General Assembly_Canberra04

In 2007 Studio Hacienda (my collaboration with Blanche Tilden) undertook an ambitious project that we called General Assembly. The project makes reference to the traditional pick ‘n’ mix marketing method used to display and sell small, multiple items. It taps into our desire to choose, adorn and collect.

We based our first series on architectural details and signage found around Melbourne’s CBD. Excited by its success, we turned our focus to the considered plan and built environment of our capital city and General Assembly – Canberra resulted.

For each iteration of the project, we produced a huge variety of components that could be put together in various ways to make a brooch. Participants were invited to select their own combination of parts that were riveted together on the spot to create their unique piece.

We chose the brooch form as the most universal, easy to wear and least gender specific jewellery object.  Brooches make reference to badges, nametags, and insignia – the everyday jewellery that gives us access, indicates privilege and shows membership.

A suite of General Assembly – Canberra brooches has recently been added to the Legislative Assembly Art Collection, Canberra. The Legislative Assembly collection aims to reflect the excellence and diversity of visual artists working in the region.

You can see a selection of works including our brooches on display in Affiliation: Craft and Design in the ACT Legislative Assembly collection as part of Design Canberra.