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

New Designers 2016

The best of this year's UK design graduates are to be found at the annual New Designers show in Islington, London, which kicks off today...


It’s that time of year when design colleges across the UK wave goodbye to the students they’ve taught for the last two or three years and unleash them on the world at large. The annual New Designers exhibition at London's Business Design Centre in Islington is where you’ll see the largest gathering of design graduates from different colleges under one roof – ideal for spotting talent or unearthing new makers for future commissions.

Split into two, Part 1 (29 June-2 July) showcases Textiles and Fashion, Costume Design, Jewellery and Precious Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass, and Contemporary Design Crafts, while Part 2 (6-9 July) concentrates on Furniture, Product and Industrial Design, Illustration, Animation, Motion and Digital Arts, Spatial Design and Graphic Design.

Both shows bring back selected graduates from the year before to exhibit in One Year On, a special section devoted to designers in their first year of business. Curated by jeweller and photographer Rheanna Lingham, it’s a chance to buy products directly from these new creatives and to see how they've flourished since graduating.

ABOVE: Sarah Christensen's 'Foya' sideboard is inspired by the flamboyant linings of jackets
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Sunglasses' illustration by Ana Jaks
BELOW: Rosamund Hanny's 'Wings and Feathers' textiles incorporate hand and digital embroidery, sublimation printing and exhaust dyeing

This year the Fizz is looking forward to seeing Rosamund Hanny Textiles whose lyrical designs have led to a collaboration with fashion house Paper London, Sarah Christensen’s angular 'Foya' sideboard, and graphic printed vessels by ceramicist Hannah Tounsend who received a ‘John Lewis Loves’ commendation at New Designers 2015. We’ve also got our eye on Ana Jaks, whose colourful illustrations have been commissioned by the Financial Times Magazine, Amelia’s Colouring Book and Yubl, and Corin Kennington whose love of typography has inspired projects for Polpo restaurant and handprinted murals at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.

ABOVE: Hannah Townsend's ceramics feature graphic printed textures and marks; Typographic designer Corin Kennington leaves his mark on the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch and a detail from his typeface 'Lune'

With over 3,000 emerging designers on show, it’s fertile ground for discovering the next Thomas Heatherwick or Jasper Morrison, so keep your eyes peeled as you might just find yourself rubbing shoulders with the design stars of the future...

New Designers Part 1 is on now until 2 July; Part 2 runs from 6 to 9 July 2016. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1. Tickets from £16

Workshopped 2015


The Fizz selects standout talent from Workshopped ’15, Sydney’s inspiring showcase of new designers


One of Australia’s longest running design exhibitions, Workshopped is now in its fifteenth year, and is an influential platform for supporting developing designers. It has shared the work of more than 350 designers over the years, including Viktor Legin, whose slim, steam-bent timber LED ‘Balance’ pendant light won third place at 2015’s Milan’s SaloneSatellite Awards.

A showcase for young and emerging Australian talent, Workshopped ’15 Sydney brought together prototype furniture, accessories and lighting (including Adam Cruickshank’s double-hooped LED ‘Ovalite’ pendant, above) from a brace of new names, curated over two floors at interiors store hub Supa Centa Moore Park. There’s still time tomorrow to catch the show, which features more than 50 industrial and product designers responding to the theme of ‘Design in Architecture’. Alternatively, check out our selection of up-and-coming names below…

Top tables
The small ‘Spade’ side table by Simon Colabufalo offers a serious hit of glossy red, combining oak and clean-lined aluminium, colour-matched with custom-turned bolts. Caren Elliss’s ‘T12’ side table celebrates underappreciated terrazzo, usually seen on flooring, but here a focal point on the table top, offering texture and unique pattern with every piece. Marble’s still on trend for furniture, and Elliss feels Cinderella material terrazzo deserves its hour in the sun. Laser-sintering is explored to futuristic, arty effect in the ‘Evolve’ side table, a collaboration by Michael Shepard and Adam Cruickshank. We like its skinny, see-through form and two-tone black and white base.

Stylish seats and storage
Ben Baker’s ‘Apeiron’ origami-esque stool can stand alone but used in multiples it creates a playful geometry. This shapely little number was inspired by sheet metal and tessellation, and is all about flexible function. Baker’s ash-topped ‘Flow’ bench is supported by a continuous loop of hand-bent steel, a sculptural metal spiral that can be powder-coated in a range of colours. It was originally designed using recycled materials from a skip. Bradley Saywell’s sexy ‘SSCT’ (Saywell Storage Coffee Table) caught our eye, with a sturdy yet lightweight steel skin and solid timber table top. A removable textile liner keeps your treasures in good nick. 

Poised pendant lights
Pairing porcelain edged with hand-woven rush grass, the minimal ‘Tao’ pendant lamps by Helen Chen draw on an almost 300-year-old technique and are made by Taiwanese artisans, yet look completely contemporary. Also riffing on nature, Sebastian Damm’s ‘Alga V2 (Beta)’ pendant was inspired by the molecular structure and bioluminescence of algae. A laser-cut shell is layered over an internal diffuser in amber or purple blown glass. Concrete, steel and copper – three key architectural materials – form the sculptural ‘Saddle’ pendant lights by Seaton Mckeon, which team bold form and texture. By contrast, the handcrafted ‘Lattu’ light by Farzin Adenwalla is inspired by Indian children’s vibrant spinning tops, combining a colourful metal frame with a hand-turned teakwood holder. Crafted by local artisans, each jaunty piece is a one-off, available in plated copper/brass and a choice of yellow, red, blue, cream, black, turquoise or lilac.

Accessories with attitude
It’s time for a new-look wall clock, and the ‘Orbit’ by Dorte Bell and Ian Johnson is happy to oblige. The front face forms the minute hand and the passing hours are marked by a chrome sphere orbiting the face. Appearing to float from the wall, its pure, abstract simplicity is influenced by modern architecture and the way the moon orbits the earth and earth goes round the sun. A design store should snap this up in no time! Inspired by nature, Helen Chen’s ‘Forest of Mirrors’ look like little round trees, and reflect and maximise the light in an interior space. They’re made from glass and marble in three sizes. Taking their cue from seductive Venice, Patty Hava’s ‘Invisible Cities’ candleholders have an elegant architectural feel, with precision-cut marble bases and an upper section in hand-cast, polished bronze. Ideal for canapés, the small ‘Chataku’ ceramic plates by Fukutoshi Ueno and Kenji Uranishi were inspired by traditional Japanese saucers. Crafted from Arita porcelain, their pretty, graphic patterns represent the seasons.

Workshopped ’15 is open daily, 9am -5pm, until Sunday 23 August 2015 at Supa Centa Moore Park, corner of South Dowling Street and Todman and Dacey Avenues, Kensington, Sydney

New Designers 2015 – Part 2

We've been thrilled by Part 1 and can't wait for Part 2 of New Designers 2015, the London show that brings this year's freshest design graduates under one roof. Plus we've got a little something for you too...


If Part 1 of New Designers 2015 is anything to go by, Part 2 is going to wind up the show in style. We've been blown away by the level of talent this year, having seen quite a few 'want it now' pieces with textiles and wallpapers being particularly strong.

Fancy free entry to Part 2 of the show, followed by a three-course meal at Frederick's with champagne, plus a limited-edition bottle of Absolut Vodka? Seriously, what's not to like?
Just answer the question below for the chance to win this Fizztastic prize.

Which young British design star is hidden in the following anagram?
R  O  M  E  O  B  L  E

If you think you know who it is, email your answer to with 'DesignFizz Competition' in the subject field by 30 June 2015. The lucky winner of this incredible prize will be chosen at random on 30 June. See below for terms and conditions. Only UK entrants over 18 can enter.

So we're looking forward to Part 2 (1-4 July) which brings in furniture, product and industrial design, graphics, spatial design, illustration, animation and digital work. Once again One Year On will showcase graduates in their first year of business, some of whom are selling their debut commercially produced collections at the exhibition.

To cap it all, we have a very special competition to win two VIP passes for unlimited entry to Part 2 of the show, plus a three-course dinner at rated Islington restaurant Frederick's with a bottle of champagne, and a limited-edition bottle of Absolut Vodka. See the panel to the right for details then read on for a few of our favourite things in Part 2...

ABOVE: JULIETTE NEVEU L'Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique Juliette Neveu has devised 'Twist:id', an ingenious puzzle that takes the place of passwords for all your internet accounts. Choose a configuration instead of a password, align the vibrant pieces correctly and the Bluetooth Smart chips inside each segment connect to your device to open your corresponding accounts. Passwords could soon be a thing of the past. 


Five Fizzpicks at New Designers Part 2

Beth Lewis-Williams' collection of illustrated lights explores the art of the lithophane, a process dating back to the 1800s which involved pressing images into translucent porcelain that was then backlit to reveal the design. Her mesmerising lamps portray contemporary scenes from Ramsgate beaches to London cityscapes and idyllic pastoral landscapes from a bygone era.

RICH ABRAMS Plymouth College of Art
Rich Abrams' illustration of synchronized swimming at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics makes us giggle. It manages to be witty and representational while also displaying a keen eye for colour and form. His flat almost naive style using subtle textures and muted tones is simple, direct and instantly engaging. Now if only we could remember where we put that swimsuit...

Rugs are like catnip to some designers, allowing them to play with texture, colour and pattern on a large scale. We love Robyn Hinchcliffe's geometric designs that recall the glamorous age of Art Deco. The 'Mohair Dot Carpet' (above) features soft grey ellipses, minty green ribbing and little bursts of orange. If we had one of these it would definitely be 'shoes off!'

MARIE BOURGAT Arts University Bournemouth
Textile designer Marie Bourgat's love of abstract art comes through loud and clear in her theatrical designs. The works of Henri Matisse, Kasimir Malevich and Stuart Davis have all informed Bourgat's compositions which resemble carefully constructed abstract paintings using a variety of techniques including digital fabric printing, freehand brush stokes and laser-cutting.

It happens to us all the time. We've been out and about, taking pictures, texting and Instagramming and before we know it our phone's as dead as a dodo. Frank Milani has designed a sleek answer to this 21st-century problem in the shape of the 'Popcord' charger. It's a clever little device that allows you to plug your phone into any USB socket to charge up. Small enough to fit on your keyring it's a discreet power source that comes into its own at the end of the day.

New Designers 2015 Part 2, 1-4 July 2015. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS Entrants must be 18 or over and reside in the UK. The winner will be selected at random from correct answers emailed to by midday on Tuesday 30 June 2015, and notified the same day. The Editor's decision is final. DesignFizz reserves the right to amend the terms and conditions for this competition at any time without notice. The three-course dinner at Frederick's includes a bottle of champagne, but no other drinks. The prize must be collected from New Designers, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 by 4th July.

New Designers 2015 – Part 1

Thirty years ago, London's New Designers fair launched to create a high-profile platform for UK design graduates to come together and exhibit their work. Soon the cream of this year's crop will share that stage again in search of fame and fortune. Will the next Thomas Heatherwick please stand up... 


DesignFizz readers can purchase day tickets in advance for just £9.50* instead of £15 on the door. Book online now at 
*extra £1.50 booking fee applies per advance ticket. 
Offer expires 19 June 2015

2015 is proving to be a landmark year in the design community. SCP has just turned 30 and marked the occasion with a special show at the Design Museum (see our post) and New Designers, the London exhibition dedicated to showcasing the year's best design graduates, has just reached its 30th birthday too. So there’s bound to be a celebratory mood when Islington's Business Design Centre opens its doors for New Designers 2015, ushering in more than 3,000 young talents over two weeks, and an excited audience of design fans, buyers and media scouts on the lookout for the next big thing. 

Split into two parts, Part 1 (24-27 June) focuses on craft-based design such as ceramics and glass, textiles and fashion, jewellery and precious metalwork, while Part 2 (1-4 July) features furniture, product and industrial design, graphics, illustration and digital design.

One Year On is a specially curated section within each week's show that represents designers who are in their first year of trading and are forging links with industry. Each designer has been specially selected for the quality of their work and their entrepreneurial flair. One Year On is a great chance to see how these rising stars have honed their fledgling business skills and how they’ve developed creatively since graduating.

ABOVE: CHLOE MELLEN One Year On Chloe Mellen's eye-catching and elegant 'Perception of Time' collection of jewellery and accessories is inspired by how the passage of time has affected her life, actions and emotions. Made of copper, brass, leather and Swarovski crystal, these are deeply desirable pieces with bags of chutzpah. Seen above: 'Handheld Monocle'

New Designers 2014 - Credit James Champion (1).JPG

The highly anticipated New Designers Awards will also reward the most Fizztastic students with accolades including the coveted New Designer of the Year Award which is given to the most innovative and skilled graduate in each of the week's shows. Look out for award certificates pinned proudly on the best stands or pick your own favourites.

So, we’ll certainly be raising a glass or two to celebrate 30 years of New Designers, but before we do here's a sneak preview from Part 1…
New Designers 2015 Part 1, 24-27 June; Part 2, 1-4 July. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1

Five Fizzpicks at New Designers Part 1

ANNA TRAINOR Ulster University
Anna Trainor's bold geometric prints simply fizz with energy. Inspired by architectural structures and optical illusions, these vibrant colour fields are digitally translated from hand-dyed and hand-cut paper designs on to silky cotton sateen. Not for the faint-hearted and all the better for it.

These delicate looking crumpled vessels are tougher than they seem. Emily Patricia Wiles has converted the soft folds of fabric into elegiac porcelain sculptures that yearn to be allowed to collapse in on themselves. The sophisticated colour palette of off-white and grey reveals every subtle ripple and crease. Understated and extremely beautiful, we predict they'll be popping up in chichi galleries very soon.

DANIELA EVANS Arts University Bournemouth
There's something of the theatrical about Daniela Evans' work. Her intricate textile designs are inspired by the circus and as such are show-stopping pieces in their own right. Evans uses complex structures and patterns to create striking and elegant pieces that demand attention. We think Gaga should get in touch pronto...

Chloe Mellen 2.jpg

Sofia Dawe's high-octane, pattern-tastic accessories fuse the richness of Persian rugs with the energy of urban street art and graphics. It's a culture clash that works particularly well here as Dawe's keen eye for contrast and colour manages to pull these disparate elements together to create a distinctive range of digitally printed cushions and scarves.

Abbie Chilton, Bath Spa University, '180', 2014, Low Res - ND 2015.jpeg

ABBIE CHILTON Bath Spa University
We love this triangular jigsaw/sculpture by Abbie Chilton. The use of different woods creates a dynamic rhythm across an ordered grid which also employs 3D pyramid shapes to halt the eye and create subtle drama. Angles and triangles hold a particular fascination for Chilton who also channels them into elegant hanging sculptures made from thin steel rods.

New Designers exhibition picture by James Champion