Design the world you want

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Design as a catalyst for change at Melbourne Design Week 2024

22 April 2024

Melbourne Design Week, Australia's largest and leading annual design festival, is set to captivate audiences with its eighth edition from May 23 to June 2, 2024. This 11-day extravaganza will feature over 300 innovative exhibitions, displays, symposiums, and talks throughout metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Under the theme 'Design the world you want,' the 2024 program focuses on the use of energy, ethics, and ecology to encourage positive change, reimagine existing systems, and offer innovative design solutions to complex global challenges. The event aims to showcase how design can champion new technologies to enact society's transition to renewables, demonstrate how design can be guided by societal values, and invite designers to respond to the physical environment while considering the influence of nature. 

Presented by Creative Victoria and delivered by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne Design Week serves as a vital platform for emerging and established creative practitioners, offering the Australian design community and audiences the opportunity to engage with a diverse program of events. 

Program highlights at the NGV include a keynote talk by Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo, who will share insights into her socially responsive approaches to urbanism, and a public symposium held in anticipation of the upcoming NGV exhibition Reimagining Birrarung: Design Concepts for 2070. The Melbourne Art Book Fair celebrates its tenth year with a talk by UK-based curator and author Katy Hessel, along with artist and designer activations, workshops, and the popular stallholder fair. 

The Victoria and Albert Museum's Senior Curator of Africa and Diaspora Textiles and Fashion, Dr. Christine Checinska, will deliver a keynote talk, accompanied by public programs curated by Africa Fashion Program Co-Curator Dorcas Maphakela, highlighting the diverse fashion culture of the African continent. 

Satellite program Design and Death, presented by Open House Melbourne, will explore the relationship between design and death through talks and tours, while the Mercedes-Benz Australia Annual Melbourne Design Week Award will recognise an outstanding contribution to the event. 

The Melbourne Design Week Film Festival will present a series of films that explore the impact of architecture and design through the moving image, while leading showrooms, brands, and design studios will participate with exhibitions at various venues across the city. 

Speculative design exhibitions and programs will examine approaches to sustainability and design solutions for the future, with designer Ella Saddington presenting Material Matters and the exhibition MATTERS exploring themes of process, community, and longevity. 

The Telstra Creativity Innovation Series: Future of Food will continue to champion new approaches to food and waste, exploring eco-innovation and potential solutions for environmental preservation. 

Tony Ellwood AM, Director of NGV, emphasises the importance of Melbourne Design Week as a platform for design practitioners throughout the country, providing a showcase for their work and encouraging critical thought that will help shape the future. From commercial design objects to effective design solutions, the program of over 300 events demonstrates how Australia is leading design innovation globally. 

Alchemy Collection, Thebe Magugu 
Johannesburg, South Africa, Autumn/Winter 2021 
Photography: Tatenda Chidora 
Styling + Set: Chloe Andrea Welgemoed 
Model: Sio