Who's Speaking At AWR L!VE?

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AWR L!VE: Tools For Design

On Saturday August 4, 2018 in Sydney five of Australia’s leading designer/makers and educators in wood will take you on a journey into their design practice, revealing the way they generate ideas and how they translate and refine those ideas in wood.

Our high profile and highly qualified speakers will share their personal experiences on finding inspiration, developing a style, and finding a voice within the medium of wood and the realm of furniture and object making.

What are the principles of design, form and function? How can you discover, express and develop your style? Timber trends, fashions in furniture, sustainability, technology, craft and culture. These are just some of the topics our informative speakers and panel discussions will touch on. Here are our speakers for 2018!

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AWR L!VE 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Sponsor panel

markowitz-portrait-web.jpgAdam Markowitz

On the cover and profiled in the current issue (98) of Wood Review, Adam Markowitz is fast developing a profile as one of the leading voices of Australia's new generation of designer makers.

After completing a degree in architecture Adam attended graduate schools of design and craft in Melbourne (University of Melbourne), Hobart (University of Tasmania), The Netherlands (TU Delft), Denmark (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts) and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Maine USA.

Exposed in those schools to fine craft and traditional joinery, Adam has developed a design philosophy that values the intimate connection between design and fabrication, and the new opportunities found at the intersection of modern digital processes and traditional methods of craftsmanship.

When not prototyping in the workshop, Adam currently teaches Design and Architecture at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne. His recent awards include Winner: 2015 ACE Australian Contemporary Emerging Design, Winner: 2014 Vivid Design Competition. In 2014 he was a recipient from the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, American/Australian Association.

Designing and making should be a 50/50 split, says Adam, who will highlight ways to more powerfully develop and blend both together.

laura-mccusker-web.jpgLaura McCusker

Featured on the cover of AWR#92, Laura McCusker is an internationally acclaimed furniture designer maker based in Tasmania. Her work is described as ‘exceptional’ by Tyler Brule (Wallpaper magazine) and her pieces have featured regularly in Australian and international interior design publications including Monocle, Monument, The Financial Times (UK and Asia), Australian Financial Review, Vogue Living and Craft Arts International, to name a few. Over her 18-year career as a designer/maker, she has been the subject of a number of TV documentaries focusing on her studio practice.

Laura's work has been commissioned locally by both the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and has travelled as far as the US, UK and Europe. In 2013 she won the prestigious Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design and over the course of 2018 through 2021 her work will travel throughout Australia as part of the Australian Design Centre’s travelling exhibition Obsessed: Compelled to make. In May this year, Laura will take up a residency at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, USA.

Her designs are instantly recognisable from the clean aesthetic and mid-century influences, and her no nonsense approach to problem solving some of the most challenging commissions has meant that demand for her work continues to increase locally, interstate and internationally.

Laura is a charismatic figure whose remarkable achievements as a professional maker and advocate for the visual arts, design and contemporary craft sector in Australia have made her an inspiring and highly sought after speaker.

Helmut Lueckenhauhelmet-lueckenhausen78.jpgsen

Helmut Lueckenhausen is a dynamic figure on the Australian studio furniture and design scene with an equally distinguished record as an academic and researcher. His work has been exhibited all over the world and is included in the permanent collections of the Australian National Gallery as well as numerous other public galleries and museums locally and in Germany. 

Helmut has served on many national and international boards and committees, including the Design Institute of Australia, Craft Australia, Craft Victoria and committees of the Australia Council. As Professor Emeritus Helmut Lueckenhausen PhD, FDIA, FRSA, JBK(H) (Malaysia), he is known as a leading exponent in the field of studio furniture who has also led research projects in wood technology. Currently he holds the position of Pro Vice Chancellor Academic at Torrens University Australia, part of Laureate International Universities.

As a leading light of the Australian studio furniture movement, both as a designer maker and renowned educator, Helmut Lueckenhausen is uniquely equipped to share insights on the trends and principles of design in wood.

Roy Schackroy-schack-79-web.jpg

Ten years in the merchant bank industry convinced Roy Schack to follow his heart and take a more tactile career path. After completing studies at the Sturt School for Wood in 1994, Roy opened his first workshop in Woolloongabba, and later in Samford Valley established The Brisbane School of Fine Woodwork, where he also continues to make to commission under the banner of Roy Schack Fine Furniture. Roy finds the combination of these disciplines to be complementary to his own development as a designer and maker.

Danish born, Roy's aesthetic is about good design and craftsmanship in equal measure. "Over the years, articulating the influences on my work has become easier, and I’m finding there are natural ties between those things I love—the Danish culture, the Japanese way of understanding space, and the humility of Shaker style.

"When I look at furniture and object design from any one of these three areas I recognise similarities with the other two. The things that matter most to me as a designer maker include quality without compromise, a good working relationship with my clients and above all else, my own enjoyment in the process. I work almost exclusively in solid timber and utilise a combination of traditional and modern joinery techniques.’

Roy's work has recently been part of the exhibitions Chatoyance, Sturt Gallery Mittagong, 2018; Unfolds, Designmuseum Denmark, 2017; and Alumni, Sturt Gallery, Mittagong (2017).

Roy is known as a designer maker whose style is based on uncompromising standards of craftsmanship. As an incisive communicator and highly regarded teacher he is able to inspire others to understand their own style and the values they are driven to express.


Ben Percy

Ben Percy is at the forefront of Australia's new generation of makers and, with year on year award winning students, now acclaimed as one of Australia's leading secondary school teachers of design and industrial technology.

Ben's ability to communicate design principles and practical paths to achieving resolved designs in wood is proven. In AWR Student Awards 2016–17, three of his students won awards, and this year three were highly commended. In 2017 three of Ben’s students were amongst the top ten secondary school industrial technology students in NSW.

Ben believes great design is functional, beautiful, sustainable and also individual. Inspired by nature and driven by perfectionism, Ben's appreciation and understanding of the innate qualities of timber is almost palpable and his handcrafted furniture showcases both the timber and his adept skill at handling it. His furniture is a fluent expression of this process and it reflects a succinct design aesthetic that Ben defines as ‘clean lines and good bones’.

Ben has found a fine balance between making furniture and teaching the craft to others. ‘It’s not a career that you can disengage with when you leave the workshop at night’, he reflects. ‘You are constantly creating, seeking inspiration and learning. It’s your passion, your life’.

In recent years Ben Percy's work has featured in several exhibitions, while at the same time he is now widely credited with inspiring an upcoming generation of designer makers.

With a well rounded understanding of the modern woodworker's toolkit of technologies, Ben will shed light on strategies that all makers can adopt to increase their design skills.

AWR L!VE is proudly sponsored by:

 Sponsor panel

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