An Australian design, the Hills Hoist.
An Australian design, the Hills Hoist. Totajla

Inventiveness out of necessity: Australian design

ONE of my first interviews as a journalist was with the Academy-award winning Australian cinematographer John Seale (Rainman, The English Patient, Harry Potter, Cold Mountain).

Describing his amazing career and good fortune, John Seale humbly put much of his success down to being an Australian. "The mother of invention is necessity,” I recall him saying. "In my early career, if we didn't have something, we designed it.”

This got me thinking about Australian design and how much of our inventiveness has been borne out of necessity.

Despite our small population and short history, Australians have generated a remarkable number of inventions in the past 200 years.

In terms of design, we can proudly claim the Black Box, aviation's most valued back-up tool.

Closer to home, the Hills Hoist is another great Australian invention that remains as a permanent fixture in many Australian backyards. Another popular Aussie design is the Victor mower.

When it comes to eco design, Australia leads the way in many everyday designs. For instance, the invention of the dual-flush toilet is an Australian design. Now a world standard, the dual-flush toilet was developed as a design improvement to conserve that most precious of commodities, water.

Based on our history, we can trust that Australians will continue to come up with more eco-friendly designs. Some of the latest eco-inventions for the home include solar roof tiles and insulation coating systems. Both are great Aussie inventions, designed to harness nature's energy while saving us from ourselves.


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