This year’s State of Design Festival opened with a bang last Wednesday and what followed was a feast of design for all.
July 21st, 2009
The Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton was abuzz with around 2000 people celebrating the launch of the ten-day State of Design festival. Guests mingled in and around the stalls of Design:Made:Trade before the Victorian Minister for Innovation, Gavin Jennings, officially opened the festival.
Jennings praised the State’s design sector for contributing around $7 billion annually to the economy and employing more than 76,000 individuals, and he believes it has “the potential to grow significantly”.
The jewel in the crown of the festival, however, was with out doubt, the Design Capital talks on Thursday and Friday. The program was well designed around the festival theme, ‘Sampling the Future’, with a number of progressive international speakers.
The ‘business day’ on Thursday welcomed influential business people from both within the design industry and others – including, ‘new age accountant’ Peter Williams who advocated social media and ‘open source’ business development.
For Friday’s ‘design day’, international speakers were invited to speak. Nipa Doshi of Doshi Levien spoke about her unique cross-cultural designs, and the nature of her practice, while David Berman of Berman Communications in Canada asked us to consider our true impact upon the society and environment, encouraging us all to pledge 10% of our professional time to ‘doing good’.
While throughout Melbourne a series of public events have been steadily feeding the masses, with the Design for Everyone program inviting young people to engage with design – like the Paper Plane Academy at the Museum of Melbourne – and opening some of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings with Melbourne Open House last Sunday.
Despite Australia’s relatively short history, the State of Design Festival continues to cement Melbourne’s status as one of the most ‘design aware’ cities in the world.
Events continue until this Saturday. Visit the website for more information.
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