Melbourne Design Week

Spanning 11 days and over 160 events, Melbourne Design Week returns to celebrate the work of local and international designers, highlighting Melbourne as one of the international design capitals. This year’s theme is Design Effects, a topic that looks to explore how design can help deliver change for the environment and the global population.

This broad theme is examined through dozens of exhibitions of groundbreaking work, talks from leaders in the design field and participatory workshops – including the Melbourne Art Book Fair where you can be amongst the first to pick up Assemble Papers #9! – at the NGV International, NGV Australia and partner venues throughout Victoria.

We’ve picked a few of the program highlights below – check out the full program, buy tickets and see what else is happening over at the Melbourne Design Week website.

Heritage, Activism, Architecture
NGV International, NGV Members Lounge, Wed 21 Mar, 6–8pm
Presented by Parlour, Heritage, Activism, Architecture focuses on Christchurch and the reconstruction effort after the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes. When the government response became set on demolition of socially and culturally significant city fabric, heritage advocates banded together with a raft of artists, art groups and activists to challenge this response. Dr Jessica Halliday, Director of Te Pūtahi: Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making, talks to Professor Paul Walker of the Melbourne School of Design, about the new coalitions that emerged to aid in reactivating the city and including the city populous in their design response.

Blak is the New Blak: Australian First Nations Women in Fashion
NGV International, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Fri 23 Mar, 6.30–7.30pm
Chaired by Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator of the South Eastern Australian Aboriginal Collection, Museum Victoria and presented by Koorie Heritage Trust, this talk highlights how Australian First Nations female designers are leading the way in their fields by appropriately and sensitively incorporating a legacy of Indigenous cultural design and design principles into their wares.
This exciting panel is made up of independent creators who are taking an active role in the development and realisation of their own fashion, jewellery or accessory products. Panellists include Lyn-Al Young of Lyn-Al Young Designs, Kristy Dickenson from Haus of Dizzy, TJ Cowlishaw of Aarli and Grace Lillian Lee of Grace Lillian Lee Designs. Booking essential.

Experimental Jetset MABF Symposium: The Future Lasts Only a Moment
NGV International, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Thu 15 Mar, 1.30–5pm
Not to be missed, this symposium features keynote guests, iconic Amsterdam-based graphic design collective Experimental Jetset, along with local leaders in the field of art, economics, urban studies and philosophy. With moderation by Justin Clemens, the panel aims to explore the critical role verbal, visual and spatial languages play in the formation of cities and communities, asking what kind of futures are we building for ourselves, and for how long?
Presented in conjunction with the RMIT Design Futures Lab with the support of RMIT School of Design, and accompanied by the opening event of the Experimental Jetset – Superstructure exhibition, which acts both retrospective and large scale installation, at RMIT Design Hub, this is one we are extremely excited about. Booking is a must!

Assemble Papers #9 Launch
Testing Grounds, Sun 18 Mar, 5–8.30pm
Last but certainly not least, we definitely won’t be missing the launch of Assemble Papers #9 at Testing Grounds. In this issue, we turn out focus onto the idea of ‘radical families’, looking at how spaces – architectural and otherwise – and social practises can support an extended concept of what family looks and functions like. See you there!

Main image: work from exhibition Ornament Is Fine by Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano of Alterfact, courtesy NGV.

Where: NGV International, NGV Australia and partner venues throughout Victoria

When: Thu 15th – Sun 25th Mar

How much: Check website for details

More info: Melbourne Design Week website


Recent Articles

  • Farewell and Thank You Pino

    Six years after co-founding Assemble, Pino Demaio has decided to resign from his role as Director. Pino remains focused on his strategic design practice, Local Peoples, and his editorial interests through Matters Journal
  • Laura & Megan: Personal Politics

    Australians Laura Castagnini and Megan Wong moved to London four years ago to pursue their passions: contemporary art and political activism. Between feminist art history and human rights law, this is a couple whose shared life is dedicated to shifting culture. We visit their home in Camberwell, close to radical art spaces, farmers' markets and tiny green parks
  • What Does it Take to Unbuild a Wall?

    At the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, no less than three national pavilions examine the walls around nation-states. How complicit is architecture in separating us from each other? Our resident wall critic Amelyn Ng reflects on the architecture of isolationism, and the geopolitics of walls