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Empowering people with PowerMe

The future of outdoor public spaces is PowerMeOctober 2017

We have been busy working with Street Furniture Australia to design and develop PowerMe, a new charging table for public spaces. PowerMe provides a place to charge your mobile devices when you are out and about helping to empower users to never be without battery again. For more information on PowerMe visit:

We are very excited that prototypes of PowerMe will be on display as part of Future Street, part of the Festival of Landscape Architecture on in Sydney from 12 – 14 October.

Future Street is being built by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IOTAA) and Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) at Circular Quay on Alfred Street, in front of Customs House. So if you are in the city, take a look at what the future streetscapes of our cities might look like.

Sydney Indesign 2017

Exploring Alexandria at SID17 – August 2017

Sydney Indesign (SID) was on again and Dorte headed over to Alexandria to experience the latest design trends. The area was bursting with activity from the hub that is the Grounds of Alexandria to the open studios and showrooms of SID17.

One of the overarching trends across the 30+ exhibitors was an emphasis on quality and simplicity paired with a focus on tactile natural materials and finishes such as timber, brass and leather. These were exemplified by products such as the Pieman Chair (Tom Fereday for Dessin), the Halm chair ( jehs+laub for Brunner) and Tala Voronoi pendant lights (Tala). There was also a continued trend towards modularity and customisation of corporate spaces through configurable furniture systems such as Schiavello’s new Toku collection designed by Gavin Harris.

There was also a great sense of fun with collaborative “projects” offering interactive, engaging and immersive experiences. Two of my favourite experiences were The Tunnel of Light and the Mafi Ski and Health Chalet. The Tunnel of Light, a collaboration between Acme&Co and LightCo, led people through a “tunnel” panelled with mirrored floors and ceiling and walls that pulsed with strips and patterns of moving, colour changing lights. The experience made it challenging to know which way was up or down while the moving choreography of lights were quite hypnotising. In contrast, Mafi + Kebonny by WOODOS in collaboration with Billy Blue Design School, converted a showroom into an Austrian ski chalet complete with massage therapists to relieve your aching muscles after a day’s skiing (or pavement pounding in my case), signature scented wood panelling and tasty Austrian fare. A feast for all the senses and great way to entice travellers to stop and stay awhile.

It was clearly evident that more than ever brands recognise that their products do not exist in isolation but form part of a larger ecosystem and that to be successful, they must contribute something unique and human to their environment.

Here are a few pictures from the day – enjoy!

Clockwise from top left: Tunnel of Light installation at LightCo, The Grounds of Alexandria, Tala Voronoi pendant lights, Pieman Chair by Tom Fereday.

Workshopped 2017

Workshopped Opening Night – August 2017

Left: AM24 chair by Robin Keussen; Right: Korus lamp by Liljana Ristovski, Rebel Futurism Pendent by Dean Toepfer Rebel.

Dorte recently attended the VIP Opening Night of Workshopped 17 at the Supa Centa Moore Park Sydney. Now in its 17th year, Workshopped provides local designers with a platform to present their designs to both local and international markets.

This year there were 55 designs including furniture, lighting and homeware designs. The theme for this year’s exhibition was "Does your design demand attention and is fit for purpose?" One entry that stood out was the AM24 chair designed by Robin Keussen. This dining style chair marries the warmth of felted textile upholstery with the strength of Tasmanian Oak legs. The joinery details are well considered and the brass spacers add a touch of elegance. A unique internal frame and webbing structure means that there is no upper backrest edge making the chair really comfortable to sit in. This is one chair that we hope makes it from prototype to production and into the market place!

The Workshopped exhibition is on until 27th August so be sure to check it out!

Where are the women?

Women in Design Event – May 2017

Speakers at this year’s Women in Design event from left to right: Cathy Lockhardt (UTS), Sabina Popin (Meld Studios), Tanya Rechberger (King Living), Jemima Woo (NSW State Library / Woo ceramics) and Sarah Gibson (DesignByThem)

Dorte attended this year’s Women in Design event presented by the University of Technology (UTS) in conjunction with the NSW Design Institute of Australia and hosted by DesignByThem in their Chippendale showroom. This annual event provides a relaxed opportunity for women with foundations in industrial design to celebrate and share their career journey, experiences and insights into the contemporary practice of industrial design.

This year’s speakers were Cathy Lockhardt (UTS), Sarah Gibson (DesignByThem), Sabina Popin (Meld Studios), Tanya Rechberger (King Living) and Jemima Woo (State Library of NSW / Woo Ceramics). The women shared a variety of perspectives and experiences spanning service design, furniture design, exhibition design and design education. While the sectors in which they practiced may have differed, the take home messages were all very similar. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • You often learn more from your failures than your successes and sometimes what feels like failure (missing out on a job or getting fired) opens the door to bigger and better things.
  • Embrace every opportunity, try new things and experiment with design until you find where your natural interests and skills find the best fit.
  • Make things! Designers are creative people and we need to stay true to ourselves and keep the passion alive. So do what inspires you – paint, sculpt, sew…
  • Persevere – realising creativity is mostly about perseverance!
  • To get the best design outcomes we need to connect with others (colleagues, users, dissenters), collaborate and share ideas and information.
  • And finally, remember to say thank-you to your supporters (financial, press, private) and manufacturing partners. A little recognition goes a long way!

The evening certainly reaffirmed what a diverse discipline industrial design is and what amazing projects we have the opportunity to be part of. We look forward to further connecting with, collaborating and sharing experiences with our design colleagues.

Melbourne bound!

Seeking innovation partnersApril 2017

Early April saw Scintilla head south for a few days in search of fun and sun in Melbourne. And we found it. What a great city to get around, certainly not as much traffic as we experience in Sydney. Fantastic weather – blue skies and warm days and cooler nights as you would expect with early Autumn.

Now for the fun bit. We were very fortunate to visit a number of organisations and learn about their challenges and successes. It’s great to see that people are moving ahead and continuing to develop products and services in Australia for world markets. One thing we noticed particularly with a number of companies that we visited are the levels of innovation and creativity being applied to develop new and innovative offerings. The other key insight is that there is much more recognition, understanding and incorporation of the end user in the development and innovation process than ever before. This is great to see as we move to a more strategically dominated design methodology.

One of the reasons that we spent several days in Melbourne was to talk to several manufactures about the development, manufacture and logistics for our Scintilla range of products. You may recall from our previous blog post that Scintilla has begun to develop a range of products. So far we have completed early design and detail work. We have also been working with several suppliers and manufacturers in Melbourne to manufacture models to provide feedback for the development process. I have to say we have been very fortunate to have found two companies that are very enthusiastic about our designs and are keen to partner with us as we continue to develop and optimise our design for manufacture. We are excited to work with these companies as we move forward with our manufacturing research and begin to develop the first prototypes.

Stay tuned for more about what Scintilla has been up to and about our range of products in the coming months.


The Facts

New Scintilla Fact Sheet –  March 2017

For those of you who would like to know a little more about our capabilities we've developed a short fact sheet which you can download here. Print a copy and start a discussion in your company about how Scintilla might be able to work with you.


In search of inspiration

Images to inspireFebruary 2017

We are starting a new internal project here at Scintilla that we are keeping under wraps for the moment. But we thought we would share with you some of our creative process. To help get our creative juices flowing we took a little field trip to do some design research. Here are some of the photos we took. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do! Stay tuned for more on this project.

Mastering Design Strategy!

Mastering the latest thinking in the field of Design and StrategyJanuary 2017

Ian has just begun a postgraduate course in Design Strategy. The course, run by RMIT University in Melbourne, will be credited as part of the post graduate degree of Master of Design Futures.

The aim of the course is to explore how designers work with corporate, social and public sectors. Within the course students will investigate and apply tools, methods and processes to help align design practices with new movements in organisational strategy.

The course will examine how design contributes to the envisioning, communication, execution and innovation of design and organisational strategy. Ian looks forward to sharing new insights and applying the latest thinking in the field of design and strategy with our partners and the broader Scintilla community. For further information, stay tuned to our blog and news pages or contact us at

CSIRO – AIP Industry Day

csiro-aip-logoCSIRO –  AIP Industry DayDecember 2016

For many years now the CSIRO in association with the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) hold an annual industry day mid-November. The day, which is run as a series of presentations by leading industry figures and includes short tours of the CSIRO, always presents something of interest. The theme of the day varies from year to year and in the past themes have included Advances in Aviation and Aerospace, Medical Device Development, Utilising Design and Development Processes, Advanced Materials and Additive Manufacturing Technologies to name just a few. Scintilla director, Ian Johnson, is a regular attendee at the industry day and believes that as designers involved in the creation of innovation it is important to have exposure to as many industry perspectives as possible. This allows broader and more considered thinking which is applied to our client’s endeavours.

The theme of the 2016 Industry day was Exploring the Lifecycle of Tech Startups. With over 250 attendees, the day, which was run by the ever capable Dr Scott Martin GAICD FAIP, explored a number of tech startups associated with the CSIRO’s collaboration hub, as well contributions from external companies, consultants and industry advisors.

We heard about the technical and commercial challenges from speakers who are developing new technology startups involved in the early stage concept to established companies who have already developed high tech products to entrepreneurs and technical and innovation consultants. The day provided a number of viewpoints and highlighted the challenges that new companies as well as established ones face.

A key part of the day are the tours of the CSIRO Lindfield site. Here, taken over the BBQ lunch break the tours include the innovation hub, laboratories and other scientific infrastructure.

Overall the day provides an opportunity to meet people who are at the cutting edge of technology, science and share a passion for developing innovation.

We’ve started a blog!

Let's start a conversation November 2016

scintilla_icons_blog_yellowModern times call for modern measures. So we at Scintilla have decided to write a regular blog to inform, create a dialogue and engage with our networks and beyond. There are many talented and knowledgeable people out there and as designers we firmly believe that the more we engage with people, the more we share insights and start a dialogue the more meaningful our work and outcomes will become.

Our topics will vary but will center on the core theme of design. We’re passionate about design, how the power of design transforms lives and how our environment can be transformed through good design. We want to write and solicit feedback from as many people as possible and so we encourage you to comment and add your insights and perspectives – after all this is about sharing and building on what we already have and know.

So stay tuned for our first intro blog due out early November.