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Melbourne Design Week 2023 promises another exciting year of design excellence

Melbourne Design Week 2023 promises another exciting year of design excellence


Australia’s largest annual international design event is from 18 to 28 May at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), where patrons will engage with innovative projects that reflect the diversity of Australian design and architecture. 

Presented by Creative Victoria and the NGV, the Melbourne Design Week has just begun its seventh year. The event continues to provide a crucial platform for Australian designers and architects to showcase their talent through exhibitions, films, tours, and workshops across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Patrons can expect a bigger and better 2023 Design Week, with this year’s theme of ‘Design the World You Want’ delivering three new pillars to encourage contemplation and interrogation: transparency, currency and legacy.

NGV director Tony Ellwood AM speaks of the essential role the event plays in celebrating multidisciplinary design excellence. 

“Melbourne Design Week platforms innovation across the industry – collectible design to food technology, sustainable material exploration and the medical field,” says Ellwood.

Collingwood Yards designed by Fieldwork Image: Tom Ross

Programs on offer include HARD, an exhibition displaying the work of queer creatives from across Australia presented by Calum Hurley, and Monash Architecture’s Design, Unbuild: Autumn Room, a temporary installation at Collingwood Yards harnessing the courtyard’s plane trees in various states of autumn defoliation. 

Tait, Agency and Numbulwar Numburindi Arts collaborate to launch Numbulwar pop-up studio and exhibition, a reinterpretation of Tait’s renowned Tidal chair using ghost fishing nets sourced from the shores of the remote Numbulwar community.

Artists weaving on the beach. Ghost Nets by Agency Projects and Tait. Image courtesy of Numbulwar Numburindi Arts

Galleries and design curators are also included in the hotly anticipated lineup – Fitzroy-based OIGALL PROJECTS displays a group show featuring 10 Australian designers such as Volker Haug and Olivia Bossy, and Kirby Clark’s design of the art installation Symphonic Skateboarding, explores the subtle artistic beauty of skateboarding.

Local and international designers such as APATO, Castorina & Co, Domestic Fantasies, Modern Times and Open Room will be represented at various brands and showrooms. 

Melbourne Art Book Fair 2022 in the NGV Great Hall. Photo: Tobias Titz

The heart of the design week, the Melbourne Design Fair, will run at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 18 to 21 May. The Melbourne Art Book Fair is also set to celebrate some of the world’s most acclaimed publications at the Stallholder Fair in the NGV’s International Great Hall. 

Melburnians and the like can also attend the second edition of the Melbourne Now exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. This exhibition unveils the work of more than 200 Victorian designers and artists. 

Featured Image: Installation view of Design Wall on display as part of the Melbourne Now exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March–20 August 2023. Image: Peter Bennetts

If you’re keen to check out more exhibitions in Melbourne, see the upcoming NGV Winter Masterpieces.


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