Melbourne Design Week 2019

Australia’s leading annual international design event, Melbourne Design Week, will present its largest program to date, with more than 200 events including 47 exhibitions, 14 film screenings, 77 talks, 22 tours and 18 workshops across Melbourne and – for the very first time – Geelong  from 14 – 24 March 2019. Celebrating the best of local, national and international design, the expanding, state-wide festival is an initiative of the Victorian Government presented by Creative Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria.

‘Melbourne Design Week was established to shine a light on our local design community, explore the role design plays in everyday life, and showcase the ways design is helping to tackle the challenges of the future. With events across Melbourne and Geelong, Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design, this is our biggest design week to date and an extraordinary demonstration of the breadth and impact of design,’ says Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley.

From Yarra River boat tours showcasing long-held aspirations for Melbourne’s waterways, to keynote addresses from major international speakers, including internationally renowned Turkish-born digital media artist Refik Anadol, British design and architecture critic Oliver Wainwright and Jing Liu, an architect, educator and co-founder of the award-winning design firm SO-IL in New York City, the diverse program explores the central theme of Design Experiments, which asks the question ‘How can design shape the future?’.

Melbourne Design Week 2019

Highlights from Melbourne Design Week 2019 include:

REFIK ANADOL: IN THE MIND’S EYE: A major keynote address by LA-based media artist Refik Anadol who is best known for creating visually stunning and immersive digital experiences using advanced methods of visual design, data compression, algorithmic processing and machine learning. In this talk, presented exclusively by Telstra and the NGV, Anadol will examine how machine intelligence is reshaping the world around him.


WATERFRONT: For 2019, Melbourne Design Week celebrates the Birrarung (Yarra River) and asks Melbournians to reconsider and reconnect with the river that runs through this city. Offering unique experiences and insights into this winding watercourse, Open House Melbourne presents Waterfront – a program of conversations, boat tours and special events that deep dive into the role design plays in reframing Melbourne’s relationship with water.


VICTORIAN DESIGN CHALLENGE: WASTE CHALLENGE LIVE PITCH FINAL: The Victorian Design Challenge invites design professionals and students to tackle one of the great challenges of our time – waste. The Challenge aims to inspire impactful and implementable solutions that demonstrate the value of design and creativity to the creation of a better future. Craig Reucassel from ABC’s War on Waste leads this year’s Challenge jury that will determine who will be crowned Waste Challenge Champions.


WELCOME TO WASTELAND: Plates made from lettuce, jewellery boxes from blood or furniture made from coffee? Welcome to Wasteland is an exhibition that asks if you can see these items, created from everyday waste, in your everyday life. Contributors include: Ash Allen; Jonathan Ben-Tovim; Christopher Boots; Sarah Ceravolo; Adam Cornish; Thomas Coward and Nick Rennie; Ben Edwards; Tom Fereday and Ryan McGoldrick; Adam Markovitz; Liane Rossler and Kate Dunn; Maddison Ryder; Andrew Simpson; U-P; Anna Varendorff; Kristen Wang and many more.


DESIGNWORK 03: THE SUPPLY CHAIN: This exhibition asksWhere do the materials of design come from? Curated by Guy Keulemans, Designwork 03: The Supply Chainbrings together leading Australian experimental designers to question the dominant approach to material expression, demonstrating the capacities of creative disruption within contemporary supply chains, both local and global. This is the third exhibition in an ongoing series dedicated to presenting the best contemporary Australian design at Sophie Gannon Gallery.

Melbourne Design Week 2019

JOHN WARDLE ARCHITECTS: SOMEWHERE OTHER: Somewhere Other, an immersive installation first presented for the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2018, invites visitors to NGV Australia to look through a series of portals that will transport them to different spaces and places, to frame views and establish connections between buildings and their context.



Responding to the 2019 Melbourne Design Week theme of Design Experiments, this series of thought-provoking evening talks explores design from different perspectives – set within the award-winning interior of the Mercedes me store.

Presented with Indesign Magazine, the Australian Institute of Architects, Neil Hugh Office, Mercedes me Melbourne and curated by the NGV, this series features speakers such as International guest Matthew van der Ploeg (USA / Switzerland), winner of the Golden Lion at the 2018 International Architecture Biennale of Venice, as well as visiting and local design and architecture practitioners, journalists and curators.

Melbourne Design Week 2019

MELBOURNE ART BOOK FAIR: Returning for its fifth year, the annual Melbourne Art Book Fair, will host an array of industry talks from eminent international and Australian guests, including Brooklyn-based creative studio Tunica and Berlin-based magazine publisher Girls Like Us. The three-day fair celebrates local and international publishing, inviting guests to enjoy keynote lectures, workshops, a full-day symposium as well as a marketplace of art displays and bookstalls showcasing the best art, design, architecture and fashion publishers worldwide. The $15,000 Cornish Family Prize Art and Design Publishing, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, will also be awarded at the Fair.

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