Blak Design Matters

KHT Blak Design Matters Nicole Monks, Marlu Collection, 2015Showcasing leading Indigenous designers from across Australia, exploring what is Indigenous design and why it matters, the Koorie Heritage Trust presents the first national survey of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design with Blak Design Matters on display from 21 July 2018.

Curated by architect Jefa Greenaway, Blak Design Matters will challenge preconceptions of Indigenous design and showcase the depth of design talent. From interior and product design to landscape, architecture and town planning, the exhibition will interrogate how Indigenous design is defined, received and made visible in Australia’s contemporary design landscape.

There is a long and proud tradition of design within Aboriginal Australia, however it has been narrowly viewed with the perception that Indigenous design is ultimately from a tradition long past. However, this exhibition demonstrates that like all good design, Aboriginal led design continues to respond to contemporary issues and traverses the design spectrum with innovation and creativity, while paying homage to its history.

Fostering Indigenous architecture and design through projects like this, strengthens contemporary representations of Australia’s culture and history, and facilitates new expressions of identity and connectedness to culture through design.

Featured designers include: Graphic Design – Marcus Lee Designs (VIC); Balarinji Designs (NSW); Galimbaa Designs (QLD); Fashion – Lyn-Al Young (VIC); Arki The Label (Arki Barton); AARLI (Teagan Cowlishaw); Interiors / Furniture Design – Nicole Monks (NSW); Francoise Lane (QLD); Architecture – Carroll Go-Sam (QLD); Dillon Kombumerri (NSW); Jefa Greenaway (VIC); Landscape – Paul Herzich (SA); Jewellery – Grace Lillian Lee (QLD); Haus of Dizzy (VIC); Maree Clarke (VIC). Textiles – MI Art (QLD); Injalak Arts (NT); Babbarra Design (NT).

The exhibition will be designed by Jefa Greenaway in collaboration with Sibling Architecture and the Koorie Heritage Trust. “Think of the potential to appropriately and sensitively reference the depth of history that this country too often conceals,” says Greenaway. “Indigenous led design and designers have the tools to give voice to many compelling narratives that our rich culture holds.”

Jefa Greenaway is an award-winning architect, interior designer and lecturer/knowledge broker, focussing on Indigenous curriculum development at the University of Melbourne. Jefa is a director of Greenaway Architects, chair of Indigenous Architecture + Design Victoria (IADV) and is one of a handful registered Indigenous architects in Australia. He seeks to embed cultural connectedness within the built environment.

Established in 1985, the Koorie Heritage Trust is a bold and innovative not-for-profit arts and cultural organization. “Aboriginal owned and managed, the Koorie Heritage Trust provides opportunities for all people to learn, connect and re-connect with the rich living cultural heritage of Aboriginal Victoria originating from a 60,000-year-old history,” says Koorie Heritage Trust CEO, Tom Mosby.

Blak Design Matters
Koorie Heritage Trust, Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 21 July – 30 September 2018
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Nicole Monks, Marlu Collection, 2015. Created for the Australian Design Centre – photo by Boaz Nothman