Safety Catch

UTS Gallery, Sydney
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'Safety Catch' was developed in response to a number of design initiatives: in 2005, Paola Antonelli curated 'Safe: Design Takes On Risk' exhibition at Museum of Modern Art, New York, where the issue of how security can pervade objects from the 'most mundane to the most exceptional' was demonstrated. Also in 2005, in London, designer Matthias Megyeri developed a range of products that satisfy the primary concern of safety and security but are also light hearted and humorous. These examples underline an optimistic undercurrent in design that has been identified as critical design. Critical design is design that asks questions and encourages the user to think rather than accept how things are now. A response to critical design from an Australian perspective was seen as the prime objective to the Safety Catch project. Australian designers - bernabeifreeman, Robert Foster, Adam Goodrum, korban/flaubert, Stefan Lie, Ruth McDermott, and schamburg + alvisse - were invited to provide a response to issues of safety and security communicated through the medium of object design. As curator I selected eight designs that covered a range of typologies (lighting, furniture, object), scale and message. The resulting exhibition (8 Aug-1 Sept) established a provocative mix of work targeting local significance and those that spoke to international issues. Safety and security were presented to the viewer in challenging terms, drawing further questions from the exhibition which enabled a continuation of the discussion.
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