Centred around the theme of ‘hyperconnectivity’, the 2021 Sydney Design Week featured an exclusive selection of designers and creators discussing the role of design within an everchanging global landscape. Available on-demand through an accessible forum, the full talks from the two-day Design Summit can now be viewed online.
What was traditionally a physical event, Sydney Design Week 2021 overcame the challenges of presenting within a completely virtual space. The Digital Summit explored the underlying themes of community and connection within the multifaceted and dynamic industry of design. Connecting local and international designers, the digital platform gave an opportunity for key members of the design community to celebrate connection in an increasingly virtual landscape.
Available now as a free program of online discussions, the theme of hyperconnectivity was expressed through an array of featured Australian and international designers. ‘Imagining Music’ featured two-time ARIA award-winning designer Jonathan Zawada. Curator Sarah Rees discussed the nuanced approaches to crafting design in digital spaces and how a hyperconnected world has influenced the multi-disciplinary designer’s process and collaboration.
The program’s first day also featured a panel discussion facilitated by Stephen Todd with Sarah Douglas, Mac Collins, Adam Markowitz and Ivana Taylor. The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Wallpaper* partnered with the Design Museum in London to craft ‘Discovered’. “What was really clear [was] that the next generation wouldn’t necessarily have the platform and the opportunity that previous generations would have,” explains Sarah, Wallpaper* Editor-In-Chief. The project encourages young designers to craft pieces that challenge, foster a sense of touch and reconnection in today’s virtual world.
In conversation, YSG Founder Yasmine Ghoniem, New York-based lighting designer Lindsey Adelman and award-winning Melbourne-based David Flack from Flack Studio presented a dynamic discussion on how they each embed a sense of community into their design practice. Likewise, presented live from the new M+ Museum in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, Katie Dyer, Gary Chang, Jennifer McMaster and Tina Pang discussed new ways to design for density, flexibility and engagement. Stephen Todd also had the chance to speak with French designer Ronan Bouroullec in ‘Public Space’, as well as Marc Newson in ‘Design Works’.
Featured in the eventual reopening of the Powerhouse Museum, The Sydney Design Week exhibition ‘Graphic Identities’ will present work from eight celebrated designers – Gordon Andrews, Douglas Annand, Frances Burke, Dahl Collings, Shirley de Vocht, Pieter Huveneers (Tooth & Co), Arthur Leydin and Alistair Morrison. In anticipation of the reopening, a curated selection of recently digitised work from each designer is currently being presented online.
Embodying its theme of reconnection and globality, Sydney Design Week 2021 explored the ways design can remain relevant on a national and international scale. The two-day Digital Summit is currently available on demand, for all at www.sydneydesign.maas.museum.