Tag Archives: Design Institute of Australia

These Boots were made for Walking …

… and photography.


When you think of a photographer, you think of a camera, correct?  Well Scott Leggo says his most important piece of gear, for more than 10 long years, has been a pair of Raichle (now Mammut) hiking boots he originally bought from Mountain Designs in Braddon.

As a professional landscape photographer, Scott’s boots have taken him across Australia and around the world. They’ve protected him in minus 40-degree weather in northern China, plus 40-degree temperatures in the Top End, and everything in-between. They’ve saved him from a snake biting him and other nasties found in jungles and the Australian bush. They’ve helped him scramble over rocks, climb up ice, secured him as he’s stood in creeks under waterfalls, and done whatever Scott has to do to get ‘that shot’.


Spring delight – Lake Burley Griffin by Scott Leggo

“The boots have become an extension of me,” says Scott, who owns a business by his own name and photographs through all seasons from the wee hours of the morning until the stars are twinkling at night. “Being a landscape photographer can sometimes be physically demanding—indeed gruelling—and it often requires a lot of patience, but that all fades away once you capture the image. Then it’s all worthwhile.”

Scott will talk about his landscape photography career at the upcoming Design Institute of Australia ACT’s 5×5 Speaker Series, being held on 26 July at the Gorman Arts Centre. The event format is simple—five design professionals speak for five minutes on a design topic of their choice, followed by an interactive question-and-answer session. Each event comes through with its promise to be inspirational and thought-provoking. This is Scott’s first appearance and one never knows; he might just bring his boots.


Morning fog – Lake Burley Griffin by Scott Leggo

A passionate outdoorsman with a spirit of adventure, Scott travels extensively and always looks to immerse himself in the environment he photographs. He has received more than 100 Australian and international awards, including the coveted title of Master of Photography by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) in 2012. He has also won both the landscape photographer of the year and professional photographer of the year titles in the ACT. Scott’s clients include Australian corporates and large government departments wanting a touch of Australia on their walls. His work has also popped up in marketing and advertising campaigns, on websites and in a wide range of publications. “I most love it when the photos are sold as artworks,” he says, “when they take pride of place in a home or workplace, making a statement and bringing the outdoors in.”


Colours of Canberra by Scott Leggo

While travelling thrills Scott, he’s equally passionate about taking photos of Canberra, his home, whether it’s sunrises in autumn, early morning fog, reflections of trees in the lake, pink skies or our many iconic cultural institutions. Today Scott’s business is run as a family affair with his wife Phillipa. They’ve joined their diverse business backgrounds to bring unique Australian landscape wall art to homes and workplaces the country over.

Scott has just returned from a trip to the Blue Mountains and is now planning to head to the snow, camping back-country to capture unique photos away from well-beaten trails. After that he’s off to Queensland for a bit of warmth.thumbnail_Scott-Leggo-SCOTT-snow

And what about the Mammut Boots? With a tear in his eye, Scott says it’s time for them to retire. He’s looking for a new pair but couldn’t part with the old ones without snapping a photo of them for posterity.

The DIA’s 5×5 Speaker Series is being held 26 July at 6pm, Gorman Arts Centre, Main Hall, 55 Ainslie Avenue.

Other speakers include:

Colin Haining—Inklab, a creative agency bring brands and people together

Legojacker, a photographer who loves playing with plastic and his iPhone7plus

Goodspeed Bicycle Company run by Myles Chandler

Elliot Bastianon, a Canberra-based furniture designer with a diverse material palette.

Mapping the Terrain—Architecture and the Hand

Architecture. Landscape. Jewellery. The Body. The intimate connection between these four fascinates contemporary jeweller Sabine Pagan.

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Sabine Pagan – ‘Anew’

Sabine designs and makes large, bold statement rings that might look simple at first glance, but don’t be fooled. Sabine designs by thinking about the position of the piece on the finger and its relationship to the hand as a whole. Her bespoke pieces have a special relationship between the round part of the ring and the detail on top, with light shining through the gaps between elements.

“Contemporary jewellery is about the body,” says Sabine. “My pieces are about the spatial and sensorial relationships we develop with our built environment. They’re not miniature but definitely wearable.

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Sabine Pagan ‘Untitled’

“When worn, the ring is unlike any other kind of jewellery. Anchored to the hand, a ring acts as an extension of the body. It’s visible to the wearer and viewer. I’m drawn to the intimate scale of rings and the roles they play both when worn and detached from the body.”

Mapping the terrain between jewellery, architecture and landscape is what Sabine will discuss this Wednesday, 24 May, at the 5×5 ACT Speaker Series, hosted by the Design Institute of Australia. And she’ll show images of some of her amazing work.

Sabine uses a range of materials including monel (a nickel-copper alloy), Delrin (a crystalline plastic), sterling silver, and anodised aluminium, and her biggest challenge is creating jewellery in time. “My work looks simple in some ways but is difficult and time consuming to achieve,” she says. “I spend weeks working on one piece.”

Later this year, the jeweller will design a collection influenced by Canberra, with ideas already dancing in Sabine’s head. “I’m thinking about the idea of ‘mapping’ since Canberra is a designed city,” says Sabine. “I’m also thinking of the four seasons and how that plays on light and buildings. I walk the dog around the lake two to three times a week and I see how the buildings and environment continually change.”

Sabine says she is an active observer and user of the architecture that surrounds her: “Its presence affects me. I’m curious about how I relate to, and interact with, places and I search for possible connections with the emotional sensibilities we hold towards the wearable object. Then, with a jeweller’s eye, I dwell on detail, function, material and craftsmanship.”

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Sabine Pagan- ‘Site Specific’

Born and educated in Switzerland, Sabine is also a gemologist and educator. She established an independent studio practice in Australia in 1998 (currently working out of Queanbeyan). She’s widely exhibited and works on commissions and limited editions of jewellery.

This is the DIA’s 70th year in being the voice of professional design in Australia. The 24 May 5×5 ACT Speaker Series will also feature Tim Fulton, a graphic designer with Swell Design Group, Philip Quartly, who works in exhibition design at Designcraft, Jeremy Lepisto, a glass artist from studio Workshop Level, and Rolf Barfoed, a nationally awarded fine furniture maker.

“The 5×5 ACT Speakers Series is designed to be a stimulating evening exploring experiences, projects, successes and failures,” says Lisa Biddiscombe, President of the ACT Branch.  “And it’s about inspiring people to value design, promote Australian design and connect designers with others.”

Sabines piece - On the Way to Vals

Sabine Pagan – ‘On the Way to Vals’

5×5 Speakers Series, 24 May at 6pm, 12 Pirie Street Fyshwick. Non-members $25; Members $20; Students $15. Refreshments and beverages provided. Register here.


Life is a LEMON

For Timothy Fulton at least—life is a LEMON.

Timothy Fulton is one of 5 speakers from 5 disciplines who will each share 5 minutes talking about what makes them tick at an upcoming event hosted by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).

Tim FultonA young graphic designer with Canberra’s award winning Swell Group, Timothy hasn’t always had it easy. In 2016, he was diagnosed with Still’s, a rare auto-immune disease that affects 1 in 500,000.

“I went from having a game plan mapped out in my head on how my career would unfold, to being in hospital lying on my back and unable to move,” says Timothy. “I quickly worked out that life isn’t linear and wasn’t going to play out as planned. I knew the quality of my life for the foreseeable future was going to be challenging and painful but believed deeply that I had control over my attitude and how I was going to respond to the shattering situation.”

Timothy is back on track, having been in remission for six months. As a young graduate, he now works at Swell, which has been breathing life into brands, digital experiences and environments for close to two decades. Timothy’s been awarded a Chancellor’s Commendation and the student prize for Best Graduating Undergraduate, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

Fulton_XO_09“The art of listening and being empathetic is the most powerful tool a designer can have,” says Timothy. “It’s exciting that we get to step into other people’s worlds, see another perspective and then use our design expertise to make meaningful change and help people bring to life their goals and aspirations.”

At the 5×5 ACT Speaker Series, Timothy will also talk about the challenges of designing in a fast-paced world and the difference between good and bad design and effective and ineffective design. “We need to educate people that there is a difference. Computer literacy is increasing. Design is more than being able to work and computer. It’s a problem-solving process that needs to be carefully developed,” says Timothy.


One of Tim’s award-winning student assignments—to design a cover for the annual anthology ‘First’. The cover explores the process of formulation.

So why is life a lemon for Timothy? L means life isn’t linear, E is for empathy, M for meaning, O for opening eyes to new possibilities and N is for learning to say no so you protect yourself and be able to do your best.

This is the DIA’s 70th year in being the voice of professional design in Australia. The upcoming 5×5 ACT Speaker Series will also feature Dr Sabine Pagan, a Swiss-born Australian contemporary jeweller, gemologist and academic who is working on a collection of pieces celebrating Canberra. Philip Quartly, who works in exhibition design at Designcraft will speak as will Jeremy Lepisto, a glass artist from studio Workshop Level and Rolf Barfoed, a nationally awarded fine furniture maker.

“The 5×5 ACT Speakers Series is designed to be a stimulating evening exploring experiences, projects, successes and failures,” says Lisa Biddiscombe, President of the ACT Branch.  “And it’s about inspiring people to value design, promote Australian design and connect designers with others.”

Fulton SWL_Office_02

5×5 ACT Speakers Series is on 24 May at 6pm at 12 Pirie Street Fyshwick. Non-members $25; Members $20; Students $15. Refreshments and beverages provided. Register here

Is Our Modernist Architecture Disappearing?

“There is no there there.”

Darren BradleyGertrude Stein uttered this phrase when describing an American city she felt had nothing much to offer. She felt Oakland lacked quality. She felt it had no soul. Is Canberra such a city?

Award-winning architectural photographer, Darren Bradley, says ‘no way’.

“Canberra holds a special place in the world, including for its Modernist Architecture,” says Darren, who has written books on the subject and had his photographs widely published in prestigious magazines. “The city has its own true character and evokes a period in our history. That period was post-war. In the 50s and 60s there was a sense of optimism and confidence in the future. Much of the capital’s architecture reflects that and deserves to be preserved.”

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High Court of Australia

Darren is holding a talk this Thursday 27 April, at The Shine Dome, on this very topic. He’ll take guests on a visual journey, showing images of Modernist Architecture that still stand tall in the capital today. He’ll also show images of buildings that have been torn down or changed so radically that the original architects would hardly recognise them.

Hosted by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA), Darren’s talk is boldly entitled: Canberra’s Disappearing Modernist Architecture Heritage. He’ll challenge guests to think long and hard about Canberra’s architectural future and its architectural soul.

Many of us take our special Modernist Architecture for granted. When we hear the term, we often just think the obvious—our cultural institutions, like the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and towering High Court. Do we think of some of our churches, however? Or David Jones in the city? Or so many of the houses found in residential areas such as Red Hill and Deakin? Or even some of the bus shelters built during the era?

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David Jones in the City

“Modernist Architecture is striking because it’s minimalist and functional, yet sculptural and monumental,” says Darren. “It took advantage of new technologies being introduced, which is why we see so much glass, steel and reinforced concrete. It’s why so many of the houses built during the time are large, airy and open—with private gardens.”

During his talk, Darren will open up about how Canberra’s architecture is changing, and not necessarily for the good. He knows because he’s travelled here from the United States every year since 2010 for work. Over time, he has documented, with his trusty camera, our architectural landscape. “Canberra has demolished many precious Modernist structures, or modified them beyond recognition,” says Darren. “I see more and more bland, ultra-modern, anonymous office buildings being erected. This type of architecture can be seen in many cities in the world. How do they add to Canberra’s special character? They don’t.”


National Gallery of Australia

Darren began documenting architecture in his home town of San Diego. He’d lived in France for a while and when he landed back in the United States he immediately noticed a major shift in the architectural personality of San Diego. “So much Modernist Architecture was destroyed or badly modified,” says Darren. “I decided to preserve the memory of what was left through photographs. I began posting images online and immediately gained a following.”

Darren fears that if Canberra doesn’t begin to preserve this part of our heritage—and immediately—that the capital with become ‘no there there’. Who wants that?

The DIA is the voice of professional design in Australia. This year it turns 70 years of age and to celebrate it’s offering a special ticket price to the event (only $15).

Canberra’s disappearing modernist architecture heritage by Darren Bradley.

The Shine Dome

Thursday 27 April

6.30pm to 8pm

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/canberras-modernist-soul-tickets-33554241640