Are we seeking out bespoke products and processes in retaliation to a homogenous interior landscape created by a glut of ‘cookie-cutter’ design...

HANDMADE - Back to Where We Started?


Australian Design Centre
2010 NSW


Fiona Lyda

Fiona Lyda

Spence & Lyda, Designer and Owner

Iconic Australian showroom Spence & Lyda presents sublimely art directed textile, furniture, ceramic and lighting collections, in a uniquely curated selection of the very best of crafted design. A champion of ethically and environmentally sustainable objects and products, Fiona graduated design at Sydney College of the Arts, and embarked on a career in textiles prior to spending 20 years in the film industry in costume design. Launching Spence & Lyda in Sydney in 1996, her collaborations include a long-standing and respected partnership with the Missoni family and Missoni Home brand.

Jon Goulder

Jon Goulder

Jam Factory Adelaide, Creative Director of Furniture

Fourth generation designer-maker Jon Goulder studied furniture design and fine woodworking at Canberra School of Art, prior to establishing Jon Goulder Designer Maker as a design consultancy. Awarded with the inaugural Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award, Jon has since been the recipient of many prestigious awards, and his work is held in permanent collections in state and national museums and art galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia. He is dedicated to developing one-off and limited edition handcrafted works.

Andrew Simpson

Andrew Simpson

Vert Design, Founder - Director

Since founding Vert design house 10 years ago, Andrew has designed a vast range of products ranging from intimately handcrafted objects through to mass-produced industrial products. An open and honest approach is core to his practice, applied throughout the process of designing, prototyping and making. Since graduating UTS Sydney Industrial Design in 2005, Andrew’s work has appeared in over 20 exhibitions in Australia, Europe, North America and Asia. Andrew teaches design at UNSW Art and design and speaks regularly about design at events across the world.

Lisa Cahill by Boaz Nothman

Lisa Cahill

Australian Design Centre, Director

After holding senior government positions at both national and local level, including the Australian Broadcasting Authority, SBS, The Australia Council for the Arts, and the City of Sydney, Lisa served as the CEO for the Australian Design Alliance (ADA) — an independent group representing 14 peak design industry associations. Joining the Australian Design Centre in 2015, Lisa is committed to showcasing, promoting and developing the best in contemporary craft and design, both internationally and around Australia.

Photo: Boaz Nothman

William Smart

William Smart

Smart Design Studio, Founder & Creative Director

Founding Smart Design Studio in 1997, William continually explores flexibility in contemporary living, through the intersection of art and architecture. He is passionately committed to attention to detail to realise projects to the highest level of quality and design innovation. Smart Design Studio has a staff of 40 and has received numerous prestigious awards including the 2016 Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture, the AIA Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture, the World Architecture Festival INSIDE Award for World’s Best Residential Interior, and the IDEA Interior Design and Houses Awards.

Karen McCartney

Karen McCartney

Author, editor, design commentator

Celebrated author and design commentator Karen McCartney was editor of marie claire lifestyle prior to launching INSIDE OUT, a magazine she ran for 10 years. Whilst at NewsLifeMedia, Karen spearheaded the digital play for Body+Soul website and worked across News’ digital product design platforms. Karen is the author of several architecture books including Iconic Australian Houses and Super House which both translated into successful exhibitions. Founder of creative strategy and content agency Editd, Karen regularly contributes to the Good Weekend Magazine.


Anne-Maree Sargeant (AMS)

Anne-Maree Sargeant (AMS)

Design Writer, Curator, Creative Producer


Design writer, curator and creative producer AMS was key to establishing the SPACE Furniture retail network, and has been instrumental in creating national platforms that exhibit, promote and sell original contemporary design products. As former editor-at-large of Belle Magazine, AMS curates content and produces events for public and industry exhibitions and speaker series; and has attended global design fairs since 1987 as journalist, buyer, keynote speaker, design advocate and curator.

As director of the AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE TM, a platform committed to outlawing counterfeit/knockoff designer furniture in Australia, AMS aims to promote original design products and design history beyond the design industry.

Image: Sonny Vandevelde 

Kobe Johns

Kobe Johns

Factory Design District, Founder & Creative Director

Kobe is an active member and champion of the Australian design manufacturing industry, spending most of the last decade managing large-scale design and art events in London, Sydney and Melbourne. In partnership with husband Adam Price, Kobe established JP Finsbury Bespoke Joiners in 2012, a workshop of master craftsmen producing high-end interiors, furniture and prototyping for the local industry.

Clients include Adam Goodrum, Trent Jansen, Megan Morton, DesignbyThem, Tom Fereday and Design Office. Kobe launched Factory Design District at VIVID Ideas, a curated three-day exhibition of Australian design, making and manufacturing, featuring both new and established Australian brands, independent design studios and makers.

Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.

Event Details

Are we seeking out bespoke products and processes in retaliation to a homogenous interior landscape created by a glut of ‘cookie-cutter’ design products and interiors?

Five Australian creatives present the return to thoughtful design and craftmanship, and the importance of producing meaningful pieces in a world obsessed with consuming more ‘stuff’.

Local designers, artisans and master craftspeople are the new order in interior design. Handmade and made-to-order furniture, lighting and objects are now sought by a growing number of buyers — who see bespoke products as future heirlooms, heritage pieces that are made with love, and that hold emotion and meaning.

Join celebrated author and design commentator Karen McCartney moderating a panel of leading design creators and commissioners, as they unpack the nuances of bespoke practice through their stories of designing and making in Australia.

5 x 5 minute flash presentations will reveal the often hidden world of artisan and small production. Learn what handmade and commissioned objects are, what environments create opportunities for original commissions, what processes are involved and why thoughtful materials and slow processes matter.


Moderated by Karen McCartney

Fiona Lyda - Founder, Spence & Lyda             

Jon Goulder - 4th generation designer-maker and Creative Director of Furniture, Jam Factory, Adelaide 

Andrew Simpson - Industrial designer, expert glass producer, Director, Vert Design 

Lisa Cahill - Director, Australian Design Centre

William Smart - Smart Design Studio, Founder & Creative Director

This event is presented by AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE and Factory Design District in partnership with Australian Design Centre.

Authentic Design Alliance is a member-based education platform supporting original design products, committed to eradicating ‘copy culture’ and advocating for improved protection for Australian design practitioners through an extensive event program.

Factory Design District promotes Australian independent designers and makers who create original, locally made objects and furniture that are innovative, and both economically and environmentally sustainable, via talks, exhibitions and events.


Australian Design Centre

The Australian Design Centre is one of Australia’s leading arts organisations dedicated exclusive to design and contemporary craft. Supporting the power of design in innovations and craft through exhibitions, events, education programs and digital platforms.

Ticket price includes drink on arrival. 

Photo: Stilla Carafe by Andrew Simpson and Oliver Smith, VERT © Andy Lewis

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Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.