Australia’s Niche Champions: The manufacturing of art and vice versa


As part of AuManufacturing’s Australia’s niche champions series, Brent Balinski speaks to Amanda Harris and Ben Tait of UAP about their unusual company, which is among the world leaders in creating public art.

Industrial robots are generally not associated with one-off production runs, artworks, or acting as an extender of traditional craftsmanship. At Urban Art Projects, things are different.

UAP has turned the dreams of influential artists and architects — names such as Ai Weiwei, Florentijn Hofman and Frank Gehry — from design to physical reality.

However, the company’s General Manager, Amanda Harris — a designer by training — is more excited by the way technology is reshaping careers at the company.

“You go through so many projects and there are amazing outcomes, and they’re all very different, but the process — there’s continuity of that process that stays the same,” she tells @AuManufacturing.

“Whereas now I feel we’re kind of looking into a greater unknown, looking at how tech can possibly shift things for us. And we have no idea, career-wise, what the goalposts will look like…