DIA — Design Days: Mindful Materiality
Presented by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) during Sydney Design Week and moderated by industrial designer Nila Rezaei, this discussion explores the work of four local designers, artists and writers who place materials at the core of their practice. Whether it’s by exploring the properties of marble as a poetic device, implementing regenerative solutions at the nexus of biology and design, or finding sustainable and ethical ways of engaging with materiality, all hope to leave a lasting positive impact.
This event is for design professionals, researchers, sustainability advocates, cultural enthusiasts, and those
interested in the transformative power of design in shaping our material, cultural, and technological futures.
As part of the DIA’s Accredited Designer program, DIA offers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through its learning resources. Attendance at this event is worth two CPD points.
Nila Rezaei is a Sydney-based designer and thinker, with a strong focus on developing physical products and experiences that make a positive impact on society, the environment
and innovation. Rezaei’s primary goal is to design sustainable and regenerative solutions that not only fulfil utilitarian needs but also create delightful experiences that connect with
users on an emotional level and leave a lasting positive impact. She has exhibited and lectured nationally and internationally and represents the voice of the design community on a
national level as the deputy chair of NSW at Design Institution Australia (DIA).
Alia Parker is an experimental textile and fashion designer and researcher investigating the nexus of biology and design to provoke more sustainable and ethical ways of engaging with
materiality. Working with non-human organisms and materials, such as fungi and post-consumer waste, Parker uses collaborative methodologies to produce innovative outcomes.
She continues to run her own studio as a designer-artist and creative director on projects and commissions and develops workshops that aim to engage design as a participatory
practice. Parker is currently a Scientia PhD candidate at UNSW Art & Design and holds a Master of Philosophy (UNSW), Master of Fashion and Textiles (RMIT) and a Bachelor of
Design (UNSW) where she is also a sessional academic. She has worked in the fashion and textile industry internationally and exhibited her work nationally.
Alex Seton is an award-winning artist who uses sculpture, photography, video and installation to examine problematic concepts. Best known for marble carving, Seton explores
the material’s properties as poetic device. Recently, Seton broke from the constraints of physical sculpture with Augmented Reality works. Always carefully considered, his art
playfully sits at the junction of an idea, forcing a choice in the viewer as a litmus test of their disposition. His works contemplate notions of nationhood, legacy and privacy, or the
problematic relationship between individual and society. Seton was notably the first Australian artist to win the Sovereign Asian Art Award in 2020 and he received the Mordant
Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome in 2019. He also won the Contemporary Talents Prize at the Fondation François Schneider in France in 2017. His work is held in
private and public collections across Australia and in Denmark and the United States.
Marlo Lyda is an Australian-born designer-maker, currently based in Sydney, Australia. With a deep-rooted commitment to celebrating the inherent beauty of makers and materials,
Lyda's practice embodies a harmonious blend of creativity, resourcefulness and purpose. Demonstrating an innate ability to coax delicate yet functional objects from disregarded
resources, Lyda’s work provokes a profound reassessment of the intrinsic value embedded in overlooked ‘waste’ materials. Graduating Cum Laude for her project Scraptopia in 2021
from the Design Academy Eindhoven, Lyda draws from her education in the Netherlands to bring together conceptual Design Thinking with a hands-on approach to creation and
collaboration. Lyda's work has been exhibited internationally at Dutch Design Week, as well as throughout Australia.
Penny Craswell is a Sydney-based writer. She is the author of Design Lives Here: Australian Interiors, furniture and lighting (2020) and Reclaimed: New homes from old materials (2022).
Craswell runs the notable blog The Design Writer, which showcases exceptional architecture, interiors, furniture, object design and art from an ethical standpoint. She was
previously the editor of Artichoke magazine and holds a Master of Design from UNSW.