The National Gallery of Victoria has unveiled an exciting line-up of talks, events and exhibitions for Melbourne Design Week 2018. This year the program takes on the theme Design Effects, exploring how good design can deliver positive change for people and the environment.
Here are Communications Collective’s pick of five not-to-miss events, films and exhibitions.
Stephanie Macdonald, 6a Architects
Sunday 18 March, 3.30pm, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International
Shortlisted for the prestigious 2018 Woman Architect of the Year award, Stephanie Macdonald is a founding director of London-based 6a Architects. The much-awarded practice is best known for its work for contemporary art galleries, educational buildings and artists’ studios. Recently 6a Architects has completed a sustainable studio complex for Juergen Teller; the non-profit contemporary art space Raven Row, which won a Royal Institute of British Architects Award in 2011; and an expansion for the South London Gallery. For her keynote lecture at Design Week, Stephanie will be talking about her practice’s approach to designing for education, leisure and the arts.
Symposium and exhibition
Experimental Jetset – Superstructure
Symposium: Thursday 15 March, 1.30pm–5pm, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International
Exhibition: Friday 16 March – Saturday 5 May 2018, RMIT Design Hub
We’ve been working with RMIT Design Hub on this one, so we’re a bit excited – but we would be anyhow! It’s the first ever retrospective of acclaimed Dutch graphic designers Experimental Jetset, presented by Design Hub in association with the NGV. Invited to look back at their work, the three designers of the resolutely DIY studio have gone further, creating an installation based on an imaginary city combining four subcultural movements. Divided into four quarters – The Constructivist City, The Situationist City, The Provotarian City and the Post-Punk City – the installation juxtaposes historical photographs with existing and newly created works including film, collage, posters and prints.
The Design Hub opening event, from 6pm on Thursday 15 March, follows Experimental Jetset’s symposium for the NGV’s Melbourne Art Book Fair. Open to anyone, the Experimental Jetset – Superstructure launch is the perfect way to kick off your Design Week, especially as the music-obsessed Dutch trio are inviting two Melbourne bands to the party.
The Mid-Century Project, presented by Tim Ross
Thursday 15 March – Saturday 24 March, Bates Smart Gallery, ICI House
Comedian Tim Ross and musician Kit Warhurst combine rollicking humour with a true passion for architecture and design in their temporary takeovers of iconic Australian buildings. And what a venue for this edition of the Mid Century Project. ICI House, completed by Bates Smart McCutcheon in 1958 – and still home to Bates Smart – was the first International Style skyscraper in Australia, and the tallest building in the country until 1961. Tim, fresh from his success on the recent ABC TV series Streets of Your Town, will hold audiences rapt as he turns the Bates Smart Gallery into a mid-century-modernism-inspired installation of film, sound, furniture and art.
Marcus Fairs: designing a better world
Wednesday 21 March, 6.30pm, Great Hall, NGV International
Marcus Fairs is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dezeen, the incredibly influential online architecture, interiors and design magazine. In this special lecture held in the NGV’s Great Hall, he’ll be exploring how design shapes the world around us today. Design is now part of almost every aspect of the world and how we live – from our portable devices to our smart homes and cities, it intersects with research, technology and innovation. In his talk, Marcus will be looking at design’s role now, when the world is changing so rapidly due to urbanisation, digitisation and environmental change. Following the lecture, participants are invited to tour the ground floor of the NGV Triennial in an open-late viewing.
SuperDesign: Italian Radical Design 1965–1975
Saturday 17 March, 12.30pm, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International
Combining equal parts pop art, play, surrealism, and futurism, the Radical Design movement exploded in Italy in the mid-1960s during a turbulent time when a wave of political insurrection swept the country. SuperDesign: Italian Radical Design 1965–1975, a one-hour film screening in its Australian premiere, brings to light this fascinating design movement by looking at the work of 19 architects, designers and curators. Film producer Maria Cristina Didero, an expert on Italian design who also co-authored the film’s accompanying book, will be on hand at the free screening to introduce the audience to such boundary-breaking designs as the iconic lip-shaped Bocca sofa and the Cactus coat-rack in green foam by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello.