How We Create at Saturday Indesign 2011

Live manufacturing by Palamont Rota

A Saturday InDesign hot-spot for home-grown innovation in manufacturing District 01 hosted a spirited display of new products from Palamont, Ambius, The Container Connection and Rakumba.

A highlight of the Saturday InDesign program, District 01 was home to the How We Create initiative featuring the live manufacture of miniature planters designed by Simone LeAmon, Helen Kontouris, Brian Steendyk and Andrew Berry. In charge of the LED accessorised rotational moulding machine aka ‘The Spaceship’ were Palamont’s ‘Polyethylene Chefs’, Jason Brown and Matthew Griffith. Giving away over 1500 planters throughout the day, guests sought the designer’s signature of their chosen mini.

Saturday InDesign – What’s it all about?

Yes, Saturday InDesign is now officially part of our landscape; whether in Melbourne or Sydney, including the city fringes, this event attracts a level of patronage other Australian design events long for.

Saturday InDesign is part of an expanding culture industry. Business is conducted and fuelled via an interplay of needs, desires, beliefs and practices – and all these things are packaged and presented back to us as legible ‘culture’. Social groups form, sentiment is sparked. People meet, drink, laugh, swap stories and accumulate a bevy of experiences in the company of business. Certainly, amidst this swirl of ideas and agendas, products and services are consumed – but so is culture itself.

And here lies the success of Saturday InDesign. Attending the event stirred up the distinct sensation you were part of something more esoteric – as if vicariously, you were connecting with every interior and architectural practice in the region. Studying the showroom floors we see the products and professionals who will design, detail and furnish spaces in which ‘other’ people will live their lives. The phrase “anthropology of consumption” (another ‘it’ term in academic circles) speaks poignantly of the contemporary process where goods talk – not of themselves, but of us. Saturday InDesign is an example of our shared understandings of commercial design made manifest in an event.

Where to from here? Now a leading event, Saturday InDesign has the capacity to evolve and deliver greater benefits, lending valuable support to Australian product designers. This need plays on the hearts and minds of a less visible design community, whose activities remain all-too-often untapped – but which, if supported, will bear witness to a mature Australian design culture.

Yes, Australian interior designers, architects and retailers still pursue love affairs with Italian, French, Spanish, German and Swedish imports – and why not? These are the products that most efficiently translate our desires, and enable us to see ourselves as the discerning, stylish, sophisticated individuals we aspire to be. But buying European products does not make us a progressive design culture – it creates an advanced consumer culture. To truly thrive, I suggest we need both. S.LeAmon

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