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The 3D printing market is expected to be worth US$16.2 billion a year by 2018. EPA/Bas Czerwinski

The 3D revolution is upon us – and designers need better protection

3D printing is predicted to transform the business landscape of design-led innovation. But how well protected are Australian designs from unauthorised use? IP Australia – which administers Australia’s…
Is Doomsday Preppers simply a freakish version of Grand Designs? National Geographic Channel

Architecture of doom: DIY planning for global catastrophe

Environmental catastrophe, economic collapse, global pandemic … does it feel like the world is ending? If you think Armageddon is near and are trying to get ready, you are not alone. National Geographic…
The Briggs Family Tea Service tells the story of George Briggs and Woretermoeteyenner, during the early years of Tasmania. Trent Jansen

I merge Indigenous stories with my design – maybe others should too

In our personal and working lives, there are some lines that should not be crossed and others that must be. As a designer, crossing the line that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian…
Bras have come a long way in 100 years. EPA/HO

The story of … the bra

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the first bra patent. Amazingly for the time – 1914 – it was made by a woman in her twenties, Mary (Polly) Phelps Jacob (nee Crosby). Polly made her bra initially…
McIntyre House, a 60-year-old building, is a prototype of a well adapted response to the Australian climate. AIA

Enduring beauties: when buildings look good for their age

This year’s Australian Institute of Architects' (AIA) 2014 National Architecture Awards – to be awarded on November 6 – include a category called “Enduring Architecture”. Where a fast-paced “build and…
If you have an empty home, you’d better fill it soon. Sergey Peterman/Shutterstock

New UK copyright law will do nothing to help young designers

You probably don’t think much about the derivation of that lovely shelving in your living room, or that sleek, stylish lamp. But many of them will be copies of designs from the 20s, 60s, 80s. And despite…

How publishing works: a book designer’s perspective

Authors don’t write books, they write manuscripts. Publishing is the process of getting an author’s manuscript into the hands of a reader, by materialising it – giving it form, as a book. This may be printed…

Please un-do ‘booty’ pop videos

Dear Music Industrial Complex, Do you mind if I call you Mic? I normally don’t write about pop music, but I am upset. I know that sex sells, but may I make a special request of no more music videos consisting…
George Rose’s light is one of the products on display at this year’s Fringe Furniture exhibition. Anna Lorenzetto

Fringe Furniture: the products that help us understand who we are

Every product is a blabbermouth; it has a tendency to answer every question – and then some - Del Coates. Coates, an American industrial designer and design academic, is right. The processes and outputs…
The geodesic dome speaks to us of science fiction futures and transformative living. Montreal Biosphere, Wikimedia Commons

Sublime design: the geodesic dome

From hippie houses and kids’ play frames to military radar stations and mountaineering tents, the geodesic dome has fascinated people as a way of building. Why? Simply because it is so extraordinarily…
The link between furniture and contentment has far-reaching effects. Kathrin & Stefan Marks

Are you sitting comfortably? Why good furniture helps sustainability

Since Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair of 1925 the formula for comfortable seating has been known: create a right-angle, open it up a tad, and tip it backward, so that the seat places the bottom lower than…

Un-doing disrespect: women and design

Having recently attended my university’s graduation ceremony, I noted again what seems to have become a global trend — design is becoming a field where the majority of practitioners are women. I have made…
The Blickensderfer 6 portable typewriter. Designed by George Canfield Blickendsderfer, USA, 1906. Powerhouse Museum

Not just a pretty interface: good design goes beyond looks

In everyday life we are surrounded by a dizzying array of technological gizmos. The ones we love and use the most are often the ones that have been designed with humans firmly in mind. Those that aren’t…

Breaking the vase

Every Thursday, I go to the Prahran Market in Melbourne and buy, among other things, cut flowers. Since moving into a mid-rise apartment from a flat with a garden, I arrange flowers for my dining room…
Learn to think like a child. Boy in hard hat via parinyabinsuk/Shutterstock

What architects can learn from designing with children

It makes perfect sense. If you need to design a new school or playground, who better to help than the children who are going to use it? Gradually, more architects and landscape designers are bringing young…
Why has David Foulkes Taylor again been left out of the history of mid-century Australian design? Ted Snell

Don’t forget the west: mid-century modern and David Foulkes Taylor

In 1982, I wrote an introduction to a survey exhibition of the work of Western Australian furniture designer David Foulkes Taylor lamenting that so little attention had “… been directed towards the recording…
What happens when designers go off the rails? Feral Experimental shows the results can be stunning. Photo: Britta Campion. Feral Experimental

Design goes wild: boundary crossing in Feral Experimental

What happens when designers stray from familiar territory and go “feral”? This question has been at the forefront of curator Katherine Moline’s mind. She proposes answers in Feral Experimental: New Design…

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