. Love and jewellery have long been associated with each other, from betrothal to mourning; it has been given and worn to show passion, devotion and loss.

Utility and beauty through science

January 22, 2014

Do you know what a heliostat is? As with most scientific instruments, I had my educated guesses but didn’t know for sure. Luckily my colleagues are Matthew Connell and Nick Lomb and they can assist me in understanding my curiosities.