Australian Modern Design, edited by Chris Osborne.

Stumbled upon this pristine numbered limited edition book while fossicking through boxes of treasures at a Brisbane demolition yard, some days are diamonds.

Brisbane photographer-publisher Chris Osborne is leading the 21st century push to illuminate ‘hidden treasures’ of mid-century modernism around Australia. His new book, Australian Modern Design: Mid-20th Century Architecture and Design, includes a chapter on ‘Douglas Snelling: A Colourful LiOsborne’s eclectic edit of mostly unfamiliar chronicles from post-war modernism’s glory decades (1945-75) is vital reading for any connoisseur of Australian culture last century.

Highlights include Margaret Ward on Australia’s architecturally dramatic pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka,

Alan Hess comparing California and Australian modern innovations, Judy Austin on Gold Coast motels,

Derek Wrigley on furniture designer Fred Ward, Thomas Ryan on Tasmania’s classic curtain wall buildings, Annalisa Capurro surveying early winners of the NSW Institute of Architects’ Sulman Award, and Noni Boyd on post-war austerity housing


The tireless work for all things Mod Oz by ever exuberant Brisbane standard barer Chris Osborne has presented itself beautifully in his latest venture “Australian Modern Design”. This self published book which is lovely just to hold, let alone flip through, is a collection of Mod Design essays covering the various strains of Modernist principals in the national culture and landscape.

From the connection between California and Australian Modern Architecture, the rediscovery of historically rich housing tracts such as Appletree Hill and Kingsdene Estate, reviews of Tasmanian public buildings and Queensland churches, fashion, caravans, motels and the Brisbane beatnik scene, this book is a groundbreaking attempt to highlight each writer’s bespoke favourite within the vast taxonomy that is Australian Modernism.


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