Thursday, 6 October 2011

Orange - Design Gallery Exhibition

Orange exhibition - October 6th - 28th
Design Gallery
10am-4pm Monday-Friday
Level 1 - 175 Collins Street

The Skyhooks debut album ‘Living in the Seventies’, released in October 1974, declared loud and clear that it was a great time to live in Melbourne. Home Beautiful magazine declared with its April 1973 cover that the colour orange was “in” and homes from Balwyn to Beaumaris made the dream a reality. 'Orange' is an exhibition currently being shown at the Design Gallery in Collins Street, home of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).

Home Beatiful magazine cover April 1973 featuring Featherson Stem chairs by Aristoc.

'Orange' celebrates the creative talent of local designers through a collection of orange products designed and manufactured in Australia.

The seventies was about bright colours as designers grasped the opportunity provided by developments in plastics to mould solid colours in exciting space age materials. Manufacturers looking for innovation and award-winning design, employed on staff or as consultants the emerging crop of professional designers from local universities. Like we have recognised the members of Skyhooks, these once young and influential designers are now recognised for their contribution to our culture, many as Hall of Fame members of the Design Institute of Australia.

Curated by Ian Wong and drawing from his private collection of Australian-designed products, the exhibition is a rich nostalgic journey as we return to objects familiar from our own past. “Built in 1971 our family home had orange vinyl chairs, orange floral curtains and my bedroom had a bright orange nylex clothes bin,” said curator Ian Wong. “The Holden Sandman and Wiltshire Staysharp knives are Victorian designed classics from this period.”'Orange' also includes a few earlier vintage pieces and some more recent examples of local designers’ use of orange.

Products featured include the Wiltshire Staysharp Knife, Holden Sandman, BX Plastics Bickie Bins, original $20 note, Décor egg cups, measuring cups and stacking kitchen canisters, Willow coolers, Bessemer dinner sets, Nylex kitchen tidy, Kambrook powerboards, and the Prince Phillip Prize winning GE kettle. A star of the show is a rare public outing for the iconic Aristoc Stem chair by Grant and Mary Featherston which was featured on the Home Beautiful cover and is provided courtesy of Gordon Mather Industries.

Aristoc Stem chair designed by Grant and Mary Featherston 1968

Designers represented include Grant and Mary Featherston, Phillip Zmood, Richard Carlson, Tony Wolfenden, Brian Davis, Charles Furey, Garry Emery, Gordon Andrews, Lionel Suttie, Peter Bayly, Kjell Grant, Geoff Fitzpatrick, Barry Hudson, Richard Henderson, and the design studios at Holden and Ford Australia.

Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame member Phillip Zmood concept sketch for the Holden LX Torana hatchback and advertising image.

Torana LX Hatchback brochure image.

This exhibition has evolved out of a presentation by Ian Wong as part of the highly successful Design Institute of Australia ‘Top 5x5’ series and Ian’s PhD research into the history of industrial design in Victoria. Ian writes a blog and is a lecturer in industrial design at RMIT University. Previous exhibitions curated by Ian Wong include Zmood - Designing Holdens at Melbourne Museum and 175 Years of Design in Victoria as part of the State of Design Festival.

'Orange' is now on until October 28th at the
Design Gallery
Design Institute of Australia
10am-4pm Monday-Friday
Level 1
175 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: 1300 888 056
Tel: +61 3 9662 2345 (intl)

Ian Wong
M 0409554964

Click this link to see more "Orange" posts

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