The Melbourne Design Fair to break new ground in contemporary design

Feb 4, 2022
  • Article by Charlotte Huston

Presented as part of Melbourne Design Week, the inaugural Melbourne Design Fair is a commercial showcase of limited edition, rare and one-of-a-kind collectible designs by Australian creatives.

From 16 to 20 March, the fair will feature collectible contemporary design works across two platforms, with all works available for purchase.

JamFactory. Calum Hurley, Dining Chair 2020. Photo: Dean Toepher.

In the first platform – PRESENT – leading galleries and design agencies will supply pieces from their collections.

For the other – SELECT – NGV curator Simone LeAmon has compiled an exhibition of works from more than 35 of Australia’s best emerging and established designers.

“Collectible contemporary design is cultural production reflecting our time, offering alternative points of view, commentary or insights into the design, and the making of objects anchored to function and the rituals of everyday life,” LeAmon says of both PRESENT and SELECT.

“Audiences will find prototypes, limited edition, limited serial production and one-of-a-kind, works on offer. It’s an event not to be missed.”

Christopher Boots cabinet.

The inaugural Melbourne Design Fair will also include a program of talks and conversations with exhibiting designers, curators and critics exploring the contemporary collectible design scene in Australia and beyond.

NGV director Tony Ellwood says the fair builds on the NGV’s “longstanding commitment to the local design sector and its practitioners.

“This is a new and innovative opportunity to showcase the extraordinary work of our talented designers, galleries and studios.

“It’s also a unique proposition in Australia and proudly positions design as an integral part of the artistic and fiscal vitality of our creative industries.”

Pirjo Haikola with Urchin Corals 2020-2021 on display in Sampling the Future from 5 November 2021 to 6 February 2022 at The Ian Potter Centre. Photo: Eugen Hyland.

Some notable participants in this year’s PRESENT platform include Sullivan+Strumpf, Christoper Boots, JamFactory and Craft.

While at SELECT, you can catch furniture and object designer Dale Hardiman, RMIT researcher and designer Pirjo Haikola and artist Anna Varendoff.

Part Chandeiler by Dale Hardiman. Photo: André Piguet.

Tickets for the Melbourne Design Fair go on sale on 7 February with a limited capacity. The event itself will run in Abbotsford from 16 to 20 March.

Stay up-to-date by checking out the Melbourne Design Week website and by joining the waitlist.

Lead image from JamFactory, Ayano Yoshizumi, ICON#2010 (series) 2020. Photography: Josh Geelan.

Also, check out our itinerary for the upcoming DENFAIR and Interiors Australia exhibition.

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