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Melbourne Design Week 2024 Hit List

Melbourne Design Week, delivered by NGV, is Australia’s largest annual international design festival presenting a diverse lineup of exhibitions and events across an 11-day program from May 23rd to June 2nd. Featuring a breadth of talent across emerging and established studios, brands, artists, architects, and designers, there are over 300+ events to explore. Discover our short-list of must-see experiences. 

Tosin Oshinowo | Keynote

Presented by Robin Boyd Foundation and National Gallery Victoria

Sun 26 May 4:00 pm – 5:00pm, 2024

Recently named one of the 50 most powerful women in architecture and design in 2024 by Dezeen, Tosin Oshinowo is a Lagos-based architect renowned for her socially responsive approach to commercial, cultural and civic architecture in a rapidly urbanising continent. Her practice expands to curating and writing, which extensively covers Afro-modernism and identity, which includes a notable contribution to the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. 

In an MDW keynote, Oshinowo draws from her recent success curating the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, which investigated architectural innovation in the face of scarcity. Delving into architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, she challenges conventional notions, offering fresh perspectives on design and architecture tailored to the twenty-first century’s cultural and climatic needs.

Tickets essential.

Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo | Photography by Bashar Belal

Limbo Accra’s Super Limbo installation for the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023, curated by Tosin Oshiwono | Photography by Edmund Sumner

Adrian Pepe’s Utility of Being for the  Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023, curated by Tosin Oshiwono | Photography by Edmund Sumner

Thomas Lentini in the studio | Photography by Sam Wong

Studio Visit & Talking Creative Commissions with Thomas Lentini

Presented by Craft Victoria

Sat 25 May 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, 2024

Thomas Lentini is a bespoke furniture maker and designer specialising in solid timber dining tables. His creations draw inspiration from architecture, nature, and his materials to create direct and meaningful heirloom pieces that respond to an intended space or end user. 

This event commences with a studio tour and demonstration, showcasing Lentini’s remarkable skills in seamlessly bridging the gap between humans and the environment through his thoughtfully crafted design objects. Following the tour, Craft Victoria will unpack the power of creative commissions and the importance of small-scale bespoke production within the design ecology through a conversation with Lentini.

Tickets essential. 

Thomas Lentini in the studio | Photography by Sam Wong

(MATTERS) at Villa Alba

Presented by MATTERS

Fri May 24 – Mon 27 May, 2024

Nestled within the historic Villa Alba Museum, a lavishly adorned 1880s Italianate mansion in Kew, MATTERS serves as the dynamic stage for Australia’s renowned and emerging designers, makers, and artists, featuring 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.

The MATTERS exhibition by Marlo Lyda | Photography by Alice Hutchison

The MATTERS exhibition by Marlo Lyda | Photography by Alice Hutchison

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 within the historic walls of Villa Alba.

Bookings essential for special events ‘private tour’ and ‘meet the makers’.  

The MATTERS exhibition at Villa Alba for Melbourne Design Week 2023 | Photography by Tess Kelly

DESIGNWORK 08

Presented by Sophie Gannon Gallery

Thurs 23 May – Sat 1 Jun, 2024

Designwork 08 is Sophie Gannon Gallery’s 8th annual exhibition featuring new work by Elliat Rich and Danielle Brustman. 

The Gradients by Elliat Rich is the first of an ongoing exploration with new material and technique, to form a series of jewellery boxes. Forming part of a broader philosophical framework, these pieces engage with mythology as a critique of Western modernity and offer new perspectives on our relationship with the planet. This initiative translates scientific abstractions into narratives and artefacts, inviting viewers to reimagine our world understanding.

Split by Danielle Brustman is a collection of sculptural wall mirrors derived from a series of personal symbols and recurring design patterns that have been abstracted and halved. Some parts are missing, others fit together.  The project talks about broken things, bust-ups and altered reunions.

Split by Danielle Brustman | Photography courtesy of Danielle Brustman and Sophie Gannon Gallery

The Gradients by Elliat Rich | Photography by James Morgan

The Gradients by Elliat Rich | Photography by James Morgan

Talking Time

Presented by Emma Jackson

Thurs 23 May – Sun 2 Jun, 2024

Join Emma Jackson at her debut open studio event showcasing “Talking Time,” an innovative collection merging textiles and furniture. Featuring Island Rugs, Time Travellers rugs, tapestries, and furniture prototypes, this showcase invites visitors to engage with their eyes, hands, and feet.

In a world dominated by digital immediacy, “Talking Time” offers a refreshing antidote, inviting individuals to pause and reconnect with the present moment and the timeless expanse of the Australian landscape. Emma Jackson’s work serves as a poignant reminder of our place within the grand timeline of Earth’s history, grounding us in the here and now amidst the vastness of time.

The King Prawn Rug by Emma Jackson for Talking Time | Photography courtesy of Rug Art Nepal

Plural

Presented by Sabu Studio & Harley Hamilton

Thurs May 23 – Tues 28 May, 2024

Discover “Plural”, an exhibition that celebrates the convergence of materials and forms,  a project exploring how these can situate harmoniously within an interior space. This collaboration between Sabu Studio and Harley Hamilton Studio delves into innovative directions in their respective practices, emphasising experimentation with materiality and process.

Featuring furniture, lighting, and objects, Harley Hamilton presents new works utilising his signature thin elegant cast concrete forms, pushing the boundaries and capabilities of the material, whilst  Sabu Studio investigates several materials new to their practice, transposing various designs into new material possibilities and further exploring the interaction between forms and light.

The Plural exhibition by Sabu Studio and Harley Hamilton Studio | Photography by Pier Carthew and Jess Kneebone

The Plural exhibition by Sabu Studio and Harley Hamilton Studio | Photography by Pier Carthew and Jess Kneebone

Everyday Living Japan | 1950s & Today

Presented by CIBI

Thurs 23 May – Sun 2 Jun, 2024

CIBI, the Japanese lifestyle concept store, proudly celebrates Japanese furniture design from the 1950s to the 1960s. Showcasing the works of renowned designers such as Isamu Noguchi, Sori Yanagi, and Yamanaka Design Office, this exhibition offers a captivating journey through the evolution of Japanese craftsmanship.

Developed in collaboration with the esteemed manufacturer Tendo Mokko, the exhibition highlights the enduring beauty and functionality of these timeless pieces of furniture. Each design, crafted with meticulous attention to detail and a deep appreciation for form and function, embodies the essence of Japanese aesthetic philosophy. Sip on a freshly brewed yuzu tea, savour some of their delicious matcha cake and discover a legacy of craftsmanship and quality that transcends time.

Everyday Living Japan 1950’s & Today | Photography courtesy of CIBI

The Murai Stool by Tendo Mokko designed by Reiko Tanabe | Photography courtesy of CIBI

Embodied Objects

Presented by Lightly

Thurs May 23 – Tues 28 May, 2024

Discover a limited-edition collection of works in raw aluminium and steel by object designer, Lightly. Located in an ethereal garden-like interior installation, Embodied Objects calls upon the ancient Eastern ideas of “Qi” (energy) and the historically enduring concept of “Material Folklore” emphasising the connection between humans and their environment through the lens of design and materiality. 

Embodied Objects exhibition runs from the 23-28th May.

The Embodied Objects exhibition | Photography by Pier Carthew 

The Embodied Objects exhibition | Photography by Pier Carthew 

Melbourne Design Week runs from 23rd May – 2nd June 2024.

The Embodied Objects exhibition | Photography by Pier Carthew 

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