Have you ever wanted to know more about Sydney’s built environment by actually going inside the houses and public spaces otherwise closed to the public? The opportunity is now here at Sydney Open which runs over the weekend of 6 & 7 November 2010.

An exciting line up of Sydney’s most exclusive addresses was revealed today at the launch of Sydney Open held at the Moebius House, the home of architect Tony Owen, which he designed using the same modelling software used to create James Cameron’s Avatar film. This amazing house is just one of the highlights on the event program.

Inspired by similar events in London, New York and Toronto, Sydney Open is coordinated by the Historic Houses Trust (HHT) to showcase the best that the beautiful city of Sydney has to offer on Australia’s architectural stage.

Tony Owen and Kerry Sackville at the Meobius House

Kate Clark, director of HHT said that Sydney Open unlocks the doors to some of Sydney’s newest buildings as well as much loved heritage sites and stunning private addresses. “Sydney open gives you the chance to see the latest in award-winning architecture, underground, tunnels, towers, roof gardens and stunning penthouses with fabulous Sydney views. This year we’re also focussing on lesser-known areas of Sydney, inviting people to be cruious about their own city and to poop into unfamiliar, new urban areas and laneways.”

This is the eight time the HHT has run the bi-annual Sydney Open, which unites architects, interior designers and more than 400 enthusiastic volunteers who come together to make Sydney Open such an exciting event.

The Moebius House is one of 18 exclusive Focus Tour sites on offer including underground Tank Stream tours as well as the Sulman-Award-winning Jack House in Wahroonga or the three level waterfrot Spencer House in Mosman embedded into the side of a hill.

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Australian Design Alliances launches national design agenda

Twelve peak organisations representing all aspects of Australia’s design industry and research network have launched the Australian Design Alliance [AdA] to boost Australia’s productivity, sustainability and innovation.
One hundred of Australia’s leading designers, architects, planners, artists, educators and policy makers launched the new Alliance at a first-ever meeting held in the Utzon Room of Australia’s design landmark, the Sydney Opera House.
One of the attending [AdA] directors Jo-Ann Kellock said the new Alliance emerged from a series of consultations about how design should be an integral element of Australia’s national innovation system at a time of rapidly changing business models and processes.

Ms Kellock said: “Australia’s design professionals are internationally renowned for their creative skills, project management and teamwork. These are crucial capabilities for a more productive Australian economy.”
Ms Kellock said the Alliance would pursue a national design agenda based on: Case studies demonstrating how good design can contribute to improved economic growth through supporting superior business models and improved public sector service delivery; Education and design skills at all education levels from school to MBAs; and National design policy linked to Australia’s innovation agenda.
The Alliance was launched by His Excellency, Michael Bryce AM AE who advocated for design at the 2020 summit in 2007.
Mr Bryce said: “The formation of the Australian Design Alliance to provide evidence-based multi-disciplinary advice to governments and industry represents a step towards a new respect for the place that designers can play in our everyday lives.”
“Good design in all of its fields creates economic and competitive outcomes. Poor design or design by default leaves too much to chance. If Australia is to be counted in the progressive nations of the world, competing on a world stage, it is no longer good enough to be only an agricultural and minerals based economy.”
In one example discussed at the meeting, Mr Anthony Henry, Division Director at Macquarie Group was asked how design thinking has had a positive impact on Macquarie and helped the business maintain a competitive advantage.
Mr Henry said: “The environment that staff now work in is designed to provide the opportunity for the maximum amount of collaboration and sharing of knowledge to provide the best solutions for clients and client services. Our new interior has impacted in ways we didn’t anticipate and design process has started to influence the way we think and provide the ability for different teams to sit in customized areas that help them to find business solutions that were simply not possible before.”
Other case studies discussed at the Opera House meeting include the impact of design strategies at the state level in Queensland and Victoria.

Australian Design Alliance
The Australian Design Alliance represents a substantial constituency. The combined national membership of the member organisations is in excess of 20,000 and they represent a constituency of almost 80,000 design practitioners.

[AdA] Members include
Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDC)
Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA)
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)
Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT)
Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA)
Craft Australia
Design Institute of Australia (DIA)
National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)
The Council for Humanities Arts & Social Sciences (CHASS)
Australian International Design Awards (AIDA), Standards Australia
Australian Planning Institute – Urban Design Chapter
Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)