The Sydney office was thrilled to host the launch of The Other Moderns, edited by Rebecca Hawcroft and published by NewSouth Publishing, in early October.
With the surge of popularity Modernism has enjoyed in recent years, The Other Moderns is timely. It uncovers many of the hitherto ‘silent’ stories about this period in Australia’s design history. Revealed in this original research are design works by Sydney’s forgotten émigré architects, interior designers, and furniture makers working from the 1930s to 1960s, who were influential in the city’s growing sophistication and exposure to good modern design and international trends.
GML and Modernism
Australian Modernism, as elsewhere in the world, was characterised by a desire for simplicity of design, form and function, with clean lines, geometric shapes, open-plan interiors and truth to materials. Modernist architects and designers embraced emerging construction technologies and new materials such as concrete, steel and glass, celebrating the energy and dynamism of the Machine Age.
GML has a long-standing interest in Modernism and other twentieth-century design movements. We are active in international organisations such as DOCOMOMO and the ICOMOS International Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage. We have worked collaboratively with a range of public and private sector clients to understand and develop principles to respect original design intent and to enable these important places to be enjoyed, managed, conserved and presented to play a continuing role in the life of our communities.
Significant mid-twentieth century places that GML has on worked include the former Qantas House (1 Chifley Square) and Australia Square, as well as the Giralang Primary School by Enrico Taglietti, the award-winning former John Curtin School of Medical Research and University House both at the Australian National University. Other notable twentieth-century places include the Eames House in the US, Kuwait Towers and the Sydney Opera House.
Celebrating The Other Moderns
Over a martini and canapes, guests at the launch of The Other Moderns heard insights about Australian design history from Rebecca, as well as chapter authors Tone Wheeler, Michael Bogle and Catriona Quinn.
Co-author of Modern Times: The untold story of modernism in Australia, and special guest, Dr Ann Stephen, Senior Curator, University of Sydney Art Gallery and Art Collection, launched the publication. Books sold out on the night.
The book will also be celebrated as part of the Canberra Modern event in November. Rebecca Hawcroft will speak on her research for the book and highlight some of the Canberra based émigré stories and connections.