Blak Design Matters

By David Schout

An exhibition showcasing indigenous-led design has just opened at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square.

Addressing pre-conceptions surrounding design from one of the world’s oldest continuous cultures, Blak Design Matters aims to show that, like indigenous art, design continues to respond to contemporary issues.
From architecture and landscape design to fashion and jewellery, this first-of-its-kind exhibition is both a celebration of creativity and a nod to emerging indigenous-led design that, prior to now, may not have been readily accessible.

Marcus Lee, who designed the 2013 all-indigenous guernsey for the AFL International Rules Series against Ireland, features as one of the leading designers.

Curator Jefa Greenaway – the first indigenous architect to be registered in Victoria – said the exhibition was a chance to show off how designers were embedding cultural connectedness into built environments.
“Think of the potential to appropriately and sensitively reference the depth of history that this country too often conceals,” Mr Greenaway said.
“Indigenous-led design and designers have the tools to give voice to compelling narratives that our rich culture holds.”
Blak Design Matters was officially opened by Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley on July 21.
The exhibition runs until September 30 at the Koorie Heritage Trust, Level 1 of the Yarra Building at Federation Square. For more info visit

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