The second annual Melbourne Design Week begins on March 15, running for 10 days at various locations across the city. It brings together local and international designers for exhibitions, talks, studio tours and a floor filled with beautiful books. We’ve combed through the extensive program to find the unmissable events and exhibitions, so you don’t have to.
Diminishing Elation by Geronimo
At its core, design is about improving how we experience a space. The work of Jihan Zencirli (aka Geronimo) is about making those spaces bright and beautiful with huge balloon installations (she has fans in Kanye West and Gwyneth Paltrow). In Melbourne she’s taking over The Hub General Store, as well as the facade of Hub Furniture's new showroom in Abbotsford and the windows of their now-closed Exhibition Street showroom. The nature of the installation will change in unpredictable ways as the (biodegradable) balloons deflate.
Hub Furniture Showroom from March 15-25
Melbourne Design Week is officially underway and we’re finding such joy in sharing @geronimo’s work with you. The concepts of longevity, balance and mindfulness, which are all central to this year’s Design Week theme – Design Effects - are ingrained in her ethos. Her ‘environmental sculptures’ are made with 100% recyclable and 100% latex balloons - they are compostable and biodegradable at the rate of an oak tree leaf, inflated with air, not helium, and are made by a family company! We are so proud to be showcasing her work at our new showroom in Abbotsford, at @thehubgeneralstore and in the windows of our now-closed Exhibition Street showroom. Come and check them out! Also, use #hubxgeronimo to share your snaps. Image by @eugenehyland. #hubfurniture #hubxgeronimo #melbournedesignweek #ngv #ngvmelbourne #nationalgalleryofvictoria #designweek #geronimo #geronimoballoons #balloons #balloon #pinkballoon #art #installation #design #colour
Marimekko: Design Icon
For more than six decades Finnish textile and fashion company Marimekko has brought its iconic aesthetic to fabric and homewares. This exhibition looks back at the best of it. The brand’s vivid and colourful work has timeless charm that resurges every generation: in recent years, you can see their influence in Frankie magazine and fashion label Gorman.
Marimekko: Design Icon is at Bendigo Art Gallery from March 3 - June 11.
Spirit Phone by Hugh Davies
This year’s Design Week focuses on the theoretical and artistic, encouraging us to think about design in new ways. Hugh Davies revisits Thomas Edison’s dream of using a telephone to speak to the dead, and applies industrial design techniques to his own “spirit phone”. This isn’t about solving a real-world problem – it’s about telling a story through design, free of the usual restraints of function.
Spirit Phone is at C3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford Convent, from March 15 - 25. Entry is free.
Ornament is Fine by Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano
Enter a domestic interior space resplendent with ceramic ornamental objects – homewares, doorknobs, vases. It’s the work of Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano, of design studio Alterfact. Each bespoke piece has been made using 3D printing. The name Ornament is Fine sounds like a sigh of relief at the realisation stark modernism isn’t the only way.
Ornament is Fine is at NGV Australia from March 15 - 25.
Virtual Moreland Workshop
Put on a virtual reality headset and experience … Brunswick. At Brunswick Town Hall, Virtual Moreland invites visitors to look at future of the inner-north neighbourhood, and urban planning, through virtual and augmented reality. How might a re-designed city feel? New technology is changing the way designers approach their work, and bringing the rest of us closer to what’s inside their heads.
Virtual Moreland is at Brunswick Town Hall on Friday March 16. Entry is free.
LIVING WITH DESIGN
Designwork 02 by Dale Hardiman and Elliat Rich
Sophie Gannon Gallery brings design into the context of a commercial gallery. Elliat Rich’s pieces are about reflecting a sense of place, drawing on her travel through Central Australia. Dale Hardiman uses common discarded objects to create new pieces.
Designwork 02 is at Sophie Gannon Gallery from March 15 – 24.
Tim Ross: The Mid-Century Project
Actor and television host Tim Ross completes his transition from comedian to evangelist of modernist design with this performance piece inside ICI House, the first International Style skyscraper in Melbourne. Ross’s ABC series Streets of Your Town established him as a passionate modernist and The Mid-Century Project sees him collaborate with Rocket Science drummer Kit Warhurst on an installation of film, sound, furniture and art.
Mid-Century Project is at Bates Gallery, ICI House, from March 15-24. Booking is required. Tickets are $69.95.
The Melbourne Art Book Fair
This fair within a festival is three days of discussions, workshops and, most importantly, very, very beautiful books. The guest of honour is Amsterdam-based graphic design studio Experimental Jetset, which will present new work, a symposium and a retrospective exhibition. For aspiring publishers, there’s a zine-making workshop, while a panel discusses the art of the book cover, which is far more important than the old adage would have you believe. And on the floor of the NGV’s Great Hall, more than 150 publishers big and small are setting up stalls.
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This article was updated on March 22, 2018.