Inside the Collection

Tag: Design and Designers

Sydney’s Capitol Theatre – a century of entertainment

December 29, 2015

Margaret Simpson
Have you ever wondered why the Capitol Theatre in Sydney's Haymarket is such a strange design? It was originally a fruit and veggie market! 2016 marks the theatre’s 100th birthday. What a century it’s been, filled with performing seals, elephants, mermaids and now the von Trapp children.

Stewart Walton for ‘Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced’

October 30, 2015

Melanie Pitkin
One of the greatest pleasures when developing a museum exhibition is collaborating with a breadth of highly talented creatives. In the case of Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced, Kat Bond and Fil Bartkowiak in our design team collaborated with Stewart Walton, an artist, illustrator and furniture designer based in England to create our paper doll making activity space.

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.

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.

Curating shoes: from heel to toe

December 17, 2014

Melanie Pitkin
On 29 November 2014, the Museum opened 'RECOLLECT: Shoes' – a new exhibition inspired by the idea of visible display storage. Comprising more than 800 shoes dating from the 1500s to now, visitors can see everything from the first pair of elastic sided boots in the world made for Queen Victoria in 1837 to designer names like Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent and Lacroix.