After scraping through 2020 in a reduced format just before the Covid pandemic shut down the city for good, Melbourne Design Week is back. And it's making up for the slighter showing last year by producing its biggest program yet – including a nudge into Gippsland with a collection of events in Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers.
Now in its fifth consecutive year, the festival will feature 11 days of more than 300 exhibitions, talks, films, tours and workshops across Victoria and online. A partnership between the NGV and Creative Victoria, the 2021 festival is tethered under the theme of: “design the world you want.”
Responding to that brief are members from all corners of the global design sector. Some marquee names include leading architecture firm Kerstin Thompson Architects, designer, researcher and scuba diving instructor Pirjo Haikola, eco-innovator Joost Bakker (who is currently living in a self-sustainable home and urban farm at Federation Square with partner and chef, Jo Barrett), globally renowned architectural innovator Alisa Andrasek and more.
This year the festival is aiming to examine three thematic pillars – care, community and climate. The care component aims to "reflect the desire for design processes that consider the emotional needs of others, including other species," while the community aspect will "celebrate collaboration across disciplines, disseminating knowledge and embracing new cultures." Meanwhile the climate stream will "examine the ways in which designers can mediate the effects of climate change and accelerate the necessary shift to a zero-carbon future."
For the first time, Melbourne Design Week will expand into East Gippsland, with a collection of events in Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers that explore the future of this post-fishing community through a series of walks, tours, talks, kayak and boat trips. There is also a digital offering accessible via a specially-designed digital platform, hosted on the Melbourne Design Week website, allowing audiences from anywhere in the world to access a never-before-seen digital program, including talks, virtual galleries, photo archives, interviews, podcasts and more.
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