ADC Timeline

AUSTRALIAN DESIGN CENTRE TIMELINE

This timeline covers events, exhibitions and significant moments in the life of ADC from 1965 to today. Our timeline is a living document. Research is ongoing to fill gaps in the earlier years of the ADC’s history.

2016:

2015:

  • Open new premises on William St, Darlinghurst
  • Name evolves to Australian Design Centre
  • Australian Design Honours was launched to celebrate the ADC’s 50th anniversary that showcased Australia’s design icons. The inaugural recipients of Australian Design Honours formed the founding membership that extends beyond 2015
  • Future Nature explored possible futures posed by artists, designers and architects tapping the field of bio-mimicry in partnership with the Australian Museum
  • ADC hosted two designers in residence over three months, Eggpicnic and Justin Cawley as part of Future Nature
  • Cloth from Seeds to Bloom: 20 Years in the Making, an exhibition featured textile artist, celebrated 20 years of Julie Paterson’s studio ‘Cloth’.
  • Scented Intoxication, exhibited the work of Lyn Balzer and Anthony Perkins who have worked together for over 15 years in the fields of photography, object and accessory design
  • The Gold Club was a three-part series that featured influential women in Australian design. Showcased at VIVID Ideas 2015 and Sydney Design 2015, this series highlighted how these women have contributed to the Australian art, craft and design landscape 2014

2014:

  • New Weave: Contemporary Approaches to the Traditions of Weaving, cocurated by Carrie Mulford and Lisa Cahill, pushed the boundaries of the woven form by focusing on artists and designers who are re-appropriated traditional weaving techniques to create intricate and striking wearables, objects and installations
  • Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design, featuring works by 12 designer from the highly acclaimed Workshopped series of exhibitions held in Sydney
  • Idea Bombing Sydney: The Gallery Edition –featured a program that combined meet-ups, popup bar, talk series and community brainstorm, as Object partnered with Idea Bombing Sydney
  • Audio Design Museum as part of Sydney Design 2014 broadcast daily design led conversations on FBi Radio
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels, curated by Object’s Sandra Brown, showcased the eighth Living Treasure in the series. The exhibition launched at its partnering institution Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston before commencing its 17 venue national tour that began in Sydney at Object

2013:

  • CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade, curated by Danielle Robson with Kathryn Hunyor, Head of Creative Programs at Object, opens in Sydney at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
  • Designer Bodies Talk Series as part of CUSP was a three-part program hosted by Fenella Kernebone that looked at designers whose works have a direct impact on the human body – from cognitive function, disability and ageing, to the emotional dimension of physical medical conditions
  • CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade 3-year national tour begins
  • 2nd International Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa opens at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan featuring the work of over 30 Indigenous Australian artists co-curated by Steven Pozel and Lisa Cahill. This prestigious Triennale included work from Japan, USA, Taiwan and Australia.
  • Interpretations IIII – Works in Stone, industrial designer Andrew Simpson engaged Australian designers to work with an unfamiliar material.
  • Object and Courtesy of the Artist (COTA) collaborated to present [Ctrl][P] Objects on Demand: a 3D printing lab, an exhibition and a pop-up shop that explored 3D printing
  • Anthony Burke appointed Chair of Object Board

2012:

  • Menagerie – Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture acquired as part of permanent collection of the Australian Museum
  • Women with Clever Hands: Gapuwiyak Miyalkurruwurr Gong Djambatjmala was an exhibition curated by Dr Louise Hamby for Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, featuring the fibre work made by women from Gapuwiyak in Arnhem Land
  • GROUNDBREAKER, in collaboration with UTS Sydney’s ULab, was a laboratory of ideas where a collective of design thinkers and innovation champions created a series of events and public programs to stimulate and engage with design thinking methodologies
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, Nick Mount: Glass
  • Object magazine thrived in the digital landscape with Issues 62 and 63 of the magazine being accessed digitally across 120 countries worldwide. Object magazine 63: Bio-Inspired, which won multiple awards, focused on the blurred distinctions between nature, science and design.
  • EVERGREEN presented a new generation of designers who are changing the look and feel of eco-fashion with innovative designs
  • Name evolves to Object: Australian Design Centre
  • Diana D’Ambra appointed Chair of Object Board
  • Object’s Design Emergency program was extended with a major event at the Vivid Festival working with five schools from across Sydney

2011:

  • Freestyle, opens in Milan, Italy
  • Now and When: Australian Urbanismwas the Australian entry to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 hosted at Object Gallery in a viewing space designed in partnership with Arup
  • Thinking Hyperbolically was the outcome of an inventive course coordinated by Melissa Silk from Sydney International Grammar School in partnership with Object
  • HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics, curated by Danielle Robson, focused on new attitudes, techniques and technologies being embraced by ceramic artists in the 21st century. The exhibition then toured Australia for several years
  • Object magazine returns digitally as an APP through itunes and online, alongside a revamped Object website, digital exhibition content and the launch of Object on iTunes U
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft Robert Baines: Metal with major national tour
  • Object’s annual craft and design curators meeting held in Melbourne
  • Annual Manual: A Guide to Australian Design Now, curated by The Office for Good Design with Kate Rhodes, Object Adjunct Curator, presented Australia’s emerging design talent from universities across the country as well as TAFE graduates and creators from outside the formal education system
  • Design Emergency led by Annette Mauer, Head of Learning at Object, launches as a program that begins to create a new generation of design thinkers and expert problem solvers. Piloted in primary schools in nearby Surry Hills and as far as Wellington in NSW Central West

2010:

  • Audio Design Museum launches as an ongoing project that explores and displays design in its natural habitat – the city –through a series of downloadable audio tours
  • State. Respond. Exploring Sustainable Design, curated by Brian Parkes, invited five design studios to respond to the issue of sustainability in contemporary design practice
  • Yuta Badayala (In a New Light) displayed a range of lights born from a collaboration between furniture designers Koskela and weavers from Elcho Island Arts
  • Spring Series, over 10 weeks, 14 projects and 60 collaborators, Object launched a new experimental program. Projects were conducted inside Object Gallery, in and around Sydney and online
  • Inside Out: Rapid Prototyping, curated by Claire Smith, featured fifty-six miniature sculptures produced in resin using 3D printing technologies by 46 artists and designers from the UK and Australia
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, Jeff Mincham: Ceramics with major national tour

2009:

  • Menagerie – Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture featuring the work of over 30 artists from across Australia, curated by Nicole Foreshew and Brian Parkes, produced in collaboration with the Australian Museum. Menagerie featured the work of 33 established and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Presented across two venues at Object in Surry Hills and at the Australian Museum before beginning 3-year national tour
  • Abundant Australia showcased the exciting potential of Australia’s architects presenting highlights from the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale
  • Design Now! 2009 - Object toured this exhibition to the Melbourne Museum
  • Object presented MATERIALBYPRODUCT’s performance/fashion parade at Cafe Sydney as part of Sydney Design 09
  • seize/collide united a political activist, visual artist, graphic designer, stencil artist and a collective of textile designers, curated by Nicole Foreshew
  • F!NK: fostering design highlighted the role of Robert Foster as the creative force behind F!NK and the partnerships he has fostered with other emerging Australian designers
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft Jeff Mincham: Ceramics - the fifth in this series followed by a tour to 13 other venues around Australia

2008

  • Freestyle: new Australian design for living, opens in Milan, Italy
  • Design Now! was a renewal of Object’s annual national graduate exhibition. Categories for this year’s exhibition were expanded to include graphics, architecture and new media design
  • Botanicals showcased some of the country’s finest ceramics, textiles, jewellery, glass, and homewares curated by Kylie Johnston
  • How You Make It exploring fashion design practices that draw on traditional tailoring techniques to form contemporary collections curated by ADC’s adjunct curator Kate Rhodes
  • Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Exhibition recognised locally and internationally as the most prestigious award in the Australian design sector
  • New work by Richard Whiteley, one of Australia’s foremost artists working in glass
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft Liz Williamson: Textiles - the fourth exhibition in the Living Treasures series followed by a major national tour

2007:

  • Freestyle: new Australian design for living opens across two spaces at Object and National Art School, Sydney
  • Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Exhibition 2007
  • Making and Meaning: Craft in the 21st Century explored the expanding boundaries between contemporary visual art and craft with artists from Canada and Australia
  • Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, Marian Hosking: Jewellery followed with a major national tour
  • Portal, curated by Malcolm Smith, was created entirely in ‘Second Life’ and explored the newly constructed worlds found in virtual space.
  • Object magazine issues 52, 53 and 54 guest edited by Merryn Gates
  • Launch first draft of 2015 strategic plan – A Centre for Creativity and Design
  • Business Breakfast at Café Sydney hosted by Margaret Pomeranz, August 2007, explored the integrative way that ‘design thinking’ and problem-solving could be applied to all components of a business

2006:

  • Frost*bite a survey exhibition featuring the work of Vince Frost, curated by Steven Pozel, opens at the Sydney Opera House
  • Freestyle: new Australian design for living, curated by Brian Parkes in collaboration with the Melbourne Museum, featuring 40 Australian designers. Followed by major national tour
  • Living Treasures: Masters in Australian Craft, Klaus Moje: Glass with major national tour
  • Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award exhibition with national tour
  • Droog Design: A Human Touch presented at the Sydney Opera House
  • Pattern Recognition, curated by Rhana Devenport, in collaboration with Craft Queensland presented works by Australian and New Zealand artists to illustrate new way of recognising the conscious and less overt possibilities of pattern in object making. Followed by a national tour
  • Object Magazine celebrates 50th Issue with guest editors in 2006 including Grace Cochrane and Merryn Gates
  • Bird Song: Janet Laurence with Ross Gibson, as part of the “Chapel Series”

2005:

  • Leon Paroissien appointed Chairman of Board
  • Woven Forms: Contemporary basket making in Australia featuring over 40 artists followed by major national tour to ten venue.
  • Launch of exhibition series - Living Treasures: Masters in Australian Craft, Les Blakebrough: Ceramics with major national tour
  • GlobalLocal presented in Sydney followed by tour to Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • Contemporary Jewellery from Japan exhibition celebrating 40th anniversary of the Japan Jewellery Designers Association
  • Collect: finely crafted Objects for life becomes rebrand of flagship Sydney store in The Rocks.
  • Korban/Flaubert: Adventure as part of the “Chapel Series”
  • Object hosts national curators meeting is Canberra with over 20 curators from across Australia
  • Daniel Brown: On Growth and Form British designer created virtual worlds inspired by nature
  • Object Magazine Issues 46, 47 and 48 guest curated by Rhana Devenport

2004:

  • Open new premises at St Margarets in Surry Hills, July 2004
  • Sydney Style: objects + design + ideas opens at Sydney Opera House as part of Sydney Festival 2004
  • Design Island opens at Sydney Opera House featuring new Tasmanian design co-curated by Brian Parkes and Pippa Dickson
  • Object Magazine Issue 44 guest edited by Rhana Devenport
  • Geometry Rhythm Light: glass and the everyday guest curated by David Sequeira
  • Object’s National Curators Meeting, in Sydney coinciding with Sydney Design Week
  • Series of solo exhibitions in the new project space and window space included some of the following: Sam Buxton: Life Studies; Margaret Kirkwood: Feathers and Fragments; Patsy Hely: Nature Writing; Michael Keighery: Ornamentation and Crime
  • Object magazine Issue 45 guest edited by Rhana Devenport and Issue 46 edited by Brian Parkes

2003

  • Dinosaur Designs national tour begins at Melbourne Museum then onwards to Perth, Brisbane and Cairns
  • Dinosaur Designs opens in Tokyo as part of Tokyo Design Week at Spiral Gallery
  • Asian tour of Dinosaur Designs commences to Bangkok, Taipei and Singapore Art on a String major national tour commences
  • 10th Anniversary of Object Magazine
  • Object Magazine 41, guest edited by Robert Cook
  • Encounters: Three Australian Designers (Marc Pascal, Ruth McMillan, Julie Paterson) as part of Tokyo Design Week at Spiral Gallery

2002:

  • Akira Isogawa solo exhibition curated by Brian Parkes, Associate Director, Programs, as part of Sydney Festival 2002
  • Dinosaur Designs survey exhibition, curated by Brian Parkes, as part of Sydney Festival 2003
  • Art on a String – Aboriginal threaded objects from the Central Desert and Arnhem Land, curated by Louise Hamby and Diana Young, followed by major national tour
  • Finnish Design 125 an exhibition featuring work in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design.
  • Home Sweet Home – contemporary British design for the home, curated by Lesley Jackson
  • Glow exhibition on contemporary lighting, curated by Rhana Devenport
  • Craig Hassall elected Object Board President

2001:

  • This Way Up is renamed New Design, an exhibition of young graduates
  • Make Me…an exhibition of contemporary design from Manchester, U.K organised by Object and the North West Arts Board, U.K.
  • Interiors: objects and ideas, a major project forming a series of exhibitions, a special issue of Object Magazine and multimedia support material focusing on Australian craft and design
  • Australia+Germany: International Craft Triennale presented ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, textiles, glass, furniture, woodwork and artists’ books from over 100 German and Australian artists and craft practitioners. Australia was the partner nation in the 8th of this series of triennial exhibitions organised by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Frankfurt

2000:

  • Designing Minds, showcasing 20 influential Australian designers as part of Olympic Arts Festival
  • Circling the Square – Gray Street Workshop 15 Years on, Olympic Arts festival exhibition of acclaimed Adelaide workshop
  • Inland-Island, exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works curated by Diane Moon
  • Richard Whitely elected Object Board President
  • Name evolves to Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design
  • Biennale of Sydney at Object featuring Rosalie Gascoigne and Yayoi Kusama
  • Design for Everybody, Technocraft: Susan Cohn 1980 to 2000 and Trace, official Paralympic exhibitions presented at Object
  • Fuzzy Prime Ministers of Australia by Martin Wilson presented as part of the Sydney Festival in 2001, then toured nationally

1999:

  • Sit Up! 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum as part of Sydney Festival
  • This Way Up a survey exhibition of NSW emerging craftspeople.
  • Circles About the Body included jewellery of both Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australian artists focussing on adornment and cultural identity
  • Spin – contemporary ceramics by Julie Bartholomew, works that question notions of ceramic tradition
  • A Generous Vessel, Members of the Potters Society of Australia explore the ways large vessels are being used to express contemporary ideas and emotional states
  • Age of consent an exhibition exploring and interpreting the issues of age of consent and the recognition in law, of same-sex relationships as part of the Mardi Gras festival
  • Steven Pozel appointed Director in October 1999

1998:

  • Name evolves to ‘Object’ as an all-embracing name including magazine, gallery and retail venues
  • Open new premises at Customs House with ground floor retail space and gallery and administration on level 3
  • Foundation of Object Studios in Pyrmont with Grainne Brundson as Studio Manager. Consisting of six individual studios, a fully equipped workshop and a small gallery
  • 33 exhibitions held in 1998, 20 were curated in-house
  • Object toured Mapping Identity to seven venues around Australia in NSW, ACT, TAS, VIC, WA. Mapping Identity was part of the Cultural Olympiad Festival Program. The exhibition opened at Customs House in October

1998

1997:

1996:

  • Object Magazine appoints Ian Were as editor
  • Maningrida: The language of Weaving

1995:

  • Noel Frankham appointed General Manager
  • Name evolves to Centre for Contemporary Craft

1994:

  • Dr Sue Rowley elected Board President
  • Designed and Made launched as a new commissioning service where crafts people developed museum exhibition product

1993:

  • Helen Zilko appointed editor of Object magazine

1992:

  • Object Magazine established as quarterly publication
  • Helen Lewis appointed General Manager
  • Rod Bamford elected Board President
  • Craftspace reopens to the public in July through City of Sydney support
  • Object magazine replaces Crafts NSW as the organisation’s new magazine with the support of the Australia Council

1990:

  • Shop and gallery spaces reduced due to a move to 88 George St.
  • Emphasis placed in gallery program on ‘designed and made’ products and the commissioning process

1989:

  • CCNSW won the state Tourism Award for excellence
  • Executive Director undertakes a study tour overseas for CCA and State Councils to assess international markets
  • Su Hodge appointed General Manager
  • Liz Williamson elected Board President

1988:

  • House of Fiction: Domestic Blueprints in Wood exhibition, addressing the design of furniture for production
  • NSW Crafts Council begins a special research project into the use of public art in architecture and begins to act as an agent for commissions
  • Touring exhibitions were brought in as part of the gallery program
  • 20X20: Crafts in Society 1968-1988, survey of 20 craftspeople over 20 years, which then tours down the north coast from Brisbane
  • Past Tense: Future Perfect curated by nine curators combined to feature over 80 artists of furniture, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and glass

1987:

  • Collaborative design project Crafts in Architecture: Creating Environments put craftspeople together with architects and planners to devise a hypothetical plan for the new Sydney Park in St Peters
  • Separate gallery space reopened
  • National survey of craftspeople conducted and published as Pleasure, Power and Reward. Documents case histories in order to prepare a profile of professional practice
  • Michael Crayford elected Board President

1986:

  • Gillian McCracken elected Board President
  • Amanda Lawson appointed General Manager
  • From 1986 space used as a gallery/shop

1985:

  • Earth, Air, Fire and Water organised by Victoria Keighery, a staged event in the Doman that involved a collaboration between a group of artists and 150 children from the Sydney region
  • Patricia Dodson elected Board President
  • John Sommerlad appointed General Manager

1984:

  • Michael Baracoat elected Board President

1983:

  • City/Country Convention in Sydney
  • Series of workshops: Crafts: Making a Living started in metro and regional areas

1982:

  • Peter Emmett, assisted by Anne Flanagan, produced 32 exhibitions four of which were for touring
  • Jennifer Michaelski elected Board President
  • Michael Lockwood appointed General Manager

1981:

  • First edition of New South Wales Bumper Book published
  • Crafts funding scheme, Craft Design Workshops, set up
  • Craft Works West, exhibition for regional areas
  • Touring Crafts Roadshow, consisting of an exhibition, lectures and demonstrations, shown in Sydney western metropolitan area
  • Journal Craft NSW begins producing feature issues as Outside Art, Design and Writing on the Crafts
  • Offices 100 George Street, The Rocks

1980:

  • Offices 171 Clarence Street then Crafts Council of Australia & Craft Council of NSW move to 100 George St and run the Crafts Council Gallery as a joint venture.
  • Established a balance between national and international perspectives, between individual, theme and media exhibitions and with an emphasis on Asian neighbours. Opened with a series of three exhibitions: Australian Experiences – Images, Origins, Elements of Change
  • Craft in the Park with 12 five day workshops in clay, fibre and glass
  • Pilot program and draft course, To Help Tutors Tutor, developed with the Board of Adult Education
  • Michael Keighery elected Board President

Late 70s/early 80s: Peter Emmett curator

1979:

  • City/Country Convention in Sydney, after appointment of a project officer in the mid-70s focused on regional areas
  • Crafts Moving into the 80s exhibition for regional areas
  • Crafts to the Factory Floor pilot program, where crafts were demonstrated in 10 factories. Continued until 1981 with the involvement of the Labour Council of NSW
  • Peter Emmett appointed General Manager

1978:

  • Ann Pugh appointed General Manager
  • Diane Dowe elected Board President

1977:

  • Design for Living travelling exhibition
  • Therese McDonnell appointed General Manager
  • Dinah Beeston appointed General Manager

1976:

  • Offices 26 King Street
  • Helge Larsen elected Board President
  • Libby Gordon elected Board President

1975:

  • Offices in a room in the Potters Society building in Burton Street

1974:

  • Winter lecture series of design held in Sydney. 1975 a design seminar was held with visitor Don Willcox as guest speaker.
  • Crafts Market, sponsored by the Sun newspaper at Centrepoint, as a community participation event
  • Offices at 36 Grovenor Street (in a room behind Peter Travis and Phyllis Shillito’s studio)
  • Design for the Craftsman 12 lectures covering design, drawing and colour

1973:

  • 4th Biennale members’ exhibition, coinciding with the opening of the Sydney Opera House and the Waratah Festival (now Sydney Festival)
  • Janet Mansfield elected Board President

1972:

  • Heather Dorrough elected Board President

1971:

  • Establishment of Crafts Council of Australia, headquartered in Sydney. Most practitioners identify with the national body, despite the fact that the NSW body was established first. Crafts Council of NSW struggles to reestablish identity.
  • Mary White elected Board President

1970:

  • Helge Larsen elected Board President

1968:

  • Ivan McMeekin elected Board President

1964:

  • Organisation founded as Australia’s first Crafts Association
  • Neville Gruzman elected Board President



Image: Kayak, 2015, Andrew Simpson. Photo by Andy Lewis