Inside the Collection

Tag: design

Design Nation: When Australian Design Moulded the World

March 1, 2018

Damian McDonald
Colonised Australia felt it had grown into an independent, and quite sexy young adult by the 1980s. The 1988 bicentenary was a celebration of all that Europeans had acheived in Australia in 200 years.  It was also a year which benefited from the optimism of the Wran NSW Labor Government - which commissioned, among other public institutions and spaces, the ingeniously designed converted power station as the new home for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Ultimo, Sydney.

The International Auto Buggy – a real “horseless carriage”

January 23, 2018

Margaret Simpson
On Australia Day, 26 January 2018, the CARnivale classic day display will be held in Parramatta Park in Western Sydney. The car I’ve chosen from the Museum’s eclectic automobile collection to exhibit at the event is a 20 hp International Auto Buggy made in 1910.

Life Cycles: Sustainable Materials Library

January 10, 2018

Keinton Butler
In 1907, while developing an alternative to shellac, a natural resin secreted from the East Asian lac bug and used to insulate electrical cables in the early 20th century, Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland invented the world’s first mouldable synthetic polymer, called Bakelite.

Amelia Earhart’s last contact

November 29, 2017

Margaret Simpson
This ordinary looking stamped-addressed envelope in the Museum's collection features two signatures, one is of the famous American aviator, Amelia Earhart, and the other F. (Fred) J. Noonan, her navigator during their pioneering world flight in 1937.

New Acquisitions: Kate Rohde’s Deer Vase and bespoke wallpaper

November 7, 2017

Katie Dyer
The artworks of Melbourne-based artist and designer Kate Rohde are recognisable for their exuberant embrace of form and pattern. Baroque in style, highly ornate and vibrating with colour, the works claim a unique position in contemporary Australian design.

Holden is history

October 20, 2017

Margaret Simpson
Australians are reeling with the announcement on 11 December, 2013, that Holden, an Australian icon, will stop building cars here in 2017. How has this happened? With some 66 makes available in Australia these days, twice the choice US drivers have, clearly we don't like football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars quite enough any more.

200th Anniversary of the Bicycle – Highlights from our Collection

October 18, 2017

Margaret Simpson
The year 2017 marks 200 years since the invention of the bicycle, a mode of transport that revolutionised personal travel. The Museum has an eclectic collection of bikes, some of which are currently exhibited in an impressive wall display at the Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill in north-western Sydney.

3D Printing and the Open Source Movement

September 26, 2017

Nina Earl
If you have been to a maker fair or school in the last few years, then you may have seen 3D printers in action. But when did this manufacturing technology first emerge and why was there so much hype? 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing, where the object is created by laying down successive layers of building material until the desired form is reached.

The Mystery of Mrs Janet McDonald

July 28, 2017

Marcus Hughes

This wedding dress was worn by an Australian Indigenous women identified as Mrs Janet McDonald. Do you know anything about her?

Radio Birdman: Deniz Tek – A Wasp man

July 19, 2017

Damian McDonald
When Deniz Tek, medical student, audiophile and guitarist met Rob Younger in the early 1970s amidst the satin flares and platform boots that then graced Sydney’s pub stages the two students could see and hear that energy, rebellion, intelligence and true social comment were sorely missing.