The NGV-curated Melbourne Design Week returns for its seventh edition from 18th to 28th May 2023, cementing its reputation as the country’s largest annual international design event and the best place to get your fix of great Australian Design from both emerging and established practitioners. Just in case you need further proof, catch our reviews of the recent editions here, here and here.
Building on the ideas unveiled during previous years, the 2023 edition will continue to explore the theme of ‘Design The World You Want’ with three new pillars introduced—Transparency, Currency, and Legacy. An extensive satellite program of over 250 exhibitions and group shows, alongside talks, films, tours, and workshops will take place across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Thoughtful shows by leading galleries and design curators highlight a diverse pool of Australian talent, and brands and showrooms return with a showcase of local and international designers. Cult Design presents the exhibition of circular design in partnership with Mater, and Fred International unveils The Artist Residence in Collingwood’s historic precinct Foy and Gibson. Curated by NGV and delivered in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation, Melbourne Design Fair makes a comeback, offering the best collectible contemporary design from over 150 Australian designers and makers, with works available to view and purchase. Leading commercial galleries, studios, design organisations and agencies, alongside an NGV-curated exhibition FOCUS, will bring attention to the work of five accomplished Australian female designers and makers.
At NGV International, the Melbourne Art Book Fair will showcase some of the world’s best art publications at the Stallholder Fair. At The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne Now continues highlighting the extraordinary work of more than 200 Victorian-based designers and artists.
Catch Melbourne Design Week Business Forum’s Design Wall Stories on 23rd May, a panel discussion about how Melbourne-based designers, brands, and manufacturers featured in the Design Wall at Melbourne Now are contributing to the dynamic landscape of applied creativity in Melbourne. Over at Euroluce, join industry leaders from ARUP, Woods Bagot, Woven Image, Living Edge and Euroluce as they host a ‘speed panel’ on creating more sustainable outcomes through collaboration.
Phew, we’re exhausted already, and we haven’t even started to get into it. On that note, if you’re looking for the ultimate guide to the Australian design event of the year, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the heavy lifting to bring you some 25 not-to-be-missed shows at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Hit the streets, and support our amazing local design community—we’ll see you there!
This Yellowtrace Promotion is supported by NGV and Melbourne Design Week. Like everything we do, our partner content is carefully curated to maintain the utmost relevance to our audience. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Yellowtrace.
COVE by Tom Fereday and Versa. Image: Sean Fennessey.
Mano by Tom Fereday for Verso. Image: Sevak Babakhani.
Versa by Tom Fereday and Charlie White. Image: Courtesy of the artist.
Presented by Tom Fereday & Charlie White
Developed through a process of independent collaboration, Tom Fereday and Charlie White have sought to create a series of works that explore the turning of end-of-life materials and the challenging of their perceived value. Versa, meaning to be ‘turned’ or ‘changed’ in Latin, is a collaborative series of installations, showcasing a collection of unique furniture and architectural elements tailored to the three spaces of the Meat Market Stables. With a self-imposed constraint to make only one design gesture each per room, works have been conceived as the transformation of a material into an interior element – seat, table, light, roof, wall & floor – and then designed to express a sensory quality – dark, light, soft, warm, sharp and hard. The exhibition runs from the 18-21 May. For more information click here.
Meat Market Stables, 2 Wreckyn St, North Melbourne
Design House presented by OIGÅLL PROJECTS. Image: Annika Kafcaloudis
Presented by OIGÅLL PROJECTS
This group show of 10 Australian-based designers will have new works contextualised within the recently completed restoration of OIGÅLL PROJECTS UPSTAIRS. This domestic setting offers an opportunity to celebrate conceptual design in context — functional art, performing its function. Participating designers include Volker Haug, denHolm, Brud Studia, MMDO, Olivia Bossy and more. The exhibition runs from 25-28 May. For more information click here.
OIGÅLL PROJECTS; UPSTAIRS, Oigall Projects, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
The Silo Project presented by Josee Vesely-Manning. Image: Annika Kafcaloudis. Designers pictured: Pascale Gomes McNabb, Marta Figueiredo, Danielle Brustman and Bolaji Teniola.
The Silo Project presented by Josee Vesely-Manning. Image: Josee Vesely-Manning
The Silo Project
Presented by Josee Vesely-Manning
Housed in a former grain silo in inner city Melbourne, The Silo Project is a group exhibition that responds to the unique site it is housed in and forms an architectural intervention to a now obsolete industrial monolith. Currently, the workshop and atelier for artists Roger Mitchell and Corey Thomas where large-scale commissions for artists such as James Turrell are fabricated. The Silos represent implications of material obsolescence and industrial labour, urban “renewal” and gentrification.
Contributors include: AAO Architecture, Ashisha Cunningham, Billie Civello, Billy Horn, Bolaji Teniola, Corey Thomas, Darcy Jones, Danielle Brustman, Elliot Bastianon, Edward Linacre, Josee Vesely-Manning, Kiki Ando, Marlo Lyda, Marta Figueiredo, Meagan Streader, Pascale Gomes- McNabb, Simon Ancher, Volker Haug. The exhibition runs from 19 – 23 May. For more information click here.
Access via Barrow Place, 45 Gibdon St, Burnley
Monolithic presented by Craft Victoria. Image: Courtesy Two Lines Studio
Presented by Craft Victoria
The work of Geelong-based Two Lines Studio in the solo exhibition is an immersive installation featuring modular furniture pieces alongside sculptural objects. Each piece is carefully crafted out of a passion and appreciation for skilled craftpersonship and influenced by contemporary architectural design. The exhibition runs from 18–27 May. For more information click here.
Craft Victoria, Watson Place, Melbourne
(NO THINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda. Image: Courtesy Marlo Lyda.
(NO THINGS) MATTERS
Presented by Marlo Lyda at the Futures Collective
Prompted by the question ‘What MATTERS to you?’, a notable collection of Australian and international designer-makers have been invited to explore ‘process’ as the key instigator for new design possibilities. Each practitioner’s concept is gradually developed, and the results are presented in 3 exhibitions, spaced over 3 years: (NO THINGS), (SOME THINGS), and (ALL THINGS) MATTERS.
Held at Villa Alba as part of Futures Collective’s contemporary design exhibit the project will run alongside co-participants Innate Collection, YSG x TAPPETI, Eco Outdoor, and Scott Livesey Galleries with the first instalment of MATTERS taking over the ground floor. The exhibition runs from 18 – 24 May. For more information click here.
Villa Alba Museum, 44 Walmer St, Kew
Foreign Dialogues presented by Fin Gallery. Pictured: Joana Schneider’s textile work.
Alicja Strzyzynska’s Living Forms Collection at Fin Gallery.
Jiri Krejcirik’s Nouveau Collection. Image: Taja Spasskova.
Held at FIN gallery’s new location at 437 High Street Prahran, Foreign Dialogues is an exhibition exploring interdisciplinary practices that challenge the idea of design’s perceived currency, or value today. FIN is a new iteration of Melbourne’s well-respected Finkelstein Gallery. The exhibition marks a new direction with a global outlook, showing the work of both artists and collectable design practitioners. The exhibition runs from 24 – 28 May. For more information click here.
FIN Gallery, 437 High Street, Prahran
Gaetano Pesce’s ‘Fish in Australia’ exhibition. Presented by Neon Parc.
Gaetano Pesce ‘Fish in Australia’ at Melbourne Design Fair
Presented by Neon Parc
This two-part exhibition with renowned architect, artist and designer Gaetano Pesce (b. Italy, 1939), is to be premiered at Neon Parc City, between 4–27 May and at the Melbourne Design Fair, 18–21 May.
Pesce emerged from the Italian Radical Design movement of the 1960s—the Florence-based group produced era-defining furnishings and products that looked to youth culture and the personality-driven ethos of the art world at the time. For more information click here.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
TLLh Studio Foli Table, 2022. Image: Courtesy LLh Studio.
Curated by NGV at Melbourne Design Fair
At Melbourne Design Fair the NGV-curated section, titled DISCOVERY, is dedicated to the promotion and sale of work by emerging designers and makers. The show offers collectors, industry and the design-loving public the opportunity to discover and purchase work from a new wave of designers including Alfred Lowe, Annie Paxton, Charlie White, Dalton Stewart, Isaac Chatterton, Julian Leigh May, LLh Studio, Nicole Lawrence, Sabu Studio, Sedni, Two Lines Studio, UnitePlayPerform, and the next generation of talent from the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists. The fair runs from 18 – 21 May. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.