We’re a coun­try of de­sign­ing minds

Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - With Tracey Hordern

ONE of my first in­ter­views as a jour­nal­ist was with the Acad­emy-award win­ning Aus­tralian cin­e­matog­ra­pher John Seale (Rain­man, The English Pa­tient, Harry Pot­ter, Cold Moun­tain).

De­scrib­ing his amaz­ing ca­reer and good for­tune, John Seale humbly put much of his suc­cess down to be­ing an Aus­tralian. “The mother of in­ven­tion is ne­ces­sity,” I re­call him say­ing. “In my early ca­reer, if we didn’t have some­thing, we de­signed it.”

This got me think­ing about Aus­tralian de­sign and how much of our in­ven­tive­ness has been borne out of ne­ces­sity.

De­spite our small pop­u­la­tion and short his­tory, Aus­tralians have gen­er­ated a re­mark­able num­ber of in­ven­tions in the past 200 years.

In terms of de­sign, we can proudly claim the Black Box, avi­a­tion’s most val­ued back-up tool.

Closer to home, the Hills Hoist is an­other great Aus­tralian in­ven­tion that re­mains as a per­ma­nent fix­ture in many Aus­tralian back­yards. An­other pop­u­lar Aussie de­sign is the Vic­tor mower.

When it comes to eco de­sign, Aus­tralia leads the way in many ev­ery­day de­signs. For in­stance, the in­ven­tion of the dual-flush toi­let is an Aus­tralian de­sign. Now a world stan­dard, the dual-flush toi­let was de­vel­oped as a de­sign im­prove­ment to con­serve that most pre­cious of com­modi­ties, wa­ter.

Based on our his­tory, we can trust that Aus­tralians will con­tinue to come up with more eco-friendly de­signs. Some of the lat­est eco-in­ven­tions for the home in­clude so­lar roof tiles and in­su­la­tion coat­ing sys­tems. Both are great Aussie in­ven­tions, de­signed to har­ness na­ture’s energy while sav­ing us from our­selves.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

An Aus­tralian de­sign, the Hills Hoist.

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