In conversation with Kobe Johns
DESIGN-MADE. is a new contemporary design event showcasing furniture, lighting and objects for home and living. Held over three days and organised by Authentic Design Alliance and Factory Design District, it features educational talks, book signings, workshops, installations and 'meet the maker' forums. DESIGN-MADE. is founded by Kobe Johns of FACTORY DESIGN DISTRICT and JP Finsbury Bespoke Joiners and Authentic Design Alliance director Anne-Maree Sargeant.
We spoke to Kobe Johns to find out what to expect at DESIGN-MADE.
How did DESIGN-MADE. come about?
This event has been in planning for around five years. Anne Maree Sargeant and myself have worked on many design events in Australia and I've also worked across design and art events in London.
We knew something was missing from the current design event offering in Australia but in such a fast-paced industry we have been watching and learning and waiting for our time.
DESIGN-MADE. is different because it's open to all - there is no hiding behind the trade show doors in an exhibition centre. We want to promote and present original design to all Australians.
The time is now for an event that plays on both sides like ours - we have audiences hungry for information and access to design in a way I've never seen before. Our aim is to break down the barriers, make it less scary and invite everyone to enjoy what good design is and how it can affect their lives.
How did you select the makers and workshops for the event?
DESIGN-MADE. is an invitation only exhibition, in our first year we wanted to be sure the event represented the Australian design community - in our view this did not mean exclusively Australian made and Australian design. Our selection of exhibitors and partners was deliberately diverse and the audience will see the breadth of design made product in Australia, which covers batch production, one-off pieces and limited edition through to industrially produced furniture.
As it turns out, the event will be a showcase 100% Australian furniture, lighting and home-wares and with the exception of a couple of pieces, all Australian made too.
What are you most looking forward to seeing at the event?
A few things - Stitchfield - an installation commissioned by Design Tasmania and designed by Claire Scorpo (VIC) and Elliat Rich (NT). I have taken part in this interactive installation and it is quite moving, it's free and anyone can take part - best of all we will have Claire up from Melbourne to talk about the themes and how it all came about.
Emma Elizabeth with Local Design is launching a new range of wallpapers designed by eight Australian designers - I love wallpaper and I've seen some of the artwork so very excited about seeing it printed.
Also Interpretations V by Andrew Simpson - seven Australian designers with no brief but to experiment and mess around with paper... what could possibly go wrong?!?! Again, I’ve seen a few of the pieces and the works in progress, they are very impressive.
And we’re delighted to have Australian Design Centre involved as a partner and popping up with their Object Shop.
What is your take on Australian design and where it is headed?
I don’t like to speculate on these things but I think the writing is on the wall - DESIGN-MADE. is an independent, start up event, in its first year. At last count, this morning we have 70 presentations of Australian design by independent designers, many of whom are self-producing... there is a confidence and a strength commercially coming through which is amazing to see.
When: Friday 27 October - Sunday 29 October
Where: Sunstudios 42 Maddox St, Alexandria
Tickets: $10 at the door. Under 18 years free.
Explore the DESIGN-MADE. website here
Image: Kobe Johns (left) and Anne-Maree Sargeant (right). Photo by Paul Suesse, for Belle Magazine. Photo courtesy of Kobe Johns.