Dr Mark Ian Jones

The Powerhouse Research Fellowship

March 2022

Project Title: Swedish and Australian design relations in the 1950s

Dr Mark Ian Jones
Image: Dr Mark Ian Jones.

Dr Mark Ian Jones’ fellowship project forms part of his larger research program that investigates Swedish-Australian design and cultural exchange following WWII. The project will analyse, uncover and link objects from the Powerhouse collection to provide insights into a significant transnational relationship and its impact on the development of Australian design.

The Powerhouse holds a significant collection of design and decorative arts from the mid-twentieth century. Amongst these, are objects and archives that form part of this transnational dialogue. By studying these holdings, the project will trace connections and elaborations between Sweden and Australia, adding to object statements and creating new object sets. The project will also analyse period publications to further interrogate and map this history. The outcomes will enhance the Museum’s collection and knowledge base and contribute to Mark’s larger research program on this important history.

Mark is a Senior Lecturer and design historian in the School of Art & Design, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney. He is also a visiting researcher at Uppsala University Department of Art History in Sweden and a practising Chartered Architect. Mark is the author of the book Vicke Lindstrand On the Periphery: Mid-twentieth century Swedish design and the reception of Vicke Lindstrand (Uppsala University Press, 2016) and curated the Australia’s first exhibition on Lindstrand at Powerhouse museum in 2017.

Mark’s current research examines Swedish-Australian design relations, international exhibitions and transnational design diplomacy in the Australian retail sector between 1950–75. His upcoming book chapter ‘Nordic Design Down Under. Swedish Modern and Scandinavian Design in Australia’ (in Kallestrup, S & Ashby, C (eds) Nordic Design in Translation: the circulation of objects, ideas and practices, Peter Lang, 2022) discusses Nordic design influences in Australian furniture in the 1950s and 60s, and prefaces this Fellowship project.