Berto Pandolfo is an industrial designer who trained and worked in Australia and Italy. His design research interests are influenced by non-traditional or practice-oriented investigations.
Specifically his research focuses on the application of both emerging and traditional methods to develop new approaches to complex form making. He applies his research within the context of batch production and commercialisation of designed objects in Australia. Among his self-produced designs are the spk bowl, the rak coat stand, the blk side table and the srv plate.
Berto is senior lecturer and director of the Integrated Product Design program at UTS. He teaches in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses with a focus on the history of industrial design, technical and visual communication for industrial designers, object making and prototyping and commercialisation of design.
His designs are cited in both local and international design journals and his work is exhibited in design events both locally and internationally.
Can supervise: YES
Research interests in design are focused around the aim to investigate and experiment how new and emerging technologies can be introduced and ultimately benefit product design and the end user in a non-exclusive manner. Another key area of interest is the articulation and validation of practice-led design research.
History of Industrial Design
Industrial Design Project
Lee, TM, Walden, R, Lie, S, Pandolfo, B & Lockhart, C 2018, 'Design Research Units and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs): An Approach for Advancing Technology and Competitive Strength in Australia', The Design Journal.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
ABSTRACT This paper makes the case that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector have the potential to benefit from connections with design research units operating within universities. It points out some of the challenges associated with research and development for SMEs, and argues design research units can allow SMEs to better meet
these challenges. Additive Manufacturing is used as an exemplary emerging technology that makes explicit the new possibilities and instability of the contemporarymanufacturing landscape. A case study is used to articulate
the potentials and limitations of industry and university partnerships in design. In conclusion, two alternative models are analysed in order to highlight different ends to which the practitioner-based research can be put.
This paper is a collaboration between an academic design practitioner, whose primary medium of research is the designed object, and a design researcher with a background in literary, critical and poetic writing. As such, the subject of this paper is woven from multiple dialogues. It is a practitioner-led account of the design process which produced a specific object. This perspective brings into focus the role of the hammer as tool for shaping timber, assigning particleboard dignity as a material, and the relationship between digital processing and manual workmanship. In parallel to this dialogue between investigator and object is a secondary dialogue that emerges between the practice of the designer, the design and a writer, who is removed from the process of material making but engaged in the wider cluster of ideas and expressions, which become activated as the design process is explicated in language. The perspective of the writer is significantly informed by various lineages of thought that might be crudely grouped within the field of 'thing theory', most significantly Steven Connor's different takes on the relationship between thinking and things, sense and substance, Daniel Tiffany's work on lyric substance, and Alfred North Whitehead's philosophical writing on beauty. The tension which gives the paper its structure comes from the personal, reflective, practical and semantic knowledge of the designer and the patterning of associations and theory used by the writer to variously enhance the scope of the writing and research.
Pandolfo, B 2014, 'Sher', The Tool Chest, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 19-20.
Sher was a Melbourne based company that manufactured a wide variety of power tools, including portable electric drills, circular saws and routers. Sher also owns the title of being the first manufacturer of power tools in Australia.
Pandolfo, B 2005, 'Implied Volume', be, vol. May, pp. 15-15.
An essay discussing the outcomes of my PLY project which were selected for inclusion in the Global Local exhibition held at Object Gallery, Sydney, 2005 and curated by Brian Parkes.
Pandolfo, B 2004, 'Dining Design', Uniken, vol. 14, pp. 10-10.
A review of the international collaborative design project: Dining Design, from the my perspective as lecturer and project co-ordinator.
Pandolfo, B 2003, 'Design Dream: Arrivano I Giovani Aussie', Casa Vogue, vol. April, no. 15, pp. 20-21.
Written in Italian, the article discusses the most recent designs from Australian designers presenting their work at the 'Salone del Mobile', the Milan Furniture Fair of 2003.
Pandolfo, B 2003, 'The Clever Country', Inside Interior Review, vol. 28, pp. 38-38.
A new version of the Sunbeam Mixamaster was due to be released; this article reviewed the new design and includes a brief history of the Mixmaster product dating back to 1948.
Pandolfo, B 2000, 'Antonio Citterio: Total Design', Inside Interior Review, vol. 17, pp. 100-103.
In April 2000 I visted the studio of Antonio Citterio, an acclaimed architect and industrial designer. I interviewed Citterio and wrote an article about his thoughts on design.
Pandolfo, B 2000, 'Morrison: The Economy of Expressive Means', Inside Interior Review, vol. 15, pp. 38-40.
The article is about English industrial designer Jasper Morrison whom I interviewed.
Pandolfo, B 2000, 'Salone 2000', Inside Interior Review, vol. 16, pp. 94-95.
I visited the Milan Internaional Furniture Fair in April 2000, Italy. This article reviews the fair identifying any new particular trends and product releases.
Pandolfo, B 2000, 'The Designer Supermarket', Inside Interior Review, vol. 16, pp. 88-91.
This is an interview article I wrote about the internationally acclaimed industrial designer Stefano Giovannoni.
Pandolfo, B 2000, 'Whirpool: Innovation Through Design', Inside Interior Review, vol. 17, pp. 106-107.
The Whirlpool Global Product Design & Usability Division conducted a design workshop - Macrowave. This article reviews the outcomes of this workshop which include designs by Konstantin Grcic and Christophe Pillet.
Pandolfo, B 1999, 'Il Maestro', Architecture Review (AR) Australia, vol. 69, no. spring, pp. 86-89.
This is an article I wrote about internationally recognised architect and industrial designer Mario Bellini. I interviewed Bellini in his studio, Milan, Italy.
Walden, R, Lie, S, Pandolfo, B & Nemme, A 2018, 'Research Prototyping, University-Industry Collaboration and the value of Annotated Portfolios', To Get There: Designing Together, Cumulus Paris 2018: To get there together, designing together, Cumulus the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, Paris, pp. 1198-1213.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The purpose of this paper is to describe how a team of academic- design practitioners working on a university-industry collaboration (UIC) project, used the method of research prototyping documented in an annotated portfolio, as a way to meet the dual need of contrib- uting to the academic discussion and, problem solving through de- sign practice. The annotated portfolio enables knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing, integration of new knowledge through re- search prototypes and a way of retaining knowledge for possible application in the current or future projects. During the process of conducting the UIC project, a team of three academic design practi- tioners working in product design research recorded images of pro- totypes constructed and catalogued those images to be systemati- cally transferred to the annotated portfolio document. The entire body of work was catalogued for analysis (both during and after key project stages) to integrate knowledge generated through research prototypes. This paper will focus on the role of research prototypes constructed as part of the project, the classification of those proto- types recorded in photographs and the function of their arrangement in an annotated portfolio. Academic design practitioners working
in collaboration with industry partners do not specialise in particular fields of application, such as furniture designers, medical product designers or in-house product designers. Instead academic design practitioners perform in a similar manner to the consultant designer who is required to quickly master diverse sectors on a continuing basis. The academic team is further distinguished by their focus on research in emergent fields that defy classical categorisation. Due to this, the methodologies through which they build new knowledge in areas of expertise that they're not practiced in, collect this knowl- edge and portfolio this knowledge is a unique commodity. In the field of design research for UIC projects, more...
Walden, R, Pandolfo, B, Lie, S & Nemme, A 2018, 'Adaptable practices for next-generation design in manufacturing SMEs informed by university-industry collaboration', Design Thinking Research Symposium, UNIST South Korea.
Small-to-medium (manufacturing) enterprises (SMEs) are turning to university research units for support in the development of designs or design strategies that are beyond their current R&D capability. This initiative has been supported by Governments in both Australia and Korea as funded innovation and technology roadmapping strategies to advance the competitiveness of SMEs given they represent a very large proportion of the consumer manufacturing sector of both countries. Analysis of interview data from Korean design educators and from representatives from design units inside of Korean manufacturing companies indicate a disconnect between the perception of 'design' and the 'designer' in Korea and the need for design in competitive organisations to be a mix of next-gen strategic design and good quality line-up design for technology incorporation and commercialisation. After analysis of the dataset and in connection to the literature reviewed we present case study projects that have adapted the values of industrial prototypes for the benefit of contextualising and integrating knowledge and expertise external to the original domain knowledge of the design organisation. These projects by the IPDR (Integrated Product Design Research) Unit at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) attempt to understand the 'gaps' between the current and future state of technology that can inform innovative pathways for product development. The prototypes constructed may be 'product-like' and employ industrial prototyping methods though documenting them in an annotated portfolio can unveil connections to theory. The IPDR Unit uses research prototyping in combination with annotated portfolios to support SMEs in the development of outcomes that are both implementable at an organisational level and capable of providing strategic insights to assist with next-gen product development. Noting the limitations that SMEs face in developing next-gen capability. The significance of this researc...
Pandolfo, B 2016, 'From Prototype to Production: Using Plastic 3D Printed Parts in Furniture', Published proceedings of the EID conference - From Prototype to Production: Using Plastic 3D Printed Parts in Furniture, Excellence in Design, The Design Society, Cavtat, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 2167-2174.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The digital revolution is expanding beyond the virtual towards tangible material transformation. Advanced digital technologies are enabling small manufacturers of objects the opportunity to engage with making in new ways. This research-through-design exploration was conducted to better understand how Fused Deposition Modelling could be utilised as a production ready option in furniture design.
Pandolfo, B 2016, 'Managing Constraints in Design Projects to Encourage Making, Iterative Design and a Deeper Learning Experience', Creating contexts for learning in Technology Education, 9th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research, Griffith University, Magill Campus, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 216-222.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Design education has been challenged by the need to teach students design, when being a designer has proved difficult to define and articulate. The solution adopted by design educators has been to dismantle the design process into smaller, easily managed segments, such as manufacturing and ergonomics. This approach has largely been successful and graduates make the transition from academia to professional practice with relative ease. Recently however, design has expanded beyond its traditional borders into new areas such as experience design and digital manufacturing, this requires new learning products which is resulting in an overcrowding of the curriculum. Furthermore, increased student numbers in programs like Integrated Product Design, where model-making in workshops is fundamental, is placing additional pressure on delivering efficient and effective learning experiences. This paper will present a case study from the Integrated Product Design program at the University of Technology Sydney where subjects have been re-structured in response to these pressures. The subjects involve the design of an object and the making of functional prototypes using technologies both internal and external to the university. Fundamental to this re-structure has been the management of contextual factors through the use of constraints and the demonstrated engagement with the iterative process.
Pandolfo, B & Strickfaden, M 2016, 'Global Collaboration: Local Making', IJADE Conference 2016: Drawing, Chester UK.
Digital making in industrial design production has become more diffused almost simultaneously as hand-craft has experienced its resurgence. This project brings together two seasoned industrial designers who never met face-to-face from opposite ends of the globe in a common goal: to create two bowls that simultaneously reflect and represent upon global-local, digital-craft and collaborative-making using drawing and digital technologies in communication. The individual making processes involved working independently in response to the hemispheres—Canada and Australia—where each designer currently lives. The designers had virtually (pun intended) no knowledge of how the other designer was manipulating their bowl other than through the drawings they shared along the way.
Walden, R, Lie, S, Pandolfo, B & Lockhart, C 2015, 'A design research strategy for advancing the technological and competitive strength of Australian manufacturing Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)', Design for Business: Research Conference, Melbourne, Australia.
This paper will propose a design research strategy to support collaboration of SMEs and University Research Units on projects intended to advance the competitive strength of SMEs in Australia through the utilisation of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMT). Review of literature identifies that a predominant driver for enterprises to remain competitive, is investment in Research and Development (R&D) strategies; and that while manufacturing SMEs have the potential to be innovation leaders, they are often not able to fund the high cost associated with in-house R&D. This presents SMEs with a challenge that needs to be addressed. The Australian Government, Industry Innovation and Competitive Agenda (2014) outlines a funding program that supports collaboration between university research units with Australian manufacturing SMEs under its Advanced Manufacturing category, with a view to implementing AMT into the manufacturing sector. A form of Advanced Manufacturing Technology - Additive Manufacturing (AM) has been the subject of significant and ongoing inquiry by the research sector and manufacturing sector alike. Background research and further literature research indicates that there maybe significant advantages to the implementation of AM into more mainstream production. While SMEs have the flexibility to innovate with the technology on one hand, they are also bound by financial constraints that limits their ability to conduct the necessary experimentation required to identify ways of utilising the technology. Review of similar programs in Korea and the UK, finds that government funded university-industry projects to improve the competitiveness of SMEs, requires that knowledge transfer yield short-term implementable outcomes for the company in terms of new products and processes. However, to strategically coordinate the implementation of AM into a SMEs production system requires experimentation, innovation and long-term vision. Resolving the combination of these...
Walden, R, Lockhart, C, Lie, S & Pandolfo, B 2015, 'Imperfect Aesthetic: How the changing use of plastic in objects has changed our perception of it.', Provocative Plastics, Arts University Bournemouth.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
From its very beginning, plastic has been a material valued for its high aesthetic qualities, in fact, early plastics were developed as substitutes for materials such as ivory and tortoise shell, materials highly sought after and prized for their unique visual and tactile qualities. With the arrival of synthetic plastics in the 1900's, plastic is used in objects not only for their decorative value but as a substitute for more traditional materials such as
ceramic, wood and metal. In the 1950's processing and material innovations allows plastic to be moulded with high gloss surface finish and in a wider variety of colours, features embraced by the Pop Art movement of the 1960's. Further developments towards the end of the 20th century see high performance plastics emerge, continuing the erosion into the domains of more traditional materials.
Today plastic is ubiquitous. The widespread use of plastic is in part due to it being available in a variety of formats; rigid, flexible, transparent, opaque, solid or liquid. This variability is also applicable to the possible processing methods available for plastic materials, examples include; injection, extrusion, blow and rotational moulding. One of the most recent advances in material processing technology is the advent of 3D printing.
Although today 3D printing is able to accommodate a wide variety of materials including metal and foods such as chocolate and pastry dough, it is the 3D printing of plastic that is having the most significant impact in the field of object design.
3D printing first emerged in the 1990's and today it is challenging existing manufacturing paradigms. Many of 3D printing's initial problems relating to structural integrity, dimensional stability and material selection have now been resolved and current solutions produce parts equal to or better than conventionally processed plastic. The one area that 3D printing continues to struggle with, with respect to conventional manufacturing, is the abi...
This paper inquires into how creative practice-led projects can generate dynamic connections between the tools of research and the tools of design practice through case studies of individual academic design practitioner projects to provide unique contributions to industry and society. Each case study represents a different approach to academic design practice that enables recognition and reflection of potential shifts in industry-based design practice, based on the advent of advanced manufacturing technologies, innovation opportunity in small batch production and rationalising the complexities of commercialising 3D printed products. Comparing the case studies primarily addresses the themes of knowing how to engage a practice-based research project and the set-up of projects that can offer academic and industry relevant contributions. Evaluation of the case studies identifies core attributes of the academic design practitioner and how practice-based design research operating outside of the constraints of commercial design projects can advance knowledge uniquely beneficial to industry development. Significantly, the conclusions of the paper suggest that the academic design practitioner may be defined as a researcher with up-to-date competency in industry-based design practice, enabling them to adapt practice-led research projects that can strategically develop multi-tiered outcomes that supply academic and industry relevant outcomes concurrently.
Walden, RJ & Pandolfo, B 2015, 'A new university-industry collaboration model to transform Australian manufacturing SMEs', Conference Proceedings of DesignEd Asia 2015, Spirit of Place and Design Education, DesignEd Asia Conference Secretariat, Hong Kong, pp. 195-207.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The spirit of Australian manufacturing was established by a need and desire to innovate at a technical level; nourished by a culture of making, vitalised by our geographic remoteness. Today, Australia finds that it cannot compete in labour-intensive, low-skilled manufacturing and must develop design-driven innovation strategies to survive. Through university- industry collaboration (UIC) manufacturing can be supported in this transition. UIC is complex due to differing incentives and orientation between the goals of industry and university research. Literature analysis on UIC research and of the challenges facing Australian manufacturing combines with a new Integrated Product Design program at the University of Technology Sydney to form the basis of a new UIC model to support local manufacturing industry. The Integrated Product Design Research (ipd-r) UIC model proposes to reduce the barriers to successful UIC by incorporating student projects that appropriately stimulate a longer term UIC engagement necessary for the creation of important strategic innovation integration and new knowledge outcomes. Additionally, we believe that the ipd-r UIC model with its focus on practice-based research is more conducive to the particular attitudes and spirit of Australian manufacturing.
Pandolfo, B 2014, 'Taking Design from concept to production and the consumer', 8th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research: Technology Education: Learning for Life, Technology Education Research Conference, Griffith University, Sydney, Australia, pp. 54-61.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
For many industrial designers the object continues to remain a central focus of their practice. In industrial design education it is important for students to learn about making beyond an abstract notion and beyond the construction of one-off prototypes to appreciate the complexity and challenges actually involved. It was the need to address this limitation in industrial design education that the id.shop emerged.
The id.shop was developed to expose students to the challenges involved in managing design, manufacture and sales of an object they designed.
The value of making is appreciated across society. Pedagogically it has long been valued as a vital part of education. The emergence of new digital technologies together with online retailing now present unlimited opportunities for designers to establish their own design based enterprises. The id.shop now in its fifteenth edition, is combining the small batch production focus with an experience in students' managing their own designer maker enterprise.
Pandolfo, B & Verghese, G 2013, 'Successful Design Briefs are not all Black and White', Proceedings for Crafting the Future, European Academy of Design Conference, The University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The task of a designer is to project the future into the present by articulating a possible outcome to an existing condition. This paper will examine the outcomes of these projections, through a comparative analysis of a controlled group of design students designing products and spaces for birthing units. Linked to a larger interdisciplinary study on the impact of birthing unit design on communication between birthing mothers, staff and family/support members, this research provided an opportunity to explore practice-led research together with case studies and literature reviews of current conditions. With the educational design directive to explore conceptual ideas, the first of two groups of students were presented with a standard written brief for the redesign of birthing units. They were asked to focus on either: a product, space, or combination of product and spatial design to address the needs of a birthing unit. A second group were given the same problem but were also provided with detailed video ethnographic information to supplement the written brief. The aim of this paper is to critically reflect upon the differences in the outcomes of a traditional form of design brief with that of the brief using video ethnography. By examination of all the factors affecting the complex context of birthing units, and the mode of communication of a project brief, this paper will present its findings that will facilitate future design briefs for birthing units to lead to more appropriate outcomes. In doing so the issue of whether or not a black and white text document is sufficient for improving the design of birthing units.
Pandolfo, B 2012, 'The Power and Glory: A report on the Rise and Fall of the Australian Made Electric Drill', 39th Annual ICOHTEC Meeting: Technology, the Arts and Industrial Culture, 39th Annual ICOHTEC Meeting: Technology, the Arts and Industrial Culture, ICOHTEC (International Committee for the History of Technology), Barcelona, Spain, pp. 101-101.
The paper presented a report on the trajectory of the Australian made electric drill as seen through the eyes of media publications that included newspaper, trade journals, radio and television advertising. Documenting the evolution of the drill from revolutionary innovation to commodity item will provide the fields of manufacturing, business and design useful insights into the life cycle of a typology, as oppsed to a single product. The analysis is not conducted using quantitative based criteria, instead it uses reports, advertisements and endorsements revealed publicly through the diverse news and entertainment media.
Pandolfo, B 2008, 'Office Tools: Investigating work for emerging users - A studio project case study.', Designing Designers: Offices and workplaces for knowledge workers., International convention of University courses in Design 2008, Edizioni Poli Design, Milan, Italy, pp. 65-70.
The paper outlines the methods and results of a project undertaken with fourth year Industrial design students, at the Department of Industrial Design, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia. The intention was to encourage an intense engagement by students in the project and to allow them to uncover new insights into the field of Do-It Yourself (DIY) tools and equipment and to address these with their design outcomes.
Pandolfo, B, Bohemia, E & Harman, K 2007, 'Rediscovering Apprenticeship Models in Design Education', Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education, Creativity or Conformity, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Wales, pp. 1-6.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Apprenticeship models of learning have generated renewed interest in learning and adult education literature during the last decade. This paper suggests that this model of learning might potentially open up learning spaces in the academy that traditionally might not have been available in this learning context. It proposes that a communities of practice model could be useful for developing both student and lecturer professional practice in the field of design. Two case studies are used to highlight some of the potential as well as some of the issues surrounding the implementation of this learning model.
Pandolfo, B & Talbot, J 2005, 'Consumer Insight - Culturally Driven An industrial design studio project case study.', Designing Designers: Design evolution by east and west - new ambients, new products, new designers, Designing Designers: Design evolution by east and west - new ambients, new products, new designers, Edizioni Poli Design, Milano, Italy, pp. 133-138.
Pandolfo, B & Talbot, J 2003, 'Enhancing investigation and insight in design studio projects: The great Divide - A studio project case study.', Design schools as factories of knowledge - Research through desgn education, Designing Designers: Design schools as factories of knowledge - Research through desgn education, Edizioni Poli Design, Milano, Italy, pp. 15-20.
The paper will outline the methods and results of a project undertaken with third year Industrial design students, at the Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. It was carried out in Session 2, 2002, between August 22 and October 10. Three university staff members where involved, Jonathan Talbot, Rina Bernabei and Berto Pandolfo. The project involved external collaborators who were researchers/practitioners from the fields of; sociology, psychology, television/new media design and industrial design. The intention was to encourage an intense engagement by students in the project and to allow them to uncover new insights into contemporary living and to address these with their design outcomes.
Pandolfo, B, 'Batch: Creative practice, enteprise and limited run production', Gaffa Gallery, DAB Docs.
This event was held as part of Sydney Design 15, highlights the work of seven Sydney based designer makers. These are objects that have been designed for retails sales, they are manufactured in small numbers are available for purchase through varied channels that include, conventional retail outlets, designer e-commerce sites and third party e-commerce sites.
When timber is used in the construction of housing and furniture, an inevitable by-product of the production process is off-cuts. These small pieces of timber are often odd sizes, they are deemed no longer useful and are then relegated to the waste pile and eventually disposed. BLK is created to make use of premium quality discarded timber, it is assembled to highlight the end grain of the timber as a butchersâ block does. BLK uses the different lengths of timber, and the irregular nature of the underside reflects the aesthetic of the undulating surface of a well-used butchersâ block.
Pandolfo, B, 'CRM', CRM; Launch Pad 2007 Finalist Exhibition; Substance: Diverse Practices from the Periphery, DAB LAB, DAB LAB; Living Edge, Sydney & Melbourne; Centre for Visual Art, Metro State Denver, USA.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The CRM project emerged out of research into the role of sheet metal in early European Australian settlement. Sheet metal was particularly valued as a material in the domestic environment. Object analysis revealed a reduction form along with a basic geometric form. Complex form in sheet metal objects is the exclusive domain of expensive press tools or skilled artisans. The objective was to explore how objects of complex form could be constructed using less restricted methods. The CRM project was initially exhibited at Dab Lab, (9 May - 14 June 2007), subsequently selected as a finalist for the Launch Pad exhibition, Living Edge Sydney (26 July - 17 August 2007) and Melbourne (29 August - 16 Sept); and in the group exhibition 'Substance: Diverse Practices from the Periphery', Centre for Visual Art, Metropolitan State College of Denver, USA, (6 Sept - 9 Nov 2007). I identified an opportunity to investigate the creation of complex forms using methods employed by sheet metal fabricators. I positioned my investigation between objects that are made using financially prohibitive, technologically based methods and those that are labour intensive. My contribution provides a unique solution that combines aspects of different fabrication methods, creative problem solving and contemporary design. The CRM project provides a platform for the development of new objects that are complex in form and relatively low cost. The combination of computerized numerical control technology and manual workmanship has enabled a new method of designing and making for designers that offer new possibilities for the development of objects in their practices that are more financially sustainable. The project was funded by the Australian Visual Arts/craft Board and an Early Career Research Grant from UNSW.
The CRS (crease) container project is an investigation into the application of creasing or pleating using sheet metal. Inspiration was drawn from the way dress makers are able to make fabric follow the human body. Many garments such as dress pants and suite jackets are created using some form of pleat or crease to ensure that unsightly and uncomfortable crumpling of the fabric is minimised or completely avoided. Pleating or creasing fabric is relatively straight forward; performing this process on sheet metal is not as simple. Following on from previous sheet metal experiments which investigated the idea of complex form creation using a combination of manual and technological methods, I adopted the same idea of perforating the sheet metal along a designated fold line. CRS is a concept for combining perforating and manual folding as a means to create objects, in this case a series of containers. The objects are constructed using mild steel, the perorations are made using a laser cutter and colour is applied using spray-painting technology
The Safety Catch project invited a group of Australian designers to respond to the issue of safety and security. Their reaction was delivered through the medium of object design, the collection of responses formed the Safety Catch exhibition that was staged at the UTS Gallery in August 2006. A majority of design activity today can be described as being affirmative in its nature i.e. reinforcing how things are now, conforming to the current cultural, social, technical and economic situation. In recent times however, a more optimistic undercurrent in design has been identified, which has been termed critical design. The Safety Catch exhibition attempts to present a collection of critical design work from Australian based designers.
The ILT research project is located within the field of industrial design, specifically object design and batch production in the Australian context. The ILT table lamp emerged following an investigation into alternative manufacturing methods, specifically, the suitability of cold-forming acrylic sheet as a viable manufacturing option. Existing processing methods for sheet acrylic include fabrication and heat forming which require jigs and/or vacuum forming moulds. Unlike other sheet materials such as metal and polycarbonate, forming acrylic relies on heat to first soften the material, and pressure to then shape the material to desired result.
The results of this investigation provide a unique solution that exploits the limit to which acrylic sheet can be formed without heat and pressure whilst maintaining the unique characteristics of the material: transparency, colour sharpness and high gloss surface. Exploiting the inherent peculiarities of acrylic sheet and its limitations enabled me to uncover a processing method that simplifies form creation and the associated costs and complications of existing methods.
The cold-forming solution inherent in the ILT table lamp provides a platform for the development of new objects that can now be distinguished from existing products manufactured using acrylic through this unique method of construction. ILT was presented at design exhibitions in WORKSHOPPED and Latitude in 2008 and Artlight in 2009.
Pandolfo, B, 'Implied Volume', Global Local; Import Export: Global Influences in Contemporary Design, Australian Centre for Craft and Design, Object Gallery, Sydney; Victoria and Albert Museum, London.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The Implied Volume series of designs emerged out of research into how voluminous forms can be achieved in object design without the need for complex, costly and restrictive industrial methods. The design outcomes: RAK (coat stand), RIV (magazine rack) and TAV (dining table) were selected for exhibition in Global Local, Object Gallery Sydney, 4 January - 27 Feb 2005 (in conjunction with Import Export at Sydney Opera House). Both exhibitions, curated by Brian Parkes, were part of Sydney Festival 2005. The work was also included in the exhibition, Import Export: Global Influences in Contemporary Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 20 September - 4 December 2005. In object design, complex forms using plywood have been achieved through moulding by designers such as Frank Gehry, Karim Rashid and Jasper Morrison. My investigation was to develop voluminous forms without moulding. To this end I was inspired by the work of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, 20th century human movement scientists from the USA. Wire models they created depicted the action of a specific production assembly line task. These models represented for me a three dimensional line in space that inferred movement, mass and purpose. In maintaining a link to the 'line', I used computer numerical controlled (CNC) technology as an industrial connection. To transform the line into voluminous forms, the methodology of interlocking flat sheet material was incorporated. The project demonstrates that complex and voluminous forms can be achieved using simple construction techniques in combination with technologies that have now become commonplace in small workshops and fabrication businesses.
The exhibition 'Conversation of Things New' curated by Heidi Dokulil and held at Object Gallery, St Margaret's Complex, Sydney, September 2-24, 2006, explored 'a unique collaborative process between some of Australia's freshest and youngest designers, and Italy's rich heritage of manufacturers'. (Exhibition Catalogue, p. 4.). The designers included Abi Alice, Simone LeAmon, Matrc Newson, Steven Blaess, Susan Cohn, Berto Pandolfo, Helen Kontouris, Brodie Neill, Adam Goodrum, Lisa Vinicitorio, Brian Steendyk and Shareen Joel. The manufacturers included: Alessi; B&B Italia, Cappellini, Edra, \Erreti, Flos, Kundalini, Magis, Moroso, Oluce, Outlook Design Italis, Progetti and Serralunga. Four of my designs were selected for exhibition: JOOGE outdoor lighting fixture, BUCO door stop, LOR clock and CYL photo frame. Secondary support material presented in the exhibition included: anecdotal conversations between myself and the Italian manufacturers, sketches, photographs, prototypes and production samples of each design. Together my four designs form a unique collection of objects. They represent design projects that have utilised both advanced and low-tech manufacturing methods, they are objects manufactured by both large and small companies and they target markets both low and high. My contribution to the industrial design field demonstrates that international collaborative design projects can operate with radically different project parameters and produce innovative and diverse of design outcomes.
The LOOK series of mirrors was included in the exhibition, Safety Catch (UTS Gallery 8 August- 1 September 2006). A prime objective of the Safety Catch project was the presentation of a response from an Australian perspective to the emergent issue of critical design. In the exhibition, the concept of critical design was understood as design that asks questions and engages the user in reflective and speculative processes, challenging preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. As curator of the exhibition, I invited a range of Australian object designers to respond to issues of safety and security. Following the framing concept, I selected the mirror as an object that could be investigated further. The LOOK series of mirrors emerged out of questions around the extent of impact an object could have on the user's awareness of and interaction with things and people around them. The series was composed of three round, same-sized mirrors, each incorporating a different component that literally challenged the user's view. The mirrors were configured in such a way that while maintaining their primary reflective function, users also looked 'into' the mirror, inviting a reflection beyond themselves. Confronted with elegantly incorporated yet disturbing elements such as red laser target lights, tangles of barbed wire and rifle bulles, the tone of the design intervention was provocative and used the strategy of a 'double-take' to elicit response.
Pandolfo, B, 'MND', MND, Kensington Contemporary.
Pandolfo, B, 'North/South: Making Global, Making Local', Design Latitudes, University of Alberta, Fine Arts Building Gallery.
The design combines two contrasting materials, ABS which is a synthetic man made material with Western Red Cedar timber. The processes of fabrication differ as well, with the ABS made using 3D a printer and the timber components are all hand machined and finished.
'Safety Catch' was developed in response to a number of design initiatives: in 2005, Paola Antonelli curated 'Safe: Design Takes On Risk' exhibition at Museum of Modern Art, New York, where the issue of how security can pervade objects from the 'most mundane to the most exceptional' was demonstrated. Also in 2005, in London, designer Matthias Megyeri developed a range of products that satisfy the primary concern of safety and security but are also light hearted and humorous. These examples underline an optimistic undercurrent in design that has been identified as critical design. Critical design is design that asks questions and encourages the user to think rather than accept how things are now. A response to critical design from an Australian perspective was seen as the prime objective to the Safety Catch project. Australian designers - bernabeifreeman, Robert Foster, Adam Goodrum, korban/flaubert, Stefan Lie, Ruth McDermott, and schamburg + alvisse - were invited to provide a response to issues of safety and security communicated through the medium of object design. As curator I selected eight designs that covered a range of typologies (lighting, furniture, object), scale and message. The resulting exhibition (8 Aug-1 Sept) established a provocative mix of work targeting local significance and those that spoke to international issues. Safety and security were presented to the viewer in challenging terms, drawing further questions from the exhibition which enabled a continuation of the discussion.
A new technology recently became readily available in the field of advanced manufacturing and the question of how this manufacturing innovation could be applied to the design of objects arose. Existing manufacturing methods require either time consuming handcraft skills or costly and restrictive industrial methods such as injection moulding or sheet metal pressing. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal Lasering Sintering (DMLS) technologies enable rapid manufacture of objects in high performance materials using 3D CAD models and are predicted to challenge traditional manufacturing systems. The SPK bowl emerged out of research into the extent of suitability of SLS and DMLS technologies as alternative manufacturing methods.
The SPK bowl provides a unique solution that maintains the ability to satisfy the dual functions of a container and an appealing visual object. It is an object that could not be made using any other method. Exploiting the inherent peculiarities of the SLS technology enabled me to uncover a design solution that would be virtually impossible using other methods.
The SPK bowl is significant as it represents an outcome from a practice-led research investigation into a new manufacturing paradigm. The Selective Laser Sintering technology can generate final (market ready) objects direct from 3D CAD models providing designers and manufacturers with a new method for evaluation when considering manufacturing options. The SPK bowl also provides a platform for the development of new objects that can now be distinguished from existing products, therefore creating a new typology of product.
Pandolfo, B, 'SRV Tray (Vogue People Choice Award, Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Awards)', Bacardi Lion Australia, Vogue People Choice Award, Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Awards, Vogue People Choice Award, Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Awards.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The SRV project emerged out of research into the two dimensional nature of drink and food serving trays. Existing products are only differentiated by aesthetic design and material choice. The SRV has two distinguishing features: its dual function as both tray and fruitholder; and the visual challenge to the object's two-dimensional nature through the suggestion of depth created by the positioning of a semi-transparent material directly above another that is shaped and formed. The SRV project was awarded: the People's Choice Award, one of the awards linked to the 2005 Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award, one of Australia's most important design competitions and subsequently selected as part of the touring exhibition of the 2007 Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award; a Certificate of Recognition after being shortlisted for the 2006 (Inside) IDEA Awards; and a Distinction Award in the Design for Europe (2006) competition organized by The Interieur Foundation, Belgium and included in the exhibition 'Interieur06'. The SRV project investigates the effect of creating depth and volume in otherwise flat objects. The objective of creating an illusion is achieved by combining different materials of different transparencies and calculated surface design. My contribution provides a unique solution that maintains the ability to satisfy primary functions but includes a system that offers a new visual dimension and appeal. The SRV project provides a platform for the development of new objects that can now be distinguished from existing products and therefore creating a new typology of product.
Digifacture comprised a number of different elements each producing different outcomes: a design studio developed and produced original objects, an exhibition presented the research to a wider community and a catalogue provided documentation. The focus of the project was a practice-led investigation of industrial design and advanced manufacturing technologies, specifically, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal Lasering Sintering (DMLS), technologies that enable rapid manufacture of objects in high performance materials and are predicted to challenge traditional manufacturing systems. Eight designers and artists (UTS researchers and external practitioners) participated: Douglas Nash, Stefan Lie, Shelden Vaughan, Bert Bongers, Jos Mulder, Adam Goodrum, Roderick Walden and Berto Pandolfo. The exhibition was held in collaboration with the Powerhouse Museum's design festival, Design10, at the Fraser Studio gallery, Sydney, August 5-10 2010, and was opened by Prof. Kees Dorst with guests from the design and manufacturing sectors, media and the general public. Geometric complexity, part unification and customised product variants are advantages these technologies offer over the current set of manufacturing systems that industrial designers are typically trained to develop designs for. The research investigated how these advantages might manifest in future products, necessary changes to design processes, and the impact on manufacturing methods. The research presented demonstrates innovative applications of SLS and DMLS, along with important insights for design and design for manufacture. Digifacture received financial and in kind support from Advanced Manufacturing Services (an industry partner), the UTS Centre for Contemporary Design Practice (CCDP) and the Industrial Design Program at UTS. http://www.advancedmanufacturing.com.au/media/Digifacture.pdf
Australia exports some EPS to be recycled overseas, but we have less than one collection point per state. All of this means that The NSW Evironmental Protection Agency estimates that some 12,000 tonnes of EPS is sent to landfill every year. According to the Australian Plastics Recycling survey, about 14% of EPS is recovered for recycling. Most of that is exported – only around 1.6% of all the EPS used in Australia is recycled here.
This is why many researchers are looking for ways to re-purpose EPS, taking advantage of this very useful material and keeping it out of landfill.
Tietz & Park, M 2015, 'Industrial Design Educators Network', Dab Docs.
Chamorro-Koc, M, Scott, A, Fry, T, Allen, J, Andrews, T, Mellick-Lopes, A, Withell, A, Reay, S & Montague, J 2012, 'IDEN: Industrial Design Educators Network', IDEN, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS