- Article by Jan Henderson
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Image above, GT2P Image courtesy of GT2P.
Melbourne is again proving itself to be the centre of all things design with the impending extravaganza that will be Melbourne Design Week. This 10-day long program features exhibitions, talks, tours, workshops, parties and other happenings and has been developed by the Departments of Contemporary Design and Architecture and Public Programs at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The event is an initiative from the NGV in collaboration with the Victorian Government and will take place from 16 to 26 March this year. The theme for 2017 is ‘Design Values’ and the event proposes to investigate and question deeper issues, such as ‘what does design value?’ and ‘how do we value design?’
Although the festival was only officially announced a few months ago, the scope and diversity of the program is outstanding with something for every design aficionado. With a variety of happenings in the city and suburbs, Melbourne Design Week promises to be the major highlight of the architecture and design calendar in 2017 and indeed for the following three years, at this stage ending in 2020. With more than 70 individual exhibitions and events, the program is shaping up to be exciting, thought provoking and informative. Below is a small selection of highlights that should be marked as a ‘must visit’ in every diary.
Creating the Contemporary Chair: The Gordon Moffatt Gift at the NGV International
This exhibition is a definitive collection of chairs that have each made their mark in the world of design between the years 1980 and 2016. Curated by the Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the NGV, the exhibition features some 35 works with 10 pieces from Australian designers. The collection is a unique view of a particular moment in time, which has captured style, materiality, era and the particular designer’s perspective. The exhibition features works from Konstantin Grcic, GT2P, Helen Kontouris, Ross Lovegrove, Tor Boontje and Patricia Urquiola, to name but a few.
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
International Design Talk with GT2P (pictured top)
As guests of the 2017 Melbourne Design Week, the team from Great Things to People (GT2P) will be speaking about their practice and work, which explores the gamut of design from architecture and product design to edition pieces and experimental works. The Chilean practice, based in Santiago, is at the forefront of experimental design through the fusion of the exploration of traditional materials and production techniques and future technology.
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Broached Monsters by Trent Jansen presented by Criteria collection and Broached Commissions
From one of Australia’s foremost product designers, Trent Jansen, this limited edition product exhibition will present myth and material innovation at its best. Jansen has taken five years to research and design furniture with the form of two creatures in mind: one the Indigenous Pankalangu and the other the non-Indigenous Hairy Wild Man from Botany Bay.
Criteria Collection, 66 Gwynne Street, Cremorne
This is an exhibition of installations of each of the nine proposed level crossings to be removed by the state government in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. The installation, in the form of an information booth, will become the forum for all stakeholders to offer opinion and enter into discussion on the creation of the elevated train line that traverses different demographics within the control of three councils.
Meeting Hub Bendigo Bank (Murrumbeena)
The House Talks Back: Fooks Exhibition and Open House
Presented by the Robin Boyd Foundation and Melbourne School of Design, this unique event will be presented at the house of émigré architect Dr Ernest Fooks (1906 to 1985) where a curated exhibition of his work and life will be explored.
Former Fooks residence, 32 Howitt Road, Caulfield
Designwork #1 will showcase design as art with works that would normally be seen in the commercial world presented as a curated gallery experience. Designers participating include: Ash Allen, Adam Goodrum, Dale Hardiman, Trent Jansen and Elliat Rich.
Sophie Gannon Gallery, 2 Albert Street, Richmond
Robin Would Have Loved That: Man About The House Show
Tim Ross and musician Kit Warhurst present the premiere of their brand new show fresh from a sellout season at the London Festival of Architecture. The duo will take temporary possession of the Robin Boyd-designed, Walsh Street house in South Yarra, where their offering will include a blend of storytelling, music and design in their own inimitable fashion that promises to entertain and inform.
Walsh Street house, 290 Walsh Street, South Yarra
For further information and a complete list of events head to the NGV Melbourne Design Week website.