8 August 2012: The story of Hollywood film director James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger, the first single-occupant research submarine capable of taking a human to the bottom of the ocean, is now part of the Powerhouse Museum’s new design showcase. The Australian International Design Awards 2012 opens on 25 August.
The bright green, 12-ton sub was designed and manufactured by four Australian companies in partnership with James Cameron, taking out the 2012 Design Award of the Year. It was built and assembled at a workshop in Leichhardt, Sydney, by Australian engineer Ron Allum from Acheron Project and is able to safely take a human 11 kilometres below the sea surface, overcoming challenges similar to those faced in space exploration.
James Cameron first launched Deepsea Challenger successfully in March 2012 in the Pacific Ocean, where he filmed his three hour stay at the ocean bottom for a 3D documentary that will be released for cinema in 2013.
The Powerhouse Museum shows how Deepsea Challenger’s design met the complicated physics of deep-water pressure and the research needs for exploring the ocean bottom with pilot safety of utmost importance.
Dr Dawn Casey, Director, Powerhouse Museum, said: “Deepsea Challenger is an extraordinary story of innovation, design and engineering, driven by human ingenuity and exploration of deep sea environments.
“The Museum’s selection from the 2012 The Australian International Design Awards is so diverse. From a highly effective, compact mine detector used by the military, to a paediatric nasal mask for children with sleep apnea, the display is a great showcase of how innovative design ideas are being applied across a broad spectrum of industries,” she said.
Deepsea Challenger is among eleven remarkable design solutions explored at the Powerhouse, picked by the Museum for their good design and innovation, sustainability and industry or market significance from a field of 105 finalists of the 2012 The Australian International Design Awards.
The Bung Plug, a major design achievement within the meat industry and winner of the Powerhouse Museum Design Award, is also shown. Developed by Bestaxx and Vert Design, this simple product overcame a major problem with meat contamination and waste, in an industry that previously would not have sought the help of professional designers. The Bung Plug significantly reduces the amount of contamination from organ discharge during the processing of meat, thereby reducing waste and ensuring Australia’s world-wide reputation for its high meat standards is upheld.
Other outstanding designs on show include a new type of urban bicycle that simplifies gear changing to enhance cycling; a broadcast-quality microphone to use with digital cameras; a professional video-editing unit that can connect cameras, mixers, monitors and tap decks to operate at high speed; a new cuff-based device for measuring central (aortic) blood pressure; new designer wall lining made from recycled material; a wireless tagging system that ensures incorrect chemicals are not mixed together during transport and storage; and a new ‘man overboard’ rescue device, the Sea Scoopa, approved by the Royal Australian Navy.
Since 1992, the Powerhouse Museum has recognised excellence in Australian product design by showcasing a small selection of the finalists from the annual design awards. The Australian International Design Awards 2012 is showing at the Powerhouse Museum until July 2013.
On View: The Australian International Design Awards 2012
Date: 25 August 2012 – July 2013
Address: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney
Telephone: (02) 9217 0111 or infoline (02) 9217 0444
Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm (closed Christmas day)
Admission: General admission $12 adult, $6 child, $8 student/concession and $30 family. Powerhouse Museum members and children under 4 years admitted free.
Media information, images or interviews:
Mandy Campbell, Powerhouse Museum, Tel: 02 9217 0551 or firstname.lastname@example.org