Design – Until April 5, Melbourne Design Week 2021, the first design festival following a year of postponements, cancelations and hybrid downsized events, goes on show with more than 300 exhibitions, talks, films, tours and workshops across Victoria and online exploring the theme Design the world you want. We have rounded up 10 highlights in the Australian city.
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Presented by Creative Victoria in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, the festival celebrates Australian design and architecture diversity. Care, Community and Climate are the three thematic pillars. Events under the Care thematic reflect the desire for design processes that consider the emotional needs of others, including other species; Community celebrates collaboration across disciplines, disseminating knowledge and embracing new cultures; Climate examines how designers can mediate the effects of climate change and accelerate the necessary shift to a zero-carbon future.
A New Normal
Curated by Finding Infinity, the A New Normal exhibition featuring fifteen installations by leading Australian architects and designers that challenges Melbourne to become an entirely self-sufficient city by 2030. On show a solar-paneled rooftop pavilion by John Wardle Architects, a bespoke, energy-producing greenhouse designed by Ha Architects and an installation by Foolscap presenting the possibilities for high-speed and electric interstate train systems.
Within empty shopfronts across the City of Yarra, alt.material presents the COMMUNITY exhibition, which features more than 30 designs from Australia, Asia, and Europe that respond to community themes. On show, pieces by leading international designers such as Ron Arad, Amanda Levete, Sam Jacob, Iris van Herpen and Ross Lovegrove, among others.
If we were to leave an object behind for a loved one – what would it look like, and what is the significance of that object; emotional, historical, cultural or otherwise? The Future Inheritance exhibition showcases the works of 20 artists, some of which were specially commissioned for Melbourne Design Week, all exploring the power of objects, the stories they hold and how they transfer ideas and values from one generation to the next. Presented by Marsha Golemac.
The Nature of an Island
James Makin Gallery presents The Nature of an Island, an exhibition of conceptual furniture and works born from an odd collaboration between designer Dale Hardiman and ceramic artist James Lemon. Indeed, the creatives were not allowed to communicate during the process to highlight how a future dominated by individuality could lead. Curated by Laura Kirkham.
At Creo Gallery, The Preliminary Structures contemporary craft exhibition features works by seven contemporary makers and designers experimenting with moulding and casting techniques across ceramic and glass disciplines. The works explore new ideas and concerns and reflect on craft’s complicated relationship to industry, sculpture, design and architecture, challenging preconceived ideas of industrial perfection and replication, and repositioning these preliminary structures for their craftsmanship and artform.
Crafts, Crossovers and Collaborations
Crafts, Crossovers and Collaborations by JamFactory is an exhibition of nine selected artists and designers, including Kristel Britcher and Andrew Carvolth who celebrate materiality and process to tell the stories of human connection and collaboration made possible through the unique networks of JamFactory in Adelaide.
Imagine solving the world’s biggest problems by simply changing the way we live. Greenhouse by Joost Bakker is attempting just that with a self-sustaining, zero-waste, productive house that demonstrates our homes’ potential to provide shelter, produce food, and generate energy. For two months, chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett will live in the house ‘Future Food System’ and attempt to live solely off the food and resources produced by it.
Celebrating Robin Boyd
Leading Australian architect Robin Boyd is celebrated in a series of events, including Fresh Eyes: Reimagining Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street, a photographic exhibition by leading and emerging Melbourne-based photographers that re-interprets Boyd’s iconic Melbourne home.
At the Black Cat Gallery Decadent, a collaboration between Jake Steele and Asha Sym, present Reclaimed, an exhibition that explores a circular garment’s life-cycle: natural fibres, prints inspired by nature, returned to nature. In a world where fashion is used for self-expression, Decadent considers how garments’ production and consumption can be less harmful and more environmentally sustainable.
After Hours presented by Volker Haug Studio is an exhibition that will explore the theme of collaborative design and its ability to bring ideas and people together. Creatives from varying disciplines are given a “room” to exhibit their response to ‘the life of an idea,’ from concept to creation and the collective minds that form it.
- All images and videos: courtesy of Melbourne Design Week 2021 and the exhibitors.