Asia Pacific Design Library

  • 2017

  • Service
    Education Services

Commissioned By:

State Library of Queensland

Designed In:


The Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL) is a 21st century library advocating for innovation, experimentation and play through design in the Asia Pacific. The APDL is a unique design hub for lectures, exhibitions, research, publications and events as well as a trusted archive of historical and contemporary Queensland design and designers.

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  • We created an online space in 2012 for industry, academia and the public to access, share and create new knowledge related to design in the Asia Pacific. Over 400 articles have been authored by the Asia Pacific Design community in 7 years. Key highlights include Designonline (a publicly accessible collection of design resources created by and for the Asia Pacific design community), the APDL Blog, APDL's Vimeo channel (content including digital stories, events and lectures filmed at the library), The Vogue Archive (free access to every issue of the US edition of Vogue) and (free access for Queenslanders to 3,000 top-quality courses and 136,000 video tutorials).

  • We developed a Design Thinking methodology (Design Minds) that can be used within existing education and learning benchmarks and consists of the follow phases: Inquire, Ideation, Implementation and always Reflection. We partner with designers, businesses and the broader community to co-create content for the design education community that builds the capabilities of successful and creative 21st century citizens. Key highlights include our Design Minds methodology's inclusion in a newly developed Design subject for Qld schools, Design Thinking Toolkits for teachers, appointment of 13 Regional Design Minds Ambassadors across Qld and a rolling fund (Micro-Grants) for schools to deliver Design Thinking programs.

  • We host an inspiring program of world-class, design-related events including lecture series, workshops, exhibitions, design residencies and tours. Our programs support community engagement through innovation, experimentation and play and create opportunities for equal access to library services through design. Key highlights include the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum (a symposium exploring the ways new world cities are responding to the opportunities and challenges of the Asian century), Think Outside (annual talk series inviting local, national and international design thinkers to contemplate a 'wicked problem') and Design Offline (a hardcover journal featuring six different lecture prompts for engagement).

  • Located on Level 2 of the State Library of Queensland building, the Design Lounge hosts our design collection and provides a shared physical space for exhibitions, workshops, design reviews, meetings and research as well as casual browsing and chance encounters. Our collection is organized into five key categories: Public Places, Better Living, Communication, Design Thinking and Fashion. Over 120000 users have used the Design Lounge since its inception. Key highlights include the APDL Connect program (where designers from the Asia Pacific region are given an opportunity to develop and display their work in the APDL Design Lounge) and Kindred (a social network for books in the collection).

    An ongoing series of workshops for children aged 4 to 8 years of age designed to stimulate creative thinking and introduce young minds to the act of design through play. Little Designer workshops have covered topics including: • Architecture (in association with the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum participants explored architecture and placemaking) • Interior Design (spatial and interior design) • Pattern and Place-making (in association with Woods Bagot) • Ecology (facilitated by industrial designer, engineer, puppeteer, storyteller and adventurer Stephen Mushin) • Typography (participants designed and made a brand new font which was released as an open-source font

    Design Finds is an intimate exploration of the nature of Queensland design, its past and inspirations - a joint initiative between State Library of Queensland's Asia Pacific Design Library and Queensland Memory. In collaboration with emerging designers from a variety of disciplines, this program of events delves deeply into the John Oxley Library and Australian Library of Art collections to uncover long-forgotten treasures that capture their interest. The culmination of each Design Finds project sees items from the collection presented alongside creative responses from the emerging designers in an exhibition format open to the general public and hosted in the Design Lounge.

    Two Day City is both a participatory design event and a framework for educators that uses the Design Minds process to explores aspects of city building and a process with which to identify issues that may affect future cities. Two Day City was delivered at the 2016 Out of the Box Festival which invited Grade 3 students to become 'future thinkers' and to reimagine a city for 2036. Two Day City was originally presented in 2014 by the Asia Pacific Design Library in partnership with the Queensland Government G20 Cultural Program. The project captures the youth engagement objectives of the BCC Youth Strategy 2014-2019 for a well-designed subtropical city.