Crafts, Crossovers and Collaborations. Presented by JamFactory @jamfactoryau
Photo – Tobias Titz

Melbourne Design Week (MDW) is an annual 11-day program of talks, tours, exhibitions and workshops that celebrate and interrogate design through its varied disciplines, including: communication design, industrial design, service design, gaming, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, fashion, craft and functional art. MDW is an opportunity for people within these disciplines — including designers, educators, thinkers and businesses — to come together to share ideas, show and sell new work and consider how design can be used as a force for good in an increasingly complex and precarious world.

2022 Theme

In 2021, Melbourne Design Week explored the theme ‘Design the world you want’ and asked designers to consider how they could collaborate to create a better and healthier future. In 2022, the program continues with this call-to-action to celebrate the diverse ways design can work towards this better future. Two pillars – civic good and making good – provide a focused exploration of the main theme.

Civic Good

Design and creativity can transform aspects of society by benefiting everyone rather than individuals. The thematic of ‘civic good’ encourages participants to think beyond the individual, and look to the objects, buildings, designs and services that make people feel part of a community, and importantly, serve the common interest. 

Making Good

The value of a design is not only judged through its functional or aesthetic impact, but also on its environmental and social impact on the planet. Whether digital or physical, handmade or manufactured, service, system or object, making good considers the many ways in which ideas and experiments are realised through the lens of ethical and sustainable practices that rethink design processes, production and materials.

Program Highlights

Melbourne Design Week Award

The Melbourne Design Week Award presented by Mercedes-Benz is an annual prize awarded for an outstanding contribution to Australia’s largest international design event. The winner receives peer recognition among the local and international design community, and a cash prize thanks to Major Partner, Mercedes-Benz.

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Photography by Eugene Hyland

The Australian Furniture Design Award

The National Gallery of Victoria and Stylecraft invites designers, architects and makers to enter the Australian Furniture Design Award 2022 (AFDA). The biennial award celebrates the most interesting furniture and lighting design being created in Australia today, with a particular emphasis on new design ideas, critical and creative thinking, sustainability, material development and research that explores innovative production processes.

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Image – James Walsh, Anthropic bench, 2020. Image courtesy of James Walsh

Design Broadcasters

Are you interested in how design shapes the world, and then telling people about it? Design Broadcasters is a Melbourne Design Week program that promotes design writing and criticism through commissioning writers to visit and write as part of the design festival.

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Photo – Tobias Titz

Melbourne Design Week Film Festival

The Melbourne Design Week Film Festival, curated by Richard Sowada, explores the power of design through storytelling and the moving image. This suite of films project environments, cities, buildings and infrastructures, and the people that design and inhabit them.

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Melbourne Art Book Fair 2022

The Melbourne Art Book Fair is an annual event (since 2015) offering a unique platform that brings together a diverse range of art publishers, artists and designers worldwide. Providing vital links with international fairs in New York, London, Tokyo and Paris, the Melbourne Art Book Fair celebrates Melbourne’s status as one of only eleven UNESCO Cities of Literature in the world.

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Melbourne Art Book Fair 17–27 March 2022 written in red text inside white bubbles on red background

MDW 2021 Videos

Provocation: Redesigning Artificial Intelligence – From Australia Out
Presented by Telstra and NGV
Telstra Creativity and Innovation Series Keynote: Redesigning Artificial Intelligence – From Australia Out
Presented by Telstra and NGV
Forest Dreams: Agnes Denes
Presented by RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design
Tomorrow’s Thoughts, Today’s Possibilities
Presented by The Things We Did Next
Designing With(in) the Mess
Presented by Nina Gibbes, Dennis Grauel, Jane Connory and Issa Assaad
The project was awarded the Australia Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) Victorian Architecture Medal, George Knight Award for Heritage Architecture and Public Architecture Commendation (2020).
Kerstin Thompson Architects: Encompassing People & Place
Presented by RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design and Thames & Hudson
Counterfactual City
Presented by RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design and Cities Cluster
Reactivate the World
Presented by Playable City Melbourne
Frieze x Melbourne Design Week Present Living in Planet City
Presented by Frieze x Melbourne Design Week and Mercedes-Benz
Business and Design Forum: MedTech Futures
Presented by Creative Victoria and NGV
Photo from above of dark green and transparent bioplactic bowl made with red algae polymer, plant-based plasticiser and spirulina microalgae pigment.
The Future of Food
Presented by Melbourne Design Week
The Future of Home
Presented by Alexis Kalagas, Andy Fergus, Katherine Sundermann & Lisa Gerstman
A New Normal
Presented by Finding Infinity
Joost Bakker Keynote: Design the World You Want
Presented by Fed Square
Architecture for Complexity
Presented by Dr Alisa Andrasek and RMIT University
Frieze x Melbourne Design Week present Museums as Agents of Change
Presented by Frieze x Melbourne Design Week
Triennial conversations: Resonant Nature
Presented by NGV
Triennial conversations: Get Real Estate
Presented by NGV
Triennial conversations: JR / Rivers in Decline
Presented by NGV
Triennial conversations: Nature as Collaborator
Presented by NGV
Triennial conversations: Oceans on the Edge
Presented by NGV

MDW 2021 Virtual Exhibitions

A WORLD WE DON’T WANT
Presented by Friends & Associates
PRELIMINARY STRUCTURES
Presented by Eliza Tiernan and Josephine Briginshaw
AFTER HOURS
Presented by Volker Haug Studio
Photo of two medium sized cabinets on a wood workshop bench
BROACHED RECALL
Presented by Broached Commissions and Elton Group
By Product 2021 Exhibition hero image. Random assortment of general waste on a pink ground including orange peel, coffee grounds, paper, plastic, wood chips.
BY-PRODUCT 2021
Presented by E Tū x Ulla
CRAFTS, CROSSOVERS AND COLLABORATIONS
Presented by JamFactory
Photo of 2 blown glass wheel cut vessels
FIREFLOW
Presented by Craft Victoria
WONDERSTRUCK
Presented by One Two One Two
A 'puddle mirror' from Cordon Salon's Volume III exhibition
DESIGNWORK 05: CORDON SALON | VOLUME III
Presented by Sophie Gannon Gallery
By Product 2021 Exhibition hero image. Random assortment of general waste on a pink ground including orange peel, coffee grounds, paper, plastic, wood chips.
BY-PRODUCT 2021: PRESENTED BY E TU x ULLA
FUTURE PROOF: PRESENTED BY NEW ASSEMBLAGE
TRIENNIAL 2020: DESIGNING IN COLLABORATION WITH NATURE
Presented by NGV
TRIENNIAL 2020: DOWNTIME: DAYLIGHT, CANDLELIGHT, MOONLIGHT BY FAYE TOOGOOD
Presented by NGV
TRIENNIAL 2020: PLASTOCENE – MARINE MUTANTS FROM A DISPOSABLE WORLD BY PORKY HEFER
Presented by NGV
TRIENNIAL 2020: BOTANICAL PAVILION BY KENGO KUMA AND GEOFF NEES
Presented by NGV

MDW 2021 Stories

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Why design is diving beneath the waves for answers.

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A New Normal walks the walk as they turn Melbourne into a self-sustaining city.

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LIVING CLOSER TOGETHER: THE FUTURE OF ‘HOME’ IN POST-PANDEMIC MELBOURNE.