Melbourne Design Week 2019 – 6 Must-Sees


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


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…

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.


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.


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.

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.


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!


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.
Melbourne Design Week 2019 runs until Sunday 24 March at venues across the city and Geelong

Open House Melbourne

Open House Melbourne kicks off this weekend, offering you the keys to the city’s most intriguing places and spaces


Annual architecture weekender Open House Melbourne is on this Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 July, unlocking the doors of more than 140 unusual historic and contemporary buildings to the public. Many of these iconic Melbourne spots are normally off limits, so grab your chance to take a sneak peek inside.

The roll call of 2016 buildings open for inspection includes covetable private houses, creative studios and offices, sports facilities and synagogues, upscale shopping malls and electricity sub stations. State buildings, banks and court houses make the cut, and you can even check out a circus, a seafarers' mission and a meat market. A tram depot and Port of Melbourne boat tours will appeal to transport fiends.

Founded in 2008, this popular free festival attracts queues around town to check out the city’s best design and architecture, but you can track the least crowded times to swing by busy sites on Open House's FacebookInstagram and Twitter feeds. On average visitors take in four to five buildings a day, but plan your route first as not all spaces are open both days or for the same hours, and some require advance registration or even a $5 booking fee so may fill out fast. Most visits are self-guided, but there are some pre-reserved tours due to space limitations. If you're too late to book, you may be able to leave your name on select building door lists.

TOP: It looks like a monster took a bite out of the radical 41X high-rise. Picture: John Gollings
ABOVE: Eco features rule on the verdant roof of Council House 2 – CH2; Signal hosts a youth arts initiative in an old signal switching building; train carriages atop Easey Street's End to End Building in Collingwood

Our wish list this year includes Lyons' eco-conscious high-rise hub 41X at 41 Exhibition Street, developed by the Australian Institute of Architects and boasting a radical, colourful facade. Also on a green tip, we recommend Council House 2 – CH2's verdant rooftop, an office building for council staff packed with eco goodness. For edgier urban sites, head to youth arts centre Signal, which occupies Flinders Street Station's last surviving signal switching box, and ITN ArchitectsEnd to End Building in Collingwood, which houses old train carriages on the roof (one now home to Easey's lofty burger joint).

We also fancy checking out Bates, Smart & McCutcheon’s sleek Orica House, one of the country’s first fully glazed skyscrapers and once its highest; COX Architecture’s futuristic 2010 stadium AAMI Park; and Croxen Ramsay’s new event space Glasshouse in Olympic Park, with interiors by Hecker Guthrie.

ABOVE: The Mad Men guys would feel at home in 1958's modernist 20-storey Orica House (ex ICI House) in East Melbourne; AAMI Park stadium sports a geodesic dome and hosts sports and music events. Its roof design uses 50% less steel than a typical stadium of the same size

We’d also like to take a twirl through the studios of influential local architecture practices Woods Bagot, Six Degrees and John Wardle Architects (which shares its building with printed design and art studio Spacecraft).

On the residential front, there's a choice selection of cutting-edge contemporary homes, including the super-skinny Acute House by OOF! Architecture, although almost all are by pre-booked tour only, so get in quick sticks. For something more unusual, fitness fans should take a gander at the two-level Cycle Collective in Richmond, which sports a coffee cart and Pilates studio downstairs and inspiring spin cycle set-up above.

ABOVE: Events space Glasshouse occupies the 1956 Olympic swimming stadium site; Bates Smart's industrial-chic CBD studio; Six Degrees' Fitzroy studio features cliche-busting colour and stained-glass; Bricktastic Cycle Collective is a sociable retreat for spin classes, Pilates or coffee

Also on offer are events, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, talks and tours, with many extending throughout the year. This weekend you can 'Meet the Young Guns of Melbourne' to refuel over coffee, breakfast or a drink at cafes and bars designed by emerging talent, or join a quirky Rooftop and Landscape Tour. Don't miss new exhibition 'Occupied' at RMIT Design Hub (until 24 September 2016), which looks at housing pressures in our mushrooming metropolises. Access all areas!

Open House Melbourne runs from 10am to 4pm Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 July 2016

The Broadsheet Restaurant

It’s the last weekend for The Broadsheet Restaurant in Melbourne, so get along to Fitzroy before it pops down…


Pop-ups are getting cannier, and The Broadsheet Restaurant in Melbourne is no exception. After a successful eight-week stint, this stylish Fitzroy space runs until 4pm this Sunday, so swing by for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a drink to sample its wares (no bookings 'natch). The all-day diner is the brainchild of savvy city listings and lifestyle website Broadsheet, which covers Melbourne and Sydney. So just why is it a sign of creative pop-ups to come? Here are our five tips for pop-up perfection:

1: Local, not global 
'From the coffee to the cocktails, the fit-out to the furniture and most importantly the menu, The Broadsheet Restaurant represents the best of Melbourne.' Keeping things local keeps things interesting, and it helps that the location – on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy – ticks the on-trend box.

2: Curate
It's all in the edit, and the restaurant represents the best of the city's drinking and dining, from favourite dishes to best-loved coffee brews and creative cocktails. It's a showcase for Melbourne's most cutting-edge café owners, restaurateurs, baristas and mixologists, and a rare chance to see their work curated together for simple sampling. Delicious dishes on offer come from Anada, Auction RoomsCoda, Estelle BistroFive Points Deli, Grain Store, HuxtableThe Kettle Black, Monsieur TruffePhilippa Sibley, Pidapipo, Pierre Roelofs, Tivoli Road Bakery, TONKATop Paddock and The Town Mouse. How does twice-baked Brioche French toast grab you for breakfast, with fennel poached pears and pear and burnt caramel sorbet? A lunch of roasted yellow duck curry with jasmine rice, or a dinner of cider-poached chicken with pickled pumpkin and spiced cauliflower? And who can say no to a dessert of baked chocolate espresso mousse with cardamon cumquats and cookie crumble?

3: Collaborate
A pop-up is only as good as its collaborators. The Broadsheet Restaurant has teamed up with Small Batch to provide the coffee, with a roster of local roasters. Drinks come care of Fitzroy cocktail kings The Everleigh, who launched four classic bottled cocktails – a Negroni, Martini, Manhattan and Old-Fashioned – at the pop-up, while new South Melbourne fine-diner Lûmé's Sally Humble drew up the wine list, starring interesting local bottles and beers. Welcome drinks in the evening are by  2015 World Class Bartender of the Year Jack Sotti.

4: Design
With restaurant and bar interiors at risk of looking increasingly generic, it pays to choose design partners wisely. Branding studio The Company You Keep designed the Broadsheet Restaurant with architects Therefore Studio, a young Fitzroy practice led by Alex Lake (we liked their work on Tall Timber cafe in Prahran). The resulting look is industrial but warm and sensual, with a clean-lined palette of wood, metal and concrete, graphic pendant lights, and fresh colours from white to blue-grey. There's a choice of intimate tables or convivial stools around a central counter (bar snacks are served). DesignFizz favourite Robert Gordon, a Melbourne-based ceramacist known for minimal, modern stoneware pieces, crafted the neutral-hued, tactile crockery. Indoor furniture hails from Dowel Jones, including the timber and tubular steel 'Full Hurdle' chairs and 'Hurdle' high stools. Bold Australian outdoor furniture specialists Tait, which has stores in Melbourne and Sydney, provided kit for the deck.

5: Vibe
An appealing space needs the X-Factor – atmosphere – and it helps that here Gertrude Street's respected Northside Records supplied the tunes to keep the good times rolling. Soothing landscape photos by Melbourne's Brooke Holm adorn the walls and plants are by Glasshaus, whose signature green styling taps into that indoor-outdoor feel. In a dramatic touch, branches are suspended from the ceiling while verdant potted trees dot the space. They look a little like Christmas trees, and at this foodie-friendly pop-up Christmas has definitely come early...

The Broadsheet Restaurant is at 166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, until 4pm Sunday 2 August 2015. Photography by Brook James