The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Indesign at Melbourne Design Week + our top picks

This year’s Melbourne Design Week is the biggest and most extensive program to date. We pick out some of the highlights, including three events Indesign is proud to be involved in.

Indesign at Melbourne Design Week + our top picks

Mercedes Me cafe, designed by JCB Architects, will be the backdrop for the 'Break the Business Model' talk.

Officially opening on Thursday 14 March, the 2019 Melbourne Design Week program is huge. With symposiums, talks, workshops, exhibitions and events there is literally something to cater to everyone.

The theme this year is also sweeping – pulling together some of the big issues facing the planet today and begging the question, how can design instil change?

With so much on offer, we wanted to pick some of the highlights, including a few talks that the Indesign team is proud to be a part of.


Break the Business Model: Melbourne Design Week at Mercedes me (Presented by Indesign Magazine, Mercedes me Melbourne and NGV)

Indesign magazine editor Alice Blackwood will lead a discussion on unconventional design business models. “We’ll be digging into our speakers’ creative mindsets to explore the pressure points in their respective industries and businesses, and how these have provided an unexpected launch pad for new business/brand strategies and ultimately new models for working,” says Blackwood.

Joining her on the panel will be:

  • Jade Sarita Arnott of fashion label Arnsdorf
  • Byron George, founder of design studio Russell & George
  • Balder Tol, general manager Australia, WeWork

Tuesday 19 March at 6.30pm
Mercedes Me Melbourne
525 Collins St 

Book here

Collectivity Talks: Human-Centered Design (Presented by Communications Collective)

How can design improve outcomes? Can a value be attributed to its final impact? Where does the end user factor in? These are some of the questions that will be answered by a panel of leading design industry experts. For panellist Samantha Simpson from Schiavello: “We focus on the people who are going to be using the space and think about the experiences they are going to have.” Heading up the talk is editor Aleesha Callahan.

Joining the panel will be:

  • Martin Heide, design lead at NH Architecture
  • Samantha Simpson, data analyst from People & Culture Consulting at Schiavello
  • Travis Dean, founder and director at Cantilever
  • Liam Wallis, founder HIP V. HYPE

Wednesday 20 March at 6.15pm
NH Architecture
Level 7 Cannons House
12-20 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Book here

Designing a Better Relationship (Presented by Byzantine x Tsar x Luke)

Bringing together different perspectives, this panel will explore how relationships between designers and suppliers can push for greater experimentation and better outcomes. Indesign magazine editor Alice Blackwood will lead the talk.

Joining the panel will be:

  • Dara Shasaoua, founder of Byzantine Design
  • John Basitras, founder and designer at Luke Furniture
  • David Sharpley, CEO TSAR
  • Manuela Milan, founder Meanwhile in Melbourne, designer at Elenberg Fraser

Thursday 21 March at 6pm
250 High Street

Book here



Toxic City? Symposium (Presented by the NGV, Foreground and The New York Times)

Bringing in international keynotes, this provocative symposium aims to inspire and activate. Cities will need to become more robust and resilient, what can they do to ensure a better future? Join visionary Joost Bakker, Ross Harding (founder of Finding Infinity), Bonnie Herring (director of Breathe Architecture), Professor Sue Anne Ware (head of school architecture and built environment at University of Newcastle) and Craig Reucassel (ABC’s War on Waste).

Tuesday 19 March at 2.30–6pm
NGV International
Great Hall

Book here

Waste Challenge Live Pitch Final (Presented by the NGV)

The shortlist has been announced, and now professionals and students will take on one of the most pressing issues of our time – waste. Be there to see a live pitch in progress with the professional participants kicking it all off at 9am, including Studio Edwards.

Tuesday 19 March, 9am–2pm
NGV International
Great Hall

Book here

Visions of Chinese Urbanism with Jing Liu & Beatrice Leanza (Presented by NGV and the Australian Institute of Architects)

The 21st century has been touted as the Chinese century. China is modernising at a rate hitherto unseen – rapid and on a scale like no other. What does this mean for the nation’s economy, ecology and landscape? Join special international guests – Jing Liu co-founded by SO – IL – Beatrice Leanza is a cultural strategist and design critic based in Beijing. Expect to hear about China’s National New Urbanization Plan, which is an ambitious program, of ‘people-centered urbanisation’.

Monday 18 March, 6pm–8pm
NGV International
Clemenger BBDO Auditorium (enter north entrance, via Arts Centre forecourt)

Book here


This is just a tiny glimpse of the many various events and exhibitions taking place – to plan your Melbourne Design Week, head over to the website now

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed