Australia’s first ‘national survey’ of Indigenous design

A “national survey” of Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander design will feature in an exhibition that will take place at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne’s Federation Square from July.

Blak Design Matters is curated by Jefa Greenaway, director of Greenaway Architects and chair of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria (IADV). It aims to “challenge pre-conceptions of Indigenous design and showcase the depth of design talent,” with works from Indigenous designers across Australia.

Greenaway said, “Think of the potential to appropriately and sensitively reference the depth of history that this country too often conceals.”

“Indigenous-led design and designers have the tools to give voice to many compelling narratives that our rich culture holds.”

The exhibition will feature the work of a number of architects, including Greenaway himself, as well as Queensland architect Carroll Go-Sam and NSW architect Dillon Kombumerri.

Greenaway will also design the exhibition in collaboration with the Trust and Melbourne practice Sibling Architecture.

Also featured will be the work of designers in interior and and furniture design, landscape architecture, town planning, graphic design, fashion, jewellery and textiles.

Blak Design Matters will take place from 20 July until 30 September at the Koorie Heritage Trust in the Yarra Building on Federation Square.

With the IADV and Lyons Architecture, Greenaway was responsible for the design of the organization’s spaces in the building.

The Yarra building is currently flagged for demolition and will be replaced by a shop for American electronics company Apple, designed by Foster and Partners.

The designers participating in Blak Design Matters are Marcus Lee Designs, Balarinji Designs and Galimbaa Designs (graphic design); Lyn-Al Young Vic, Arki The Label and AARLI (fashion); Nicole Monks and Francoise Lane (interiors/furniture design); Carroll Go-Sam, Dillon Kombumerri and Jefa Greenaway (architecture); Paul Herzich (landscape); Grace Lillian Lee, Haus of Dizzy and Maree Clarke (jewellery); Injalak Arts and Babbarra Design (textiles).

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