Object Platform

Australian Design Centre's ideas hub

Object Platform is a place that exists in the digital sphere to experiment, prototype new thinking, spark physical provocations and commission new content. It brings the Australian Design Centre’s thinking beyond its four walls – beyond the exhibitions, events and objects – through long-form articles, research papers, online exhibition, webinars and live interviews, as well as conference presentations, lectures, panels, forums, films, audio tours and a writer-in-residence program.

This program is part of Australian Design Centre’s ongoing research into object, furniture, lighting and industrial design, fashion design, architecture, crafts, ceramics, jewellery, textile arts, glass, timber and mixed media.

It consolidates a large body of original writing, research and content published over ADC’s 50+ year history, including Object magazine (published 1996 – 2009 and digitally 2011-2012) and a series of full-length catalogues, the latest of which includes Obsessed: Compelled to make, and Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft: Prue Venables

Future areas of research might include: ethical design, placemaking through design and craft, maker societies and cultural meaning, cross-cultural collaboration, multi-disciplinary and hybrid approaches to craft, lost and traditional crafts, creativity and wellbeing, women in design, jobs of the future, design for social justice, innovation in materials and process, sustainable design and new technologies. 

ADC Chronology and History Essays

1965 –

We are a highly agile and adaptable organisation that has taken a leadership role in the contemporary craft and design sector since it first opened in 1965 as the NSW Crafts Council. Here is a collection of stories that explore some of the histories of ADC with spotlights on collaborations and touring, design criticality, global, Indigenous, innovation and technology.

Object Magazine

This digital archive of the magazine is a work in progress.  We are progressively uploading the key articles and contents pages of each of the 59 issues of the magazine as a record of 20 years of craft and design in Australia. 

Article: Glass in Australia

29 October 2020

ADC Creative Strategy Associate Penny Craswell explores contemporary glass in Australia.

Article: From the Land: Nicole Robins' baskets

27 October 2020

After a career working in community development and later as a family therapist, Nicole Robins now devotes herself full-time to her fibre art and basketry practice, one that is almost completely materials-driven. Inga Walton writes about her work.

Article: Expanded Design at WORKSHOPPED20

27 August 2020

This is the twentieth year that furniture, lighting and object designers have created new works for WORKSHOPPED exhibitions program. Article by Penny Craswell.

Essay: YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN by Zoe Brand

23 July 2020

YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN by Zoe Brand is an exhibition where general musings about an unprecedented time are put front and center, multiplied, divided, made colourful and offered anew. Catalogue Essay by Melinda Young.

Article: Kate Baker

22 July 2020

Incorporating glass processes with photography and the moving image, Kate Baker creates deeply introspective and highly emotional work that touches the transcendent, ethereal realm of raw human emotion. Kathleen Linn explores her work.

Essay: Open House

4 June 2020

Exploring the shift towards textile arts and 'craft'-artforms, this essay was written by Glenn Barkley, the curator of Open House: 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial.

Essay: Beyond Pretty

19 May 2020

Myf Doughty explores the work of contemporary jewellery designers Susan Cohn, Julia deVille and Kyoko Hashimoto in this essay, included in NGV publication She Persists: Perspectives on Women in Art and Design.

Article: Walgett Women and Girls Jewellery Project

21 April 2020

Walgett Women and Girls Jewellery Project is a project facilitated by the Australian Design Centre in conjunction with the Indigenous Jewellery Project. A reflection by Nardi Simpson.


Exhibition Catalogue: The Space Within

8 April 2020

THE SPACE WITHIN : Contemporary Ceramics + Fibre is an exhibition at Sabbia Gallery in Sydney that ran from 4 - 28 March 2020.

Article: Prue Venables

26 March 2020

The Prue Venables exhibition, recently held at the Australian Design Centre in Sydney, is on its first stop in a national tour. H.R. Hyatt-Johnston reviews the show for Artist Profile magazine.

Article: Yvonne Koolmatrie

24 March 2020

Yvonne Koolmatrie works at the intersection of past and present. She creates works at the same river where her ancestors once met, using the same traditional rush grasses they harvested. And yet her works speak of revival, innovation and the personal journey of a modern Ngarrindjeri woman, who has lived in constant connection with her homeland and its long, ancient history, writes Louella Hayes.

Essay: Concrete Paradoxes

19 February 2020

Concrete stands for progress, it is the building block of our cities and has been used by architects as a defining material of Modernism and Brutalism and by artists as one of the defining materials of Minimalism. This essay by Penny Craswell is republished from the exhibition catalogue of CONCRETE: Art Design Architecture


Essay: CONCRETE art design architecture

5 February 2020

CONCRETE: art design architecture is a major exhibition exploring innovative ways that concrete is being used by artists, designers and architects in Australia in the 21st century. This essay by JamFactory Senior Curator Margaret Hancock Davis is republished from the exhibition catalogue. 

Essay: On Weaving and Finding Balance

15 January 2020

Blake Griffiths is a Broken Hill-based artist whose practice centres around weaving. This essay by Broken Hill-based artist Asma Mather is a review of his latest display ‘Finding Balance’.

Essay: The meeting of two rivers

12 December 2019

Australian Design Centre partnered with The Indigenous Jewellery Project’s Emily McCulloch Childs and contemporary jeweller, Melinda Young and Yuwaalaraay sisters Lucy and Nardi Simpson on a week of workshops in the regional NSW town of Walgett. This essay by Emily McCulloch Childs captures that joy and cultural connection that the project created.

Article: A New Sense of Freedom

29 October 2019

Prue Venables sees herself unapologetically as a potter—meaning she sees no need to try to elevate the title of her vocation to ceramic artist. Heidi McKenzie writes about this Living Treasure.

Profile: Anita Larkin

22 October 2019

Anita Larkin reconfigures everyday objects to explore our relationship with the physical world.By combining found objects with each other, sculpted pieces, or her own cast body parts, she explores how language, memory and human experience influence how we interact with our surroundings. Bridget MacLeod writes about her hybrid objects.

Article: Contemporary Jewellery in Focus

30 September 2019

Contemporary jewellery has evolved as an artform, often exploring materiality and form, and the relationship of objects to the body. For many contemporary jewellers, the term “wearable art” feels more relevant to their practice, while others find their work very much connected to the jeweller’s bench and others, again, are looking at their work in relation to the body, rather than necessarily worn on it. 

Essay: Prue Venables The Australian Context

2 August 2019

This is an extract of an essay by ceramicist Neville French, published in the exhibition monograph Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables, reflecting on the quality and significance of Prue Venables’ work.  For the full essay, the book is available to purchase from Object Shop.

My Job in 2030

23 July 2019

This project examines how shifts in technology, society and the environment are impacting the jobs of the future. It invites the next generation to imagine their place in a future world of work where automation, AI and robots are part of everyday life. What jobs will we have in 2030 and how will they be different to the jobs of today? Read short essays from guest writers including Laurie Aznavoorian, Jess Scully, Balder Tol, Sasha Alexander, Melissa Silk, Natalie Parker and Kate Dunn. 

Films: Ideas Intersecting: Innovation and Design

2 July 2019

Four films were produced for Ideas Intersecting: Innovation and Design, an online exhibition that explores a single project within the practice of designers Alia Parker, Bic Tieu, Carly Vickers and Harriet Watts. Through visually documenting each practitioner’s processes and design methods for a selected project, the exhibition illuminates, and makes tangible, the moments in creative practice when seemingly disparate ideas intersect.

Films: Transformative Repair

20 May 2019

Guy Keulemans from the University of New South Wales and Niklavs Rubenis from the Australian National University are researchers interested in the power of design-led repair to change the way we think about waste, consumption and the life of objects.

Essay: Infusion : The Teapot Project

30 April 2019

Oliver Smith, Senior Lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts, writes about a creative exchange between silversmiths Kenny Son and Hendrik Forster characterised by intensive activity, sustained effort and prodigious creative output.   

Report: Supporting Diversity in Craft Practice

11 April 2019

Examining issues related to a lack of diversity in the craft sector and the fact that black women receive more online abuse than anyone else, a new report by Karen Patel of Birmingham City University in the UK asks what can be done to support greater diversity in the UK craft sector. 

Interview: A craft renaissance

1 April 2019

ADC's Lisa Cahill spoke to Kevin Murray, editor of Garland to coincide with Issue 14 - A safe harbour, Sydney. 

Essay: SO-IL: Viewing China

28 March 2019

Matthew Martin and Ewan McEoin discuss SO–IL: Viewing China, a presentation of more than thirty white porcelain items within a vibrant architectural display by US/China architecture practice SO-IL, currently on show at the NGV in Melbourne.


Essay: From Strength to Strength

21 February 2019

ADC's Creative Strategy Associate, Penny Craswell explores the strong silent nature of steel and its role in the creation of cities, contemporary architecture, art and the future.

Essay: STEEL: Art Design Architecture

31 January 2019

Steel: art design architecture curator, Margaret Hancock Davis from JamFactory writes about this most versatile of materials that has also played a vital role in Australia’s design vernacular.

Turning old clothes into high-end building materials

21 December 2018   

UNSW Sydney's Professor Veena Sahajwalla is leading a team producing high-quality building products made from old clothing and mixed waste glass.

Interview: Pavilion of interpreted music

5 November 2018

Part architectural pavilion and part sound installation, 80Hz is a project that turns paintings from the State Library of NSW into music using data. Sydney-based British designer and architect Thomas Wing-Evans talks to ADC’s Penny Craswell about the installation, which he designed in collaboration with DX Lab, the library’s experimental design research group.

Essay: Gamu-Keub Keub: The Indigenous Jewellery Project meets Gab Titui

27 October 2018

Emily McCulloch Childs writes about her first trip to the Torres Strait Islands as part of the Indigenous Jewellery Project, with artist and workshop leader Melinda Young teaching the lost wax technique for metals to participants at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.

Essay: Textiles and the In-between

20 September 2018

Soraya Abidin, textile artist, explores in this essay and in her exhibition Hypersensitive/ Hipersensitif, the double consciousness and ‘in-between’ space of a bi-cultural identity. Her solo textile exhibition is part of Sydney Craft Week at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney.

Essay: Reflections on Mindful Making

14 September 2018

Making is not just a creative outlet – it also generates a focused, thoughtful state of mind similar to meditative practice. Sydney maker and psychiatrist Megan Kalucy from Shared Threads explores the benefits of mindful making.

Explainer: Can You Copyright Furniture?

4 September 2018

Furniture stores are often filled with designs that look similar to others. But is copying furniture legal, and should we feel bad about buying replicas?

Essay: Locational Specificity

2 August 2018

Joshua Smith’s miniatures of overlooked buildings offer a street artist’s perspective of the city and raise questions about the spatial politics of Sydney, according to Luke Tipene and Campbell Drake from UTS.

Publication: 3D Printing the Future

25 July 2018

This newspaper-style publication includes articles by some of Australia’s leading experts on 3D printing, including features by Berto Pandolfo and Jennifer Loy (UTS) and jeweller Bin Dixon Ward, and interviews with Kate Dunn (UNSW) and Melbourne ceramics studio Alterfact.

Essay: Adding Digital to the Jeweller's Bench

25 July 2018

Melbourne jeweller Bin Dixon Ward is fascinated by the relationship between digital technology, jewellery and its maker. She discusses the development of 3D printed jewellery including her own work in this field. 

Interview: Old Skills New Ways

25 July 2018

ADC’s Lisa Cahill spoke to Kate Dunn, designer and research leader in Digital Fabrication and Material Innovation in the Creative Robotics Lab at UNSW Art and Design, about the intersections between the traditional craft of ceramics using clay and the use of 3D printing to explore cross disciplinary collaborations.

Essay: Furniture Futures and the Promise of 3D Printing

25 July 2018

3D printing has promised to significantly impact the way objects are realised. Berto Pandolfo, an industrial designer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, examines the evidence that this prophecy is coming to fruition. 

Event: Printing the Future

25 July 2018

Join a team of experts discuss the future application of 3D printing (or additive manufacturing), exploring not only the latest in new technologies, but also how these technologies are used across manufacturing, business and solo practice.