This year's, WORKSHOPPED21 exhibition was to include an 'exhibition within an exhibition', displaying DATUM 72 by designers Dr Christian Tietz and Jon King. Covid lockdown has prevented this opportunity but we hope to exhibit this fine work of new Australian design in the near future.

DATUM 72 is a table that challenges preconceptions about everyday things. It blurs the landscaped lines of the domestic table setting. This work was a finalist in the National Gallery of Victoria Australian Furniture Design Award 2020.

In a still life, a table supports objects at the eternal datum line - 720mm above ground. In DATUM 72, the table is an intrinsic component. Cutting holes in its surface to fill with plates, bowls, glasses creates a new landscape where things ascend and descend into valleys and plains. The transparent tabletop reveals another layer, the floor, where rituals and objects float in space between the two.

DATUM 72 is not intended to replace a daily kitchen table, it is a table designed to celebrate and mark significant occasions. The careful and inspired re-examination of what is right in front of our eyes makes the ordinary extraordinary.

Image: Portrait, Dr Christian Tietz Photo: Courtesy of the Artist

Christian was the kind of kid for whom the entire Wonderworld ride had to be stopped because it was too boring and he wanted to get out - school was no better! At university he took a year off to produce his first product and successfully sold 13,000 units. He traveled the world, climbed 5000 meter passes in the Andes, Bhutan and China, drove his old 1952 Vanguard ute across Australia, slept in his swag under the open sky and swam on the beaches of Cape Leveque, Copacabana, the Andaman Islands and Greece, where he loves sailing the Ionian sea.

In his heart of hearts he is a racing car driver, has a fading apple tattoo on the inside of his forehead, a moderate shoe fixation, is enamoured with his Atomic coffee machine and has a thing for his favourite shop, Manufactum, in his native Munich.

In 2012 he received the University of Technology Sydney’s Human Rights Award. He has a PhD in Design and lives with his wife, best friend and muse on the top of the Blue Mountains, where above all he practices to take the time to smell the roses - the hardest but most rewarding task! 

Dr Tietz is the Director of the Industrial Design program at UNSW Sydney.

Image: Portrait, Jon King Photo: Courtesy of the Artist

Jon, as the son of an architect “rebelled” and commenced studies in Industrial Design soon after leaving School. A love of flying took him on a different path for a few years but an apple does not fall far from the tree, and Jon would study Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney where he graduated with 1st class honours. Jon went on to work in the offices the AIA Gold Medallist Ken Maher and Richard Horden and Associates in London, travelling widely before setting up DKC in Sydney in 1996 with his wife Katie.

As Design Director at DKC, Jon’s deep interest in creative problem solving at multiple scales and using different modes of production drove a practice that has been recognized with numerous awards and has been widely published. Jon’s work continues to explore the relationship between people, the individual object, the dwelling and the collective forms and infrastructure of the city. Jon’s research and work with the University of Technology in Sydney culminated with being named finalist in the “Breathe” The new Urban Village Competition for the rebuilding of Christchurch’s Central City.

Jon continues to teach and practice design within the framework of the Architectural Practice accompanied by his wife and practice director Katie, his 3 daughters and broad collection of outside interests and activities that support and sustain a life in Design.

Image: Dr Christian Tietz and Jon King, DATUM 72, 2020 Photo: Kerry Wilson c/o Design King Company

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