Melbourne Design Week 2021 Expressions of Interest Now Open

Words by Rose Onans
METAHAVEN: FIELD REPORT, Presented by RMIT Design Hub Gallery and Melbourne Art Book Fair. Metahaven, Eurasia (Questions on Happiness), 2018. Installation view at Institute for Contemporary Arts, London, 2018. Photo: Mark Blower

Expressions of interest are now open for Melbourne Design Week, Australia’s premier event showcasing local and international design, which returns in 2021 with a Victoria-wide program of talks, tours, workshops, launches and exhibitions that will take place over an 11-day period.

2021 will see Melbourne Design Week explore the theme ‘Design the world you want’, considering how the design community together can play a role in creating a healthier future for the planet and its inhabitants. In line with the program’s multidisciplinary and diverse approach, expressions of interest for the 2021 program are open to a wide range of practitioners, including designers, galleries, educators, innovators and industry.

SHOP 4, Presented by Fiona Lynch. Image caption: © Sharyn Cairns
MONOLITH, Presented by James Howe, © James Howe. Photo Peter Ryle.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: “Melbourne Design Week has earned its reputation as an internationally renowned platform for Australian design and innovation. This initiative is a celebration of our thriving industry, but also an opportunity for practitioners and visitors alike to encounter and discuss work at the vanguard of design practice world-wide.”

The Victorian Design Challenge will returns for the 2021 program, offering a share of over $25,000 in prizes for student and professional designers to develop inventive solutions to the 2021 brief of making more age-friendly communities. Another highlight will be an expanded satellite program in regional Victoria. Working alongside Open House Melbourne, the Melbourne Design Week will build on the previous success of the regional program in Geelong, which catalysed Geelong Design Week.

ATMOSPHERE: A REVIVAL, presented by Studio Rain. Photo: Clément Guillaume.
Danielle Brustman, Designwork 04: Chromatic Fantastic, 2019, image courtesy of the artist and Sophie Gannon Gallery. Photo by Jonathon Griggs.
MONOLITH, Presented by James Howe, © James Howe. Photo Peter Ryle.

The Melbourne Design Week Film Festival, curated by Richard Sawada, will return to to Melbourne’s cinemas and public screens, and Melbourne’s leading galleries, including Tolarno and Sophie Gannon Gallery, will host exhibitions of some of Australia’s most innovative designers. The NGV Triennial, a major celebration of contemporary art and design practice presented by the National Gallery of Victoria, will welcome international guests, including some of the world’s leading architects, designers and thinkers, to present keynote talks and conversations.

Melbourne Design Week will run Victoria-wide from Friday 26 March – Monday 5 April 2021. Expressions of Interest to participate in the 2021 program will be open from Friday 4 September – Friday 9 October 2020. For further information please visit the NGV website: