Design Values

The inaugural Melbourne Design Week, running from 16-26 March, will examine the value of good design and showcase the work of regional and international creatives in a city-wide programme of exhibitions and events. An initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, the 10-day event will be comprised of talks by leading design experts, design-focused shows, tours, panel discussions and industry sessions.

Responding to the provocation: what does design value, and what do we value in design?, the event will feature a pavilion celebrating the history of chair design; a panel discussion interrogating the impact of high density living; and an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and witness the inner workings of 15 Australian institutions and businesses, in a collaboration with Open House Melbourne.

Highlights from the 2017 programme include Creating the Contemporary Chair, a showcase of 35 contemporary chairs including a stool coated in volcanic rock from Chile’s Villarrica volcanos and a suspended chair that resembles a killer whale. All recently acquired by the NGV, the works reveal some of the most inventive Australian and international designers practising today. Elsewhere, 26 Original Fakes explores replica furniture design, which is a booming market in Australia due to limited legal rights for designers to protect their work from imitation. The exhibition will see Australian practitioners reconfigure an imitation copy of Jasper Morrison’s Hal Chair, inviting visitors to re-evaluate the replica.

An additional must-see is the International Design Project: Catenary Pottery Printer which showcases Chilean designers Great Things to People’s (GT2P) pottery-printing installation. The collective’s low-tech resourcefulness uses a fabric sling, suspended at adjustable intervals, to mould liquid clay into vessels. As the ceramic slip drains and dries, one of a kind objects are created. Over the course of Design Week, GT2P will invite local designers and students to create their own custom works.

Alongside these sections, the event will be home to the 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair which will see more than 100 stallholders transform the NGV Great Hall into a vibrant art book market. An opportunity to hear from leading designers and industry representatives will be made available in sessions like High Density Happiness, which sees a panel of Melbourne architects and designers discuss the value of socially and environmentally sustainable apartment design.

Melbourne Design Week 2017, 16-26 March, National Gallery of Victoria and various locations around Melbourne.

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1. Hassell Architects. Open State: Medibank Tour Presented by Open House Melbourne.