Melbourne Design Week 2019 – 6 Must-Sees

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This year’s Melbourne Design Week offers a thought-provoking mix of exhibitions, talks and tours. Take a peek…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

2019’s Melbourne Design Week features more than 200 exhibitions, talks, tours, films and workshops, with events across town and in neighbouring city Geelong. Running from 14 to 24 March, Melbourne’s largest festival programme to date celebrates both local and international talent, with the core theme of ‘Design Experiments’ – asking how design can shape the future. A mix of ticketed and free activities embrace diverse challenges from the environment to social issues and materials. This year’s festival wraps up on Sunday, but many of the inspiring shows continue beyond the weekend. Here are six of our top FizzPicks…

‘SOMEWHERE OTHER’: JOHN WARDLE ARCHITECTS
Ground Level/Foyer, NGV Australia, Federation Square
Until 28 July (10am-5pm, free)

Visitors are invited to peek through five portals within timber and steel structure ‘Somewhere Other’, a compact, interactive experience by Melbourne practice John Wardle Architects. At NGV Australia until late July, this intriguing installation was first shown as part of 2018’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale (pictured, top and above). Each of the wooden volumes, voids and apertures in its interconnected series frames views of the studio’s projects, the Australian landscape or the craft of collaborators including artist Natasha Johns-Messenger and filmmakers Coco and Maximilian.

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‘NEW VOLUMES BY ARTEDOMUS’: AN INSTALLATION BY FIONA LYNCH AND THOMAS COWARD
TDF Gallery, 14 Little Oxford Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

We’re big fans of Artedomus’s ‘New Volumes’ collection, which showcases solid marble homewares by eight Australian designers. This Collingwood exhibition, curated by interior designer Fiona Lynch and designer Thomas Coward, represents the range in an installation that follows the journey of this sculptural material from the ‘ground to the house’, contrasted with a series of chunky marble plinths.

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‘MATERIAL THOUGHT’
Modern Times, 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Presented by Fitzroy interiors store Modern Times, group exhibition ‘Material Thought’ explores material through the work of innovative Australian designers. On show are furniture, lighting and objects by nine top talents, including Henry Wilson (‘Stone Surface Sconce’, in Calacatta Marble, above), Coco Flip and Christopher Boots, all illuminating themes of design experimentation and sustainability.

’CLEMENT MEADMORE: THE ART OF MID-CENTURY DESIGN’
Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Swanston Street
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

Fans of modernism will enjoy exhibition ‘Clement Meadmore: The art of mid-century design’, a homage to the acclaimed Australian talent. The first major survey of Meadmore’s industrial design practice, it explores the inspirations that shaped the renowned sculptor’s early career as a designer. Part of a new wave of Australian design in the Fifties and Sixties, Meadmore championed streamlined forms, fresh materials and new manufacturing processes. His furniture and lighting appeared in the houses of iconic architect Robin Boyd, with well known designs such as his 1951 corded dining chair on view at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

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‘WELCOME TO WASTELAND’
Compound Interest, 15-25 Keele Street, Collingwood
Until 24 March (11am-5pm, free)

Presented by Friends & Associates, ‘Welcome to Wasteland’ shares the work of cutting-edge local talents involved with sustainable design. Featuring architects, industrial designers, furniture makers and researchers, the show explores the potential of waste materials recycled into fresh, eco-friendly products. Typically innovative is Vert Design’s ‘HuskeeCup’ made from coffee husk waste, their collaboration with Spark & Burnish to craft ‘Marine Debris Bakelite Door Knobs’, and Maddison Ryder’s use of discarded Iceberg lettuce to form ‘Lettuce Eat’ disposable plates. Other materials in the mix include waste glass, ceramic, plastic, oyster shells, rubber bands, paper pulp, denim jeans, pigs’ blood and even golf balls!

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WORK SHOP: FIONA LYNCH
7 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood
Until 24 March (see link for times, free)

A curatorial showcase of experimental design, fine art and objects, interior designer Fiona Lynch’s new permanent gallery Work Shop aims to celebrate work by Australian and international designers and artists, as well as doubling as a testing ground for her own studio’s practice. For Melbourne Design Week, the debut show curates a selection of pieces examining the tension between resolved and incomplete elements, including ceramics by Olivia Walker (black porcelain collapsed vessel, above), burnt wood bowls by Makiko Ryujin, paintings by Jiaxin Nong and lighting design by Mary Wallis.

www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbourne-design-week
Melbourne Design Week 2019 runs until Sunday 24 March at venues across the city and Geelong

Melbourne Design Week 2017

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5 Top Tips for Melbourne Design Week

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

'What does design value, and how do we value design?' The inaugural Melbourne Design Week, running until 26 March 2017, tackles this topical question, with more than 100 citywide exhibitions, launches, workshops, tours and talks showcasing local and international talent. The first of four planned annual design weeks for the city, the 10-day festival is an initiative of the Victorian government curated by the National Gallery of Victoria, spanning iconic chairs, high-density apartments and indigenous design. Here are my five top FizzPicks...

ABOVE: Collingwood's 'Watchmaker' exhibition space, including surreal mirrored installations by Folk Architects, for Melbourne Design Week

CREATING THE CONTEMPORARY CHAIR

NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Until Sunday 26 March
Discover 35 inspiring seats at 'Creating the Contemporary Chair', spanning from 1980 to 2016, including designs by major names Tord Boontje, Konstantin Grcic and Patricia Urquiola. All recent NGV acquisitions, they include a stool coated in volcanic rock and a suspended chair resembling a killer whale.

ABOVE: Installation view of 'Creating the Contemporary Chair', The Gordon Moffatt Gift, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, including Jacopo Foggini's LED-lit 'Alice' armchair for Edra


WATCHMAKER


Piccolina Gelateria, 296 Smith Street, Collingwood
Until Sunday 26 March

A derelict historic Collingwood watchmaker's shop gets a minimal mirrored makeover by local studio Folk Architects in pop-up satellite space 'Watchmaker', which hosts six shows. Friends & Associates invites 26 Australian designers – including Tomek Archer, Tom Fereday and Ross Gardam – to reconfigure replicas of Jasper Morrison's oft-copied 'Hal' chair for Vitra in '26 Original Fakes', celebrating authenticity in a murky world of fakes. Hub Furniture's Jaci Foti-Lowe curates 'The Found Object', sharing inspirational pieces collected by Melbourne creatives.

In 'Undervalued' Australian designer Nick Rennie champions beautiful, useful designs costing up to $2, £2 or ¥2. Egg forms are explored in 'Ovoid', fine-art photos shot by Nick Horan. Interactive installation 'Apparatus 4' by 227768c is animated by an algorithm which causes its inflatable surface to undulate. Short film 'Untitled (with Gelato)', by Coco and Maximilian, looks at the design arc of relationships.

ABOVE: Converted store space 'Watchmaker', including Smith Street exterior; and installation views of '26 Original Fakes', presented by Friends & Associates, which riffs on replica chairs; Hub Furniture's curated exhibition 'The Found Object' showcasing creative collections; Nick Horan's 'Ovoid' egg photos; and interactive blue floor surface 'Apparatus 4' by 227768c


MODERN FORMS

NGV Design Store, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Until Sunday 26 March

From Brutalist Polish churches to Oscar Niemeyer's uncompleted designs for Lebanon's International Fairgrounds (interrupted by civil war), 'Modern Forms' recalls the architecture of post-war modernism. Warsaw-based Nicolas Grospierre's shots capture the sculptural, geometric nature of these unfamiliar works.

ABOVE: Nicolas Grospierre's photos for 'Modern Forms' include this 2012 shot of 'Bus Stop #4, Crimea, Ukraine' reflecting Soviet architecture


DESIGNWORK 01

Sophie Gannon Gallery, 2 Albert Street, Richmond
Until Saturday 25 March
Sophie Gannon Gallery presents contemporary Australian design at 'Designwork 01'. The sleek space showcases 10 designers, including Trent Jansen's sculptural Indian-inspired stools and vessels, David Mutch's acrylic leaning lamps, Ash Allen's recycled cork and tyre stools, and Dale Hardiman's 'Wood Is Made From Trees' customised timber IKEA 'Frost' stools, clad with native paperbark used by the indigenous Wurundjeri.

ABOVE: Ash Allen's ceramic 2013 'Dollop' pendant lights part of group show 'Designwork 01' at Sophie Gannon Gallery


VICTORIA TASMANIA GRADUATE OF THE YEAR AWARD 2016

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Brickworks, 490 Swan Street, Richmond
Saturday 25 March

Catch the work of local young designers from two states at the Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year Award 2016, presented by the Design Institute of Australia, which features furniture, industrial and interior design, as well as visual communications, textiles, fashion and jewellery.
ngv.vic.gov.au

ABOVE: Next-gen design talent on display at the Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year Award
Pictures: Tobias Titz, Wayne Taylor, Jeremy Dillon