ICONIC Australian Design
Industrial Design is defined as the art or process of designing manufactured products. Our daily lives are powered by the outputs of industrial design- from cars and chairs to crosswalk buttons and powerboards– each balances form and function delivering products that are necessary. Many reach cult status and become becoming highly covetable and even collectable: some have pushed even further into our psyche and become ‘iconic’.
Designer Susan Cohn describes her transition into the field of industrial design thus: “Making inexpensive beautiful things is much harder than to do one-off art pieces. I wanted to take up that challenge.”
Designers working in the field of industrial design develop concepts and specifications aimed at problem solving; far from being a purely aesthetic exercise, they optimise purpose and value to bring innovative products and services into existence. The real challenge is overcoming the innumerable constraints to achieve actually getting something into market.
The designs and designers represented in ICONIC have mastered this crucial balance, elevating them to this exceptional status.
ICONIC Australian Design celebrates award winning and innovative Australian industrial design and features iconic designs from the 1880s to the present day.
Over 100 products designed in Australia including the Wiltshire Staysharp knife, Décor BYO wine cooler, Rosebank Stack Hat, and the Grant and Mary Featherston Sound Chair will be on display. Some innovations, like the Nylex Esky, were the result of our the unique Australian climate and lifestyle, but others like the Britax baby capsule and the Kambrook powerboard celebrate the capacity of our industrial design profession to bring a world first innovation to a global marketplace.
Chances are, many of our visitors have at one time used one, owned one, or, at least, wanted one of these items.
Curated by Monash University Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design Ian Wong, ICONIC Australian Design was first presented at Monash University as part of Melbourne Design Week 2019 with the support of the Design Institute of Australia, and then its first touring venue was at the SASA Gallery - University of South Australia in 2019. The objects featured in the exhibition are mostly from The Ian Wong Collection and were recently featured in 100 Objects - Australian Design in the Home commissioned by the Robin Boyd Foundation at Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street House. The Tasmanian presentation will incorporate additionally sourced design objects from local design icons.