From tours and workshops to public architecture, Sydney Design Week is set to happen across the harbour city in September 2023. The program overall is titled ‘Amodern’ and is then organised along six fields of enquiry – Eco Systems, Material Cultures, Communal Cities, Micro Cycles, Connected Threads and Photofields.

The ‘Amodern’ title comes as a response to the work of French philosopher and sociologist, Bruno Latour (1947-2022), with the multiple fields of enquiry aimed at exploring the complex and interconnected social and natural ecologies in which contemporary design operates.

‘Amodern’ program announced for Sydney Design Week 2023
First floor Ace Hotel Sydney, which is also set to co-present a series of talks, workshops and a special Supper Session.

One of this year’s highlights – ‘Architecture Amplified: Building Communities’ – is set to take place at PHIVE, Parramatta’s civic and cultural hub designed by Manuelle Gautrand in partnership with Lacoste + Stevenson and DesignInc. The forum, led by curator Kate Goodwin and Sibling Architecture co-director Qianyi Lim, will interrogate the relationships between architecture, communities and equitable environments through a vibrant program of walks, talks and site-specific performances. 

Lim features in INDESIGN magazine issue #90 alongside Chris Fox, who also features at an event for Sydney Design Week. ‘Imagine a city: Drawing workshop’ at the Ultimo musem will give participants an opportunity to work with artists and architects to imagine cities, focusing on building that creates meaningful relationships between people, environment and stories.

Related: A Line, A Web, A World exhibition

‘Amodern’ program announced for Sydney Design Week 2023
Joel Sherwood Spring, 2022, courtesy of the artist.

Elsewhere, ‘Objects Testify’is a community-engaged program exploring the colonial legacies of Australia’s built environment and its ongoing impact on First Nations communities. The event will be led by Wiradjuri anti-disciplinary artist and Powerhouse design resident Joel Sherwood Spring and takes place at UTS Gallery.

The keynote speaker, meanwhile, will be South Korean designer Kwangho Lee, whose work is notable for creating fresh perspectives on everyday objects and are included in permanent collections at Powerhouse, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A special keynote is set to take place at Powerhouse Ultimo on 16 September, in which Lee will provide further insights into his practice.

‘Amodern’ program announced for Sydney Design Week 2023
Kwangho Lee, photograph by Jihoon Kang.

“‘Amodern’, the 27th Sydney Design Week, platforms the critical research, industries, infrastructure and technologies that underpin design practice in Sydney, while embracing plural perspectives from our local communities,” says creative director Keinton Butler, who is responsible for programming the event with the support of principal partner Holdmark Property Group.

Meanwhile, NSW Minister for the Arts John Graham comments: “We are fortunate in NSW to have so many talented designers working here in their local communities. It’s great to see a program that is putting a spotlight on designers who are working on ways to recycle waste and create sustainable products.”   

‘Amodern’ program announced for Sydney Design Week 2023
‘Jetsam’ table made of ocean plastic aggregate and bio-resin, by Brodie Neill, 2022m, photograph by Angela Moore.

Powerhouse chief executive Lisa Havilah also notes that “Powerhouse is committed to sustainable and ethical research and design principles to create a future where nature is embedded into architecture. To coincide with the launch of Sydney Design Week, Powerhouse has announced the acquisition of the Jetsam table by acclaimed Australian designer Brodie Neill who collaborated with marine scientists to create this iconic work from recycled plastic found in the ocean. This is one of the most significant recent design acquisitions by the museum and is a pivotal moment for the Powerhouse collection.”

Sydney Design Week


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