Blak Design Matters will open at the Koorie Heritage Trust, Federation Square on Friday 20 July and stay open until Sunday 30 September 2018 showcasing leading Indigenous designers from across Australia, while also exploring what is Indigenous design and why it matters.

Blak Design Matters is designed to challenge pre-conceptions of Indigenous design and showcase the depth of design talent.  From interior and product design to landscape, architecture and town planning, the exhibition will interrogate how Indigenous design is defined, received and made visible in Australia’s contemporary design landscape.

There is a long and proud tradition of design within Aboriginal Australia, however it has been narrowly viewed with the perception that Indigenous design is ultimately from a tradition long past. However, this exhibition demonstrates that like all good design, Aboriginal led design continues to respond to contemporary issues and traverses the design spectrum with innovation and creativity, while paying homage to its history.

Fostering Indigenous architecture and design through projects like this, strengthens contemporary representations of Australia’s culture and history, and facilitates new expressions of identity and connectedness to culture through design, say the organisers.

Featured designers include:  Graphic Design – Marcus Lee Designs, Vic; Balarinji Designs, NSW; Galimbaa Designs, QLD; Fashion – Lyn-Al Young Vic; Arki The Label (Arki Barton); AARLI (Teagan Cowlishaw); Interiors / Furniture Design – Nicole Monks NSW; Francoise Lane QLD; Architecture – Carroll Go-Sam (QLD); Dillon Kombumerri, NSW; Jefa Greenaway, Vic; Landscape – Paul Herzich, SA; Jewellery –  Grace Lillian Lee, QLD; Haus of Dizzy, Vic; Maree Clarke, Vic. Textiles – MI Art, QLD; Injalak Arts, NT; Babbarra Design, NT.

The exhibition will be designed by award-winning architect Jefa Greenaway in collaboration with Sibling Architecture and the Koorie Heritage Trust.

“Think of the potential to appropriately and sensitively reference the depth of history that this country too often conceals.  Indigenous led design and designers have the tools to give voice to many compelling narratives that our rich culture holds”, says Greenaway. 

Established in 1985, the Koorie Heritage Trust is an innovative not-for-profit arts and cultural organisation. 

“Aboriginal owned and managed, the Koorie Heritage Trust provides opportunities for all people to learn, connect and re-connect with the rich living cultural heritage of Aboriginal Victoria originating from a 60,000-year-old history”, says Koorie Heritage Trust CEO Tom Mosby.