Pressure-cooked design entertains the crowds at the Powerhouse Museum. Alaana Fitzpatrick reports on the Iron Designer phenomenon.
August 9th, 2010
Inspired by the Japanese TV show, Iron Chef, Iron Designer is the phenomenon and event launched by Studio Binocular in 2008.
Each event has been totally sold out — and when you walk into the room and feel the creative buzz, its appeal becomes clear.
8 creative studios go head to head in two 20-minute preliminary rounds – to determine which pair of studios will perform head-to-head in the final 15-minute frenzy.
As a part of the Sydney Design 2010 program, the most recent Iron Designer was held at the Powerhouse Museum on Friday August 6.
Hundreds of design-hungry spectators filled the room, and Robbie Buck guided the newly-initiated crowd through the evening’s proceedings.
For the first round, the three words revealed to inspire the conceptual designs were LA, Electric and Circle.
The winning team, Sixty40, combined humour, heart and sex, in their friction-generating, electricity-harvesting, matchmaking collar/wheel…
And if that description seems a little lost – it’s because the concept was truly radical and I’ll be honest, I lost my way.
But the enthusiastically funny, if-not questionable, design process was what saw them through to the final round.
The second round possessed equal measures of tawdry, glittery showmanship, and hard-hitting messages, but in the end it was the visual representation of Jesus’ birth that gave Frost Studio the chance to compete with Sixty40 for the title.
Round Three – with stakes high – the three words announced were Oprah, Reuse and Red.
15 minutes of hard work began, and Sixty40 finished with minutes to spare and time to get playfully distracting with their opponents.
In the end, the win was a mere 29 and 39/40 over 29 and 19/20 – but the victorious never faltered.
“After 10 years of working with each other, it was great to put all we’ve learnt into a fun, rough and tumble environment like Iron Designer. It was both challenging and invigorating.
“Having such a short time to come up with a concept and then build it out of cardboard and glue was a very scary at times (lots of sharp blades flying around) but inspiring,” said winners Matt Taylor and Mark Simpson of Sixty40.
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