Modernist Matters

In the 1950s, he was almost a celebrity, releasing furniture designs that introduced Australians to a cosmopolitan way of life. Now the work of Grant Featherston and his wife and co-creator Mary is on display at Heide Museum of Modern Art. Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston (until 7 October) is the first major exhibition dedicated to the couple who have become two of Australia’s most renowned and influential designers. See their best-loved pieces including the Expo Sound Chair Mark II that travelled to the Montreal Expo in 1967 (pictured) and the much-copied R152 Contour Chair, as well as photography, glass objects, sculpture and promotional design.

Image: Grant & Mary Featherston, Expo Sound Chair Mark II 1967, Photograph: Grant & Mary Featherston, Featherston Archive, National Gallery of Victoria © Grant Featherston/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

Colour Your World

Local textile designer Cassie Byrne launched her label Variety Hour to showcase the bold and bright designs she uses to decorate fashion, homewares and artwork. Everything in her collection is made in Melbourne and in limited-edition quantities, while she also works on commissions from brands like Anthropologie. Now you can check out Cassie’s designs in a mural-splashed pop-up shop, open until the end of year at 155 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.

Image: Chromogenic

Sew Good

It’s a one-of-a-kind prize not found anywhere else in the world. The Tapestry Design Prize for Architects asks architects to imagine a piece inspired by a space. This year, the hypothetical site was MONA’s Pharos wing and it attracted a record 98 entries from around the world. The winner, Pop Architecture and Hotham Street Ladies’ Chaos and Fertility (pictured), is on display at South Melbourne’s Australian Tapestry Workshop, along with other finalists’ work, until 26 October.

Australian Ways

Across the country, Indigenous designers are channelling innovation and creativity to produce contemporary pieces that are a response to both history and the present moment. See some of the best – from architecture and graphic design to jewellery and textiles – at the Koorie Heritage Trust’s Blak Design Matters (until 30 September). Victorian architect Jefa Greenaway designed the exhibition in collaboration with the trust and Sibling Architecture. Drop in to see graphic textiles from the Northern Territory’s Injalak Arts, Queenslander Francoise Lane’s furniture and fashion from the likes of Arkie the Label and Lyn-Al Young. We love Nicole Monks’ Marlu Collection, 2015, created for the Australian Design Centre (pictured).

Image: Boaz Nothman

A Cup of Glee

Take a peek into the kitchen cabinets of times past at NGV International. A Modern Life: Tablewares 1930s – 1980s (until January 2019) features more than 140 never-before-seen table settings, teapots, pitchers and more, showing the domestic shift from post-World War II austerity into a more contemporary realm. The collection includes pieces by Wedgwood and Rosenthal, as well as an array of international designers. Pictured is Carlton Ware’s 1965 Wellington coffee service. It also charts the changes in societal roles in the postwar years, with work by the likes of Marianne Westmann, Kathie Winkle and Eva Striker Zeisel demonstrating how improved education and opportunity allowed women to take on senior roles as product designers.

Image: Carlton Ware Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent manufacturer. England 1890–1989, Wellington, coffee service, c. 1965, earthenware, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Gift of John Hinds 2017

The Crystal Method

Christopher Boots is one of the most original designers in Melbourne, creating visually spectacular feature lighting for both residential and commercial settings. After two years of experimentation, he has released Petra, a full range of linear and circular pendants and wall sconces. A feature of the range is one of Christopher’s favourite materials, quartz in clear, smoky and rose varieties, which radiates subtle tones. Pictured here is his Petra III in brass and rose quartz.

Image: Haydn Cattach