Design: Building on Country

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This is the second book of the First Knowledges series and focuses on design.

Aboriginal design is of a distinctly cultural nature, based in the Dreaming and in ancient practices grounded in Country. It is visible in the aerodynamic boomerang, the ingenious design of fish traps and the precise layouts of community settlements that strengthen social cohesion.

Alison Page and Paul Memmott show how these design principles of sophisticated function, sustainability and storytelling, refined over many millennia, are now being applied to contemporary practices.

Design: Building on Country issues a challenge for a new Australian design ethos, one that truly responds to the essence of Country and its people.

About the series

The First Knowledges series offers an introduction to Aboriginal knowledges in vital areas and their application to the present day and the future. Each book is a collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal writers and editors; the six-book series is edited by Margo Neale, senior Aboriginal curator at the National Museum of Australia.

The titles in the series include:Songlines by Margo Neale & Lynne Kelly (2020); Design by Alison Page & Paul Memmott; Country by Bill Gammage & Bruce Pascoe (2021); Plants by Zena Cumpston, Michael Fletcher & Lesley Head (2022); Astronomy (2022); Innovation (2023).

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, Design: Building on Country, <>, retrieved 18 October 2021

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

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