Melbourne Design Week 2024 – Program Launch

Australia’s largest and leading annual design festival — Melbourne Design Week — presents its eighth edition in 2024 with 11 days of 300+  innovative exhibitions, displays, symposiums and talks throughout metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Highlights in the 2024 program include a keynote from Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo, a symposium exploring  speculative riverside designs for the Birrarung, the tenth year of Melbourne Art Book Fair, plus presentations of work  by Visnja Brdar, Jessie French, Sruli Recht and Ross Gardam.

Exploring the theme of ‘Design the world you want’, the 2024 program brings into focus the use of energy, ethics and  ecology to encourage positive change, reimagine existing systems and offer innovative design solutions to complex  global challenges. ‘Energy’ examines how design can champion new technologies to enact society’s transition to  renewables; ‘ethics’ demonstrates how design can be guided by societal values; and ‘ecology’ invites designers to  respond to the physical environment and considering the influence of nature.

Presented by Creative Victoria and delivered by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne Design Week is a  vital platform for emerging and established creative practitioners, offering the Australian design community and  audiences the opportunity to engage with a diverse program of talks, tours, exhibitions, installations, and workshops.

Program highlights at the NGV include:

  • A keynote talk by Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo, sharing insights into her socially responsive  approaches to urbanism. Following the success of her curation of the recent Sharjah Architecture Triennial,  Oshinowo will discuss architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to rethink approaches to  design and architecture that can meet cultural and climatic needs in the twenty-first century.
  • A public symposium held in anticipation of the upcoming NGV exhibition Reimagining Birrarung: Design  Concepts for 2070, which challenges eight leading Australian landscape architects to develop radical  speculative designs that reinvent sites along Birrarung (the Yarra River) opening at The Ian Potter Centre:  NGV Australia in August 2024.
  • Following a recent think tank on Country in Arnhem Land, NGV and Agency Projects present a thought provoking conversation, Rubbish on the Shore to examine the intersection of culture, creativity and  sustainability, investigating design solutions for ghost nets and associated marine debris impacting Sea  Country across Northern Australia.
  • As part of Melbourne Art Book Fair’s tenth year, UK-based Katy Hessel, esteemed curator, art historian and author of The Story of Art Without Men, presents a keynote talk in partnership with The Wheeler Centre. Melbourne Art Book Fair’s 2024 program includes artist and designer activations, workshops, plus the popular  stallholder fair in the NGV’s Great Hall on the opening weekend. The program also presents satellite events  along Victoria’s surf coast with programming in Geelong, Barwon Heads, Torquay and Ocean Grove, adding  to events in Ballarat and Castlemaine.
  • A keynote talk from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Senior Curator of Africa and Diaspora Textiles and  Fashion, Dr Christine Checinska will highlight the diverse and varied fashion culture of the African continent in celebration of Africa Fashion. The exhibition, opening at NGV International in May, celebrates the  creativity, innovation and indelible global impact of African fashions from the mid-twentieth century to the  present day.


Satellite program Design and Death, shines a light on the architecture, places, issues and practices associated with  the end of life. Presented by Open House Melbourne, the series of talks and tours – including a tour of Bunurong

Memorial Park and Cemetery – explores the relationship between design and death to discover how the spaces we  associate with death and burial can provoke more thought about life and how we live it.

The 2024 Melbourne Design Week Award will be presented by Mercedes-Benz on the opening day of the design  festival, recognising an outstanding contribution to the Design Week program. NGV and Stylecraft will announce the  winner of the Australian Furniture Design Awards on the eve of Melbourne Design Week, which will be  accompanied by an exhibition of the five shortlisted works at the Stylecraft showroom.

Melbourne Design Week Film Festival will present a series of films that explore the impact of architecture and  design through the moving image and its power to affect change, innovate and shape community, cities and the  environment.

Reflecting further on how good design impacts our everyday lives, design studio Never Too Small presents Multi Functional Pet Furniture which conceptualises furniture that combines pet-housing, aesthetics and affordability.  Other program highlights include Urban Landscape Design Cake Competition where Melbourne-based landscape  architecture studios have selected an under-development site in the city and re-imagined it as parkland through the  edible medium of cake.

Galleries and design curators will present a series of exhibitions highlighting the inspiring scope of Australian  designers with displays at Craft, Tarrawarra Musuem of Art, Tolarno, MUMA, Pieces of Eight, Useful Objects, and  more. Australia’s leading showrooms, brands and design studios will also participate with exhibitions taking place at venues including Aesop, Brickworks, Cult, Spacecraft, Tait, Living Edge, Mobilia, Christopher Boots and House  Editions.

Speculative design exhibitions and programs examine approaches to sustainability and design solutions for the future.  Designer Ella Saddington presents Material Matters which consider the longevity and sustainability materials that  surround us, while the exhibition MATTERS explores the themes of process, community and longevity from designers  including Adam Goodrum, Dean Norton, Jordan Fleming, and Marlo Lyda. Plus, programs delivered by City of  Melbourne, BAR Studio and Plus Architecture explore the environmental benefits of adaptive re-use and repurposed buildings.

Further program highlights include mixed-cultural First Nations designer Lisa Waup exhibiting a suite of commercial  textile and wallpaper designs in an installation presented with Willie Weston and Agency Projects. Revival Projects has salvaged five large Cypress Macrocarpa trees from Box Hill cemetery to create an exhibition of 100 timber urns  that will decompose and give life to a new tree. Zachary Frankel will mentor young people in a series of workshops to  build chairs using waste material which will be exhibited during Melbourne Design Week.

The Telstra Creativity Innovation Series: Future of Food builds on the inaugural event in 2023 which presented  unique, speculative and thought-provoking food. The second iteration in 2024 will continue to champion new approaches to food and waste exploring eco-innovation and potential solutions for environmental preservation.

Melbourne Design Week invites all Victorians to explore the city and state through regional hubs and independent  exhibitions by leading designers. Melbourne Design Week engages venues throughout Victoria including the Victorian  Pride Centre, Collingwood Yards, Melbourne School of Design and Melbourne Museum with events also taking place  in Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Shepparton.



Melbourne Design Week 

WHEN: 23 May – 2 June 2024 

WHERE: NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne (and at  various locations throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria)

COST: The majority of Melbourne Design Week is free to attend with some events requiring bookings due to venue capacities.

The full program and bookings will be available online from 11 April 2024 

FOLLOW: @ngvmelbourne #melbournedesignweek

Melbourne Design Week is an initiative of the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and delivered by the  NGV.

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