Curated by Ross McLeod, Wayne Moskwa and Veronica Saunders
In October 2002 the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and the Idee showroom in Tokyo played host to the Hybrid Objects exhibition of Australian Design as part of the annual Tokyo Designers Block.
With the support of RMIT University, Arts Victoria and the Australian Embassy in Tokyo the Hybrid Objects exhibition was seen as a landmark exhibition in the promotion of Australian Design talent to an International audience.
Tokyo Designers Block covers large areas of Tokyo with Exhibitions, activities and Design promotions. Designers from around the world converge on Tokyo to exhibit their work and take part in events, lectures and research based discussion on the nature of design.
Twenty of the thirty two Australian designers represented in the show attended the exhibition and Designers Block events. Their presence and the quality of their work on display marked an important watershed in the maturation of the Australian Design Communities connection with the larger International Furniture Design scene.
The brief for the exhibition, originally sent to over four hundred designers, called for participants to seek to blur the boundaries and definitions of what constitutes design. The diversity of responses received revealed contemporary design ideas emanating from Australian lifestyle, culture and sense of place. All of the designers were seen to be responding to local and regional conditions, therefore displaying the cultural diversity that is unique to Australia.
The exhibition represented cross-fertilisation from many different sources. Pieces in the exhibition included objects whose functions were ambiguous, that juxtaposed different materials and processes, that mixed craft skills and high technology production techniques and which invented new forms of habitable space.
The pieces in the exhibition included furniture, products, homeware, lighting, sculpture and architectural forms, featuring work from leading practitioners as well as up and coming talent. The projects displayed ranged from experimental and theory based speculations to fully realized and marketable products.
The works on display in Tokyo were shown at Melbourne Museum from 20 December 2002 to 31 January 2003, exposing the work to diverse audience which ranged from members of the Architecture and Design profession to the public at large.