Design is central to our lives, having the capacity to inspire and support creative industries to flourish. Design values and principles inform the way we live, and Australians stand to become global leaders in designing innovative and sustainable futures. In 2019, the Alastair Swayn Foundation partnered with the National Museum of Australia to launch the Swayn Senior Fellowship in Australian Design. The Fellowship will develop The Swayn Centre for Australian Design, a curatorial centre to exhibit, educate and promote design through a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural approach.
The inaugural Swayn Senior Fellow in Australian Design, Adrienne Erickson, is a landscape architect with a Masters in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design and extensive design experience and knowledge. Adrienne spent the last 15 years lecturing in design and working as a landscape architect in China.
Since arriving in Canberra, Adrienne has been active in the local design community. She travelled nationally, meeting design professionals, academics, strategists, and curators to research issues facing the Australian design community. This experience informed the program for the Swayn Centre, which aims to increase public connection to Australian design through exhibitions, events, and research.
In September, the Swayn Centre will launch a new digital platform swayn.design, with Living in the City: Australia China Conversations Through Architecture, a digital exhibition surveying Australian architecture across China. Curated by the University of Queensland and developed for the Australian Embassy in Beijing as a feature of the 2020 Australian Government Festival of Australia in China, it will be available until March 2021 culminating with events as part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Festival.
Upcoming programs will present exhibitions and events focused on Indigenous fashion and textiles, discuss the impact of bushfires and pandemics on future design, and celebrate the ingenuity, creativity, and strength of Australian design on the global stage.