Australian Design Centre is a space for designers and makers to experiment, test new ideas and push the boundaries of innovation to engage the community in the transformative power of making and design. From the expertly handcrafted to the latest advances in technology, from cross-disciplinary practice to the contemporary expressions of continuing First Nations culture, we take a lead role developing and supporting Australia’s craftspeople and designers to build audiences for their work locally, nationally and globally.
We connect with audiences in cities and regional centres with contemporary craft and design. In all our activities and through research and digital content shared globally, Australian Design Centre is focused on ethical practice to make a positive impact.
The past two years have shown us how resilient we are in the creative sector. This year is about renewal. To address the climate emergency we will focus on everything that we can do to empower people to use design to create good outcomes for the environment.
In 2022, we present the work of 800+ artists in 16 exhibitions, and 100+ events, 9 ADC On Tour openings and 150+ citywide festival events for Sydney Craft Week.
Exhibition Highlights 2022
Happy Objects is an exhibition exploring the value of objects. Curated and designed by Stephen Goddard and Lisa Cahill, Happy objects celebrates our commitment to give things a long life, appreciate their beauty and stories, and embrace their function. A short chamber performance for a solo performer and a curious audience, Window, Cricket Bat comes to life within the exhibition space of Happy objects at Australian Design Centre during Sydney Festival 2022. Produced in a unique collaboration with Griffin, Window, Cricket Bat is a delightful journey back to London in the 1980s, penned with fond humour by playwright Hilary Bell.
Presented by Australian Design Centre, Revisiting Shoei Yoh is an exhibition by the University of New South Wales and Kyushu University that draws from the archive of Japanese architect and late 20th century pioneer of digital design, Shoei Yoh.
Inspired by Renaissance apothecary jars (or albarellos), Sassy Park’s pots in Apothecary Now! use similar maiolica glaze techniques and motifs, linking the current Covid-19 pandemic to history. The hand painted pots reflect the recent preoccupation with newly developed pharmaceutical vaccines, controversial cures and pandemic messaging. In the Centre this summer we also bring back some of our films from the very popular touring exhibition Obsessed: Compelled to make.
In February, we present Studio Woodworkers: The Art of Craft an exhibition featuring exceptional Australian woodwork made by Australia’s finest designer-makers and artists working in wood.
In March, we launch a new ADC On Tour exhibition SIXTY: The Journal of Australian Ceramics 60th Anniversary 1962-2022. SIXTY includes the outstanding work of 22 contemporary ceramic artists and is curated by guest curator Anna Grigson with ADC's Lisa Cahill. This celebratory exhibition in partnership with The Australian Ceramics Association will travel to sixteen venues across Australia.
The artists are: Glenn Barkley | Kirsten Coelho | Greg Daly | Pippin Drysdale | Dan Elborne | Penny Evans | Honor Freeman | Susan Frost | Shannon Garson | Patsy Hely | Alison Milyika Carroll | Jeffery Mincham | Damon Moon | David Ray | Ben Richardson | Tania Rollond | Owen Rye | Jane Sawyer | Yul Scarf | Vipoo Srivilasa | Kenji Uranishi | Gerry Wedd.
In June, we present an exciting exhibition of the work of designer Matthew Harkness Design and Waste. The objects in this exhibition will draw on concepts of critical making and speculative design to interrogate the environmental implications of widespread 3D printer use and the use of bioplastics.
In August we present 74 artists in PROFILE 2021: Contemporary Jewellery and Object Award, this biennial award exhibition in partnership with the Jewellery and Metalsmiths Group of Australia (JMGA-NSW). This exhibition presents a diverse and comprehensive cross-section of national and international contemporary jewellers and object designers. Profile is a significant curated award for both emerging and established artists.
In October we present the FUSE Glass Prize 2022. Reflecting the importance of glass art to Australian craft and design, FUSE is presented in partnership with JamFactory and is a non-acquisitive biennial prize for outstanding Australian and New Zealand glass artists.
Also in October is SeedStitch: Contemporary Textile Award. This award exhibition is an open call-out to NSW (and for the first time ACT based) contemporary textile artists. An exhibition at Australian Design Centre will feature shortlisted works.
In November we are working on a project to close out the year that will resonate with all of us concerned for the planet. Watch this space for updates as this project develops.
In Object Space, our window gallery on William Street, we will present a further six exhibitions throughout the year including:
- 2021 Year 12 graduates present their final work Otto Paton's Subplot and Scarlet Marshall's High (safe) Tea.
- An exhibition by the winner of the Seed Stitch Contemporary Textile Award 2020, textile artist Sue Jo Wright.
- Work by an Indigenous maker as part of NAIDOC Week.
- Textile artist Soraya Abidin presents The Miner’s Wife
Festivals, Collaborations and Events
We are delighted to partner with Sydney Festival in January 2022 to present our collaboration with Griffin Theatre Company, Hilary Bell's Window, Cricket Bat.
In March Transformative Repair, an UNSW Australian Research Council project in which ADC is a partner investigator, will have the first presentation of work by six designers. This work will be auctioned at ADC is a gala event. Stay tuned for details.
Design 101, our lecture series on design history, returns for a repeat season in April and May. This series is presented in collaboration with Arts People.
We are planning a fourth collaboration with the Indigenous Jewellery Project to work with artists in the Northern Territory to deliver professional development workshops in contemporary jewellery.
Sydney’s only festival dedicated to the handmade, Sydney Craft Week returns from 7 to 16 October. For its sixth year, Sydney Craft Week returns with a focus on sustainable practice and how makers and designers can work to make a difference to the environmental catastrophe caused by climate change.
In 2021 we released the first series in our podcast Object: stories of design and craft. We're planning for the release of two more series in 2022 as part of our digital transformation taking stories about design to the world.
ADC On Tour
ADC On Tour, our national exhibition touring program, opens four exhibitions at nine venues in 2022. These include:
- SIXTY: The Journal of Australian Ceramics 60th Anniversary 1962-2022
- Made / Worn: Australian Contemporary Jewellery
- Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables
- Obsessed: Compelled to make
Find out more about ADC On Tour here.
Our popular curated outdoor markets are on again 5 March and 15 October 2022. On 5 March our collaboration with Glasshouse Port Macquarie Regional Gallery will see regional makers bring their work to Sydney as part of the market.
The support we receive to present this program comes from our government and corporate funding partners, philanthropic foundations and donors, adding to our own streams of self-generated revenue. If you would like to make a contribution to help us to deliver our programs across 2022 and beyond please click here.