The Powerhouse has announced the recipients of its inaugural NSW Design (Early-Career) Fellowship – Powerhouse Residency Program, which will see three budding creatives each year given the opportunity to enrich their professional practice under the guidance of experienced mentors.

Pictured left to right, Marlo Lyda, Joel Sherwood-Spring and Ben Styles will take to Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo for six months with $25,000 in financial support, while gaining access to the museum’s curators and collection, workshop facilities and technicians; and connections within the sector to develop their networks and skills.

Create NSW Chief Executive Annette Pitman says the Fellowship will become a major development opportunity year-on-year within the design industry, transforming the work and practice of those selected.

“By investing in NSW’s design talent, the NSW Government is ensuring our creative industry flourishes as an engine room for the innovation and groundbreaking design needed to meet the challenges of our times and revolutionise how we live and work,” she says.

“I congratulate Ben, Marlo and Joel on bringing their bold ideas forward for exploration and development through this creative residency. It’s inspiring to see the talent and vision of professionals early in their careers which shows the depth of potential in the creative industry.”

Ben Styles’ residency will see him research and explore radical innovation in the speculative re-design of consumer goods and appliances which assist in daily life. Styles hopes to inspire a move to a sustainable future, away from overconsumption and wasteful design. 

The Powerhouse’s extensive historical archives will be utilised by the upcoming designer to conduct anthropological case studies of the design, assembly, and user-experience of three or more pervasive household consumer products. Styles’ body of work will be publicly presented both in exhibition of augmented post-consumer goods, and in the development and delivery of exploratory workshops.

Marlo Lyda aims to build upon her 2021 graduation work Scraptopia, which demonstrates the versatility and repurposing qualities of reclaimed copper. The final outcomes will be objects or furniture mined from sustainable sources, akin to copper recovered from waste streams.

The work will trace the lifecycle of copper from soil to recycling, drawing on archival documentation and firsthand research into copper mining in Australia.

Joel Sherwood-Spring’s residency begins with a question: What if an analysis of architecture and urbanism began with what and who disappeared in the process? 

Sherwood-Spring will explore a decolonial methodology of Indigenous Storywork and how embedded relationality in Indigenous Knowledge systems and how that extends to the material world. The study looks at both the historical and contemporary manifestations of colonial thought, and how it continues to erase Indigenous cultures and narratives.

Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah shared her support for the initiative. 

“We are excited to be providing this unique opportunity to three of NSW’s most talented emerging designers. The Powerhouse is committed to nurturing emerging talent and supporting their growth,” says Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah. 

“We believe this residency will be a pivotal opportunity, fostering the development of their work and practice.”

For more information regarding the Fellowship, visit