Australia is not well known for limited edition design shows. Unlike many cities in Europe, where limited edition design galleries seem to flourish, the Australian design community tends to focus on production work rather than the rarified area where design rubs up against art. It’s rare that Australian designers are commissioned to design one-off pieces for projects let alone art pieces where cost constraints and functionality are not on the list of priorities.
It comes as a very welcome surprise that the exhibition WORKS 1-43, currently being held at the National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Design Store, addresses this lack of freedom by presenting 43 one-off works by 17 Australian design practices, including designers such as Ross Gardam, Jon Goulder, Liane Rossler and Jonathan Ben-Tovim. Opening last Thursday the 6th of August, the exhibition runs until the 7th of September.
WORKS 43 is just the first event that the organisation 1-OK CLUB plan to organize in an attempt to present what they feel are “otherwise unachievable design potentials and fortify the Australian design community outside of the purpose for commercial gain”.
Started in early 2015 by Melbourne designers Dale Hardiman and Andre Hnatojko who make up two-thirds of design collective Lab de Stu, 1-OK CLUB is perhaps something of an antidote to simple affordable, mass produced design - not because there is anything wrong with this approach per se but because it can become stifling if it is the sole direction for a designer.
Set up as a platform to represent and commission designed objects, the organisation also acts as a distributor for the designers. The ultimate intention of all of this is to create a new dialogue around commercial Australian design practice and to help to diversify the model under which designers operate through the encouragement of greater design experimentation.
Importantly 1-OK CLUB wants to work with designers at varying stages of their career, so that while some of the names are well known, others are very young practices with much smaller profiles. For the audience that views the work this means that there is the possibility to discover new exciting talent and the ability to purchase pieces across a wide variety of price levels. The exhibition has works for sale from $200 to $10,000.
A number of the works exhibited can be seen here but the full selection of designers represented is listed below:
AdHoc, Ash Allen, Hugh Altschwager, Jonathan Ben-Tovim, Little Wonder (Gyungju Chyon & John Sadar), Ross Gardam, Jon Goulder, Dale Hardiman, Andre Hnatojko, Shareen Joel, Porcelain Bear, Practise Studio Practise (Lauren Stephens & Laura Clauscen), Liane Rossler, Takeawei (Chela Edmunds), Harriet Watts, Jo Wilson, Witu (Elise Wilken and Natalie Turnbull)
You can watch a short video of how effortlessly the Aura light's shade operates below.
Styling by Natalie Turnbull (@natturnbull)
Photography by Elise Wilken (@elisegrace)
To read more on 1-OK CLUB and the WORKS 1-43 exhibition go to their website here. You can also follow them on instagram: @1ok_club
Exhibition dates: 6 August - 7 September 2015
Location: NGV Ian Potter Design Store, Federation Square, 2 Swanson st, Melbourne.03 96551900