Yesterday DESIGN Canberra hosted its Object Subject Conference opening ceremony at the Canberra Airport departures foyer. Object Subject is a national design conference calling on the design sector to take seriously their responsibilities – social, environmental and ethical.
The prelude to the thought-provoking content and timely conversations that are to take place during the conference was hosted in the surroundings of a temporary architecture installation — TWIN MINIGAGARIN — activated at Canberra Airport by the design collective Plasitque Fantstique.
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.
The beautifully curated opening event hosted talks by Brendan Smyth, the Commissioner for International Engagement at ACT Government, and Yena Young, the principal and lead designer of Plastique Fantastique. In his opening speech Brendan pointed out the importance of Canberra as a global city of design and encouraged guests to remove their shoes to explore the playfulness of Plastique Fantastique’s installation. Yena Young guided the audience through a presentation of Plastique Fantastique’s pneumatic architectural projects across the world, touching upon the important social and cultural issues that the practice reflects on.
International and national speakers welcomed at the Canberra Airport over the course of the conference included: experimental materials research designer Seetal Solanki, urban design researcher and editor of Assemble Papers, Jana Perković, and award-winning Australian singer, writer, director, and advocate Robyn Archer.
The evening was celebrated with wine from Lake George Winery and cold brews from Capital Brewery.