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Episode 7

Trent Jansen Studio

Season 1- Episode 7

Trent Jansen

Dr Trent Jansen’s take on defining Australian design identity has been likened to what Droog has done for Dutch design identity.


His design anthropology studio in Thirroul explores stories like a shared fear and fascination with mythical bush creatures, that have united indigenous and non-indigenous Australians for generations. Collaboratively designed objects are starkly Australian in appearance, celebrate unique indigenous artisans, bring light to observations of a changing climate in remote parts of Australia and reach thousands in their narrative through exhibitions across the world in Italy, US, China, and locally in the PowerHouse Museum, and National Gallery of Melbourne.


Voted in the top 100 most influential people in Sydney, Trent worked with members of Beyond Coal Coast to spark the volunteer-led organisation ‘Electrify 2515’ with a ‘can we be your feet on the ground?’ phone call to Dr Saul Griffith. Creating a groundswell of households (20%) across the 2515 northern suburbs of Wollongong to register to electrify their households in 6 ways, and to hopefully become Australia’s first electrified community.

So I was really keen to tell Australian stories, Australian myths, these stories that we tell ourselves about who we are, but that connected indigenous and non-indigenous cultures across our post-colonial history, and these seemed like the perfect stories because they'd been generating these connections since those very early years. Dr Trent Jansen, Trent Jansen Studio.

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Your Next Salty Steps

Draw some inspiration from our actionable takeaways.

  1. There is a unique opportunity for households to take part in a proposed pilot project to electrify a whole community. Register your interest with the volunteer organisation Electrify 2515.
  2.    Not in 2515? Electrify 2515 has shared key resources on its website and is keen to help other communities kick-start their own group.
  3. Learn more at Rewiring Australia about the pilot programs.

Resources & Links

We’ve gathered together some useful resources and links related to Episode 7.

Trent Jansen Studio

Trent Jansen, LinkedIn

Electrify 2515

Rewiring Australia

Karina Clarke, Aqua Adorata, 2016, Australian Design Centre

Trent Jansen and Johnny Nargoodah, Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Rushcutters Bay NSW

Dr Trent Jansen, Researcher Profile, UNSW (University of New South Wales)

Dr Trent Jansen, Lecturer Profile, UNSW (University of New South Wales)

Exhibition in cahoots: artists collaborate across Country, Fremantle Arts Centre

Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Fitzroy Crossing, WA


Imagery thanks to:

Trent Jansen on Balit-dhan Balit-nganjin (Their Strength Our Strength) Installation, Wesley Place, Melbourne, March 2022 (Photo credit: Tobias Titz).

Pankalangu Credenza, Broached Commissions  (Photo credit: Michael Corridore).

Martuwarra Jiliny Walyarra, Trent Jansen and Johnny Nargoodah, Powerhouse Hybrid Commission (Photo credit: Zan Wimberley).

Electrify 2515 (Photo credit: Billie Acosta).

Podcast recording (Photo credit: Robyn Johnson, Blend ESQ).


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