Materiality, ethics and identity, and their role in making a design culture, were the key themes that emerged from the fourth Women in Design Colloquium, held at Design Tasmania in Launceston from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 September 2018. The weekend kicked off with a cocktail reception on the Friday evening, where Gene Sherman shared the story of her career with an enthralled audience, from beginnings in French literature to running Sherman Galleries to donating her wardrobe of Japanese fashion to the Powerhouse Museum. Also on Friday night, we heard from Michelle Boyde, who with Fei Fei Feng and socio-analyst Susan Long, presented DreamDesign, an exhibition exploring social dreaming.

On Saturday morning, the Colloquium sessions began with a panel on Materiality, featuring presentations by architect Poppy Taylor, Professor Lisa Grocott from Monash University, jeweller Anita Dineen and Lola Greeno, who shared her stories about shell jewellery making. See more about Lola Greeno’s exhibition Cultural Jewels. The session was moderated by Design Tasmania’s Karina Clarke.

Saturday afternoon was all about ethics, asking “How does one navigate the complexities of Ethics within practice?” Speakers were Penny Craswell from ADC, Rachael Coghlan from Craft ACT and Margaret Hancock-Davies from JamFactory Adelaide, who discussed ethical issues from the point of view of presenting creative work through their craft and design centres. The session was moderated by Associate Professor Katherine Moline from UNSW Art and Design.

The Harvest dinner on Saturday night was a delicious feast including traditional Aboriginal foods like char grilled wallaby and sea kelp. A presentation by filmmakers Lara van Raay and Rebecca Thomson introduced a series of short films about women in Tasmania called Women of the Island.

On Sunday the final session on Identity featured presentations by brand and marketing expert Tara Howell, Monash University’s Kate McEntee and socio-analyist Susan Long. This presentation was moderated by Pippa Dickson.

Overall the conference provides a supportive environment for women to talk about their design and creative practices, and share ideas and discussion on issues pertinent to the world of design today. A fantastic weekend!

ADC was a presenting partner of Women in Design and is thrilled to present a Sydney reprise of the keynote address being delivered by Dr Gene Sherman AM on Wednesday 26 September. Book here

Image: Michelle Boyde and Fei Fei Feng, DreamDesign 2018. Courtesy of Women in Design 2018, Design Tasmania 

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