Melbourne Design Week – How Do We Value Design asks Belinda?

10 Fed Square

Melbourne Design Week 16 – 26 March 2017 – Design Values: What does design value, and how do we value design?

01 Design Work

Designwork #1, Ash Allen, Dollop 2013, 320 x 380 x 420 mm, Photo: Jeremy Dillon

The inaugural Melbourne Design Week will take place 16 – 26 March 2017, and confirms, once again, Melbourne’s place amongst the doyennes of art and design in Australia.  The Victorian Government has collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to present Melbourne Design Week, which will include exhibitions, talks led by leading design experts, tours, panel discussion and events held at NGV International and at other partner venues.

02 Tectonic Grounds

Tectonic Grounds, Tectonic Grounds zooms into the craft and art of interaction within the built environment

As Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Melbourne Design Week 2017 is the first of four annual Melbourne Design Week programs that the National Gallery of Victoria will curate as part of the Victorian Design Program, developed by the NGV in partnership with the Victorian Government. The program will reinforce Melbourne’s reputation as a city of great design and architecture, and will inspire diverse audiences with some of the most innovative design projects and concepts from around the world.’

03 GT2P Pottery

International Design Project: Catenary Pottery Printer, GT2P, Catenary Pottery Printer models, Image courtesy of GT2P

One of the highlights of Melbourne Design Week will be the Melbourne Art Book Fair, to be held 16-19 March at the NGV International. The NGV has hosted this fair, the largest art book fair in the Asia-Pacific Region, since 2015, and over 100 stallholders will transform the Great Hall into a vibrant marketplace trading all manner of wonderful art books.

As well as a full-day international symposium on typography, a number of art book launches will take place, including Ross Coulter’s Audience, complementing his exhibition of the same name which features in the NGV Festival of Photography, on display during March.

04 The Club

Chen Wei: The Club, Chen Wei, In The Waves #5 2013, Edition of 6 + 2 AP, Archival inkjet print, 150 x 187.5 cm, Courtesy the artist / Leo Xu Projects

Zoe Croggon, whose work is also on show in the NGV Festival of Photography, will be in conversation with Susan van Wyk, Senior Curator of Photography at the NGV during the Art Book Fair. Also on during the fair is a behind-the-scenes session involving key artists’ books at the NGV, primarily of conceptual artists from the 1960s and 70s, such as Barbara De Witt, John Baldessari, and Ed Ruscha, as well as many other talks and readings, book and magazine launches, and is a must-see for all bibliophiles and art aficionados.

05 Porky Hefer

Creating the Contemporary Chair, Porky Hefer, South African born 1968, Fiona Blackfish 2015 designed, 2016 manufactured, Leather, steel and sheepskin, 170 x 164 x 135 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Purchased with funds donated by Gordon Moffatt AM, 2017

The program of events on during Melbourne Design Week is far-reaching and encompasses many different facets of design.

There will be a host of architecture and interior design events held during the week, with a number of exhibitions, talks and tours available.

A highlight is ‘Creating the Contemporary Chair’, a showcase of thirty-five contemporary chairs which promises to be an inspiring display of ingenuity and creative functionality.

The exhibition will include a suspended chair resembling a killer whale, and a stool coated in volcanic rock from Chile’s Villarrica volcanos, sure to be a talking point.

06 Joel Van Der Wiel

Creating the Contemporary Chair, Jolan van der Wiel, Dutch born 1984, Original Gravity stool 2011 designed, 2016 manufactured, iron, polyurethane, pigment, 33.0 x 33.0 x 25.0 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Purchased with funds donated by Gordon Moffatt AM, 2016

Talks on the Historical Origins of the Contemporary Chair, and Creating the Contemporary Chair will complement the exhibition.

07 Architours

Architours: Modernism to Contemporary Walking Tour, Photographer: @oakandink, Image courtesy of Architours

ArchiTours will take you on a tour of Melbourne’s modernist to modern day architecture, discussing the evolution of the post-war city to the present day. An architectural tour of the NGV’s Ian Potter Centre will also be on offer.

08 High Density Happiness

High Density Happiness: Designing Apartments to Wear In, Not Wear Out, Image courtesy of Neometro

High Density Happiness: Designing Apartments to Wear In, Not Wear Out’ will see a panel of Melbourne’s leading architects and interior designers discuss the value of good apartment design to ensure the social and environmental sustainability of our cities, which is surely a very important topic of our time

09 Ernest Fooks

The House Talks Back: Fooks Exhibition and Open House, Ernest Fooks in his study at 32 Howitt Road, 1967, Image: State Library of Victoria, Photo: Bryan V Ruffin

The House Talks Back: Fooks Exhibition and Open House’ is a unique event presented by the Robin Boyd Foundation and Melbourne School of Design at the former home of Dr Ernest Fooks (1906-1985) in Caulfield, whereby the house becomes the location of and part of an exhibition on Fooks’ life and works.

And for some lighthearted entertainment, comedian Tim Ross and musician Kit Warhurst visit Robin Boyd’s renowned Walsh Street House to present their new show ‘Robin Would Have Loved That: Man About the House Show’, following a sellout season at the London Festival of Architecture.

Further panel discussions feature in Melbourne Design Week, which are sure to be as ground-breaking as they are fascinating.

10 Fed Square

Watch This Place Urban Design Panel, Vaults and Federation Square, Photo: Paul Allister for Six Degrees

Watch This Place Urban Design Panel’, presented by the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, will explore diverse possibilities for enriching and evolving the design responses to complex issues facing communities in Victoria, chaired by Jill Gardner, Victorian Government Architect.

11 Blak Design

Does Blak Design Matter?, Image credit: RMIT Ngarara Place, Photo: Peter Casamento

Does Blak Design Matter?will discuss what is meaningful Indigenous design, and why it matters. This panel discussion is presented by the Koorie Heritage Trust with Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria, and examines the practices of outstanding Indigenous designers and interrogates how Indigenous design is defined, received, and made visible in Australia.

12 GT2P

International Design Talk with GT2P, GT2P, Image courtesy of GT2P

Other panels and talks involve explorations of ‘queering architecture’; ‘Death by Design: Disruption and Failure in the Design World’; and talks with the artists of a number of the exhibitions on display, including Chilean designers Great Things To People (GT2P), whose pottery features in the International Design Project. And the talk that appeals most to my sensibilities is ‘What Makes A Great Photograph’ at the Centre for Contemporary Photography. Sure to be a lively and provocative discussion!

13 Design

The Design is in the Detail Workshop, Image courtesy of Double Days

As well as talks, panel discussions, tours and events, twenty-two exhibitions will be on show as part of the inaugural Melbourne Design Week. Twenty-two exhibitions featuring remarkable furniture design, thought-provoking photography, intriguing fashion, amazing sculpture and incredible architecture along with many other design types. This is surely sufficient reason for any discerning design connoisseur to head to Melbourne during March.

Melbourne Design Week
16 – 26 March 2017

See All Programs

Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalists

Winner Design Award of the Year



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