The City as an Art Museum: Object Gallery's Audio Design Museum

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Thursday 22 July 2010.

The City as an Art Museum: Object Gallery's Audio Design Museum image

The streets of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be transformed into a giant gallery space with the launch of a new project by Object: Australian Centre for Craft & Design.

Object has worked with independent curators and local designers to create a series of guided audio tours that lead listeners on a trail of the best design and creativity hotspots in Australia’s east coast capital cities.

The tours will be available for free download as podcasts for iPods, iPhones and mp3 players from The podcasts are narrated with personal anecdotes and stories from 100 local designers and include supporting maps and imagery.

The Audio Design Museum launches with a series of tours based on city precincts or design themes. Focus precinct tours for Melbourne include Flinders Lane and Gertrude Street, whilst Sydney precincts are Surry Hills/Darlinghurst and Paddington. Visitors can also take theme-based tours exploring the best furniture, textiles, fashion and jewellery in each city.

The project has been co-curated by independent designers Viviane Stappmanns and Kate Rhodes, drawing on their own knowledge of the design communities and extensive research into the creative hearts of Australian cities.

Rhodes and Stappmanns have recorded the voices of local designers speaking about their creative journeys and inspirations.

“The Audio Design Museum promises an unusual approach to experiencing creativity in the city. It can be used as a guided walking tour but would be equally entertaining to listen to and watch on the train,” explains Viviane Stappmanns.

Audio Design Museum co-curator Kate Rhodes said: “No gallery space could ever be big enough to capture the creativity of an entire city. With the Audio Design Museum, Object is replacing the concept of a conventional design museum and allowing the city to become the exhibition space.”

A themed furniture tour is also available for Sydney, providing insights into the vibrant local furniture designer community and their individual approaches. This tour includes the voices of local designers speaking about their own creative journey in this field.

The precinct tours for Melbourne include the famous Gertrude Street, guiding listeners past the Victorian shop-fronts that have become home to leading fashion labels and designers over the past 25 years.

Melbourne’s traditional rag trade home in Flinders Lane is the focus of another precinct tour. This audio guide invites visitors to walk past former warehouses that now provide studio and office space for architects or graphic designers, interspersed with art gallery stopovers and stories detailing the rise of Melbourne as a creative city.

The Inner City forms the focus of a third precinct tour, looking at how the urban heart of Melbourne has been revitalized from a neglected business district into a bustling home for unique architecture, retail and public spaces.

A themed jewellery tour is also available for Melbourne that explores some of the most creative and diverse communities of jewellery makers and galleries in the world.

The Audio Design Museum is part of Object’s Spring Series 2010 program. For full program visit

Audio Design Museum on Artabase