Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Talking Design - Steven Crafti

Talking Design is an itunes podcast series aiming to review design in all its facets - from architecture to industrial design, from fashion to automotive design.

Talking Design is produced by experienced writer Stephen Crafti and sponsored by RMIT.

Mr Crafti writes regularly on design for publications including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Australian Financial Review, as well Indesign and Habitus magazines. He has also written more than 30 books on architecture and design.

"I'm interested in speaking to a host of designers from a broad range of design disciplines," Mr Crafti said.

"There are so many connections between the various design areas.

"RMIT is renowned as a global university of technology and design and this new podcast series is a perfect fit with the University's expertise."

Talking Design follows the successful launch of the Talking Business podcast series last year, sponsored by RMIT's College of Business.

Ian Wong
Robert Simeoni
Nixon, Tulloch and Fortey
Jarrod Haberfield
Michael Howard
Melanie Katsalidis
Chris Rack
Amy Muir
Johanna Preston
Suzanne Davies
Andrew Parr
Piero Gesualdi
Debbie Ryan
Stewart Russell
Professor Margaret Gardner
Tim O’Sullivan and Sioux Clark
Robyn Healy
Roger Leong

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Michael O'Connell - The Lost Modernist

Professor Harriet Edquist launched her latest book Michael O'Connell - The Lost Modernist tonight at Embiggen Books. Michael O'Connell's son Seamus flew into Australia this week from England to attend the book launch and opening of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s exhibition. He spoke providing insights into Michael and in particular he expressed his appreciation to Harriet for this recognition of his fathers career. He spoke about retrieving boxes of material from the attic and how he could almost see the project emerge in Harriet's eyes.  I have had the pleasure of seeing this project evolve since 2009 whilst working with Harriet in the RMIT Design Archives.

Michael O'Connell The Lost Modernist by Harriet Edquist.

Professor Harriet Edquist launches her latest book on textile designer Michael O'Connell.

Professor Harriet Edquist signs a copy of her latest book Michael O'Connell - The Lost Modernist.

Book launch at Embiggen Books for Michael O'Connell - The Lost Modernist.

Michael O'Connell - The Lost Modernist by author Harriet Edquist designed by Sean Hogan of Trampoline.


Bendigo Art Gallery
26 November - 19 February

The lost modernist examines the work of British/Australian textile artist Michael O’Connell. Born in Cumbria in 1898 O’Connell moved to Australia in 1920. Over the following 17 years he became a critical member of the burgeoning Modernist movement in Melbourne. 

O’Connell, a member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Melbourne, made an enormous contribution to the development of modernism in Australia through his innovative and dynamic textiles. On his return to the UK in 1937, O’Connell became a key figure in contemporary textile design, working with renowned textile manufacturer Heals. O’Connell was also commissioned to produce the celebrated Festival of Britain wall hangings in 1951, which are now in the collection of the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Professor Harriet Edquist, Director, Design Archives RMIT University and Tansy Curtin, Senior Curator, Bendigo Art Gallery. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Clement Meadmore - Stool

RMIT University industrial design alumnus Clement Meadmore designed this simple stool in the 1950s in Melbourne. Sold under the brand MEADMORE ORIGINALS other products designed by Meadmore included; bar stools, tables, telephone tables a range of chairs. Product can be identified by the simple manufacturers stamp as shown.

Clement Meadmore stool.

Meadmore Originals stamp on the base of a Clement Meadmore designed stool.

Grant Featherston - Mitzi chair

The Mitzi chair designed for Aristoc Industries by Grant Featherston in 1957 featured in the Exhibition 175 years of Design in Victoria. This burnt orange example was one of a set of four recently added to my collection.

Aristoc Industries Mitzi chair designed by Grant Featherston 1957.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

EN-V Concept Car Video - GM Holden

Latest video presentation and images of the GM EN-V concept car. GM Holden's advanced design studio in Fisherman's Bend Melbourne contributed to the global design project with the blue “Xiao” (Happy) concept.

General Motors Japan Ltd. is displaying the next-generation Chevrolet EN-V concept vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show’s “Smart Mobility City 2011” from Nov. 30 through Dec.11. It is the first Asian showing of the concept under the Chevrolet brand.

Video featuring GM Holden advanced design team work on EN-V.

Fresh Orange - Collection grows

The ORANGE exhibition has just closed but the collecting continues.

Award winning Wiltshire Staysharp Knife set designed by Bayly Design

The Decor Icicle insulated ice bowl designed by Tony Wolfenden. This ice bucket is one of the first products designed by Tony for Brian Davis.

Bessemer ash tray designed by Lionel Suttie.

Decor savory tray set including set with original packaging.

Crown Corning dish by Charles Furey.

Kambrook food and water heater in original packaging. This product is was of the first for Frank Bannigan.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Dean Benstead - O2 Pursuit Launch

The O2 Pursuit air powered motorbike designed by RMIT industrial design student Dean Benstead was launched today at the Sydney Motorcycle and Scooter show.

O2 Pursuit air powered motorbike launch with designer Dean Benstead.

(Image courtesy!/JodieRichmond)

Picture: Charles Brewer
NEWS.COM.AU Photo Here

Video of O2 Pursuit and interview with designer Dean Benstead.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ed Linacre - James Dyson Award Winner 2011

Congratulations to Swinburne University industrial design graduate Ed Linacre for his success in winning the James Dyson Award for 2011. Brilliant!

Industrial designer Ed Linacre.

GOTYA Awards Launch - Design Education Practice Group

The Design Institute of Australia & DIA VIC / TAS Design Education Practice Group will launch the 2011 VIC / TAS Graduate of The Year Awards program on Thursday 8th December at Donkey Wheel House. The launch will feature a presentation by guest speaker Ed Linacre - winner 2011 James Dyson Award & 2010 GOTYA Industrial Design.

The results of ED (DIA Student Council) Design Wrap will also be on view.
Thursday 8th December
6.30 - 8.30pm
Donkey Wheel House
673 Bourke Street Melbourne
DIA VIC/TAS Graduate of The Year Awards 2011
RSVP by Monday 5th December -

The GOTYA program is open to any student enrolled in a recognised degree or diploma course in their graduating year at a participating VIC / TAS educational institution.

GOTYA award winner 2010 Ed Linacre. (Image courtesy DIA)

DIA story on Ed Linacre here.

More links to interviews with Ed Linacre here   and   here

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Sir George Cox - Design Gallery visit

Eminent UK design policy expert and past Chairman of the UK Design Council, Sir George Cox visited the Design Gallery at the Design Institute of Australia whilst in Melbourne today. The AWA P4 17inch b&w television designed by William Moody is part of the permanent collection in the Powerhouse Museum and is just one of the many orange products featured in the current exhibition ORANGE curated by Ian Wong.

Sir George Cox discusses Australian design with Hall of Fame designer Geoff Fitzpatrick and curator Ian Wong whilst visiting the Design Gallery and viewing the current exhibition ORANGE.

Powerhouse Museum AWA P4 item link here.

Kjell Grant - Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection

Kjell Grant and I often chat because our offices have been next to each other for the past four years. Today we had a great chat about Melbourne Movement and his early career work for Stanford University with Roy Grounds, the ceremonial furniture for Monash University and a lot about the commission for Montreal Expo 67 with Robin Boyd. Kjell's face lights up as he pays tribute to the craftsmen who he had the pleasure to work with on projects like the Montreal Chair which is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Powerhouse Museum. "They were bloody good.....". It occurred to me as I sat in this iconic chair that I had not seen before an image of Kjell with his most notable work. He kindly agreed to my request for an image.

Designer Kjell Grant with the iconic Montreal Chair designed for Montreal Expo 67.

Powerhouse Museum link here.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Murray Camens - Philips Roller Radio design icon.

Murray Camens studied industrial design in South Australia before following his career to London. Murray first worked for Conran before gaining a position with Philips in Eindhoven.

I met Murray in 2010 at his office in Amsterdam during my PhD research into Philips CID in Melbourne. The iconic Roller Radio was often a feature of my lectures to students on design practice so I was delighted to learn of the Australian connection. It has taken over twelve months but I have recently added a bright yellow Roller Radio to my collection.

Iconic Roller Radio by industrial designers Murray Camens, Graham Hinde and Bob Vranken

Industrial designer Murray Camens.

Text below from an interview with Robert Blaich. Here

In the mid 1980′s a Philips Consumer Electronics marketing survey revealed that by the age of 20 brand loyalties are already well established. The study also had some bad news for Philips. It documented that young people in Europe considered Philips Consumer Electronics products as stodgy and uninteresting to young people and that they preferred Japanese products. A Youth Task Force was established to study the problem and set the course for action.
As a member of the Task Force I proposed that we concentrate on the “Life Style” of the Youth” (A new term at the time) and we put forth a new design of a radio-cassette recorder called the “Roller”

The design was based on a concept by a young English Designer Graham Hinde (who’s in practice called GRO Design in Eindhoven, The Netherlands). Together with designers Murray Camens and Bob Vranken the idea was developed and Philips launched it with much fanfare. It caught the fancy of young people in Europe and was very successful. The “Roller” has been celebrated in design award competitions and was featured in articles about product design trends. It became a “Design Icon”. The “Roller” was also the spark for a full scale program called “Moving Sound” The program was designed to capture the hearts and minds and lifelong loyalty of young people worldwide. “Moving Sound” was also a breakthrough for Philips in introducing a coordinated program of promotional materials . Design was the key element in driving the highly directed marketing and communications effort; Product Graphics, and Packaging design were the basis on which all subsequent sales displays, advertising and promotional material were developed. The term “Moving Sound” indicated that the radios were portable ( moveable) and that they Moved You (Emotionally)

From the “Moving Sound” program was conceived as a long term strategy in which successive generations of products, promotion and advertising would be launched. Each year a new “Moving Sound” series would be introduced, just as sportswear and other fashion products present new looks to the fashion conscious youth. The “Moving Sound” program had benefits not only to Electronics but to Philips image in general. ” Moving Sound” was in it’s fifth generation by 1991 and had sold millions of radios. The “Roller and Moving Sound” programs are excellent examples of a Design Led program. We did the basic research, designed the products, packaging and display materials and strongly influenced the advertising design. The designers themselves were young and multi-national ( English, Australian. American and Dutch)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Technology - Humaniod Military Robot developments

RMIT Exhibition - Product Design

RMIT Product Design program invite all to ...come meet the new circle of minds in design at the:

Product Design
Graduation Exhibition
Wednesday 23rd November
ECO Outdoors
422 Burnley Street

Link to RMIT Product Design program here

Sherlock Kids Wheelbarrow - Sand pit project

A sand pit project is often the term for a pet project, something pie in the sky that you don't expect will end up in production. It is where you might play as a designer.

The brief to design a high quality children's wheelbarrow for Australia's premium wheel barrow brand SHERLOCK was never a sand pit just had to end up there. Designing quality products for children's play and in particular outdoor play is particularly rewarding.

Silvan Australia CEO Michael Tricarico's brief to EJO design was to provide concepts for a premium children's wheelbarrow with innovative features and as a build your own experience for parents or grandparents. Features evolved like the easy grab handle that doubles as a hanging point and the front bumper that protects interior walls and is a foot so unit can be stored against a wall preserving floor space. Fasteners and assembly details were developed to ensure Santa would not be up all night Xmas night.

This project also assisted RMIT industrial design students to see an industry based project from concept to production with early concept sketches, mockup and prototypes shared with students as the project evolved.

The Sherlock kids wheel barrow has arrived for Xmas 2011.


Sherlock Kids wheelbarrow.

Sherlock Kids wheelbarrow designed by industrial designer Ian Wong

Catalogue product release for Sherlock kids wheelbarrow.

CAD render of early concept shared with RMIT students during product development.

Early 1:1 mockups to test ergonomics and proportions. Students at RMIT industrial design observed design practice first hand.

Assembly/Knock down kit details explored.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

ORANGE Exhibition - Extended to November 25th

ORANGE - Living in the 70s has been invited to remain at the Design Gallery for an extended period and will now close on November 25th.

Wiltshire Staysharp Knife designed by industrial designer Peter Bayly.

Wong's World - Creative origins

I was asked recently about my background growing up in Shepparton and my early creative works. I have always considered my rural background an asset. It was great growing up in Shepp.

Working in my parent's business which had many diverse divisions from retail to manufacturing was a strong influence on my career. My appreciation of brand and identity was also formed at a young age seeing the family business logo used across building signage, paper bags, and even promotional key rings like the one I still have as a treasured memento.

Wong's World Shepparton

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Research outcomes - RMIT University

Congratulations to Phillip Zmood and Damian Lucaciu and all those alumni that feature in RMIT's most recent media production. Damian's taxi project was undertaken in my 4th year studio in 2008 and I have had the pleasure of curating Phillip's career in the 2010 exhibition Zmood - Designing Holdens at Melbourne Museum.

Phillip Zmood at RMIT with fellow Holden designer Bernie Walsh and PhD researcher Ian Wong.

Filming for RMIT media production with Phillip Zmood and Sebring Orange Monaro. Gabriel from the Monaro club responded to a request posted on this blog. I was delighted with the response from club members. This was also an excellent opportunity to collect additional material for my PhD research.

Post on Monaro campus visit here.

RMIT media production featuring industrial design alumni Phillip Zmood and Damian Lucaciu.

RMIT PhD researcher Ian Wong examines the Monaro wheel trim sketch by Phillip Zmood at the RMIT Design Archives

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Inkling Demo - RMIT Wacom Lab by Bernie Walsh

Bernie Walsh demonstrates the inkling in the RMIT Wacom Lab.

Inkling demo concept sketch by Bernie Walsh. 

Concept sketching with wacom inkling. Results when imported inkling concept sketch into Autodesk Studio Designer were amazing.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Concept vehicle RMIT University 2011 - Industrial Design

Single person transport concept vehicle by RMIT University student Ryan Fonceca.

Project supervised by automotive designer and RMIT alumnus Bernie Walsh and supported by Delineate and Autodesk. Ryan was also supported in 2010 though is CO-OP year at GM Australia as part of this highly successful industry program.

Ryan Fonceca video

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Duperite - Dad's Day 1953

The local Church Fete provided a jewel for my collection of Victorian designed products in the form of a set of carpet bias bowls. Piled amongst a huge array of discard toys from our consumer generation were these once treasured and still perfectly functional Duperite bowls.  Dad's Day 1953 is written in biro on the box so these are almost sixty years old. Many of the imported toys sharing the stall were less than one year old. Note (Australiasia) in company name suggests how export orientated manufacturers were post war. Moulded Products (Australasia) Limited were plastics pioneers and these bowls were some of the earliest products manufactured by the company that would become Nylex.

Duperite brand Carpet Bias Bowls manufactured by Moulded Products (Australasia) Limited

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Kambrook - Under my nose.

Helping a mate carry furniture up stairs will often result in a cold beer as thanks. In my case I was just happy to spot this Kambrook Drill tidy still in use on the veranda....I did also have the beer.

Designed for Kambrook, I assume by Robert Pataki Design, the tidy is just another example of the work of this studio in the mid 1980s. It is brilliant to find these items being used as intended by the designer some thirty years after the canson paper rendering done with white prismalo pencil, black pilot fineliner and pental sign pen, markers and pastel was untaped from the drawing board. Note the letraset graphic for the artwork "DRILL TIDY"

Kambrook Drill Tidy designed by Robert Pataki Design

ODO - Buro North

ODO Cafe at the Black Rock clock tower on Beach Road is a very popular spot for a latte at any time but especially on a sunny Spring morning. While queueing for my coffee this morning who should appear but Soren Luckins. Soren is one of my students from industrial design at Swinburne University and had dropped in to say hi to ODO's owner Lucas Sproson, also a graduate from industrial design at Swinburne. ODO is one of Soren's design studio Buro North's early projects designing custom furniture and the interior.

 ODO cafe Black Rock designed by industrial designer Soren Luckins

Buro North director Soren Luckins and ODO proprietor Lucas catch up for coffee.

Interior detail of ODO cafe by Buro North.

Cafe ODO

Cnr Beach Rd & Bluff Rd
Black Rock, VIC 3193