2017 Events

Talking Points Exhibition - 7-12 November 2017, Torrance Room, University House


Talking points will present recent works from makers connected with the gold and silversmithing program at The ANU School of Art and Design. A boardroom table located in the Torrance Room at University House will function as a backdrop for this exhibition. The exhibition will present a diverse range of dialogues, interests and concerns that have emerged through the gold and silversmithing studio over the last 40 years. The table is an appropriate platform for the interests the exhibition presents, as a place where complex dialogues converge. Themes explored include cross-cultural enquiry, material and sensorial concerns and the intersection of visual languages.     

Open 9am-5pm daily.

Modern(ist) Love with Tim Ross 2pm, 11 November 2017, Foyer, Great Hall, University House



Join Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross for a casual chat about modernism, Canberra and anything else he feels like. Tim is a major advocate for the protection and appreciation of Australia’s modernist buildings, most recently lending his voice to the Save Our Sirius campaign in Sydney. Tim’s award winning program on ABC ‘Streets of Your Town’ gave a voice to the buildings which provide the unique backdrop to the Australian lifestyle. 

Modernist Dinner - Saturday 11 November 2017, 6pm, Great Hall, University House


Join us for a dinner unlike any other! 

Established in 1946, ANU was findings its proverbial feet through the mid-century period, and as the University attracted the best of the best in academia, architecture and politics to Canberra, they were treated to grand dinners in true modernist style. 

Using an authentic menu from the era for inspiration, University House’s chefs will prepare a three-course meal with wine. 

Dress in your finest modernist garb and be prepared to time travel to a different time and space in history. 

The keynote will be acclaimed modernist photographer Darren Bradley AKA @modarchitecture and our MC, who promises to bring the ‘razzle dazzle’, is none other than Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross. 

Remember your dancing shoes as we will have a 20 piece swing band - In Full Swing to help us dance the night away!

Modernist Market - 10am-4pm Sunday 12 November 2017, University House


A day out for young and old!

- Traders include vintage clothing, jewellery, books, furniture and homewares!

- From 12pm Join pinup sensation Miss Cherrybomb for vintage hair and makeup demonstrations

- From 2pm Miss Cherrybomb is hosting a best dressed competition with fabulous prizes! - entries on the day- 

- Check out the pop-up food and beverage stalls!  

- Join local swing band In Full Swing have a dance! or grab a picnic blanket and listen under the trees. 

- The Canberra Antique and Classic Motor Club will have some of their best mid-century cars out for a show and shine!

- Grab a snap in the vintage photo booth! 

The market is curated by Three Sixty Style.

Darren Bradley Photography Tour and Workshop, 12pm, Sunday 12 November, University House Foyer


Grab your camera and take a walk around the ANU Acton Campus and surrounds with award-winning photographer, Instagram star and Canberra aficionado Darren Bradley AKA @modarchitecture. Darren will share his amazing tips and tricks for architectural photography with several examples of modernist buildings on and around the ANU Campus. Following the walk and snap, Darren will show you how to make your snaps shine with a brief workshop on post production. 

Silent Witnesses: an exhibition of artworks by Martin Rowney . Sunday 12th Nov - 10am-4pm


One of the first buildings to be constructed by the Australian National University, the John Curtin School of Medical Research was a place of significant medical advancement; of Nobel Prize winning research and of deep investigation into the workings of the human body. When the building was refurbished in 2014, many of the original fittings such as early Bakelite switches and power points, Negretti & Zambra thermographs, pressure gauges, fans and bells were salvaged by ANU Heritage, and repurposed into sculptural assemblages by artist and archaeologist Martin Rowney.  

Featherston by Geoff Isaac, Monday 13 November, 5.30pm, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU


Grant Featherston is best known for his plywood Contour chairs developed in the early 1950s. However the Contour series just marked the start of a thirty year career in chair design. Working with Melbourne -based manufacturer Aristoc, Grant later joined by his wife Mary, designed hundreds of chairs some of which were so commercially successful that it is no exaggeration to claim that nearly everyone over thirty in Australia has sat on a Featherston chair. Surprisingly, very little has been published on the work of Australia's most successful mid-century designers. In September this year the first monograph was published by Thames and Hudson. This 300 page book features over 250 photographs highlighting the breadth of the Featherston’s designs, focusing on the 13 year partnership with Aristoc an featuring many previously unpublished images from the company's archive.

Author Geoff Isaac will present an illustrated overview of the Featherstons' work in chair design and the will be followed by a book signing.

Presented by ANU School of Art and Design 

The Cocktail Hour Lifestyle - From 5pm, Thursday 16th November, Common Room, University House


5pm-6pm Masterclass 

This exclusive event is limited to 20 people. Join Canberra’s own Martini Whisperer Phillip Jones for a memorable cocktail hour to explore its mysteries, history, and how to craft the perfect cocktail at home. He’ll also share the role of the Martini in adding glamour to the suburban cocktail hour. Naturally, all that talk of Dry Martinis is sure to make you thirsty and you’ll be able to craft one of your own under his expert eye! Tickets include welcome drink and a Martini.

6.30pm to 8.00pm Talk and Demonstration

The Martini is the most iconic of cocktails, instantly recognisable and evocative. Like modernist design, it’s elements are simple but expressive of time and place.

So dress up for a fabulous cocktail party and a very special door prize - a personalised Martini masterclass with the Martini Whisperer himself for up to 6 friends in the comfort of your own home! Talk entry includes first drink, and antipasto, with cash bar available for further refreshments.  

The Other Moderns, 6pm, Tuesday 14 November 2017, Drawing Room, University House


While Harry Seidler is one of Australia’s most famous architects, little is known of his European-born contemporaries. The newly released title The Other Moderns uncovers the work of these forgotten émigré architects, interior designers, and furniture makers working and reveals their ground breaking impact on modernist design. The Other Moderns explores the work of this unacknowledged group of style makers for the first time in a richly illustrated publication including stunning images from Austrian-born photographer Margaret Michaelis and furniture from the collection of Hotel Hotel Canberra. Author Rebecca Hawcroft will speak on her research for the book and focus on some of Canberra’s many fascinating émigré stories and the connections that intertwine with the designers featured in the book and the exhibition ‘The Moderns’, currently showing at Museum of Sydney.