Great Expectations

Great Expectations
Award winning British design exhibition comes to Sydney

Powerhouse Museum, 7 August 2003 to 1 February 2004

An ultra-chic dog house, fashion that travels as an air-mail envelope, a self chilling drink can ... over 100 examples of intriguing and ground-breaking British design will be displayed in Great Expectations, a new and highly interactive exhibition on show at the Powerhouse Museum from 7 August 2003 to 1 February 2004.

Taking its inspiration from the banquet scene in Charles Dickens' classic novel, Great Expectations is a feast of design excellence laid out on a vast glowing table. Designed by acclaimed team Casson Mann (responsible for the Victoria & Albert Museum's stunning new British decorative arts and design galleries), the exhibition invites visitors to take a seat and, through speakers and screens set into the chairs and table, learn more about the ideas that inspired these creations and the processes involved in bringing them to life.

A cornucopia of products and a vast array of design disciplines will be on display from names such as Stella McCartney, Tom Dixon, Jasper Morrison, Jonathan Glazer and Hussein Chalayan, and covering architecture, fashion, product and web design, interactive media, advertising, software, graphics, film and TV.

Some products at first glance may appear quite ordinary but appearances are deceptive. Discover the aluminium can which is actually self chilling, Marc Newson's funky looking bike also made from aluminium which glows in the dark, or the laundry basket that not only weighs your laundry but brings the clothes up to you as you empty the basket!

Take a look at the video screens with the latest Bjork video combining robotic animation and real people, marvel at the digital animation in the award-winning Guinness advertisement, where surfers ride a wave that appears to contain a herd of stampeding horses, or check out Michael Young's up-market dog house for Italian design manufacturer Magis.

Developed by the UK Design Council, Great Expectations celebrates creativity but also promotes Britain's wealth of innovative design and technology internationally. Design Council Chief Executive David Kester said, "This is a fantastic opportunity to show people that Britain is a lot more than heritage and trading on past glories. Our creativity, forward-thinking and innovation mean we lead the world not only in coming up with ideas but also translating them into commercial successes."

Since Great Expectations first opened in New York City in 2001 over 100,000 visitors have sat at its table in Montreal, Ottowa, Shanghai and Tokyo. Its Australian tour includes Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

This award-winning design exhibition will open as part of Sydney Design Week (7-17 August 2003). The Powerhouse Museum will host a program of public events during design week including lectures, a masterclass by a leading British designer, and a display of the winning entrants in the 2003 Young Designer of the Year Award.

Great Expectations is a Design Council exhibition presented by British Council Australia in association with the British Consulates-General. The Powerhouse Museum showing is sponsored by LogicaCMG.

  • On View: 7 August 2003 to 1 February 2004
  • Address: Powerhouse Museum - 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney
  • Telephone: (02) 9217 0111 or infoline (02) 9217 0444
  • Website:
  • Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm (closed Christmas Day)
  • Admission: General admission $10 adult, $3 child/concession and $23 family.