Tuning into Design Week

Ryan Mischkulnig with daughter and "secondary shopkeeper" Elli. (Rebecca Hosking) 206498

By Luke Voogt

A Bannockburn man crafting treasures from junk has “reimagined” Geelong Design Week after coronavirus concerns caused the inaugural event’s cancellation.

The cancellation would disappoint thousands of local residents, according to The Reimaginarium owner Ryan Mischkulnig

So he decided to get “creative” and share his presentation, Re-Retail – A Vision for a Sustainable Retail Future, on the store’s Facebook page instead.

“We’re going to have a little video premier at 7pm [tonight],” he told the Independent.

“Putting it online may allow us to share our ideas with an even larger audience who may not have been able to attend in person.”

Ryan runs The Reimaginarium with two-year-old daughter Elli, who has been his “secondary shopkeeper” since the store opened.

“That’s one of the benefits of running your own business,” he laughed.

“She just loves saying hi to everybody who comes into our store. She’s an easy-going and pretty happy little kid.”

The store turns old items such as table cloths, spoons, stubbies and pianola rolls into girls dresses, necklaces, tendon lighting and lampshades.

“It’s about supporting all the people out there making beautiful things out of old materials,” Ryan said.

“We get people come in with all sorts of weird and wonderful things.”

The store was a “for-profit social enterprise” giving local crafters a place to sell re-purposed creations and reduce waste, he explained.

Ryan’s own specialty is turning vintage radios into Bluetooth speakers using his experience as a product design engineer.

“The bare circuitry is new but everything else is 40, 50, 60 or even 70 years old,” he said.

“It does everything that a new speaker does but by weight it’s at least 95 per cent recycled materials.

“I’ve had 80-year-old ladies bring in radios that they’ve had since they were 18.”

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