1988 The ANU Design Unit exhibition ANU Drill Hall Gallery

In 1988 I curated an exhibition in the small exhibition room in the Drill Hall Gallery when Nancy Sever was Director and Ben took a few photos on completion. She invited me to tell the story of the ANU Design Unit and to show how our integrative aims were achieved.

I had considerable help from the Visual Aids section and from Maintenance in Property and Plans (both enjoying a break from the usual mundane routine of work for the ANU staff).

I made explanatory panels covering our philosophy, showing how the various facets of a visually and practically cohesive approach could be integrated for the benefit of all who lived and worked within the ANU.

Fred Ward The Initiator
Fred Ward The Initiator

Fred (1900 – 1990) was invited to form the ANU Design Unit around 1954 after his successful completion of the furnishing of University House. He was the father of Australian furniture design and established the furniture pattern for ANU at a time when commercial furniture was not appropriate for university use.





1988-derek-by-benI was invited in 1956 by Fred to join the Design Unit and started in 1957. Fred resigned in 1961 to take up the Coombs invitation to design furniture for the Reserve Bank in Sydney.

I was appointed University Architect/Designer in 1962 and resigned in 1977, expanding the scope of our design activity as described in the descriptive panels from the exhibition below

















1988-anu-extra-mural-design 1988-anu-art-works








All these 7 panels were designed without the use of a computer. I did not have a computer until about 1991