Melbourne Design Week 2018

Local and international design innovators will gather in Melbourne for a series of exhibitions, talks, studio tours and industry-led events, celebrating the second annual Melbourne Design Week from 15 – 25 March 2018.

An initiative of the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Design Week will explore the wide-ranging effects of design on contemporary life.

With a diverse range of events on offer, the 2018 program will feature new exhibitions by acclaimed Australian designers Ben Landau, Lucile Sciallano, Elliat Rich and Dale Hardiman, alongside keynote speeches by international industry stalwarts including Marcus Fairs, editor-in-chief of Dezeen and Kongjian Yu, founder of acclaimed Chinese landscape architecture firm Turenscape.

Opening the Melbourne Design Week program, the fourth annual Melbourne Art Book Fair will expand on the Melbourne Design Week 2018 key narratives of design, cities and communication. Running from 15 – 18 March, the Melbourne Art Book Fair has attracted over 50,000 visitors since its debut, making it the most visited publishing event in the Asia-Pacific region.

This year’s event will bring together over 150 publishers, artists and designers showcasing some of the world’s best art and design publications for three days of free discussions, book launches and workshops. A highlight of the fair will include the announcement of the Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing which will award $15,000 AUD to the winning book, with additional $1,000 AUD prizes for up to five finalists.

Award-winning graphic design studio Experimental Jetset (the Netherlands) will make their Australian debut at Melbourne Design Week, delivering a keynote lecture as part of the Melbourne Art Book Fair which explores the relationship between graphic design and the city. A retrospective exhibition of their practice entitled Experimental Jetset – Superstructure will also be on display at RMIT Design Hub and is presented in association with the NGV and Melbourne Art Book Fair.

Melbourne Design Week 2018 will also feature design expert and editor-in-chief of Dezeen Marcus Fairs, in a one-off keynote event for the annual Telstra Creativity and Innovation Series. Dezeen is renowned as one of the world’s leading and most viewed design websites and Fairs was the first digital journalist to be awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In a keynote address in the NGV Great Hall on 21 March, Fairs will draw on his years at the vanguard of design publishing and reveal how he sees design shaping the world around us.

An additional highlight of the Melbourne Design Week program will include a never-seen-before exhibition by ceramists Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano, featuring 3D printed interior fittings such as doorknobs, taps, vases, and teapots. Utilising a custom-built 3D printer that creates ornately decorated forms, Landau and Sciallano’s work challenges trends in modernist design and explore the future possibilities of 3D printed ceramics.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said, “Melbourne has built a proud reputation as a city of remarkable design and architecture. Melbourne Design Week gives us the chance to celebrate our diversity and the impact of design, while giving local Victorian designers the exposure they deserve”.

NGV Director Tony Ellwood said, “Melbourne Design Week provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate the influence and potential of contemporary design. With an absorbing and enlightening range of programs on offer, Victorians will have the opportunity to experience pioneering design concepts, technologies and materials and consider new and innovative possibilities for the future of the state’s design industry”.

Further Melbourne Design Week highlights around Melbourne and Victoria include:

· Open State Melbourne: Open State will reveal and celebrate Victoria’s design innovators with ‘open access’ to some Melbourne’s leading design showrooms, studios and manufacturers during Melbourne Design Week. Highlight tours include Hepburn Wind Farm, Modscape, REA Group, The Dream Factory, Medibank, Schiavello, Australian Islamic Centre, Jardan and Tait.

· Designing the Body: This thought-provoking panel conversation will reveal how design is redefining the relationship of our bodies to technology. Exploring edible perfumes, next generation condoms, 3D printed body parts, and low-cost prosthetics for land mine victims, this panel of innovators includes sci-fi artist Lucy McRae, Professor Peter (Vee Sin) Lee from the University of Melbourne, Dr Gianni Renda, Deputy Director, ARC Training Centre in Biodevices, School of Design at Swinburne University and Dr David Ackland, Biomedical Engineer from the University of Melbourne.

· Keynote Lecture: Stephanie Macdonald of 6a architects: Award-winning UK architect, Stephanie Macdonald will discuss 6a architects’ approach to designing for education, leisure and the arts, keeping them at the heart of a vibrant and progressive culture. 6a architects are best known for their work with contemporary art galleries, educational buildings, residential projects and artist studios including their recent design of renowned fashion photographer Juergen Teller’s studio.

· Keynote Lecture: Sofia von Ellrichshausen of Pezo von Ellrichshausen: Designer Sofia von Ellrichshausen, a founding member of acclaimed Chilean art and architecture studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen, will explore the practice’s pursuit of eroding the boundaries between art and architecture through a selection of recent paintings, pavilions and buildings. The studio’s work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, as part of the permanent collections at the Art Institute of Chicago and the MoMA in New York.

· Diminishing Design by Geronimo: Exploring how design has the power to imbue positivity and curiosity, LA’s resident balloon genius Jihan Zencirli, aka Geronimo, will cover the façade of Hub Furniture’s new Collingwood showroom with one of her spectacular and extravagant balloon installations.

· Living with Water: Design for Uncertain Times: This full-day symposium will feature Melbourne Design Week keynote speaker Kongjian Yu from Turenscape. Drawing on Yu’s ground-breaking research into ecologically sustainable cities, panellists will discuss how metropolitan cities can build resilience in the face of rising sea-levels, unprecedented storms, drought and floods.

· My Canvas: Presented by leading textile design studio Kvadrat Maharam and in honour of the company’s fruitful 13-year collaboration with Italian designer Giulio Ridolfo, My Canvas will showcase a series of unique works using Ridolfo’s distinctive ‘Canvas’ upholstery textile. Featuring distinctive designs by 19 designers from around the world My Canvas premiered at London Design Festival 2017.

· Denfair: Design Loop: Curated by the team at Denfair, Melbourne’s boutique trade event for contemporary design, Design Loop at Melbourne Design Week will present a program of in-store exhibitions by a selection of Melbourne’s best design showrooms. Responding to the theme ‘Celebration of Material’ participating showrooms will focus on the history, rationale and emotional quality of materials within the design process.

· New Narratives: This Melbourne Art Book Fair keynote lecture will feature celebrated international guests including design researcher Tamar Shafrir (The New Institute), artist/publisher Julieta Aranda (e-flux) and curator Yolande van der Heide (Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons) as they discuss the concept of ‘good’ design, exploring the potential of design and publishing to affect social change.

· Word Alert: Presented as part of Melbourne Art Book Fair, writing school The Good Copy will host a festival of words in boxes. Designed for clue lovers, clue learners and spelling enthusiasts, attendees will learn to set crosswords with Liam ‘LR’ Runnalls (The Age); try cryptics with Chris Black and Siobhan Linde (The Big Issue, The Cruciverbalist); test their spelling on stage and submit a grammar gripe for Casey Bennetto’s airing of grievances.

Melbourne Design Week 2018 exhibitions, events, talks and workshops will be held at NGV International, NGV Australia and partner venues across Melbourne and Victoria.

Further information about Melbourne Design Week 2018 is available at DESIGNWEEK.MELBOURNE.

Further information about Melbourne Art Book Fair 2018 is available at NGVARTBOOKFAIR.COM.

The NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture is generously supported by The Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation.

The NGV gratefully acknowledges the Cornish family for their support of The Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing.

The exhibition Experimental Jetset: Superstructure is conceived and designed by Experimental Jetset, Netherlands. Presented by the National Gallery of Victoria in collaboration with RMIT Design Hub. Curatorium: Megan Patty (National Gallery of Victoria), Brad Haylock, Kate Rhodes, Fleur Watson (RMIT University).

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