Lovers of design: pull up a chair

The best of Indigenous design from architecture to townplanning and furniture is set to turn heads at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

Blak Design Matters has been curated by Melbourne architect Jefa Greenaway, a Wailwan and Gamilaraay man who was the first Indigenous architect to be registered in Victoria.

It will open on July 20 and run until September 30.

“Often there is a focus on Indigenous art and if we look at the creative endeavours that Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in, we kind of punch above our weight when we think about dance and music and film and painting and so forth,” Mr Greenaway said.

“But when you start to think about communication design or landscape architecture or architecture or townplanning or other fields, a lot of people don’t think there is much of a contribution being made.

“What we wanted to do here is to dispel a few myths.”

Top Indigenous designers from around Australia and the Torres Strait have been invited to show their creations.

Work will include graphic design by Marcus Lee Designs in Victoria, Balarinji Designs in New South Wales and Galimbaa Designs in Queensland.

Furniture and interior design by Nicole Monks from NSW and Francoise Lane in Queensland will be on show, as will architecture designs by Carroll Go-Sam in Queensland, Dillon Kombummerri in NSW and Greenaway.

Landscape design will come from Paul Herzich in South Australia.

Fashion will be by Lyn-Al Young in Victoria, Arki The Label and AARLI, while textiles will be by MI Art in Queensland, Injalak Arts in the Northern Territory and Babbarra Design, also in the NT.

Jewellery will be by Grace Lillian Lee in Queensland, Haus of Dizzy in Victoria and Maree Clarke, also Victoria.

“I guess I wanted to put together a snapshot of what are the exciting designers out there and the design disciplines they are engaged in,” Mr Greenaway said.

“In particular how it interfaces with the built environment, so architecture and interior design, landscape architecture and the like, as a way of showcasing that there is a strong interest in finding meaningful ways of engaging with Indigenous culture and how we can reference connection to place and connection to country and how we can activate our cities and towns and places and to look at ways to showcase Indigenous design.”

* Blak Design Matters runs from Friday July 20 to Sunday September 20 at the Koorie Heritage Trust, Federation Square.


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