Essential Design

Queensland Museum

Redefining the role of a museum through the lens of material culture

What if...
Museums of the future were not simply places for storing and researching the cultural and natural world... what if they used their knowledge to become creators? What would this look like?

The Creation of Collection
The need for to engage new audiences and stay relevant was the number one most critical issue identified by Australian museum directors in 2014 (CSIRO). The Holloway 'Essential Design' Series was an attempt to redefine the role museums might play in the future, through the lens of industrial design and material culture. Given that museums are primarily concerned with collecting, preserving and researching the natural and cultural world, it stands to reason that this knowledge of how the world manifests through the products and artifacts of the age could be applied to the creation of new objects. Indeed museums may be ideally placed at the nexus of knowledge and custodianship to produce timeless and intensely valuable cultural artifacts. 
Essential Design
A great deal of the environmental burden placed on the world by modern consumer culture is waste. 'Essential Design' is an industrial design philosophy that responds to this burden by mandating an absolute focus on the purpose of the product and its creation by way of responsible reduction of material. This image features the original 'Holloway' production process, in which frames are milled out of a broken skateboard deck, enabling the use us of this 'would-be-waste' material.
The following videos document the 'Essential Design' Series keynote talks, masterclass and workshop. The second video goes deeper into the detail of how the final lens are made and integrated with the frames
The 'Sprezzatura'
Sprezzatura - coined in the 16th century by a renaissance author, Baldassare Castiglione means "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it".  The 'Sprezzatura' frames are a veritable layer cake of interpretive potential. Representing the collaborative efforts of over 20 designers, applying 'essential design' principles to create a bespoke piece of  essential contemporary fashion from recycled materials. Not only this, the 'Sprezzatura' frame is also the first piece of the Queensland Museum collection to have been made BY the museum, representing a landmark departure from 'business as usual' and exploration of what the future might hold for museum business models. 

Lense Fitting

Queensland Museum
Credits: Story

Producer: Ben Hamley

Series Curators:
Martin Brown
Raffaele Persichetti

Workshops & Manufacturing: Holloway

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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