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Top program picks for Melbourne Design Week

With a program so huge where do I even start? You may well ask! And we’ve curated a comprehensive list of the our top highlights ahead of Melbourne Design Week. Don’t delay – read now!

Top program picks for Melbourne Design Week

Cult Chairity Project, photography by Fiona Susanto.

Melbourne Design Week (MDW), Australia’s leading annual international design event, returns for its sixth edition from 17-27 March 2022.

This year’s dynamic program will transform Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria with exhibitions, talks, films, tours and workshops – all responding to the theme ‘Design the world you want’.

Here is our round-up of everything you must attend and see!

1. A&A – Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur – in conversation

In this event, Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur will be delving into the process of their recent works. Highlighting concepts and the creative process, these industry-leading designers will talk about the Mother and Child cabinet, which is premiering at MDW, and a recent commission that celebrates 200 years of Louis Vuitton – the Cocotte en Paille or Chatterbox in straw. Read more

Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur in conversation.

2. Collectivity Talks

Collectivity Talks: Art in design panel discussion
A special panel discussion between three industry professionals sharing their unique experiences and perspectives on the world of art creation and curation, while exploring its relationship with architecture and interior design projects. Panelists include Director of Technē Architecture + Interior Design, Nick Travers; Artist, Naomi Troski; and Art Advisor, Sophie Ullin. Presented by Communications Collective, this panel discussion will be moderated by Indesign editor Alice Blackwood. Read more

3. Barbera Studio 2022 BCE – 2022 CE

The objective between Barbera Studio and those 5000 years ago remains the same: creating objects that can survive over thousands of years. This historical design narrative demonstrates the similarity of the practices of sand casting through time, inciting visual representations of the studio’s own selected finished products. Read more

Barbera Studio, photo for Scott Lewis Design.

4. Up to Us: Bringing women together to design the world we want

Asking the question: “What if it was up to us?” dozens of female creatives bring new work and answers. Focusing on historic milestones, this weeklong event targets the impractical to the impossible and shifting these beliefs into creating the world we want. Read more

5. Designing for future workers

With the changing tides coming to modern workplaces, this panel – moderated by Indesign editor Alice Blackwood – unravels the future with the introduction of the upcoming Gen Z and Alpha workforces. As a generation finely tuned to technology, Gray Puksand explores the possibility of these changing dynamics. Read more

Gray Puksand’s workplace project for a government agency, photography by Shannon McGrath.

6. Full Circle – Beginning with the end

Looking from the outside in, Melbourne’s leading architects investigate the role of architecture and design in a circular economy. The questions of where the industry sits and its interweaving connections are asked, and answers to the challenges benefits and opportunities are sure to be found. Read more

7. Debbie Millman: By Design 

Host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters, Debbie Millman brings in design enthusiasts and dabblers to an exclusive lunchtime conversation. Covering her creative path and triumphs, Millman will share secrets on designing the world around you. Read more and book

8. Australian Furniture Design Award Exhibition

Holding the floor for design practitioners, the National Gallery of Victoria and Stylecraft present the Australian Furniture Design Award (AFDA). Shortlisted designers will be exhibited where visitors are invited to see the most celebrated of Australia’s richest furniture design prize. Read more

Shortlisted designer of AFDA awards 2022, Danielle Brustman.

9. Beyond The Selfie 

The role of social media has created a world of infinite landscapes. Cities are redefined between every person and the images they use. This unique panel investigates society’s relationship with our camera, and the role it can play as a tool for future cities. Read more

10. Circularity in the Built Environment

Moderated by Caroline Pidcock, this expert panel of industry leaders explores the redefining practice of circular design. In a changing world, the panel will lay down how they integrate circular design practices from a breadth of scalable, local projects and prototypes to the built environment. Read more and book

11. Futures Collective

An immersive experience for visitors, Future Collective combines championing aspects of sustainable design into an intertwining narrative with exquisite heritage interior and grounds. And at night, Future Collective: After Hours presents Alvaro Catalán de Ocón discussing the Plastics River story, accompanied with personal meet and greets and light refreshments. Read more about Futures Collective here.
For Futures Collective: After Hours, click here.

Plastic Rivers by Álvaro Catalán de Ocón
Plastic Rivers by Álvaro Catalán de Ocón.

12. Design Beyond Earth: Planetarium Show – From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA

Bringing the secrets of spacecraft engineering to Australia, this screening leads visitors through the behind-the-scenes process of design to construction to the rigours of testing, launch, and operations. Read more

13. The Chairity Project 2022 

A charity event living MDW’s theme “design the world you want”, 18 designers of all talents bring together a redesign of the Result Chair, to be sold at auction with all proceedings shared between five charities. The Result Chair will be exhibited at Cult Melbourne and after a five-year hiatus, Cult’s celebrated fundraising event is not to be missed! Read more

Cult Chairity Project 2022, photography by Cathy Marshall
Cult Chairity Project 2022, photography by Cathy Marshall.

14. Materiality and Space for Contemplation

In the rush of MDW, this workshop encourages you to slow down. Led through guided meditation, visitors are guided to appreciate the art of the craft and to immerse themselves through the sensual beauty of natural materials. Read more

15. What is Black Design?

A conversation panel discussing the history, nuances, concepts and realities of Blak Design today, this talk will be lead by Tom Mosby alongside significant First Nations designers, creatives and industry experts. Read more

16. Second Life #2

Eugenie Kawabata’s Second Life #2 is an installation in collaboration with Mondopiero. It investigates the end-of-life potential of upholstery waste, as it is reborn and reimagined with new vitality and vigour, where colour and form collide. Read more

Eugenie Kawabata x Mondopiero exhibition. Photo by Adrian Lander.

17. After Hours by Volker Haug

Running for the second year, After Hours is an exhibition of side projects: the work we do when we’re not ‘at work’, pulling together an impressive list of architects, designers and creatives to showcase their other kind of work. Read more

18. Creative Sheroes: Women Driving Change

‘Creative Sheroes: Women Driving Change’ is a digital anthology of creative women’s stories. It’s an exhibition website showcasing the profiles of women from different backgrounds and creative disciplines – available to view 24-hours a day – putting female voices to the front. Read more

Melbourne Design Week

We think you might like this article about upcoming Sydney event, Saturday Indesign.

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