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SOLD OUT Evolving Extractive Practices: Craft, Architecture & Design

Wed October 18, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm AEDT

$20.00 – $30.00

Recognising that shifts towards a more sustainable attitude cannot occur in isolation, Craft Victoria and the Robin Boyd Foundation have invited a panel of craft, design and architecture practitioners to discuss the future of material and mineral-heavy practices.

Panellists Ben Edwards, Claire Ellis, Dr Gyungju Chyon, and Shimroth John Thomas, through research-driven experimentation, challenge new materials and advocate for their potential in the interest of innovation. Facilitated by Maitiú Ward, expect a cross-disciplinary conversation traversing sustainability and social responsibility, material locality, embracing failure, ‘waste’ and by-product transformation, mycelium, living with less, circular craft, phycoforms and bio-architecture.

Doors will open at 6.30 pm to allow attendees to explore the Walsh Street house – the iconic modernist residence designed by Robin Boyd in 1957 – and enjoy refreshments in the courtyard.

Evolving Extractive Practices: Craft, Design & Architecture is co-presented by Craft Victoria and the Robin Boyd Foundation as part of Craft Contemporary 2023

Craft Contemporary is Craft Victoria’s annual festival amplifying craft across all aspects of contemporary life throughout the month of October. Through a dynamic program of public events, projects, and exhibitions, Craft Contemporary creates a platform for those in and around Victoria to interact with craft and design in imaginative and new ways.

This event is generously supported by Konpira Maru Wines and Molly Rose Brewing.

Ben Edwards / Founder / Studio Edwards & Alt Material
Ben Edwards studied architecture at Liverpool University. In London he worked for a number of years within large commercial practices before re-locating to Melbourne – working at LAB, Grimshaw Architects & Edwards Moore Architects as a Director. He has tutored design at various design schools – including the Icelandic Institute of Design, Monash University, RMIT, Liverpool University & The Oslo Academy of Arts. He has also been a judge for the Victorian Architecture Awards Program & was selected by the Design Institute of Australia for the DIAlogue tour in 2017. alt. material is an experimental design collective established in 2018 by Nancy Beka and Ben Edwards of Studio Edwards. Created as an outlet for design thinking through the exploration of materiality and fabrication techniques.

Claire Ellis / Ceramicist
Influenced by her former career as a chef, Claire Ellis’ ceramics practice is informed by a focus on existing resources and deep experimentation. In 2022 her work won the innovation award at the Warrandyte Pottery Expo and was a finalist in several environmental art and design prizes. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been published in magazines, journals and books. Claire is passionate about climate justice and aims to create opportunities for catharsis and change through her work.

Dr Gyungju Chyon / Director, Spatial Design / Monash Art, Design & Architecture
Gyungju Chyon is a director of the Spatial Design program at Monash University. Through her design studio Little Wonder, her work focuses on relationships between materials and environments through engaging natural phenomena and exploring materialities. Through an experimental approach with a breadth of materials – from textile to sunlight, from ceramics to fog, from mycelium to algae – her work delves beyond technological performance, seeking deeper and meaningful connections between things, environment and people for our health, well-being, and ecological living. She collaborated with international companies such as Rosenthal (DEU), Interface (USA), Duravit (DEU), Emotis (FRA), Lucifer Lighting (USA), and K5 Furniture (AU).

Shimroth John Thomas / Designer / Phycoforms
Shimroth John Thomas is a cross-disciplinary designer whose practice sits at the intersection of systems, strategy, and climate. His passion for sustainability began while working as an architect using natural materials at the experimental township of Auroville in South India. In 2019, he came to Melbourne to study his Master of Design Innovation and Technology at RMIT University. His capstone project, Phycoforms, a seaweed-based biocomposite material system, won a sustainability award from the university, and received the Highly Commended Award at the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. He continues R&D with the biomaterial while the Australian seaweed industry grows.

Convenor: Maitiú Ward / Managing Director/Publisher / Uro Publications
Maitiú Ward is journalist and publisher with a special interest in architecture and design. In 2017, he opened Australia’s only specialist architecture and design bookstore, Bookshop by Uro, which he currently co-owns and manages alongside his publishing business, Uro Publications.

Before your visit to Walsh Street, please note the following:
– Attendees must be 16 years of age or over.
– No external food or drink is permitted.
– Upon entry, large bags and backpacks must be checked in.
– Stiletto or pointed heels are not permitted in the house due to cork flooring.

Image courtesy of Claire Ellis.


Wed October 18, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm AEDT
$20.00 – $30.00


Walsh Street House
290 Walsh Street
South Yarra, Vic 3141 Australia


Robin Boyd Foundation


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