Design Canberra Festival Design Canberra Festival

MEDUSA, Valencia, Spain. Photo: Plastique Fantastique
MEDUSA, Valencia, Spain. Photo: Plastique Fantastique
Past event Free event

Is plastic fantastic?

MEDUSA DIALOGUE - debates, talks and conversations.

Explore contemporary issues and ideas at the Medusa Dialogue series, featuring: Is Plastic fantastic? – on sustainability and resource efficiency. Experts from across the industries gather to discuss the drivers, challenges and opportunities behind eliminating single-use plastics.


  • Alex Sloan AM has been a journalist for 30 years, including over 27 years as a broadcaster with the ABC. Alex is highly regarded as an interviewer and facilitator and has MC’d for countless institutions and events including: ANU’s Meet The Author, The National Library, National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery. At the national level, Alex is a director of The Australia Institute and The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. She is also a current member of the ACT Architects Board and works with a range of local charities.

Speakers include:

  • Yena Young (Berlin) is an architect and designer with acclaimed Berlin-based design team, Plastique Fantastique. Plastique Fantastique is a platform for temporary architecture which samples the performative possibilities of urban environments. Established in Berlin in 1999, Plastique Fantastique has been influenced by the unique circumstances that made the city a laboratory for temporary spaces, and has specialised in creating pneumatic installations as alternative, adaptable, low energy spaces for temporary and ephemeral activities.

  • Dr. Michael Pulch is the European Union Ambassador to Australia and has been serving in the position since September 2017. As Head of the EU Delegation, Dr. Pulch has been working on the launch of negotiations of a free trade agreement which will significantly enhance the bilateral economic relationship. He holds degrees in law and political science from the universities of Bonn, Paris, and Cambridge. Currently the European Union (EU) Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy is advocating for the first EU-wide policy framework adopting a material-specific lifecycle approach to integrate circular design, use, reuse and recycling activities into plastics value chains.

  • Dr Kate Ringvall is the Country Sustainability Leader for IKEA Australia. Kate has more than 20 years’ experience working, studying and exploring the many facets that make up Sustainability as we know it today. Her first job as a graduate was in a recycling processing plant in Fremantle and Kate remains an avid recycler! Kate has a Masters in Public Policy and a PhD in Planning and her areas of expertise are in Sustainable Transport Planning, Sustainable Cities, Transit Orientated Development, and Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment.

  • Geoff Isaac is a PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. His doctoral project on the history of the plastic chair focuses on how designers are responding to the environmental crisis by introducing bio-plastics and experimenting with new manufacturing techniques to minimise the use of materials. Geoff is a collector and design historian. Geoff’s interest in design grew from his appreciation of the work of Australian mid-century designer Grant Featherston. His monograph Featherston was published by Thames & Hudson, in 2017.

MEDUSA related events are weather-dependent events. Cancellations will be posted on the website and Facebook. Bookings are required to participate in the event from within MEDUSA (limited capacity) however you will be able to enjoy all events from outside the installation. BYO picnic blankets and hats.

Designer Yena Young, and the Plastique Fantastique installations, are guests of the festival thanks to generous support from the Goethe Institut, the Capital Airport Group and the Delegation of the European Union.