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DESIGN IN FLUX: RECODING In his book Visions (1998), Michio Kaku imagined a USA in 2020 in which microprocessors are as cheap as scrap paper, and the surface of the earth is an intelligent membrane: Smart bathrooms provide constant feedback and checkups on our health, and traffic jams have long been eliminated by computer-controlled cars driving in unison six feet apart. In his novel After London (1895), Richard Jefferies imagined a future, post-disaster England, in which roads were overgrown with greenery, fields overtaken with thorns, briars, brambles and saplings, and in place of London, an oozy black water swamp, from which exhaled a vapour so fatal that no animal could endure it.

Time comes into it. Say it. Say it. The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. Muriel Rukeyser “The Speed of Darkness” (1968)

Narrative fictions of future worlds have played an important role in the history of human thought and invention. They have functioned occasionally to caution a public that current patterns of human behaviour and technological development will lead to a dystopian scenario. More commonly, particularly in the history of professional design practice, speculative fictions have tended to support techno-utopias that reflect the interests of industry. A case in point is the 1939 World’s

Fair in New York, where the pioneering designers Walter Dorwin Teague, Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes designed futuristic pavilions for their respective sponsors Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Showcasing super-highways, assembly lines and controlled environments designed to provide a “good life for all” (though clearly not all), the fair emerged out of corporate efforts to counter the perceived heavy-hand of Government in Roosevelt’s New Deal and the “merchants of death” rumours that hung over industry after the bloodshed of World War 1. In hindsight, as the historian Jeffrey Meikle has written, Teague, Loewy and Geddes’s utopias were guilty of “Looking at Tomorrow and arriving mostly in the middle of today”. Such a result of future-casting is nothing new. Plato’s utopia in the Republic proposed the continuation of slavery and a strict class system supported by a convenient fiction or “noble lie”. In this exhibition, Design in Flux, a selection of exploratory design projects has been interwoven with a narrative to investigate how a recoding of present values, behaviours and technologies might take place. In contrast to the techno-utopias produced by designers of the Machine Age, the

scenarios explored here aim to shed light on the presumptions that lie behind current design processes, and propose new ways forward. As each scenario is encountered, the narrative aims to trigger an interrogation: what worlds are being perpetuated here? What worlds do we want to perpetuate? This strategy is born out of an historic problem with exhibiting designed objects, which goes back to the Great Exhibitions of the 19th century: displayed like sculptures on pedestals or framed like paintings on walls, the designed artefact is inevitably cast in a value system­—or fiction – which construes it as formal, finished object. In Design in Flux, we seek for design to be recast (or recoded) as unfinished, as a process in which the design continues to happen after the completion of production and distribution. This should, by now, be clear to anyone who has experienced how a designed thing—be it a car, highway, tax form or phone—designs behaviours to accompany it. A design goes on designing. The designing agency of technology is one theme of this exhibition. Design in Flux is also meant to signify that in its current state of fluency, design,

or what we have come to consider the official domain of design—the practices of those who call themselves designers—is equally mutable. Digital and custom methods of manufacturing, the decline of print publishing, the emergence of “design thinking” all present an environment in which definitions are being challenged and disciplinary boundaries are being dissolved. Such is the complexity of contemporary design problems that a designer or design educator who clings to the walls of a disciplinary silo and ignores social, political, environmental and extradisciplinary concerns, is increasingly in danger of irrelevance. The working hypothesis is that a designer of the future needs both disciplinary, practical skills and skills of synthesis, an ability to understand “matters of concern” (as Bruno Latour put it) as part of a relational picture. This challenge is made particularly urgent by the shifts taking place around us: climate change, population growth and the depletion of natural resources have significantly shifted the way that ordinary people around the world design. It is perhaps the West where adaptation has been, in some cases, slowest, where we cling onto standardized notions of an acceptable “standard of living” fomented in the post-war years.

The work in the show was initiated by design practitioners and researchers in Australia, at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. In curating the work, a subtext emerged in that the view from the margins, the proverbial borders of design is, lately, swimming into sharp focus. In Australia, where thin, sun-bleached and infertile soils, periodic flooding, drought, water-shortage, over-grazing, cyclones, and a hole in the ozone layer have cast a harsh light over imported farming and habitation practices, we also operate in a country that has for the last century or so, systematically mined and exported its precious resources. As the geographer Jared Diamond has written, Australia gives us a “foretaste of problems that actually will arise elsewhere in the First World if present trends continue.” We are, in some senses, at the forefront of change, and yet struggling to shift our design practices into a gear that stands any chance of coping with that change. Hence the need to recode and rethink through narratives. As Tony Fry puts it, “Transformative action begins with the creation of a narrative and an image that is directive of a critical approach, detailed planning and co-ordinated, well-executed designed action in space and time.”


This is not, then, a techno-utopian exhibition of design. Instead we invite you to explore with us the possible design futures and the assumptions exposed by an attempted recoding: what is concealed by the universalist language of the pictogram; how an alternative history might provide a pathway for the future in an interactive physical diagram of Australia; how a close reading of gesture can reveal its rhetorical potential in design discourse; how the tyranny of the image of the human body as represented in mass media might be recoded with typographic invention; how a critical rethinking and re-printing of social media might open up its potential for an aesthetic of slowness, how digital manufacturing might de-massify manufacturing and support individual expression and creation of wearables and rideables; and how the layering and suturing of trajectories in an urban area might address its problem of dislocation. The hope is that the exhibition will provide a view of design research and practice that exists in opposition to the prevalent positivism at work in the field, that which seeks always to abstract, quantify and generalize. The hope is to provide an alternative to what Felix Guattari

called the “mythical scientific objectivity” that reigns in the university: “It is time to re-examine machinic productions of images, signs of artificial intelligence, etc., as new materials of subjectivity.” Peter Hall

REFERENCES Diamond, Jared. 2005. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Viking Press. Fry, Tony. 2010. Abstract: A Statement of Position. Zoontechnica, issue 0. abstract.html#pg_issue_00.abstract.html. Guattari, Felix. 1992. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. In Participation, edited by Claire Bishop (whitechapel/MIT 2006) Jefferies, Richard. 1895. After London: or, Wild England. Oxford University Press. Kaku, Michio 1998. Visions: How Science will Revolutionize the 21st Century. New York: Oxford University Press. Latour, Bruno, “Why has critique run out of steam?” Critical Inquiry, Winter 30: 2 2004. Meikle, Jeffrey. 1979. Twentieth Century Limited: Industrial Design in America 1925-1939. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Rukeyser Muriel. 1968. “The Speed of Darkness”. New York: Random House.



Lécher la vitrine (licking at the shop window) Contemporary design is intentionally exonerating. By being conceptualized on the grounds that people are consuming personas without unique idiosyncrasies and civic responsibilities, it legitimizes a compliant mode of being and an uncritical acceptance of an imposed perception of living. A model of ‘globalized life’, orchestrated by international marketing agencies and supported by products and services, encourages everyday people, especially in developed countries, to disregard the complexities that accompany their living room set, their bathroom tiles, their bedroom carpet and the implications attached to them regarding climate, geopolitical and socio-political issues. For this, design holds a great deal of responsibility, especially for what it is not acknowledged to be: A political, social, anthropocentric exercise of power, an expression of grandeur that works hand in hand with capitalism and neo-liberalism. As part of this unbreakable alliance, it categorizes people, consumes identities, replaces cultures, dictates homogenization, transforms localities, and erases individuality. To illustrate this, Achille Mbembe (cited in Geschiere 1997, p.1) addressed the impact of globalization on Africa by using

the phrase Lécher la vitrine (licking at the shop window) so as to show the aftermath of new forms of colonisation and the ramifications of imposed material desires. In this context and under conditions of accelerating climate change and unavoidable unsettlement, my research aims to demonstrate how design could contribute to sustain human existence by identifying the importance of shifting from material to human capital, situated learning, indigenous knowledge and designing in time and to reveal that which design doesn’t take under consideration while performing its duties as a cultural, social and political colonizing activity. Following this, creating a bridge between design and other discourses such as border thinking, decolonial thought and critical theory and making present the necessity for practical and cognitive re-skilling by recoding repair and share are the first steps towards the recognition of design ‘as the decision and direction embodied in all things humans deliberately bring into being, this as they relationally constitute the made environments of our existence’ (Fry and Kalantidou, 2014, p.1).




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Figure 1. Borderlands, 2014, digitial print, 830 x 2000mm Figure 2. Handled with Care, 2014, digitial print, 830 x 2000mm


Not seeing the wood for the trees Budget air fares began in the 1970s and soon international tourism increased at a phenomenal rate. The growth in international travel highlighted the need for a standardised approach to pictorial signage, one that bypassed the barrier of written and spoken language. Toward the end of the 1970s the US Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the American Institute of Graphic Arts, published a set of travel-related symbol signs that set the benchmark for travel pictograms. In line with Modernist aspirations of a better world, these were made freely available and they quickly gained wide acceptance. While providing a design solution to one problem, however, the ubiquity of signs displaying endless images of humans masked a more fundamental problem of which they were a product: catastrophic human population growth. The essence of Gestalt psychology is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The well-known ‘Aha!’ moment is when we suddenly ‘see’ how separate pieces coalesce to produce an entirely different image. The exponential growth in the appearance of identical pictograms depicting human beings is a manifestation of the

exponential growth in human population. But the number of pictograms cannot keep pace with the population explosion. Even while these symbols silently attempt to effect some sort of control over the overwhelming tsunami of humanity the figure/ground relationship of graphic representation and population growth is confused: the Aha! moment is there in front of our eyes, if only we can see it.

1: Male/Female Increasing population growth = Increasing resources depletion

1: Nursery “Every Sperm is sacred, Every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.” (Monty Python’s movie The Meaning of Life 1983)

1: Escalator Travelling continuously, getting nowhere.

Figure 1: Male/Female, 2014, solvent-based inks on banner vinyl, heat welded, 880 x 1960mm Figure 2: Nursery, 2014, solvent-based inks on banner vinyl, heat welded, 880 x 1960mm Figure 3: Escaltor, 2014, solvent-based inks on banner vinyl, heat welded, 880 x 1960mm


(Re) Shaping the City Today’s cities are faced with the challenges of rapid population growth, urban sprawl, housing shortages, urban decay, increasing social segregation and displacement of the geographically, climatically, politically and economically disadvantaged. Current ‘solution’ ­—based approaches to issues of the urban lean toward rapid responses to the construction of housing, public buildings, infrastructure and the provision of essential community services framed within short term aesthetic, political and economic agendas. Planners, architects, design professionals and policy makers however have largely failed to address the interconnectedness and complexity of challenges facing urban environments, with increasingly disconnected populations and weaknesses in existing social systems. The more resilient the social cohesion of a community, the less vulnerable it becomes. The challenge of providing opportunities for the excluded and marginalised must be examined not as an instrumental solution to the provision of affordable housing, but as a reshaping of lives, a reconnection to community, and as an ethical and equitable ‘right to the city’ leading to more compact cities and greater cohesion. My research addresses the impact of this complex urban management structure on social exclusion.

Although social exclusion is both an urban and regional problem, I will limit my research to the urban. My work examines social exclusion in urban areas, also referred to as marginalisation, as a result of a lack of interconnectedness between different neighbourhoods (suburbs) as well as segregation from essential services. Although by nature suburbs are unequal, some offer many opportunities while others – often the ones on the fringes of cities – offer less than favourable circumstances. Due to their affordability, they both attract different demographics. The inequalities of the different areas are evident in work opportunities or the distance to work, quality of schools, physical environment in the forms of housing quality and available green spaces and access to necessary amenities and services, often resulting in limited or absent participation in active citizenship, the prompting of a sense of failure, rejection and shame often passed down through the generations. Typically the most vulnerable in society, people on low income, welfare recipients, single parents, teenage parents and people with disabilities concentrate in the poorer areas, often creating real concentration of long-term poverty.


I was born in Brisbane Goodna. Both my parents were migrants from Czechoslovakia. They came over here in 1974. I have been working as a labourer but lost my job four years ago. At the moment I am doing a bit of volunteer work as part of my pension entitlements. I am looking for work too but it’s hard. Once you have been out of work for a while you lose your contacts and people don’t want to give you a chance. I tried re-training and getting a certificate because everyone is asking for some qualifications. But my marriage fell apart two years ago and with that my whole life fell apart too. I have two kids, thirteen and eight. I don’t see much of them now. A year ago a mate told me about this subsidised rental scheme. Something the government offers to people on low income. I have been on the list to get public housing but the waiting list is long. So in the meantime, through this mate, I managed to get a one bedroom unit here in Highgate Hill. It’s brand new, small but brand new and really close to everything. I can walk down to west End and the city. I am not sure how many units here are subsidised but I know that my neighbour pays about 30 percent more rent than I do for the same size unit. Having this unit has been good. It has helped me to want to get my life sorted. Get my kids back, hopefully find a job too. Life is good at the moment.


Purchasing or fully owned


private rental


Purchasing or fully owned


private rental


Social Housing


Subsidised private rental

I have been in Australia for a long time now. Many years in Brisbane. I came from Papua New Guinea. I was working as a seamstress in Port Moresby before I got married and had David. When my husband died, I had no money to support myself and David. We were very poor and I did not have any family anymore. But David is an Australian citizen because of his father and his father still had family here in Brisbane. We moved here in 1996. Paul’s family helped us, they sponsored me. But they did not have any place for us to stay and we lived in their garage for many years until I got this unit here in Dutton Park. It is a Housing Commission Building. All the units here are the same, two bedrooms. They are basic and some people here are noisy and I think they are always in trouble with the police. The police come here at lot. But the location is very good. David went to the catholic primary school across the road and then he went to the catholic high school a few streets up the road. He has just finished his university degree. He is an accountant now and he lives and works in Sydney. I miss him but I think I will stay here. I am working as a cleaner three times per week. I have friends here and it is convenient to live here in Dutton Park. I can take public transport to get to work. I clean houses in Highgate Hill, West End and South Brisbane.



Figure 1: Social exclusion Dutton Park — mapping of social exclusion, public housing and interview, 2014, digitial print, 850 x 600mm Figure 2: Social exclusion Highgate Hill — mapping social exclusion, government subsidised private rental and interview, 2014, digitial print, 850 x 600mm Figure 3: Social exclusion South Brisbane — mapping social exclusion, Common Ground and Interview, 2014, digitial print, 850 x 600mm

Social Housing


Subsidised private rental



Purchasing or fully owned


private rental


Social Housing


Subsidised private rental

I am 22 and have been living on the streets for about three years now. I grew up In Melbourne, went to private school and did really well. Both my parents have their own business, my dad is a contractor and my mum has a hairdressing salon. I moved out of home when I was seventeen. Actually my parents kicked me out. I got into drugs and started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I hardly went to school any more. Eventually I got expelled for stealing from other students. Anyway I didn’t want to do school anymore. At the time I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I did a bit of couch surfing. Did that for about a year but it got harder and harder to find a place. I had no money. I was too young to get any from the Government I think. Anyway I needed to give them an address and I didn’t have one. I was on the streets in Melbourne for about eight month but it was so bloody cold. A friend drove up to Byron and I got a lift with her. From there I eventually ended up here. This sleeping bag under the bridge has been my home for about a year now. We are like family here. Davo over there is helping me to find some work and Cathy knows some people at Common Ground. They said that I might get a studio soon. They don’t have one at the moment but maybe in a few month time. I have some friends who live there. It’s a nice place and they help you with getting your benefits from Centrelink. I don’t know how much rent I will have to pay but my friends are on unemployment benefit and they are able to pay their rent. I have to do something with my life. I am 22 and haven’t really started living yet.


Kartogrifa In-Flux Kartogrifa In-Flux is an interactive event where participants move around a table while reading a textual narrative within a graphic layout. On the interactive table are tactile, moveable objects (printed acrylic discs and metal objects) symbolising land, human and the artificial, which participants are encouraged to move and slide in and out of ‘place’. The tactile objects correlate with the textual narrative. Both these mediators function to expose Eurocentric thinking. They appear and read as Indigenous knowledge and values represented through the contrast between living in reciprocity with land, and arriving as a European culture ‘separated’ from the land. The ‘branched’ narrative tells an original fictional story, of a Cartographer walking with an Australian Aboriginal tribe around the time of ‘First Contact’ in 1788. One branch leans toward the kartogrifa valuing Indigenous Knowledge (IK) systems and ways-of-being. The other branch reads as though the cartographer does not. Even though KIF is socio-culturally placed in Australia, readers will identify outcomes and insights that can be transferred into other pedagogical tools in other localities, including: (i) rejecting dominant Western linear pedagogy through employing post-structural methods; (ii) using narrative fictions to write alternative

histories, sediments for alternative futures; and, (iii) using culturally constructive (rather than culturally destructive) sign deployments to trigger a questioning of the politics of representation inherent in each locality. My research interests are related to the connections between Design and Colonialism, with a particular focus on new openings combining Design Futures and Australian Aboriginal cultural production.

Figure 1. Kartogrifa In-Flux, 2012, laser cut acrylic, mdf, plywood, digital vinyl cut sticker artwork, 3600 x 1200mm


JFK-Courier Mail Chair A chair is an anticipatory space of the human form. It reflects corresponding parts of the body; legs, arms, head and back. A newspaper also shares this analogy, the body of text, footnotes, a story with legs, headlines. JFK-Courier Mail Chair (2013) explores the synchronistic and diachronistic nature of global culture by linking, paradoxically, a great world event to an intimate domestic moment. The event becomes a universal connector, remembered in the context of a physical setting. This is expressed through the decoupaged Brisbane Courier Mail telling of JFK’s assassination and the chair being made from a Brisbane bed that was slept in on that day. The transformed bed, the most intimate of personal settings, represents memory reconstruction, Freud’s deferred action, where past events are reassembled and interpreted for the future. There is a juxtaposition of the horror of the event to the banal consumerism of 1963 advertisements. Pictures of boy’s toy guns and cartoons of CIA agents form a diachronistic statement, metonymic of the impending disaster of Vietnam which Kennedy initiated, where Brisbane boys, who play with toy guns and read James Bond comics would later die. The chair’s components were carved with a drawknife under a tree planted in late 1963,

using the tools and applying the techniques of the bodgers, a craft that made chair components in the Beech forests of England until the early 20th century. I am the 8th generation to make vernacular furniture in Australia starting with First Fleet convict Anthony Rope in 1788.

Figure 1. JFK-Courier Mail Chair, 2013, salvaged wooden bed, newspaper and shoe, 1050 x 550 x 450mm


Respect Every Body Negative body image is a widespread social issue in Australia and around the world, particularly affecting adolescents who judge themselves against thin or muscular ideals perpetuated by visual communicators. To date, education and awareness programs have been the main weapon in combatting this issue, however the visual nature of these programs is often not considered. Questions remain on the best visual approach to use, as the current trend of using photographic representations of ‘diverse’ and ‘healthy’ adolescents is in danger of only replacing one ideal with another. My research aims to explore methods in which designers can address this issue using hand generated lettering to disrupt the status quo and promote the idea of difference and imperfection of form being acceptable, even desirable. These three images are a reimagining of the ‘Respect Every Body’ slogan used by the Australian Government in a recent campaign promoting body image diversity to high school students. They experiment with repetition of manual processes to encourage imprecise results. With all of the methods involved, initial marks are made carefully and deliberately while the final marks, affected by physical and mental fatigue, tend to be less precise and even rushed. Perfectly drawn

circles develop into wonky ovals, evenly applied paint sprays sit next to patchy and runny blobs while vigilantly drawn letterforms devolve into similar but unusually proportioned varieties. My aim has been to produce images that are visually engaging but highlighting that a person has dedicated an amount of care and time in the creation of the work. The processes used also ensures that each character is uniquely different, comfortable with it’s own shape and perfect in its own imperfection.

Figure 1. Respect, 2014, digital print (stenciled spray paint, digitally assembled and coloured), 800 x 2130mm Figure 2. Every, 2014, digital print (pen and pencil, digitally assembled and coloured), 800 x 2130mm Figure 3. Body, 2014, digital print (pen and pencil, digitally assembled and coloured), 800 x 2130mm


Proximity Gestures are mostly spontaneous and provisional in nature—used by designers as a flexible, adaptive tool to create virtual representations of early-stage design ideas. Designers engage with spontaneous gestures to create ‘virtual’ suspended artefacts as an extension to unarticulated elements in the design process. This ‘virtual’ space designates objects and states that exist but are not tangible, not ‘concrete’ (Shields 2006, p.284). In the context of this work, virtual, therefore, is not limited to ‘digital’ environments, and the gestural actions represented can be said to occur in a ‘virtual’ environment (Kita 2000). In each image virtual is represented by the co-constructed space that exists in the immediate proximity between two people.

REFERENCES Kita, S (2000). ‘How representational gestures help speaking’, in D McNeill (ed.), Language and gesture, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom. Müller, C (2007). ‘A Dynamic View of Metaphor, Gesture and Thought’, in SD Duncan, J Cassell and ET Levy (eds), Gesture and the Dynamic Dimension of Language: essays in honor of David McNeill, John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam, pp. 109-116. Shields, R (2006). ‘Virtualities’, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 23, no. 2-3, pp. 284-286.

The work represented captures a sample of images from a series of design team interactions. Gestures are quick, fleeting and often overlooked, the gesture sequences documented often occurred over a manner of seconds. The resultant: a series of stills captured from video data. Each image has been specifically selected and digitally augmented to centre the viewer’s gaze on the embodied gestural interaction. The process of viewing continuous loops of video data and capturing static images formed an important

part in better understanding the contained contextual nature of gestures in design. Further, capturing gestural sequences as stills provides an opportunity to preserve the creative intent: allowing for post-reflection and analysis of each detailed gestural sequence. Through aspects of this work, it has become evident that when exploring particular problems, designers rely on the discourse structure metanarrative and use metaphoric gesticulations to communicate these abstractions as well as solution scenarios. This is important because a dynamic interaction between two modes of thinking (thinking for speaking and gesturing) is implied in metaphors (Müller 2007). Critically, within each gesture the abstract content is given a form in the imaging of objects, space, movement and the like (Müller 2007). My aim has been to produce a work that helps to illustrate that unbinding a design problem, forces designers to think in new and diverse ways, and gesture plays a critical role in collaborative design processes. The process adopted for this task ensures the embodied gestural content is not dismissed and that the gestural sequences are illustrated clearly, capturing the embodied narrative.

Figure 1. Proximity (detail), 2014, digital print (video stills, augmented and digitally assembled), 1100 x 2000mm


Tangible Tweets Technologies have emerged that have utterly transformed our way of being in the world – our daily activities, thought patterns, social relations, even memories are shaped by our inventions. We routinely exteriorize our experiences, interactions, thoughts and memories—in writing, film, photos, social media, Twitter traces. Compared with the days when our experiences were passed on orally or in family annals, this is also a selection of events circumscribed by globalised commercial interests. Bernard Stiegler argues that memory has been industrialised. Tangible Tweets began with the idea that in reflecting on our interactions with technology we gain insight on the disorientation that seems to be at the core of contemporary life. Observing the sporadic cellphone reception on a remote Maine island, we invited people during this year’s DesignInquiry “Access” event on the island to use their occasional signals to send Tweets, not of links or chatter, but observations of what was around them, snapshots of the here & now. At the same time, Steve Bowden has been exploring methods of mixing and misusing printing technologies from different periods of history to disrupt notions of legibility and investigate how to achieve a convincing level

of earnestness or authenticity. Converging the tweets of the here & now with these printing and typographical experiments of Instagram images has enabled us to explore ideas of permanence and ephemerality. While social media is inherently ephemeral, the mismatch of analogue and digital printing media presents media for rendering these momentary dispatches more permanent and tangible. The project also asks whether we can resist the homogenising, mechanizing forces inherent to technologies of scale in order to re-establish a presence of presence? Or, more bluntly, can we invent a language using social media that galvanizes people rather than their representations? Printed and assembled with kind support from David and David at Wolfe Editions. Additional guidance with CNC from Bennett Morris of Maine College of Art and laser with Michael Miller of Endicott College.

Figure 1. Lead type tweets by various DI Access 2014 participants plus postcards, 130 x 180mm Figure 2. Framed Instagram images by various DI Access 2014 participants, 355 x 355mm Figure 3. Breasts, text by Arzu Ozkal retweeted in boat lettering from Five Elements exhibition, Vinalhaven, ME. Printed with CNC guided fluorescent Sharpies, 450 x 2430mm. Photo by Anita Cooney.


FIX3D The ‘FIX3D’ bicycle frame aims to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by 3D printing, challenging the traditional model of mass-production and the archetype of the bicycle frame, which has grown from it. Of particular interest is the ability to create one-off, customisable pieces that may be lighter-weight and stronger than traditional frames through the use of complex lattice structures typically seen in nature. This particular frame has been made to fit the designer’s own unique body proportions, meaning there is less need for heavy (and often expensive) adjustable components such as the seat height. Through parametric CAD software like Solidworks adjustment of critical dimensions is possible, meaning the frame could be rapidly modified to suit any customer before being printed. Additionally, a customer may wish to further customise the look of the frame, or personalise it by embedding their name into the very structure of it (as in this case ‘Novak’), enhancing the relationship between consumer and product. Moving forward, these customisable elements will function as part of an online tool, allowing for complete adjustability within the bounds of what is deemed functional.

Safety is an important aspect of bicycle design, particularly in Australia where front and rear lights are required at night by law. The problem is that these components are not a standard feature when you purchase a bike, rather a secondary add-on feature which is easily removed. By incorporating LED lights into the lattice of the 3D printed frame, safety is no longer an optional accessory. In the future as materials like carbon fibre and titanium become readily printable at this scale, professional athletes and recreational cyclists alike will be able to create bicycles perfectly suited to their anthropometry and riding style, dramatically improving performance.

Figure 1. FIX3D, 2014, 3D print (frame) and assembled bike components, 1600 x 1100 x 600mm


Roots Choker Androgynous in design, the Roots choker necklace is the result of an investigation into using 3D printing technology to produce items that would not be possible using traditional methods of jewellery making such as casting. Explorations in this field generally seek to realise the extent of complicated structures that can be formed—and tend therefore to be extravagant to the point of unwearable in any context other than catwalk or gallery. In paring back the design to represent a basic structure (which hints at the complexity of natural root systems), the choker becomes a wearable piece of art. Designed to take advantage of the current technologies and materials, the necklace may be printed in a number of materials ranging from Laywood, a filament which is a mixture of 40% recycled wood with a binding polymer, to precious metals such as gold, silver and titanium. The design also allows for further customisation with the ability to add different embellishments or to multiply the root structure. Furthermore, with the addition of scanning, pieces may be tailor made to fit individual sizes perfectly.

Figure 1. Roots Choker, 2014, 3D print, 150 x 150 x 30mm


Ruffled The design for the ‘Ruffled’ collar was a 3D printing experiment. It was designed to test how small the minimum gap between two solid bodies, while 3D printing, could be pushed without the bodies welding together. The design was simultaneously conceptualised for a 3D printing competition, which required the creation of an accessory based upon birds. The collar was designed based on a desire for it to be very lightweight and adjustable. Many sources were explored as possible inspirational references. The base of the collar is an intricate chain that was inspired by the internal structure of bird bones. The feathers situated on top of the chain were positioned to give the appearance of wings draped around the neck when pushed down. They are designed to move independently: Each chain link has a section where the toothed cog at the base of each feather sits, which holds it in place until adjusted by the wearer. This allows them to be personally positioned, giving them an individual ruffled appearance depending on the user’s mood at the time.

Prior to its completion, and due to the fact that is was an experimental model, the collar and its chain structure were subjected to many test prints. It was discovered that the model was initially unprintable due to a couple of complications. The first was that the links on the end of each piece of chain were too flimsy, which was an oversight, but very easily fixed. The second was that the gap detail for each slot on the feather pattern was too narrow to safely print. These mistakes were noted and corrected in order for the collar to be printed as evidence of development work.

Figure 1. Ruffled, 2014, 3D print, 250 x 400mm. Photo by Murray Rix.


Alisa’s Curls


This design was inspired by the challenge of creating organic forms using solid modelling software and maximising the use of 3D printing technology. The design mimics a component based construction and was modelled in 3 parts but the assembly was then printed as a single part. This is a difficult piece to model using a solid modeller and demonstrates the potential of solid modelling to be used in Fashion bringing art and engineering together.

With these three explorations into the design and manufacturing of site-specific “bollard caps” Trio challenges the underlying assumption that 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is a substitute production process. The project illustrates how rethinking design for 3D printing not only allows for characteristics in the design not formerly possible—such as undercuts as in the allumide example—but more fundamentally changes what is possible to create because of the opportunity for customisation not previously economically viable—as illustrated in the alternative examples inspired by Mangroves for a site specific solution. By dispensing of the investment previously needed for casting or injection moulding, bespoke products can be made even in metal, such as the example shown here in stainless steel backfilled with bronze, that deliver design back into the hands of the individual, the designer maker and open up opportunities for distributed manufacturing and codesign with the user so that all objects could theoretically be created on demand. This would change the face of production, moving it from mass production to mass customisation, and change the nature of design.

Figure 1. Alisa’s Curls, 2012, 3D print, 200 x 200 x 40mm. Photo by iMateralise. Figure 2. Bollard cap, 2014, 3D printed in stainless steel back filled with bronze, 80mm x 80mm x 30mm Figure 3. Bollard cap (grey), 2014, 3D printed in allumide, 120mm x 120mm x 40mm Figure 4. Bollard cap (white), 2014, 3D printed in polyamide, 120mm x 120mm x 40mm


The Peacemaker The white dove, a worldwide symbol of peace and love, is the inspiration behind The Peacemaker. Inspired by the brilliance and purity of the colour of Polyamide and its meaning within the avian world, the Peacemaker is a statement of love and non-aggression. The Peacemaker also draws reference from the Baseball Cap, an Iconic symbol of vibrant modern global culture. The project also draws influence from the legend of the Great Peacemaker of Native American legend. Its feathers subtly blend into hearts at the transition between the peak and the main body reinforcing its symbolism. The Peacemaker also draws physical inspiration from birds and their ability to separate their feathers to regulate body temperature. The entire surface of the body of the Peacemaker is covered with 238 movable feathers, which can be opened up individually, or en masse to transform the function of the Peacemaker mimicking the bird’s natural behaviour. The product’s ability to open up its feathers individually also gives an almost infinite number of potential visual combinations: Users can choose their own configuration depending on the conditions or their mood.

Figure 1 & 2. The Peacemaker, 2013, 3D print, 200 x 260 x 150mm. Photo by Peter Wanny


Synclexo Brace The Synclexo Brace is a medical brace system incorporating rigid and flexible components into one singular form. It is designed to relate directly to an individual’s injury requirement and is formed around the specified area. A 3D scan of the body is then transformed into a 3D surface to which complex plane filling geometric forms are applied. These forms are topologically optimised to control the amount of twist, flex and movement allowed in specific areas. In this case, the Synclexo brace has been developed to assist in the recovery of spinal surgery, allowing a greater range of movement once a completely rigid brace is no longer necessary. The system could revolutionise the medical industry potentially increasing the speed of recovery whilst also helping to reduce chance of repeat injuries. Being able to cross between rigid and flexible components in the one “straight out of the printer form� possesses significant advantage over current systems on the market.

Figure 1. Synclexo Brace, 2014, 3D print, 800 x 500 x 400mm


limbU With few exceptions, prosthetic limbs have remained utilitarian in appearance and singleminded in purpose. Despite promising advances in medical technology, prostheses that can match their biological counterparts are currently confined to the realms of science fiction. This limitation however does not restrict us from exploring new forms and functions for which the prosthetic limb is uniquely situated. limbU is a 3D-printed prosthetic device that moves beyond its aesthetic appearance to become a personal activity tracker, audio system, phone charger and medical diagnostic tool. Smart electronics in limbU connect with a mobile phone via Bluetooth to display the intensity, speed, and number of steps in a day. limbU also monitors altitude, direction, and GPS coordinates, along with temperature and humidity to provide a detailed image of daily activity. Motion sensors aid physicians in the rehabilitation of wearers, by tracking a limb’s, orientation and movement, helping to minimise potential problems with fit, adaptation and recovery. The interchangeable covers and user-controllable lighting allow for unique ways to express one’s identity based on mood, style or occasion.

By leveraging 3D printing, the necessary customisation of shape, size and appearance could become affordable and convenient. From industrial printers through to smaller homebased printers, the construction of limbU would scale well, further reducing expense and increasing accessibility. limbU’s potential uses can expand and develop through its smart device, app-based interfaces, promoting new and novel ways to interact with the surrounding world. The absence of a limb can challenge our sense of identity and the current replacements offered are inadequate in all but rudimentary operation. limbU seeks to redefine a wearer’s relationship with their limb by allowing the opportunity to cocreate its form and function to suit their personal lives. Through that form and function limbU endeavours to alter the perception of prosthetic limbs in the greater community, fostering an open dialogue of interest, familiarity and acceptance. Credit: Raymond Crowther­—iphone/ipad app programming and micro-controller programming.

Figure 1 & 2. limbU, 2014, 3D print, 300 x 130 x 130mm


Orbit Light Orbit is a 3D printed luminaire, inspired by a study of patterning through light and developed through CAD software. Orbit explores how design constraints are evolving with the availability of additive manufacturing. This technology eliminates the need for investment in a mould or tooling to produce a new product. Instead 3D printing allows for freedom in design where complex geometries and parts can be 3D modelled and printed in one piece, eliminating the need for assembly. This freedom allows for both quick design iterations and greater customisation for the designer and end consumer. By 3D printing this also allows the design to be scaled to any size and printed in a variety of materials, from polyamide, clear resin to precious metals. The geometries of the light were modelled so that if you rotated each of the inner segments 160 degrees outwards, it would begin transform into a closed sphere. With the overlapping pieces, complex geometries and curves of orbit, it would not be viable to manufacture without 3D printing. Orbit explores new possibilities of object creation with 3D printing by transforming design processes and creating new opportunities in design.

Figure 1. Orbit Light, 2014, 3D print, 200 x 200mm


Jillian Breadmore is a designer specialising in commercial interior and product design. After working for several years as a commercial/ retail designer within the shop fitting industry, Jillian decided to update her skills set at Griffith University, QCA. After graduating with a Bachelor of Digital Media in 3 Dimensional Design she is currently completing her Masters of Arts in Visual Art, with a special interest in Design Management of the Creative Industries.

Steve Bowden teaches design and typography in Boston and maintains a studio practice <http://> that produces design, printing, publishing, typography, woodworking, sculpture, installation, branding, packaging, and interaction design. Steve received his undergraduate degree from Maine College of Art in 1997, co-founded the New Media department of Benetton’s Fabrica in 1998, and received his master’s degree at Cranbrook Academy in 2005 and a research residency at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in 2013.

Sam Canning is currently a full-time PhD student, researching 3D Printing and its potential influence on Australian Craft Practice. Sam began his career as a trained Craftsman, serving a fouryear apprenticeship with one of the UK’s oldest furniture making firms as a hand French polisher. Sam studied industrial design after moving to Australia and then worked as an Industrial Designer with one of Australia’s leading industrial design consultancies before returning to Griffith University QCA to study a PhD.

Troy Baverstock received his B.Sc. in psychology from The University of Queensland in 2009. Further study in the areas of health science and engineeringprompted a shift into the current design degree at Griffith University QCA. A problem solver and tinkerer from an early age, Troy is fascinated by human nature, technology and the future. He strives to create thoughtful products that awaken the imagination.

Beck Davis teaches Product Design at Griffith University QCA. Her research centres on earlystage design, including how designers collaborate and respond to complex problems. In 2014 she cofounded Livespace, a socially and environmentally responsible design studio; co-led the Cloud Worksop ( and coordinated E-WASTE [RE]BOOTED, an immersive educational experience with Queensland Museum. Dr. Peter Hall is a design writer and design department head at Griffith University QCA. His research focuses on mapping and visualisation. He has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and Yale School of Art, and co-edited Else/Where: Mapping窶年ew Cartographies of Networks and Territories. In 2005 he co-founded DesignInquiry, a non-profit organization devoted to researching design issues, based in Vinalhaven, Maine.

Michael Epworth has a diploma in furniture making/design from the Melbourne School of Woodcraft and an MAVA (Hons) from Griffith University QCA. His current research explores connectedness with material and the implications of how this translates into made objects. He is influenced the 19th Century bodger/chairmaker Jimmy Possum and eight generations of Australian vernacular furniture makers, going back to the First Fleet convict/carpenter Anthony Rope. Kaecee Fitzgerald completed the Bachelor of Design with a double major in product and graphic design at Griffith University QCA. She undertook a masters course that focused on the re-imagining of the human heart through the scope of 3D Printing. After graduation, she accepted a summer internship with the Prince Charles Hospital to help design a practice heart rig, and after its completion, moved to Malaysia to undertake a 6-month internship with 3D Printing company Materialise.

Dr. Eleni Kalantidou is a Design Psychologist, Researcher, Lecturer and Convenor of the Master of Design Futures at Griffith University QCA. Her publications include the co-edited with Tony Fry book Design in the Borderlands and she has been awarded the 2014 Griffith University New Researcher Grant. Dr. Jennifer Loy has a PhD in Industrial Design, with a research focus on sustainable design practice and experience as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood. With an industry background in mass production, her research interests are the re-localisation of manufacturing, sociocultural sustainability, learning through making (digital fabrication) and the impact of disruptive technologies, such as 3D printing, on patterns of design, production and consumption.

Chris Miller is a master’s student at Griffith University QCA, focusing his postgraduate studies in 3D printing. After completing his undergrad at the end of 2013, Chris has also been teaching the 1st year design students at Griffith on the Gold Coast. James Novak is an industrial designer, university lecturer, student, researcher, and 3D print enthusiast... A mixed bag with a broad range of professional design skills, James’s focus has turned to additive manufacturing, completing an Honours program of research for a 3D printed bicycle frame with the view to PhD studies next year.

David Sargent is Creative Director of Liveworm, a work integrated learning design studio within Griffith University QCA. Liveworm operates as a working design studio with students engaging with a large range of ‘real world’ projects for not-for-profit, cultural, educational and small to medium commercial clients. Tristan Schultz is lecturer and convenor of Visual Communication Design at Griffith University QCA and an accomplished interdisciplinary designer. His research interests are related to the connections between Design and Colonialism, specifically how design can contribute to decolonial thinking and praxis, having presented events, works and papers in several forums.

Elvira Sebegatoullina is a 3D design digital media student at Griffith University QCA on the Gold Coast. She is interested in exploring the emerging possibilities of 3D printing and how it will enter a variety of industries, stepping outside current design parameters to create innovative products that would otherwise not be possible to manufacture. Elvira’s design process is in conceptualising models for translation into 3D printed objects and products, developing them through tactile experimentation and 3D CAD software. Donald Welch has worked as a designer in the UK and Australia, specialising in visual communication and typography, in areas including publication design, branding and wayfinding. Having taught design for over twenty-five years, his research focus is on creative thinking with an emphasis on Meta/Design/Futures thinking. He is the convenor of the Griffith University QCA Bachelor of Design program in Hong Kong.


Design in Flux was funded and supported by Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research. Special thanks to director Ross Woodrow. The 3D Printing work in this exhibition comes out of research undertaken by the Transformative Technologies researchers led by Dr Jennifer Loy at Griffith University. The work explores rethinking the idea of design for production and challenges what can be made, what should be made and the relationship of the designer, the maker and the user. The examples are part of a research drive to understand where changing relationships between design and production, between users and products. Some of the designs explore customisation, such as the 3D printed bike based on personal scan data, the complex objects explore the new constraints and opportunities for the designer, such as in the creation of assemblies as single printed parts, and some explore the emerging design aesthetic around 3D printing. All the designs challenge and all are still under development, supported by the very nature of a process that supports a newly iterative way of working and a new way of bringing the digital and the physical together for a more collective, shared approach to design and production.

Curator Peter Hall

Editor Evie Fanzidis

Authors Peter Hall Tristan Schultz Eleni Kalantidou

Catalogue design Liveworm studio Design: ZoĂŤ Appel Creative Director: Megan Harrison

Designers Eleni Kalantidou Donald Welch Petra Perolini Tristan Schultz Michael Epworth David Sargent Beck Davis Peter Hall Steve Bowden James Novak Kaecee Fitzgerald Chris Miller Jennifer Loy Sam Canning Jillian Breadmore Troy Braverstock Elvira Sebegatoullina

Exhibition management Beck Davis

Published by Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research Queensland College of Art, Griffith University

Exhibition Crane International Project Space (gallery 105) 1440 N. American Street Philadelphia, PA 19122 215.232.3203 9â&#x20AC;&#x201C;31 October 2014 ISBN: 9781922216526 Copyright (c) 2014. All rights reserved. No image or text may be reproduced without the permission of the artists or authors.

Profile for Queensland College of Art, Griffith University

Design in flux  

In this exhibition, Design in Flux, a selection of exploratory design projects has been interwoven with a narrative to investigate how a rec...

Design in flux  

In this exhibition, Design in Flux, a selection of exploratory design projects has been interwoven with a narrative to investigate how a rec...