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Articles on Indigenous design

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Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas plays the yidaki next to his painting of Victoria Cross recipient Flight Lieutenant William ‘Bill’ Newton during a handover ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in October 2022. Lucas Coch/AAP

5 Indigenous engineering feats you should know about

For many millennia, Indigenous Australians have engineered our landscape. From an ochre mine to fish traps, here are five remarkable examples of First Nations technical know-how.
Murri sculptures (2012) by Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi) at Melbourne’s LaTrobe University. LaTrobe University

Ten classics of Indigenous design

From the Budj Bim acquaculture system to the Aboriginal flag, Australia has a long history of Indigenous design excellence. Here is our pick of 10 contemporary design classics.
Indigenous games like ‘Honour Water’ can teach Indigenous values and ceremonial practices. Honour Water/Elizabeth LaPensée

Video games encourage Indigenous cultural expression

A strengthening movement of Indigenous designers and developers is working to show Indigenous cultures, teachings, languages and ways of knowing through video games.
Artists Dianne Ungukalpi Golding, Eunice Yunurupa Porter, Nancy Jackson, Winnie Woods and Melva Davies at Tjanpi Desert Weavers workshop, Warakurna, April 2011. Photo Jo Foster, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NPY Women’s Council

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers show us that traditional craft is art

For over a thousand generations Aboriginal people made no distinction between art and craft. Art was, and still is, a way of life and as much about function as it is about beauty and form. Artistic forms…
Desert Designs showcase their unique aesthetic in Sydney this week. Ryan Kitching

A hot new model at the Australian Indigenous Fashion Week

It’s not difficult to find reference to Indigenous ethnographic designs in contemporary Australia. Motifs from Adelaide’s Balarinji Design Studios coat Qantas’ Boeing fleet and elders wore Victorian possum…

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