Tonight at No Vacancy Gallery, 20 of Melbourne’s most notable design studios and 20 emerging designers will show us what happened when they teamed up in pairs with naught but a piece of wood, a compound word and some serious visual wizardry shared between them.

The exhibition, titled Terrible Twos, will be hosted by desktop magazine and The Design Kids (TDK), a collective that has been fostering burgeoning design talent since 2010.

The brief for the project was simple but challengingly stringent. Each design duo was given an A1 piece of wood, which was cut diagonally in two pieces. The studio chose a compound word and responded to one part of the word on their piece of wood, while the emerging designer interpreted the other part of the word on their piece. These opposing triangles of design fervour will be rejoined for display and sold in a silent auction to raise money for the charity of each studio’s choice.

Headed by designer Frankie Ratford in Byron Bay, TDK is an online collective of emerging Australian creatives producing limited edition fashion, homewares and gifts. Year round events in different states showcase Ratford’s creative objective of assisting new designers to find opportunities in the industry. “The exhibition gives 20 lucky students the chance to work with their dream studio. It’s increasingly hard to get a foot in the door and we hope these relationships will continue past the exhibition,” Ratford explains.

Ratford says that one of the most positive aspects of the Terrible Twos collaborations is their tangential nature. “Each creative will attack the brief with a different eye and that’s where the fun comes in,” she says. “The idea of responding to compound words meant the words had their own meanings, but pairing them together it changes completely, and that’s how we wanted this collaboration to work.”

Terrible Twos shows at No Vacancy Gallery from 6pm tonight (Thursday June 7). There will be a silent auction which will continue on the desktop facebook for a week afterwards.