Talks and workshops

Talks and workshops

  • What’s on
  • Lantern Artists: Tianli Zu and Guo Jian
    Thursday 2 February 2017
  • Book now

    The spectacular Sydney Chinese New Year Festival runs from 27 January to 12 February. During the Festival, the city is alive with giant illuminated Chinese zodiac animal lanterns. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster and we’ll be talking about all things light at the library.

    Join Sydney Chinese New Year Festival Curator Claudia Chan Shaw in conversation with two of the Lunar Lantern artists: Guo Jian and Tianli Zu. Backlit with story, we’ll delve into discussion about how these lanterns came to be.

    This free event will attract an audience so make sure you book as numbers are limited.

    Claudia Chan Shaw – Sydney Chinese New Year Festival Curator

    You might recognise Claudia from her stint as a host of ABC TV’s Collectors but this custodian of Chinese culture is also an author as well as an art and design collaborator. Commanding the crowd as a public speaker, MC and lecturer, Claudia wears many professional hats.

    Tianli Zu – creator of the Rooster lantern in Chinatown and Ox at Circular Quay

    This multimedia artist’s accomplishments include some huge highlights. In 2015, her work wowed as a finalist in the Archibald Prize with her portrait of Edmund Capon. Her portrait of Penny Wong won the People’s Choice Award at the Salon des Refusés in 2016. Catch her rooster lantern in Chinatown.

    Guo Jian – creator of the Rat lantern at Customs House

    With worldwide exposure, Guo Jian’s work is internationally illustrious. His art has appeared in great galleries such as Musée de Picardie in France and the Australian National Gallery. Featuring in prestigious publications like Art Profile Magazine and The New York Times, this artist is at the top of his game. Catch his rat lantern at Customs House.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 2 February 2017 from 7pm to 8.30pm
  • Maker and creator workshops at Surry Hills Library
    Monday 6 February 2017
  • Event details

    Your creative brain will be in great company at our hands-on after-school making sessions. Evolve your skills in a choice of 5 workshops where your creations can come home with you.

    Workshops for 5-8 year olds (a parent or carer must accompany children)

    Squishy circuits
    Where science meets invention, turn up your creativity and imagine your own illuminated creature to life. Get squishy with conductive play dough and light up your beast with LEDs.
    Book Now

    Paper circuits
    Turn your greeting cards into an event or light-up your pop-up sculpture or drawing. Fashion your own electrical circuits on paper to illuminate your salutations with little lights.
    Book Now

    Wearable electronics
    Be the brightest by wearing a badge like no other. Mix-it-up with an assortment of conductive material, a battery and some LED lights.
    Book Now

    Cardboard automation
    Explore and experiment with basic mechanical components such as levers and cams as you work out ways to make your sculpture move.
    Book Now

    Wind tube
    If aerodynamics make you take flight, make your own flying machine from recycled materials and watch it soar.
    Book Now

    Sessions are free and run for 1 hour from February to April.

    Bookings are essential as there are a lot of keen crafters out there.

    Surry Hills Library
    Fortnightly on Mondays, 4pm to 5pm

    Monday 6 February to Monday 3 April 2017

  • A brush with Chinese calligraphy
    Thursday 9 February 2017
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    Learn the beauty of the brush stroke as master artists from the Australian Chinese Artists’ Society compose the characters of Chinese calligraphy.

    Take the time to digest the detail behind this captivating cultural expression and go home with your own handwritten card courtesy of our calligraphers.

    Our calligraphy artists will be taking up their brushes “in residence” over two hours at Town Hall House Library Express. This is a free event and everyone is welcome to drop by to see the artists at work.

    During the spectacular Sydney Chinese New Year Festival from 27 January to 12 February, we’ll be celebrating the Year of the Rooster at the library with some fun festivities.

    Town Hall House
    Thursday 9 February 2017 from 12pm to 2pm
  • Inclusive design and 3D printing workshop
    Thursday 23 February 2017
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    Led by AbilityMate, learn how a team of human-centred designers can use technology to co-create customised solutions for people with disability. From design prototyping to testing, discover the potential of user-led, collaborative design.

    Surry Hills Library has a snazzy 3D printer that you’re welcome to use. This workshop is best suited to people with disability – predominantly physical as well as anyone interested in the inclusive design processes.

    Presenting a “case study” design, AbityMate will walk you through the process of inclusive design prototyping, all the way to the “test print.” Because their designs are open-source, you can bring your own device preloaded with CAD software – Matter Control and Tinker CAD and take the template to use and modify through the creative commons license.

    This workshop is suitable for anyone with basic digital skills. The good news is, you don’t need to be a CAD expert because our facilitators will guide you to greatness.

    This free workshop runs for 3 hours and caters for up to 20 people but bookings are essential.

    Surry Hills Library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    About AbilityMate
    AbilityMate co-create end-user-driven products with people with disability. Joining industrial designers, carers, occupational therapists and users together, they come up with solutions that solve individual problems.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 23 February 2017 from 5pm to 8pm
  • Architecture on show: We’re bringing timber back
    Saturday 25 February 2017
  • Book now

    The library is putting architecture on show with a series of monthly talks featuring design experts from the Surry Hills area. This month, we’re taking on the rise of engineered timber products. The so-called ‘timber renaissance’ is changing the way we think about design and construction in Australia.

    The revival of timber as a key construction component for a gamut of building types comes on the back of advances in timber technology manufacturing. The research behind the renaissance shows that building with timber has huge health and environmental benefits.

    Georgios Anagnostou, senior associate at Jackson Teece Architects and David Rowlinson, the ‘Make It Wood’ campaign manager at Planet Ark are talking about all things timber technology. Looking at the adaptability and workability of numerous timber construction methods, these experts will explore how architects and engineers are utilising engineered timber. They’ll also chat about how timber technology will impact our human and natural environments as well as our attitudes to architecture.

    Bookings are essential as places are limited.

    Surry Hills Library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    Surry Hills Library
    Saturday 25 February 2017 from 2pm to 3pm
  • Tech Savvy Seniors - Mandarin Classes @ Customs House
    Wednesday 1 March 2017
  • Book now

    This free 6-part series is designed to help older people gain confidence in basic computer and digital skills. Facilitated by leaders from the Ethnic Community Council, you can learn in Mandarin. Join us for the whole series or pick and choose the sessions that best suit your needs.

    Funded by the Telstra Foundation and FACS, get savvy using our library PCs and dive into the digital world.

    Introduction to computers – Wednesday 1 March 2017
    This workshop will walk you first through the basics of what a computer is, what its components are and how it’s operated.

    Introduction to internet part 1 – Wednesday 8 March 2017
    Become familiar with the internet basics of getting online and surfing the web. Get well acquainted so you can go home, sign up for an internet service and hang out on the www’s yourself.

    Introduction to internet part 2 – Wednesday 15 March 2017
    Growing your know-how from Part 1, we’ll look at ways to make web navigation a breeze as well as seek out video and music add-ons. We’ll make sure you know how to keep yourself safe online and get you going with tips for the best sites to view online.

    Introduction to email – Wednesday 22 March
    Keep connected to family and friends with email. We’ll walk you through setting up a free Gmail email account as well as how to send, read and reply to your emails.

    Introduction to social media – Wednesday 29 March
    Get sharp with social media’s famous three: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We’ll take you through a run-down of which social media to use and when.

    Introduction to iPads – Wednesday 5 April
    We’ll walk you through the techy world of the tablet and get you up and running on this handy device.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesdays, 10am to 12pm

    Wednesday 1 March to Wednesday 5 April 2017

    Wednesday 21 December 2016 from 10am to 12pm

  • Stories of art and identity
    Wednesday 1 March 2017
  • Book now

    In the spirit of Mardi Gras, join Joyce as she gets talking with a panel of LGBTI artists. Representing the many faces of art and sexuality, these creators unpack their work to spill the stories behind them and shine a light on the Mardi Gras theme of Creating Equality. Get ready to participate in this evening of charismatic conversation.

    Joyce Maynge
    As the hostess with the mostess, Joyce Maynge facilitates this lively discussion. Known for her many unforgettable and extravagant Mardi Gras floats, short films and flash mobs, Joyce lends her showy wit in giving a voice to the LGBTI community.

    Jiva Parthipan
    Hailing from Sri Lanka, Jiva has found a following as a producer who explores power and sexuality through his art and activism. Having had pieces displayed from Dublin to South Africa, his work embodies how influence is carried in the relational, socio-geopolitical and sexual spaces.

    Liam Benson
    As a multi-disciplinary artist, Liam’s work blends performance, photography, video and textiles. Breaking down social understanding of gender, race and culture, he overthrows ingrained ideas, symbolism and pop culture by connecting with diverse communities through an ongoing conversation.

    Deborah Kelly
    Deborah is a Sydney-based artist whose works have been shown around Australia, and in the Singapore, Sydney, Thessaloniki, Venice and TarraWarra Biennales. Her epic collaborative collage portrait project No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory) is touring Australian regional galleries until 2018 and her collaboration with Tina Fiveash, Hey, Hetero! won the 2001 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras visual art award.

    More artists to be announced.

    This event is free but we highly recommended you book.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 1 March 2017 from 7pm to 8.30pm
  • CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap film screening
    Wednesday 8 March 2017
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    As part of our celebrations for International Women’s Day, we invite you to get comfy, sit back and take in this important documentary.

    Women make up a tiny 30% of technology workers in Oz and we want to help to close the gap by increasing awareness. With such a poor representation of women in this space, at the heart of this film is the glaring question of ‘why?’

    With blinkered perceptions defining what a coder looks like, girls are being culturally primed to believe that science and technology are a man’s domain. CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, is a doco that delves into the reasons why STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) became gendered. Looking into what we as a society have to gain by lifting these limitations, we can see the mutual reward in getting more women and minorities to code.

    Here at the library, we’re prioritising digital technologies and we want to make sure all parts of our neighbourhood come along on the journey with us. This film unmasks the scarcity of American female and minority software engineers and picks apart the causes for this gender gap.

    Suitable for all ages, this free screening runs for 1 hour. Bookings are essential as places are limited.

    Customs House Library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 8 March 2017 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Design on show: Decolonising design education
    Saturday 25 March 2017
  • Book now

    The Library is putting design on show with a series of monthly talks featuring design experts from the Surry Hills area. This month, we’re in conversation about colonial curricula and how a shortsighted description of design can limit and weaken our potential.

    University of Technology lecturers and big picture thinkers, Danièle Hromek and Alexandra Crosby, are both working on broadening the definition of design. To diversify, they set out to decolonise design education. Using ‘Wareamah’ (Cockatoo Island) as a place to ponder, they dissect the connection between mapping, place, displacement and creativity via dialogues between Indigenous and non-Indigenous designers.

    Danièele Hromek
    By blending design elements with installations and sculptural form, this spatial designer contemplates contemporary urban Aboriginality and the Indigenous experience of Country. Daniele looks at how Indigenous people utilise, interpret, and experience their space and how the trauma of colonisation is revisited by our current exclusive design culture. As a proud Saltwater woman, she explores re-Indigenising space through retranslating and reclaiming the Aboriginal dreaming of space and explores how we can sustain this culture in our built environments.

    Dr Alexandra Crosby
    Director of Interdisciplinary Design at UTS, Dr Crosby covers Design Thinking, Design Futures, and social innovation. In 2013, she was awarded a Doctorate for her thesis on local forms of environmental activism in Indonesia. As a founding member of Frontyard Projects, she drives a community futuring space in Marrickville as well as holding a directorship of Inside Indonesia.

    Bookings are essential as space is limited.

    Surry Hills library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    Surry Hills Library
    Saturday 25 March 2017 from 2pm to 3pm
  • Tech Savvy Seniors - Cantonese Classes @ Ultimo Library
    Thursday 6 April 2017
  • Book now

    This free 6-part series is designed to help older people gain confidence in basic computer and digital skills. Facilitated by leaders from the Ethnic Community Council, you can learn in Cantonese. Join us for the whole series or pick and choose the sessions that best suit your needs.

    Funded by the Telstra Foundation and FACS, get savvy using our library PCs and dive into the digital world.

    Introduction to computers – Thurday 6 April 2017
    This workshop will walk you first through the basics of what a computer is, what its components are and how it’s operated.

    Introduction to internet part 1 – Thurday 13 April 2017
    Become familiar with the internet basics of getting online and surfing the web. Get well acquainted so you can go home, sign up for an internet service and hang out on the www’s yourself.

    Introduction to internet part 2 – Thurday 20 April 2017
    Growing your know-how from Part 1, we’ll look at ways to make web navigation a breeze as well as seek out video and music add-ons. We’ll make sure you know how to keep yourself safe online and get you going with tips for the best sites to view online.

    Introduction to email – Thurday 27 April 2017
    Keep connected to family and friends with email. We’ll walk you through setting up a free Gmail email account as well as how to send, read and reply to your emails.

    Introduction to social media – Thurday 4 May 2017
    Get sharp with social media’s famous three: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We’ll take you through a run-down of which social media to use and when.

    Introduction to iPads – Thurday 11 May 2017
    We’ll walk you through the techy world of the tablet and get you up and running on this handy device.

    Ultimo Library
    Thursdays, 10am to 12pm

    Thursday 6 April to Thursday 11 May 2017

  • Tech Savvy Seniors - Mandarin Classes @ Green Square
    Thursday 6 April 2017
  • Book now

    This free series is designed to help older people gain confidence in basic computer and digital skills

    Get technology on your side by keeping connected, accessing vital services and doing business. Facilitated by leaders from the Ethnic Community Council, you can learn in either Mandarin or Cantonese. Join us for the whole series or pick and choose the sessions that best suit your needs.

    Funded by the Telstra Foundation and FACS, get savvy using our library PCs and dive into the digital world.

    Introduction to computers – Thursday 6 April 2017
    This workshop will walk you first through the basics of what a computer is, what its components are and how it’s operated. We’ll teach you how to use a mouse and keyboard. Then we’ll put those skills to good use to create your first document on the computer, and perhaps do a little web surfing along the way

    Introduction to internet part 1 – Thursday 13 April 2017
    Become familiar with the internet basics of getting online and surfing the web. Get well acquainted so you can go home, sign up for an internet service and hang out on the www’s yourself.

    Introduction to internet part 2 – Thursday 20 April 2017
    Growing your know-how from Part 1, we’ll look at ways to make web navigation a breeze as well as seek out video and music add-ons. We’ll make sure you know how to keep yourself safe online and get you going with tips for the best sites to view online.

    Introduction to email – Thursday 27 April 2017
    Keep connected to family and friends with email. We’ll walk you through setting up a free Gmail email account as well as how to send, read and reply to your emails.

    Green Square Library
    Thursdays, 10am to 12pm

    Thursday 6 April to Thursday 27 April 2017

  • Steampunk remake party
    Sunday 9 April 2017
  • Book now

    Haymarket Library is going Steampunk to send Youth Week off with a *bang*!

    A hybrid sci-fi subgenre, this post-apocalyptic imagining marries modern tech with steam-powered machinery. Explore life in an alternative history where retro-futuristic inventions and fictional machines set the scene. Come in costume or make something to wear on the day.

    With all materials provided, you’ve got your choice of multi-station workshops, so follow your own steam to the pick of your preference.

    Get illuminated
    Laura Jade is an Australian artist whose art happens in the unlikely place where biology, illumination design and neuroscience meet. Guiding you through the art of creating wearable electronics, Laura will help you brighten your costume with LED lighting.

    Junk jewellery
    Experts from Pine Street Creative Arts Centre will encourage you to think outside the universe in a workshop using salvaged mechanical materials and broken jewellery pieces to create other-worldly wearables.

    In Visible Light Troup
    Immerse yourself in steampunk brought to life with interactive readings from your favourite steampunk books and performances by the In Visible Light Troupe.

    Steampunk gaming
    Explore the latest in virtual reality steampunk gaming and battle it out with boards, cards and dice in a selection of steampunk role-playing games.

    Your own steam
    If you’ve got a story to tell, take your tale to town in our Steam Zines and comics workshop.

    Bookings essential for this free event for young people ages 15 – 24.

    Haymarket Library
    Sunday 9 April 2017 from 3pm to 6pm
  • Augmented Reality for rookies
    Saturday 29 April 2017
  • Book now

    The recent Pokemon Go craze has finally brought augmented reality to the mainstream. No longer the realm of sci-fi, this mind-bending technology is fast becoming integrated into apps and will soon be immersed in our everyday.

    By superimposing a computer generated image on a view of the real world, you can essentially bridge your physical and digital worlds. This workshop will use free apps, Aurasma and Layar, accessible on both mobile and desktop environments. Learn the basics of augmented reality, grasp how to make your own constructed worlds and show-off your creations.

    Warren Armstrong
    Meet Warren Armstrong, the curator of (Un)seen Sculptures, an augmented reality exhibition featuring both international and Australian artists. He’ll share his reality-warping experience, guide you through making your own layers and clue you up on basic skills in digital making and media. This new media artist has the resume of a true technology trailblazer. Settle in for a demonstration of how augmented reality has been applied to multiple purposes. Get your hands on the tools and asset files as you work with Warren to evolve your skills.

    This one-off event runs for 4 hours and is best suited to people 15 years and over.

    Bookings are essential as spaces are limited to 16 people.

    Bring your own lunch and devices (laptop and mobile) preloaded with Aurasma  and Layar.

    Kings Cross Library
    Saturday 29 April 2017 from 10am to 2pm