There is a tangible energy in discussions being held by the newly re-elected SA branch of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).
Recently selecting a new SA president (Peter Coombs), and vice president (Ryan Genesin), along with a suite of new council members, the design organisation represents all disciplines including architecture and interiors, fashion, graphic and industrial design. “An initial question the new council asked themselves was, ‘How do we remain relevant?”’ explains Coombs, who is dedicated to re-establishing the DIA as a valuable industry body. At the frontline of this solution is a new program for members in 2016, which includes a series of events providing ongoing industry training, an addition that Coombs says, “is important to offer to our members, as the design body of Australia. Hopefully we can be a catalyst for this education.” The South Australian branch of the DIA has, in recent years, experienced a certain dormancy as a platform for design in Adelaide, something Genesin is passionate to re-activate in 2016. “We are embracing other design communities around the DIA, to create a united front [for design],” he says when asked about new ventures being planned for next year. While still in early discussions with allied professions, there are exciting opportunities to work collectively with all creatives in South Australia, which Nikki Hamdorf, an ongoing DIA council member, highlights, suggesting, “[we would love] to work closely across the institutions and associations, so we become an umbrella to all design. It provides the platform to collaborate with other disciplines.” It is clear that this rejuvenation intends to embrace the knowledge already present within the industry and pair it with the enthusiasm and energy of emerging designers. Undoubtedly, there is richness in Adelaide’s design sector, something that the DIA strives to connect with in order to provide a lively platform for engagement and activity. South Australian design is in the public eye at the moment, following tremendously successful October’s Festival of Architecture and Design (FAD) program. Next year’s growing design calendar will be supported by the Australian Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Architecture Conference, to be held in Adelaide next April. This is an important event which sees dignitaries, theorists, academics and practitioners converge to hold a critical discussion about the value of architecture and design. Additionally, there is significant interest from state government bodies and industry partners to continue to develop the latter part of next September and all of October into an extensive design month, incorporating all disciplines. This exciting growth is driven by a desire to further industry relationships and extend the reach of design into the public sphere. Also in early stages of discussion is the potential to have representatives from each of these groups on the DIA council, offering opportunities for cross–disciplinary discussions to occur at an institutional level. This kind of collaboration would not only strengthen industry affiliations but also, more notably, provide the catalyst for innovative design exchanges to take place in our city. The council is also keen to review the existing membership structure to allow it to be as accessible as possible to emerging designers and students, and provide increased value for members. Supported by its enthusiastic leadership team, headed–up by Coombs and Genesin, next year looks to be a positive and well–rounded offering from the DIA, whose ambition is stronger than ever: to foster a richer design community for South Australia. A welcome proposition for Adelaide’s increasingly dynamic creative sector.
DIA AWARDS WINNERS
OBJECT SILVER South Australian Museum Donation Box Jam Factory Metal Design Studio OBJECT SILVER Olea Compact Lounge Chairs Workspace Commercial Furniture OBJECT GOLD Arthritis Nurse Call Pendant UniSA Industrial Design Incubator OBJECT GOLD Clean Bean Fingo COMUNICATIONS SILVER Amator Parallax COMUNICATIONS SILVER Brown Falconer Parallax BUILT ENVIRONMENT SILVER Abbots + Kinney Studio Gram BUILT ENVIRONMENT SILVER Beresford Cellar Door Enoki Pty Ltd & Alexander Brown Architects BUILT ENVIRONMENT SILVER Centre for Senior Learning, Pulteney Grammar School Walter Brooke BUILT ENVIRONMENT GOLD PRESENTED BY ESTILO COMMERCIAL Oggi Studio Gram BUILT ENVIRONMENT GOLD Brickworks Design Studio Walter Brooke LAMINEX AWARD Clean Bean Fingo PRESIDENT’S AWARD Arthritis Nurse Call Pendant UniSA Industrial Design Incubator PREMIER’S AWARD Arthritis Nurse Call Pendant UniSA Industrial Design Incubator