Design has long been heralded as an agent of change. At the centre of this fulcrum of social transformation are the people and ideas of the global design industry.
Each year the very best ideas and innovative concepts are showcased through the Business of Design Week (BODW), held annually in Hong Kong. Since its inception in 2002, the BODW has established itself as Asia’s leading annual event on design, innovation and brands. This year Australian design takes centre stage. For the 2018 event, Melbourne has been granted the honour of acting as the partner city, joining an exclusive list of previous design-centric partner countries and cities. Read on to discover more about the BODW event and what exciting plans Melbourne has in store for the colourful world of design.
There is no denying that the Australian design industry is currently in a period of immense growth and prosperity. Now more than ever, the comparatively small island nation is beginning to gain global recognition in the areas of design, architecture and fashion. The city of Melbourne acts as the perfect representative for Australian design on a global stage. Throughout the 2018 BODW, Melbourne will be given the opportunity to highlight its numerous strengths as a design-centric city under the theme ‘Think – Collaborate – Create’. The Victorian design industry is proud to fly the flag for the Australia and is excited to show the world why it has been labelled as a centre for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the DesignInspire – Melbourne Pavilion and the 2018 Speaker Series, carefully selected representatives from Melbourne will showcase Australia as a global leader in design.
DesignInspire is a major exhibition and trade show that forms a key aspect of the 2018 BODW. The Melbourne Pavilion, as curated by Ewan McEoin and Phip Murray from the NGV Contemporary Design & Architecture team and designed by DesignOffice, will feature over ninety Victorian designers and five universities. The Melbourne Pavilion will be a celebration of design’s influence throughout everyday life. It will encourage industry professionals and the general public to think about shared values, collaborate with Victorian Designers and in the process create a better future for the world within which we live. Iconic Victorian brands like Rip Curl, Holden and Crumpler will be featured alongside established and emerging architectural studios Baracco + Wright, Carr Design and Bates Smart – to name but a few. Ultimately, the exhibition is an opportunity to reveal the ways Victorian designers have contributed to making Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities, while asking the world to consider the universal values of designers as contributors to the creation of better societies, cities, businesses and lives.
The 2018 BODW Speaker Series represents a chance for industry representatives from a large array of backgrounds to provide an in-depth insight into all things related to Victorian design. Twenty speakers from Melbourne, over one third of the total speakers for the exhibition, will take the stage throughout the program. Dr Ken Cato AO, who is the Chairman & Global Creative Director of global branding company Cato Brand Partners, and Tin Nguyen & Edward Cutting from creative practice Tin & Ed, provided their thoughts on the 2018 BODW and Victorian design in general.
“BODW is becoming recognised around the world, and the opportunity to contribute to the growing awareness of design and its role in business is something I’ve always been passionate about”, explains Dr Cato. “To be amongst other professionals who share similar views hopefully will bring consistency to the message and it will allow businesses to be more competitive, helping to differentiate them from their competitors.”
When asked about what the rest of the world can learn from Australian design through the BODW exhibition Dr Cato provided a particularly poignant answer. “A Swiss designer once said to me that the problem with Australian design was that we didn’t know the rules. The other problem he said was that what we did really worked. I think this indicates a sense of freedom to explore new possibilities and create answers to strategic situations. From my own international experience, it’s not just what restraining designers can teach the rest of the world, but rather more importantly what Australian designers can learn from the world”.
“Melbourne is a really special city, we are of course biased because it’s our hometown and we both grew up here.”, states Tin Nguyen & Edward Cutting from Tin & Ed. “Many factors have led to the creation of a very tight but diverse creative community, this has allowed for a cross pollination of disciplines and ideas. For this reason, we think Melbourne is the perfect partner city for the BODW.” Tin & Edward also gave a few hints as to who else we should be looking out for throughout the 2018 Speaker Series. “We are really excited to see Suzanne Santos from Aesop because we love Aesop! Our buddy David Flack, Tony Chambers from Wallpaper, Erik Spiekermann & Sonny Tilders from Creature Technology Cobecause we love dinosaurs!”
Ultimately, the 2018 BODW symbolises Australian design’s true arrival on the world stage. Through the work of Melbourne as partner city the Australian design industry will be provided with an international forum to promote the very best in local design, architecture and fashion. Melbourne welcomes the world to think, collaborate and create with all that Victorian design has to offer.
Discover more about the 2018 Business of Design week by visiting the official website.