Monthly Archives: July 2012

Depth of Field written by Kirril Shields for (Inside) #72 pg 96 -100.

I am proud to share with you an article about my practice just published within the pages of (Inside) #72 Magazine; called Depth of Field, written by Kirril Shields.

It is special to have a treasured moment like this. To share with a wide audience, listen to what other people make of my projects, to reflect, to gain perspective and celebrate the people who contribute to my practice.

Beautiful layout by Niche Media. Special Thanks to Leanne Amodeo (Editor) and Kirril Shields (Writer).

Thank you to my photographers Jon Linkins, Christopher Frederick Jones, David Sandison and Tobias Titz. All have imagery featured in this article (captured over many years). Thank you to clients and collaborators such as Aurecon and Cox Rayner Architects.

Thank you to the makers and suppliers including Palamont: art in manufacturing, Rockpress, Everything Metal, B&S Washers and Reverse Garbage.

Thank you to the venues that hosted the exhibitions and installations including The Brisbane Convention Centre, The State Library of Queensland and Pin-up Project Space, Melbourne.

Thank you to the organisations that have supported research, development, realisation and exhibition of the works featured via Grants, Fellowships and Sponsorship including Arts Queensland, The Brisbane City Council, The Winston Churchill Fellowship Memorial Trust, The Australian Council for the Arts and


Thank you to the people that inspire me; peers and confidants. My love to family and friends. Such support!

Yes the list is long. It would be remiss of me to say I did it all on my own. It does actually take many passionate individuals and organisations and in-depth conversation and massive amounts of true belief. 

Inside #72 Cover

You can read the full Depth of Field article online at or BETTER STILL head to your news stand and get a copy in the flesh. I have to say (Inside) #72 presents a wealth of Australian Design talent including interviews with Kate StokesJohn Goulder, and Design by Them just to name a few…

Kinetic Rain by ART + COM completed in July 2012.

After a short but sweet stay in Singapore it was time to head home. On arrival at Singapore’s Changi Airport there was the usual struggle with bags; looking for the right check-in desk and last-minute rummage through carry on luggage. Then suddenly and quite unexpectedly, amid the Departure-Check in Hall, I saw Kinetic Rain.

One part of a set of two installations

I was mesmerised.

For the Departure Hall, ART + COM were commissioned to make an artwork that captured the essence of the place. This group of artists, designers and developers came together in 1988 with a shared belief that ‘the computer was more than a tool’. They have a practice that creates unique installations, environments and architecture made possible through the development of technological innovations and inventions.

My mind and memories set in motion through this artwork.

‘Glimpses of ideas, abstract and concrete hover in the air between the clouds in the sky and the rippling water surface below, contemplating the dream of flying… of dreams becoming reality through determination and feats of engineering and science.’ ART + COM’s Artist Statement, Changi Airport.

After experiencing the afternoon showers and humidity of Singapore this artwork resonated strongly with me. The array of hundreds of droplets seemed to float through space as they completed their programmed sequence of movement. It was like experiencing rain in slow motion close up.

How beautiful and perfect and moving. Infinite patterns, sequence and…

The reflective surface of each droplet captured the people looking on in a beautiful state of distraction within the space of the terminal. The artwork had no sound but in my mind I could hear the sound of each sequence and pattern of rain; the pitter patter of a sun shower; undulating rain blown from wind squalls; to a relentless torrential downpour hitting a tin roof.

The movement of Kinetic Rain took me back to my childhood memories of rain and its cleansing and life-giving force to the land. I was prepared to miss my flight only so I could stay a little longer with Kinetic Rain.

Red Dot Design Museum, Singapore: Entry on Maxwell Road. Love the striking Red Facade!

The Red Dot Design Museum, Singapore holds the largest collection of International Design in Asia. Their collection and exhibitions encompass all facets of design from Communication Design (Editorials, TV Ads, Poster Design, and Websites) to award-winning and futuristic product design.

The Red Dot Design Museum’s website.

The museum also hosts the red dot award celebrating the latest product innovations from around the world. You can actually ‘reach out and touch’ the prize-winning products on display.

How essential and simply beautiful!

You have to check out The Red Dot Design Museum’s Website or just GET THERE to witness their collection, events and exhibitions and appreciate their forward thinking philosophy…

Simply Wicked!

Waking to Kampong Glam.

Waking up in an unfamiliar place can be really beautiful. The street noises, the comings and goings of guests, and light are quite different and specific to the place. Singapore is no exception.

I am staying in Kampong Glam, the Malay/Arab enclave of Singapore. My hotel is within walking distance of the Sultan Mosque, heritage shop houses, and colourful textile and carpet shops.

I awoke to the sound of an extremely strange noise. A loud wolf whistle, followed by a screech, then another wolf whistle. What the hell was that!

Looking out

I opened the beautiful doors and shutters that front the street and listened for the noise again… and there on the other side of the street was a little house with two bird cages on either side of the entrance.

Beautiful Bird having a little rest as the street wakes up.

I have nicknamed him Gonzo Bird. I have become quite fond of him.

I watched as a man walked past the bird cages. One of the birds let out another sweet loud wolf whistle. This bird has real character! After he let out another deep screech (like a car skidding around a corner), a car lock beep beep noise and another wolf whistle, I broke into uncontrollable laughter.

Raffles Hotel Courtyard at night from Table Cam.

Arriving quite late in Singapore, I headed over to Raffles for a quick snack and a Singapore Sling, before retiring to bed. I am in Singapore for some recon for How We Create and to develop an exciting project!!! STAY TUNED!

Fruit Pixels on Display (from the Bloom Series 2009) at artisan.

A set of Fruit Pixels from my Bloom Series 2009 were featured as part of The Window Project at artisan: idea skill product, in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

The Window Project is a partnership conceived by the QUT School of Design Interior Design discipline and artisan, to provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively on small scale retail and exhibition design projects. artisan

‘Fractus’ installation on Brunswick Street.

The display concept for Fractus was formulated by QUT School of Design students:

Inspired by Christina Waterson’s Bloom series, ‘Fractus’ is a celebration of geometry and nature, expressing the symbiotic relationship of intricate interlocking male and female pairings to make new forms.  Predominantly produced from corflute, a material used by the artist in prototyping, this installation highlights the beauty and complexities of repetition, patterning and layering created by the artist in her folding and weaving process.

Nice work and great to work with the QUT Students!

The ‘Fractus’ Design Team included Jonathan Morehen (Architecture student), Vanessa Parker (Interior Design student), Karlee Blackburn (Interior Design student), Rebecca Shaw (Interior Design student), Rachael Gwaro (Interior Design student) and Natalie Wright (Lecturer in Interior Design).

24 Hour Viewing on Brunswick Street.

Check out Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker a great exhibition that opened at artisan: idea skill product on the same night!

You can actually bid on the customised Converse Blank Canvas Project boots online. Special!

The Qld Smart Design Fellow Nominees ( L > R): Anne-Marie Willis, Christina Waterson, Shane Thompson, Natalie Wright and Kevin Finn. Photography Darcy Clarke.

The Queensland Smart Design Awards recognise the importance of design to business, lifestyle and innovation through the presentation of A Queensland Smart Design Fellowship and an Emerging Design Leader Award. The Queensland Smart Design Fellowship is given to an individual who has significantly contributed to developing a design culture within Queensland. Entrants may be from any industry or sector.

I personally believe that you are only as good as the people around you. It was therefore an absolute honour to be shortlisted for the Design Fellowship alongside such committed Queensland individuals. Each of the Nominees have an undeniable passion for design-led thinking and an openness to share, tempered with direct experience and intellect. The nominees were  Kevin Finn, Shane Thompson, Christina Waterson (Yes that’s me!), Anne-Marie Willis and Natalie Wright.

Architect, Shane Thompson was awarded The 2012 Queensland Smart Design Fellowship at a special event held at The State Library of Queensland on 28 June 2012. Shane is someone who I have always admired. He is a strong design advocate and talented individual with a down to earth character and relaxed way. Congratulations Shane!

Congratulations to all of the Nominees! Such a pleasure to know you!

Check out the full story at Queenslandersign and Arts Queensland.

Making Plexa#1 at SLQ. Photo by David Sandison

Design’s true contribution to the wider community is something money just can’t buy.

Beyond fashion, sales, price point and the hottest-newest item for sale, there is the intrinsic worth of design that transcends market forces.

Can you buy the true belief and passion, ingenuity, and provenance built into projects over time? Can you measure the value of direct relationships and knowledge grown through design process and investigation? What’s the current asking price for meaningful places of experience that grow within the memories of future generations? What is the creative capital that creative thinkers bring to the wider community?

We may be able to buy the products and projects of design thinking, but that doesn’t ensure the acquirer values their meaning and concept. Many Australian Retailers, Designers and Architects have conveyed their clients’ focus on price rather than an understanding of the background story to products and projects. Especially since the GFC, clients and buyers are caring more about price.

At some point in the recent past sell overtook soul.

How much do you sell those for? Where can I buy one? How much did that cost to make? When one answers the barrage of questions with ‘Actually you can’t buy these anywhere”, “That’s the only one in the world”, or ‘Our business plan for this product is not to sell it’.

There is an understandable silence. And then there is a smile and often a nod, and a ‘Wow’ exclamation. I have witnessed this response through the Tracelet Project.

Personal experience and connection. Photography by George Dedic.

Tracelet is a symbol, a talisman. It took about ten years for it to evolve into its present form. You can’t buy it anywhere. These are personal gifts that are not sold. You can only receive Tracelet once the story of its origin has been shared. Yes it’s a bracelet that’s meant to be worn.

But above all, Tracelet is to be treasured and to remind the wearer of the gift of knowledge, of process and a connection with the designer/maker.

So far I have personally given 400 Tracelet sets to people. In doing this I get something far more important than a few dollars in the bank.

Giving Tracelet at Brisbane Indesign 2012. Photography by George Dedic.

I get to share Tracelet’s story directly, witness peoples’ responses, hear what they see and connect in a way that is not possible within the normal retail model.

It is my personal belief that a designer’s true gift rests not just in the physical objects and places that they have made through out their career. These are merely the perspiration from an endeavour to make everyday experiences better.

INSPIRATIONAL MOMENTS! Array Installation for the 2007 Qld Architecture Awards Event: a collaboration between Christina Waterson and Cox Rayner Architects. Photography by CFC Photography.

Our biggest contribution is the opportunity to inspire and move others (professionals, students and people from not only the design sector but all areas of the community) to think differently.

Our philosophies, sharing our process and knowledge and (yes) how these ideas are embedded in the environments and things that we design in the world, are integral to creating a spark; a spark that challenges people to think differently about what and why they do what they do in life, work and business.

Passionate chats at Why We Create’s Queensland Launch. Photography Joshua Thies.

Making connections at Why We Create’s Queensland Launch. Photography Joshua Thies.

Our true value is not the price that we get for our designs or the number we sell over time, but rather the relationships between people and personal connections made within all of our thinking.

Written for DESIGN ONLINE, The State Library of Queensland’s new online resource.

Design Online is delivered and curated by the State Library of Queensland’s Asia Pacific Design Library. The Asia Pacific Design Library is a shared space (physically and digitally) for industry, academia and the public to come together in the generation of new knowledge around design in the Asia Pacific.

Check out Design Online and the also fantastic Design Minds!