(NO THINGS) MATTERS, Villa Alba Museum, MDW 2023: Image by Tess Kelly

(MATTERS) at Villa Alba

Presented by MATTERS


Fri 24 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sat 25 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sat 25 May 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Guided Tour - Sold Out
Sun 26 May 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sun 26 May 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Meet the Designers - Sold Out
Mon 27 May 10:00am - 5:00pm


Free, No Booking Required


Villa Alba Museum
44 Walmer St, Kew VIC 3101, Australia


Seating available

Opening its doors to Melbourne’s premier clash of contemporary design within classical walls at Villa Alba Museum, MATTERS plays host to some of Australia’s most notable and emerging designers, makers, and artists. Witness the museum’s ornate chambers and distinctive living spaces transform into a prolific fusion of materials, concepts, and characters.

Delve into Villa Alba’s rich history as it unfolds under its 2024 tenants, including Tom Fereday, Freeman Gallery, Adam Goodrum, Jon Goulder, Marlo Lyda, Innate Collection, Object Density, Kate Benazi, Studio Tops, Dean Norton, Jordan Fleming, Design by Them with Elliat Rich, Ben Mccarthey, and Zella Casey Brown.

Explore the (SOME THINGS) group exhibition, the second instalment following the 2023 (NO THINGS) showcase, shedding light on the creativity inherent in experimental design processes.

MATTERS celebrates the fusion of enduring vision, collaboration, and process as the driving forces behind design. Join its designers, makers, and artists in reshaping a world of aspirations at Villa Alba.



Tom Fereday, mesmerized by the interplay between natural elements and contemporary design, develops unique creations rooted in honest design principles. With origins in Australia and education in London, Fereday’s journey embodies a deep inquiry into the evolving role of objects in today’s world. His work celebrates the intrinsic beauty of materials and craftsmanship, guiding thoughtful design outcomes that explore the concept of quiet innovation.


Founded by curator Jack Freeman, Freeman Gallery epitomises sophistication in contemporary design. Recognised for his expertise in luxury turn-key residences and bespoke furniture, Freeman curates a collection that appeals to supreme minimalists and luxury collectors alike. The gallery’s design concierge offers bespoke interior services with a global reach, ensuring every detail is meticulously attended to for discerning clients seeking unparalleled elegance.


(SOME THINGS) emerges as the second instalment of a three-year exploration prompted by the question ‘what MATTERS to you?’ Australian designer-makers delve into the essence of ‘process’ as a catalyst for new design possibilities. Transforming the ground floor of Villa Alba Museum, this exhibition invites audiences on a tactile journey, showcasing material samples, interpreted tools, and experimental forms.

Participating designers include Andrew Carvolth, Cordon Salon, DnJ Paper, Edward Linacre, Elliat Rich, Georgia Stevenson, James Walsh, Jill Stevenson, Jon Goulder + James B Young, and Object Density.”


Adam Goodrum’s Sydney Design Studio is a beacon of elegance and invention in the world of furniture and product design. His creations, characterised by a poetic union of art, mathematics, and colour, have earned him acclaim on both national and international stages. Collaborating with renowned brands, Goodrum’s work reflects a deep understanding of form and function, earning him recognition as a stalwart in the design industry.


Jon Goulder is acclaimed as a master craftsman, seamlessly blending the realms of craft and design in his one-of-a-kind pieces. From his workshop on Kaurna Land in Adelaide, Goulder meticulously handcrafts limited editions and prototypes that exude timeless elegance. His mastery of materials such as leather, textiles, and wood, coupled with his keen attention to detail, results in original pieces cherished for generations to come.


Marlo Lyda, currently based on Gadigal land in Sydney, is committed to celebrating the inherent beauty of makers and materials in her practice. Drawing from her education at Design Academy Eindhoven and experiences abroad, Lyda’s work embodies a harmonious blend of creativity, resourcefulness, and purpose. Her innovative approach challenges perceptions of value by coaxing delicate yet functional objects from overlooked ‘waste’ materials, showcasing the transformative potential of design.


Innate Textile, founded by Fiona Spence and Wanda Jelmini, seeks to capture the essence of modern Australia through its soft furnishings and bath towel collection. Inspired by the works of Australian painter Luke Sciberras, their creations embody the spirit of informal elegance and relaxation. With a focus on craftsmanship and design, Innate Textile engages in a dialogue that celebrates the beauty and meaning inherent in every creation.


Object Density creates artistic objects of use, drawing upon research and cultural narrative to communicate values of sustainability and community. Their commitment to conscious processes and material decontextualization is evident in every creation, reinstating value to discarded materials. Through their exploration of object typologies, materials, and processes, Object Density seeks to create objects ‘dense’ with collective knowledge and cultural heritage.


Kate Banazi, based in Sydney, approaches her art with a spirit of experimentation and intuition. Her work, spanning painting, silkscreen, and sculpture, is characterised by playful yet profound explorations of colour and form. Drawing inspiration from science, space travel, and colour interactions, Banazi’s creations invite viewers into a world where imagination knows no bounds.


Simone Tops, of Studio Tops, views materials as active collaborators in the creative process, shaping her experimental work in glass, steel, and leather. Her creations transcend conventional boundaries, embodying a fluidity of form that reflects her intimate technical knowledge and artistic vision.


Dean Norton, a multidisciplinary designer, creates visually engaging, locally made pieces that balance form, function, and refined detailing. With a background in graphic and interior design, he established his studio in Melbourne in 2017. With a minimalist aesthetic and a penchant for experimentation, Norton reimagines sculptural forms through the exploration of finishes and materials, infusing each piece with a timeless elegance.


Jordan Fleming, an artist and designer, crafts idiosyncratic, experimental, and sculptural furniture and lighting objects. Drawing from her background in cabinet making and interior design, she established her own furniture design practice in Australia in 2018. Fleming’s work is characterized by a deep-rooted commitment to transcending the utilitarian aspects of furniture, seeking to elevate each piece beyond its programmatic function.


DesignByThem is an Australian-based company known for crafting unique products with a timeless aesthetic and playful edge. Their curated collection of furniture, accessories, and lighting, designed by Australian creatives and produced globally, embodies a distinct Australian perspective. Now, DesignByThem is thrilled to announce their collaboration with Elliat Rich, a versatile designer based in Mparntwe Alice Springs. Rich’s multifaceted approach, blending art, production, research, and experimentation within the realm of design, promises to enrich DesignByThem’s offerings with curiosity, imagination, and a deep understanding of design’s power and social value.


Having just finished a master’s degree at the National Art School, Zella has developed a performative monotype printing method, reflecting the paramount connection between body, mind, and material. She views the practice as a dialogue of cyclical action and gesture. Her approach creates a discourse of forgetting and remembering, between tacit knowledge of the body and explicit knowledge of the mind.


Ben McCarthy, a seasoned designer with over two decades of international experience in renowned studios, recently returned to Australia to establish his studio. Marcel, having founded his studio in 2012, infuses his projects across product, furniture, and lighting domains with emotion and purpose, drawing from his background in leading London studios.