Design the World You Want – Melbourne Design Week 2021 Satellite Program Revealed
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Melbourne Design Week returns with a prolific satellite program that celebrates design as an agent of change, reaffirming Melbourne’s status as a powerhouse of design creativity.
This March, Australia’s leading international design event, Melbourne Design Week (26 March – 05 April), returns with its largest satellite program to date. Complementing the soon-to-be announced main program of industry events and public programs held virtually and at the NGV, the satellite program will comprise 11 days of exhibitions, talks, films, tours and workshops across Melbourne and greater Victoria, responding to the theme ‘design the world you want.’
MDW co-curator Timothy Moore explains: “A critical role of design is to imagine and create alternative worlds with inventions, products, services, environments, materials and processes that respond to current issues and improve quality of life. In 2021we’ve asked the design community to ‘design the world they want’, and the breadth and depth of response has been remarkable, particularly given Melbourne was in lockdown for much of last year.”
Exploring three core themes of care, community and climate, Melbourne Design Week’s most noteworthy events include:
A New Normal is a project led by Finding Infinity that challenges Melbourne to become a radically sustainable city, explored through a series of programs and installations. Net Zero Architecture presented by Kennedy Nolan is a pilot project helping to accelerate Greater Melbourne’s transition from a consumer to a producer, considering how to construct profitable buildings and self-sufficient cities. The City After Natural Gas presented by Clare Cousins Architects muses on the future of gas, considering health, supply, the environment and social welfare.
Home Made: Reinventing how we live in Melbourne by Andy Fergus, Alexis Kalagas, Katherine Sundermann and Lisa Gerstman is an examination of housing innovation in Melbourne, including projects by Nightingale Housing, Assemble, Property Collectives, CoDev, Tripple, and the Third Way. Together, these models suggest a more optimistic and inclusive vision of urban living, influencing the next generation of compact living in Melbourne.
Broached Recall presented by Broached Commissions is a collection of furniture pieces crafted by extracting precious timbers from cheap antiques that are undesirable or no longer considered fashionable – a comment on the design industry’s enormous contribution to the economics of extraction and flagrant consumerism.
Architects After Architecture Book Launch by Rory Hyde reframes the architecture discipline as a uniquely versatile way of acting on the world, far beyond that of designing buildings. The book features 40 practitioners who have used their architectural training in new and resourceful ways.
Greenhouse by Joost Bakker is a self-sustaining, zero-waste, productive house located at Federation Square that demonstrates the potential of our homes to provide shelter, produce food and generate energy. For two months chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett have lived in the house ‘Future Food System’ and attempt to live solely off the food and resources produced by it. A keynote on the project also features in the program.
The Business of Sustainable Design: Sussex Taps invites four Australian design leaders to discuss how sustainable practices and initiatives can protect the environment and hold a crucial place in business growth and longevity.
After Hours by Volker Haug Studio is an exhibition of furniture, art, objects and installations reflecting the ‘after hours’ side projects of established multi-disciplinary designers, including ACV Studio, Ritz & Ghougassian, Brahman Perera, Wes Waddell, Marsha Golemac, and Volker Haug.
The Art of Light by Articolo Lighting is a series of immersive light installations exploring the duality of decorative lighting as a functional piece and an art form, including an interactive projection by award-winning Melbourne artist Yadell Walton.
A World We Don’t Want by Friends & Associates presents 14 ideas by leading Australian creatives, speculating on a better future by exploring the opposite: the world we do not want to see eventuate. The exhibition coincides with two adjacent solo shows: Drift by Tom Fereday and A Suggestion of a Possibility by Nat Turnbull.
Designwork 05: Cordon Salon presented by Sophie Gannon Gallery is a solo exhibition of ‘puddle mirrors’ by Melbourne based design studio Cordon Salon. Expanding on the studio’s previous experiments with traditional silvering methods, this body of work is inspired by aura photography and Kate Mitchell’s ‘All Auras Touch’.
Melbourne Design Week’s creative insights are critical in pushing design discourse, giving agency to designers in shaping society, ecology and culture. Ewan McEoin, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture, NGV believes “this democratic access to participation and attendance in the satellite program ensures that MDW has developed an international reputation… encouraging Australia’s design sector to have a sense of their moral responsibility and professional capability to shape the future together.”
After a year of stasis in 2020, Melbourne Design Week’s activation of ateliers, showrooms, galleries and urban spaces comes as a much-anticipated upswing for creatives and the general public. Tony Ellwood AM, Director of National Gallery of Victoria, says: “Design has an important and urgent role to play in improving all facets of life and society – and especially in 2021. The open-access, state-wide satellite program is an exciting and expansive thread of Melbourne Design Week, offering design lovers and industry alike the opportunity to engage with designers, studios and collectives at the vanguard of contemporary practice.”
To explore the full program and register your attendance visit designweek.melbourne. Melbourne Design Week runs from 26 March to 05 April 2021.