The Next Generation of Design – MSDx Summer 2020 Virtual Exhibition
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Words Aaron Grinter

MSDx is the Melbourne School of Design’s summer exhibition of graduating students’ work, showcasing the talent and innovation of the next generation of designers. This year, the exhibition is going online, giving attendees from around the world unprecedented access to the latest in design thinking through an interactive digital environment.

The virtual exhibition opens on December 10, celebrated by an opening night event featuring live DJ set, concurrent chat rooms, with speeches and commentary from design academics and industry figures. The virtual format of the exhibition allows attendees to explore hundreds of pieces of studio work by graduates across the built environment, on an interactive multimedia platform that includes videos, images, digital models, plans, virtual fly-throughs, renders and artworks.

“We are framing design not simply as a collection of professions, disciplines or techniques, but as a vantage on the world.”

The projects tackle important and relevant issues like climate change, sustainability, affordable design, urban population growth, green cities, accessible design, architecture and infrastructure for remote Indigenous communities, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on city design. The broad scope of the exhibition demonstrates the limitless potential of design. “We are framing design not simply as a collection of professions, disciplines or techniques, but as a vantage on the world from which things can be seen and achieved,” explains Melbourne School of Design Director, Professor Alan Pert.

The graduating students’ exhibition has been an institution for the Australian design community – as well as giving students a platform to showcase their work, it connects the next generation of design professionals with industry leaders in design, the environment, technology, architecture, and art, producing some of Australia’s most innovative designers. As such, the decision to move online was a difficult but necessary one, Professor Hélène Frichot, of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, the University of Melbourne explains: “The current pandemic has produced many challenges, one of the greatest being how we can gather together to celebrate the successes of our school. MSDx meets this challenge by creating a virtual forum where we can view the work of our students and colleagues and continue to learn from each other and support each other.”

Demonstrating the creativity and resilience of design, the move online is more than just a response to a global pandemic, it represents the evolution of design into more accessible and inclusive digital platforms: “MSDx 2020 is going to be a big experiment in which we’ll discover what it means to present our collective work in a virtual environment,” emphasises Professor Julie Willis, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. “MSDx is a key way of demonstrating new ways of thinking and doing in the built environment professions.”

Not to be missed is the opening night event 6pm-10pm Thursday 10 December via Zoom. Click here to register for the event. The Exhibition runs from 10December until 31 March 2021.

Published 9 December, 2020
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