Inside the Collection

Category: Design

The Goods Line – then and now

September 3, 2015

Margaret Simpson
Yesterday I took a stroll along Sydney's newest pedestrian walkway, The Goods Line. It opened last Sunday (30 August 2015) and goes from the Ultimo Road railway bridge to the Museum's new entrance in Macarthur Street, Ultimo, an inner Sydney suburb.

Henry Ford’s Model T and its impact in Australia

July 30, 2015

Margaret Simpson
It was Henry Ford's dream to "democratise the automobile" by not only making it available to the rich but to everyone. He did this by producing the inexpensive Model T, a car which took the world by storm and was a significant invention during the Industrial Revolution.

Shirley Martin: Australian industrial designer

July 29, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
Shirley Martin was a female industrial designer based in Sydney who had a long and illustrious career as a post-WWII Australian textile and ceramic designer. She is best known for designing the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games towel, but there is much more to her remarkable design industry success story.

Florence Broadhurst’s Fabulous Foils

July 28, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
From the mid 19th century, wallpapers used in Australia had predominantly been imported from Britain, but also from France, Canada and America. In 1959, Florence Broadhurst decided to buck the trend.

A Fashion Affair: Romance Was Born and MAAS

June 24, 2015

Roger Leong
Our Annual Appeal this year is focussed on acquiring the latest collection by Australian fashion label, Romance Was Born. MAAS has a long relationship with Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, the designers behind the label, as our collection has informed their practice over many years.

Australia’s Surfing History and Surfboard Design

June 19, 2015

Margaret Simpson
  On Saturday 20 June 2015 about 30 countries around the world will be celebrating International Surfing Day, Australia included. The idea is to celebrate surfing and the surfing lifestyle with contests and barbecues.

Hartmut Esslinger lets rip on design

May 29, 2015

Tilly Boleyn
While visiting Sydney, German born American design luminary and provocateur Hartmut Esslinger set aside time to visit the Museum for the second time in six months and present his views on design. Convergent design and originality have long underpinned Hartmut’s practice since his early days as founder of Frogdesign.

Japanese Folds exhibition

May 27, 2015

Min-Jung Kim
Japanese Folds (16 May-21 June 2015) is a playful exhibition showing contemporary fashion items and decorative arts from the Museum’s collection centred on the Japanese practice of folding. The exhibition provides an insight into the folding design concept with a focus on the way contemporary Japanese designers have adapted and incorporated traditional folding practices into their work.

Mouse slippers’ label receives international honour

April 1, 2015

Tilly Boleyn
‘Mouse slippers’, a label from the Powerhouse exhibition The Oopsatoreum, is one of 10 labels honoured in this year’s annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition, an international award sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums in partnership with the Museology Graduate Program at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Form Without Ornament: A New Industrial Design Process

March 25, 2015

Tilly Boleyn
Our Interface exhibition unpacks some strategies employed by designers to simplify the way we use information technology (IT) tools. But surprisingly, the earliest objects in the exhibition are not IT artefacts at all but come from our decorative arts collection.

Obituary: John Smith, August 1948 – 24 February 2015

March 4, 2015

Tilly Boleyn
This post was written by Grace Cochrane AM, independent curator and writer, Sydney; former senior curator of Australian decorative arts and design, MAAS, Powerhouse Museum. It is very sad to hear of the death on 24 February 2015, of John Smith, a key figure in furniture designing and making in Australia for over 40 years.

World War One grenades: one with a lifesaving little lever

September 22, 2014

Damian McDonald
The weapon which would conjure up a - albeit highly visceral - image World War One trench warfare would be the rifle bayonet. So much grainy footage of young men charging across no-man’s-land with bayonets fixed gives us the impression that that was the main strategy of trench battle.