past Panel

Mindful Materiality

Location marker iconGolden AgeTime icon2023

Presented by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) and moderated by industrial designer Nila Rezaei, this discussion explores the work of four local creatives who place materials at the core of their practice. Whether 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, and the environment. Rezaei’s primary goal is to design sustainable and regenerative objects that not only fulfil utilitarian needs but also create delightful experiences that connect with users on an emotional level. 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 runs her own studio as a designer-artist and develops workshops that promote design as a participatory practice. Parker is currently a Scientia PhD candidate at UNSW School of 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.

Alex Seton is an award-winning artist who uses sculpture, photography, video and installation to examine problematic concepts. Best known for marble carving, he 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 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. 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 and Powerhouse design resident, 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. Coaxing delicate yet functional objects from rarely considered resources, her work provokes a profound reassessment of the intrinsic value embedded in overlooked ‘waste’ materials. Graduating cum laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2021, Lyda draws from her education in the Netherlands to bring together conceptual design thinking with a hands-on approach to creation and collaboration. Her 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 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.



On Gadigal land

Golden Age Bar
80 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills NSW 2010


$10 Tickets

23 September 2023

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