The Other Hemisphere 2014, Australian design goes to Milan

The Other Hemisphere's official 'hero' image offers just a small taste of the items on show.

Sarah King, joint founder of design studio, blakebrough + king and supercyclers is also the curator of The Other Hemisphere – an exhibition platform with the goal of taking Australian (and now New Zealand) design to a greater audience – both at home and abroad. To this end, King is taking her juggernaut on the road again this year after a year out from curatorial madness in 2013. The group show will be opening in Milan on Tuesday the 8th of April for Milan’s design week, then again in Sydney at DesignEx in late May.

“We’ve whittled our initial selection down to just 12 talented Australian and New Zealand design practices. But due to the level of collaboration this actually means we will have the work of 24 different designers on show”, says Sarah King.

Alison Jackson designed 'Cheese Tools' for &Company. Photo: &company

Alison Jackson designed ‘Cheese Tools’ for &Company. Photo: &company

Selected from submissions from all over Australia and New Zealand, King has chosen four from NSW including her own supercyclers (herself and Liane Rossler plus Tamara Maynes and many other occasional partners), four from Victoria, one designer from the Northern Territory, Elliat Rich, and one from South Australia, Timothy Tuppence. Two New Zealand designers, David Moreland and Nathan Goldsworthy join the fray.

The full line up is: &companyGregory BonaseraField Experiments, Nathan Goldsworthy, Group WorkDowel Jones, Elliat Rich, David Moreland, supercyclers, The fortynine, Timothy Tuppence and Henry Wilson in collaboration with Benja Harney and Bianca Chang.

Ventura Lambrate has, over its short five year history, expanded from small alternative venue to one of the most exciting destinations Milan design week has to offer. Set in a former industrial area in the northern part of the city, Lambrate has a grungy edge that compliments the design products just as well as the Palazzos that showcase the big brand products in the city’s centre. In Lambrate you will find most of Europe’s best design schools from The Royal Academy of Art (London) to the Netherland’s Eindhoven. Add to this a sea of independent design studios and young, recently graduated designers and you have a melting pot of pure design that isn’t heavily controlled by the financial necessities facing large global companies. Put more simply, it features a lot of experimental design and prototypes galore.

David Moreland's 'Shadow mirror' in it's small form. Taller versions are also on show. Photo: Eve Mackay

David Moreland’s ‘Shadow mirror’ in it’s small form. Taller versions are also on show. Photo: Eve Mackay

The work King has compiled for TOH 2014 is more conceptual in nature than Australian audiences would be used to. There’s not a hoop-pine plywood café stool in sight! This more thoughtful approach to design is perfect for the audience visiting Lambrate and just what King was hoping for.

The double mirror version of David Moreland's 'Shadow mirror' inverts the form to project from the wall. Photo: Eve Mackay

The double mirror version of David Moreland’s ‘Shadow mirror’ inverts the form to project from the wall. Photo: Eve Mackay

Field Experiments spent months in Bali (poor them) working with local crafts people to develop useful objects from commercially available everyday objects and woven rattan

Field Experiments spent months in Bali (poor them) working with local crafts people to develop useful objects from commercially available everyday objects and woven rattan

Field Experiments' 'Adhoc'  pendant light from fishing net, vintage lamp shade and stone counter-weight.

Field Experiments’ ‘Adhoc’ pendant light from fishing net, vintage lamp shade and stone counter-weight.

Not content with taking a group of designers and their projects to Milan, King has organized a whole heap of collaborations with innovative Australian companies – partly to help fund the venture but also to extend the showcasing of Australian design beyond the designers to the sort of Australian companies that have already made a mark around the world for their uncompromisingly original approach – such as Aesop.

Aesop's store in Adelaide that uses 7560 amber bottles for it's wave like ceiling.

Aesop’s store in Adelaide that uses 7560 amber bottles for it’s wave like ceiling.

Joining in the collaborative spirit is Bio cup, a specialist recycled paper container manufacturer that supplies many of Australia’s more environmentally conscious cafés and take away food outlets. In a similar vein paper suppliers, Spicers are providing all the paper required for brochures and posters (recycled of course). Spicers are leaders in recycled and FSC sourced paper products for the printing industry.

The limited edition travel kit by Aesop in collaboration with TOH features an environmental bamboo toothbrush, 5 classic Aesop products in a specially designed pack with interior fabric 'Gawaa' (river) designed by artist Lucy Simpson.

The limited edition travel kit by Aesop in collaboration with TOH features an environmental bamboo toothbrush, 5 classic Aesop products in a specially designed pack with interior fabric ‘Gawaa’ (river) designed by artist Lucy Simpson.

But possibly the most important collaboration (well it might seem that way at 4 o’clock after a long day of design viewing) is the fact that King has organized for Melbourne based roasting house St Ali to take an enter coffee cart over to Milan and serve Australian strength coffees In the centre of the exhibition space during the week. It’s a sad truth that coffee isn’t that good in Milan – particularly if you are a milk coffee drinker, so having a top flight Melbourne barista team at the helm of a La Marzocco machine on the ground will no doubt be a massive draw card for The Other Hemisphere show and keep everybody functioning through the long, grueling week. To celebrate the occasion St Ali and TOH have come together to produce a special cup in porcelain with a beautifully turned ash saucer, designed by Fortynine Studio.

The St Ali porcelain cup and saucer set with turned ash saucer, designed by Fortynine Studio + TOH. Limted edition of 20 are available

The St Ali porcelain cup and saucer set with turned ash saucer, designed by Fortynine Studio + TOH. Limted edition of 20 are available

DesignEx, another of The Other Hemisphere’s partners will immediately benefit from the Ventura Lambrata collaboration as both the founders of the Dutch organization will be guests at designEx 2014, in May in Sydney. Assembly Papers the graphic design team behind The Other Hemisphere’s web and printed material has produced a great blog piece on the nature of ‘simple’ in design with input from several of the Other Hemisphere designers. Check it out here.

For more info on all the brands and designers mentioned either click on the links or visit DesignEX Sydney May 28 – 30.

This article was originally published at Design Daily Blog.