Familiar traditions are being combined with cheeky modern interpretations in a striking exhibition of furniture and soft furnishings taking place at the RMIT Gallery, RMIT University, in December.
Described as "provocative and engaging", the exhibition shows the work of current designers from Europe, the US and Australia, harking back to iconic designs of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
"New Olds": Design Between Tradition and Innovation opens at RMIT Gallery on 7 December, aiming to tap into the current surge of interest in retro interior design.
RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies said the appeal of the works came from the way designers used new materials and technology as well as a providing a different outlook on the old and familiar.
"New Olds is full of designs that will make people look twice," Ms Davies said. "For example, imagine a Royal Blue Delft porcelain vase that looks as if it has been created in a wind tunnel. It is compelling because it plays with a familiar tradition while subject to the vagaries of new technology."
The travelling exhibit is presented by Professor Volker Albus and the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, in cooperation with the Goethe Institute, Australia. The exhibition will be unveiled on Thursday, 6 December, from 6-8pm by Dr Christoph Müller, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany.
"German beer and bretzels will be served and all are welcome to join us for our final exhibition opening of the year," Ms Davies said. (Bretzels are large pretzels.)
Professor Albus, from the Karlsruhe State Academy of Design, has gathered work by more than 55 designers and design teams from Europe, the US and Australia to "enter into a dialogue about aspects of the new and old" in a range of objects.
"The exhibition asks us to look at the great icons of living culture, such as the oriental carpet, deer antlers and the cuckoo clock, and ask if there is any common design ground," he said.
The exhibition is travelling to several countries. In each location, local designers are being showcased and workshops held. At RMIT Gallery, industrial designers and RMIT alumni Dale Hardiman, Scott Mitchell and Tim Collins will represent the Australian design community.
For interviews and images: Evelyn Tsitas, 9925 1717 or 0418 139 015.