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Applications Open: Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator

March 17, 2023

Image credit: Photovoltaic mini-module, ‘Spectrum Splitting Prism’, glass / silicon cell / triple-junction cell, designed and made by the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, University of NSW, 2014-2016. Photo by Ryan Hernandez.


Powerhouse invites early to mid-career industrial designers to apply for the inaugural Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator program, supported by a generous bequest from the celebrated Australian industrial designer and his wife Judy Nielsen.

One project designed or released in Australia in the last 12 months that demonstrates outstanding design for sustainability will be selected to receive a bespoke program of industry and financial support tailored to the individual recipient. Powerhouse will take an active role in supporting the successful candidate to develop or promote their project by enabling specialised industry-level assistance in the areas of production, mentorship, research and outreach.

The selection panel will include Adam Laws (Director of Nielsen Design Associates), Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla (Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, UNSW), Andrew Simpson (Designer, Vert Design), Lucy Simpson (Designer, Gaawaa Miyay) and Angelique Hutchison (Curator, Powerhouse).

“The Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator weaves together the centrality of industrial design to the Powerhouse collection with our contemporary ambitions of seeking out local design innovation relating to sustainability. We are grateful to Carl and Judy Nielsen for their bequest and enabling us to provide this opportunity to celebrate and advance exceptional sustainable industrial design,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.

Early to mid-career industrial designers with a maximum of 10 years post-graduation are encouraged to apply. Applications are now open and close 5pm Friday 21 April 2023. The successful recipient will be announced at Sydney Design Week 2023 (15 – 24 September 2023), and the six-month long program will commence shortly thereafter, running from October 2023 to March 2024.

The Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator is one of the many ways Powerhouse is seeking to embed sustainability in programs, exhibitions, and education in support of the Powerhouse Climate Action Plan.

The Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator will be an annual program.

Open: 17 March 2023
Close: 5pm 21 April 2023
Program dates: between October 2023 and March 2024


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Clio Ellis | Powerhouse
0450 492 745


About Powerhouse

Powerhouse sits at the intersection of arts, design, science and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues. We are undertaking a landmark $1.4 billion infrastructure renewal program, spearheaded by the creation of the flagship museum, Powerhouse Parramatta; expanded research and public facilities at Powerhouse Castle Hill; the renewal of the iconic Powerhouse in Ultimo; and the ongoing operation of Sydney Observatory. The museum is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in Australia. We are also undertaking an expansive digitisation project that will provide new levels of access to Powerhouse collections.