The standard tradeshow is generally known for its product “show and tell” style experience. Brand ambassadors man their booths in matching uniforms along the generic, linear, shopping-isle type layouts. There’s brochures and, well… that’s about it. Well, Indesign: The Event Melbourne was certainly no trade show. Why? Put quite simply: Knowledge Sharing.
August 28th, 2014
The most important distinction here is the exchange of ideas, a space where the local industry can come together to talk shop and discuss experimental ideas including: key commercial projects such as 8 Chifley Square as was with Indesign In Discussion; the contradiction of the individual in designing multi-residential developments discussed at this years LiveLife series; what we are losing and what we are gaining across all design disciplines with ‘adaptive practice’ which was the topic of this years DQ Round Table; and the practice of challenging the cultural norm as part of the inaugural LightCycle exhibition introduced to the fold this year.
What became very obvious at this years’ Melbourne Indesign was that unlike its Sydney counterparts, Melbournites are all too keen on having a bit of an industry chinwag. The city’s design community seemed far more receptive and open to discussion when it came to talking about the things that matter to us, with almost no caginess, reluctance or press releases; just down to brass tax.
While the official Melbourne Indesign body hosted a number of speaker series events (Indesign in Discussion, LiveLife and DQ Round Table), exhibitors were quick to initiate their very own discussion events, partnering with fellow showrooms, architects, designers and the like to better engage their visitors with knowledge, not product.
Though new releases were certainly an important fixture of this years event, there was an overwhelming emphasis on key ideas and hard-hitting issues such as: the future of the workplace, hosted by Business Interiors by Staples, Australian design perspectives and challenges with CULT’s Adam Goodrum and Sebastian Wrong Q+A and Stylecraft’s Local Talent Time series with key Australian design identities, the Living Office Concept by Herman Miller hosted by international guest Marc Fong, and emerging practice workshops with Greg Natale for Coco Republic – just to name a few.
In a world where we Sydney-siders can, at times, be a bit holier-than-thou when it comes to sharing our knowledge, activity and opinion, I just hope that the Sydney hub can take the exceptional commitment to industry dialogue and community that Melbourne seems to have so down pat.
Photography by: Fiona Susanto Photography
For more coverage of Melbourne Indesign 2014 visit: indesignlive.com/category/articles/in-review/mid-2014
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