STEEL: art design architecture




Steel is a medium rich in human history. An alloy of iron and carbon, steel dates back to 4,000 years ago and traces the technical and cultural development of multiple civilisations. First forged in hand-made furnaces, steel production and its subsequent use, expanded in the 17th century with the technical innovations of blister and crucible steel. By the 19th century the Bessemer and Siemens-Martin processes heralded in the era of mass steel production.

Today steel is one of the most ubiquitous materials in the world. It inhabits the landscape of our bodies, our domestic spaces and our built environments. A material that ranges from raw and functional to lustrous and decorative – steel blurs the boundary between utilitarian and precious.

The art, design and architecture in this exhibition allows us to think upon the links and similarities between the creative processes, problem solving and design thinking undertaken in these various disciplines. It reveals that many of the concerns that drive these innovative uses of steel engage the themes of identity, locality, materiality and sustainability.

A material of such great potential, steel’s affordability and durability renders the ingenuity, craftsmanship and skill of those working with it practically invisible. Through the 29 exhibitors, STEEL: art design architecture unearths just some of these possibilities.


STEEL art design architecture is supported by Australian Government’s Department of Communications and the Arts Visions of Australia fund.

JamFactory acknowledges the support of the South Australian Government through Arts South Australia and the assistance of the Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. JamFactory’s Exhibitions Program is also assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council.

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Alison Jackson, Anthill construction, Barry Gardner, Brodie Neill, BVN, Christian Hall, CODA Studio with Mark Philips, Collins Turner, Cox Architecture,
Craig Hiron, Dan Lorrimer, DesignByThem,
Geoffrey Nees, Gunybi Ganambarr, Kensuke Todo, Korban Flaubert, Lorraine Connelly-Northey,
Mari Funaki, Matthew Harding, Maureen Faye Chauhan, Misho and Associates, Oliver Smith, Sabine Pagan, Sean O'Connell, Seaton McKeon, Simon Cottrell,
Sue Lorraine, Tony Hobba and Trent Jansen for TAIT

Margaret Hancock Davis


This website contains edited text by the following writers: Leanne Amodeo, Julie Ewington, Margaret Hancock Davis, Glen Martin, Kimberley Moulton, Danielle Robson and Serena Wong

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A beautifully designed 264 page catalogue containing commissioned essay and thoughtful insights into each project highlight the significance of steel in our lives today.