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The Playing with Fire Blanket is a speculation on climate survival

Australia’s Black Summer in 2019/2020 made it clear that bushfires are only going to increase in frequency and intensity with a heating climate – indeed all extreme weather events will. As part of Melbourne Design Week and Friends & Associates’ show called A World We Don’t Want, we’re exploring how the onus is increasingly on frontline workers, communities and individuals to survive, and wondering how the hell we’re going to do it.  After hearing myriad stories of coming face-to-face with fire, Karina borrowed a local volunteer firefighters jacket, her and Sammy’s grandmother’s refurbished Singer sewing machine and a box of donated wool blankets to experiment.  The result is the Playing with Fire Blanket – a new kind of PPE for...

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Seljak Brand and Five Mile Radius’ closed loop fit-out

Seljak Brand and Five Mile Radius have spent the past few months settling into our studio and showroom in Highgate Hill, Meanjin (Brisbane). Also working to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and more sustainable material futures, Five Mile Radius is an architecture studio focusing on the use of local resources in construction. They make buildings and furniture from recycled materials, including their epic waste terrazzo surfaces.  Karina Seljak, Sammy Seljak and Clare Kennedy (Five Mile Radius). Photo: Aimee Catt When Sammy came across the shopfront in Highgate Hill, which used to be the home of Onespace gallery, she saw the potential to create a space that would enable Seljak Brand and Five Mile Radius to explore circularity through our...

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Q&A with Ngugi woman and curator Freja Carmichael

Freja Carmichael is a Ngugi woman and curator belonging to the Quandamooka people of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) and Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Dedicated to cross-cultural sharing and sensitive curatorial practices, Freja’s projects foreground First Nations autonomy, presence and self-representation.  Freja has worked with First Nations people from around the world and has spent considerable time connecting with artists and collaborators, curating exhibitions and researching and writing. Freja’s work embeds cultural and community-centred care into the arts sector. She’s an inspiration to many and we had the privilege of asking Freja more about her work; how it all began, impactful projects she’s worked on and what’s next for her... Freja Carmichael Tell us a little bit about who you are and what...

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Sam & Karina Seljak It's been a year of challenges, unknowns and changes. Despite it throwing us all for a loop, 2020 has enabled us to slow down and reflect on how we at Seljak Brand can create more sustainable systems and greater impact.  Every year we report on how we’re contributing to our waste-free vision, and supporting the environment and the community we work within.  Alongside diverting textiles waste from landfill, we’ve donated a blanket to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) for every 10 blankets sold since we launched in 2016.  Over the course of 2020 it’s become clear that cash donations could more effectively cover the very immediate needs of refugees and people seeking asylum. As Seljak Brand grows,...

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The rise of zero waste events (and how to make your next BBQ a zero waste affair)

by Dominiqe Bird Dominiqe Bird works in the Social Enterprise sector and is the General Manager of Events at White Box Enterprises. His passion is to create meaningful experiences that amplify innovative, practical and sustainable solutions to social and environmental issues. When Dom isn’t running events, you can find him at home listening to obscure soul records and pottering in the garden. It’s likely that each and every person reading this article has experienced an event cancellation this year. Was it a wedding, a milestone birthday party, a beloved annual music festival?  Twenty-twenty is the year of the postponed or cancelled event. While many of us mourned an opportunity to be together in-person, en masse, this pause has also provided...

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