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5 minutes with Ben Edwards ahead of Plasticity

Not afraid to break the traditional boundaries of a designer, Ben Edwards of Studio Edwards is in the midst of organising a new design program – alt. material – we chat with him ahead of the first exhibition, Plasticity.



BY

July 3rd, 2018


 

Indesignlive: Tell me about the development of the concept behind this exhibition/auction? I’m interested in the focus on addressing issues of consumption alongside functionality and new material development/use.

Ben Edwards: Plasticity brings together leading creatives working in the fields of spatial design, furniture, lighting and art practice. The aim is to create dialogue around ideas of materiality, making, culture and consumption. 

Alt. material is a platform to share these outcomes with a wider audience and to provide an insight into contemporary design thinking and process. The exhibition provides a catalyst for experimental and exploratory techniques, removed from the pressures of commerciality and marketability. The exhibition presents these works to a wider audience. The auction acts as a marketplace for these ideas, prototypes and one-off editions.

Funds raised from the auction will be donated to The Matthew Harding Family Support Fund and The Australian Marine Conservation Society – both causes that relate to the theme and exhibition. Matthew Harding was a well-known Australian sculptor and artist, who sadly passed away earlier this year, leaving behind a wife and four children. Plasticity will be offering half of the proceeds to help support Matthew Harding’s family. The other cause being The Australian Marine Conservation Society, which will aid in clearing plastic in our oceans. 

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“The exhibition provides a catalyst for experimental and exploratory techniques, removed from the pressures of commerciality and marketability.” 

What is the larger vision behind the staging of this project?

The larger vision of Plasticity is that it is an ongoing project– titled ‘alt. material’, which will focus on a different theme for each exhibition forming an interesting archive of design investigations, generating dialogue and pushing designers further in their experiments.

Alt. material aims to dissolve boundaries between design disciplines – artists, designers, interior architects, architects and furniture designers – making design thinking inclusive and engaging to a wider audience.

The space is currently under construction ahead of the exhibition.

Tell me about the significance of working with Australian designers for this project?

It’s about designers that are innovative and talented individuals, who are pushing boundaries with their designs and fortunately, happen to be currently located in Australia. 

 

What are some of the exciting discoveries – material + design, or other – that have come out of this project?

We are developing our understanding of some of the properties of plastic, both good and bad. The various types of plastic that can be melted or reformed without releasing toxic gases through experimentation within our studio. We are currently developing an idea for a composite table made from polypropylene and stainless steel and are really excited to see what is produced by the other designers and the discoveries they have made.

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“We are developing our understanding of some of the properties of plastic, both good and bad.” – Ben Edwards on the materiality behind Plasticity
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What can people expect to see, experience, purchase at the auction?

People can expect to see 24 unique prototypes by 24 groundbreaking creatives including high profile names as well as emerging designers working across disciplines. This is a truly unique opportunity to purchase and own one-off works that have never been seen before with the money raised being given to two great causes, The Matthew Harding Family Support Fund and The Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The exhibition space, also a one-off, has been designed by Studio Edwards, which is part semi-dissected office building, part gallery. Expect something immersive and highly tactile.

 

Details

Opening night
Thursday 5 July

Exhibition running
Friday 6 – Saturday 7 July

Designers

Adam Cornish / Adam Goodrum and Patryk Koca / Adam Markowitz and Apple Huang / Andrew Simpson / Ash Allen / Ben Edwards / Chris Connell / Dean Gaylor and Scott Lewis / Dowel Jones / Dylan Morgan / Ella Saddington and Kara Pickard / Geoff Nees and Matilda Rutherford / Jake Rollins / James Walsh / Jeremy Blincoe / Jonathan Ben-Tovim / Liane Rossler / Maddie Sharrock / Michael Gittings / Michael Eaton and Nancy Ji / Nick Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson / Ross Didier / Tom Fereday / U-P

Pieces will be available to purchase through an auction via the @alt.material Instagram for the duration of the exhibition.

Further details please email  hello@studio-edwards.com (opening night by invitation)


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