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Melbourne Design Week – The Definitive Editor’s Guide

Melbourne Design Week – The Definitive Editor’s Guide

Melbourne Design Week – The Definitive Editor’s Guide

Cult Chairity Project, photography by Fiona Susanto.

With a huge list of outstanding events, talks and exhibitions – we have curated a list of the things we’re marking down in the calendar. But don’t just take our word for it… See the full line-up for yourself and clear the schedule.

Melbourne Design Week, Australia’s leading annual international design event, returns for its sixth edition from 17-27 March 2022, with a dynamic program that will transform Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria over 11 days with a series of exhibitions, talks, films, tours and workshops, including the biennial that all respond to the theme ‘Design the world you want’.

A&A – Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur – in conversation

In this event, Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur will be delving into the process of their recent works. Highlighting concepts and the creative process, these industry-leading designers will talk about the Mother and Child cabinet, which is premiering at MDW, and a recent commission that celebrates 200 years of Louis Vuitton – the Cocotte en Paille or Chatterbox in straw.

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Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur in conversation.

Collectivity Talks: Art in design panel discussion

A special panel discussion between three industry professionals sharing their unique experiences and perspectives on the world of art creation and curation, while exploring its relationship with architecture and interior design projects. Panellists include Director of Technē Architecture + Interior Design, Nick Travers; Artist, Naomi Troski; and Art Advisor, Sophie Ullin. Presented by Communications Collective, this panel discussion will be moderated by Indesign editor Alice Blackwood.

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Up to Us: Bringing women together to design the world we want

Asking the question: “What if it was up to us?” dozens of female creatives bring new work and answers. Focusing on historic milestones, this weeklong event targets the impractical to the impossible and shifting these beliefs into creating the world we want.

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Barbera Studio 2022 BCE – 2022 CE

The objective between Barbera Studio and those 5000 years ago remains the same: creating objects that can survive over thousands of years. This historical design narrative demonstrates the similarity of the practices of sand casting through time, inciting visual representations of the studio’s own selected finished products.

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Barbera Studio, photo for Scott Lewis Design.

Designing for future workers

With the changing tides coming to modern workplaces, this panel – moderated by Indesign editor Alice Blackwood – unravels the future with the introduction of the upcoming Gen Z and Alpha workforces. As a generation finely tuned to technology, Gray Puksand explores the possibility of these changing dynamics.

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Gray Puksand’s workplace project for AFCA (Australian Financial Complaints Authority). Photography by Shannon McGrath.

Full Circle – Beginning with the end

Looking from the outside in, Melbourne’s leading architects investigate the role of architecture and design in a circular economy. The questions of where the industry sits and its interweaving connections are asked, and answers to the challenges benefits and opportunities are sure to be found.

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Debbie Millman: By Design 

Host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters, Debbie Millman brings in design enthusiasts and dabblers to an exclusive lunchtime conversation. Covering her creative path and triumphs, Millman will share secrets on designing the world around you.

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Australian Furniture Design Award Exhibition

Holding the floor for design practitioners, the National Gallery of Victoria and Stylecraft present the Australian Furniture Design Award (AFDA). Shortlisted designers will be exhibited, where visitors are invited to see the most celebrated of Australia’s richest furniture design prize.

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Shortlisted designer of AFDA awards 2022, Danielle Brustman.

Beyond The Selfie 

The role of social media has created a world of infinite landscapes. Cities are redefined between every person and the images they use. This unique panel investigates society’s relationship with our camera, and the role it can play as a tool for future cities.

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Circularity in the Built Environment

Moderated by Caroline Pidcock, this expert panel of industry leaders explores the redefining practice of circular design. In a changing world, the panel will lay down how they integrate circular design practices from a breadth of scalable, local projects and prototypes to the built environment.

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Futures Collective

An immersive experience for visitors, Future Collective combines championing aspects of sustainable design into an intertwining narrative with exquisite heritage interior and grounds. And at night, Future Collective: After Hours presents Alvaro Catalán de Ocón discussing the Plastics River story, accompanied with personal meet and greets and light refreshments.

read more about Futures Collective here. For Futures Collective: After Hours, click here.

Plastic Rivers by Álvaro Catalán de Ocón
Plastic Rivers by Álvaro Catalán de Ocón.

Design Beyond Earth: Planetarium Show – From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA

Bringing the secrets of spacecraft engineering to Australia, this screening leads visitors through the behind-the-scenes process of design to construction to the rigours of testing, launch, and operations.

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The Chairity Project 2022 

A charity event living MDW’s theme “design the world you want”, 18 designers of all talents bring together a redesign of the Result Chair, to be sold at auction with all proceedings shared between five charities. The Result Chair will be exhibited at Cult Melbourne and after a five-year hiatus, Cult’s celebrated fundraising event is not to be missed!

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Cult Chairity Project 2022, photography by Cathy Marshall
Cult Chairity Project 2022, photography by Cathy Marshall.

Materiality and Space for Contemplation

In the rush of MDW, this workshop encourages you to slow down. Led through guided meditation, visitors are guided to appreciate the art of the craft and to immerse themselves through the sensual beauty of natural materials.

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What is Black Design?

A conversation panel discussing the history, nuances, concepts and realities of Blak Design today, this talk will be lead by Tom Mosby alongside significant First Nations designers, creatives and industry experts including

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Second Life #2

Eugenie Kawabata’s Second Life #2 is an installation in collaboration with Mondopiero. It investigates the end-of-life potential of upholstery waste, as it is reborn and reimagined with new vitality and vigour, where colour and form collide.

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Eugenie Kawabata x Mondopiero exhibition. Photo by Adrian Lander.

After Hours by Volker Haug

Running for the second year, After Hours is an exhibition of side projects: the work we do when we’re not ‘at work’, pulling together an impressive list of architects, designers and creatives to showcase their other kind of work.

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Creative Sheroes: Women Driving Change

‘Creative Sheroes: Women Driving Change’ is a digital anthology of creative women’s stories. It’s an exhibition website showcasing the profiles of women from different backgrounds and creative disciplines – available to view 24-hours a day – putting female voices to the front.

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There are so many more incredible things to see, listen to and experience as part of Melbourne Design Week, check out the full program at designweek.melbourne


Caelan Kaluder is the editorial assistant of both Habitus and Indesign. As a recent graduate of ANU, he fell headfirst into the world of the design curious. He has directed various plays and held a residency in Canberra Youth Theatre. He has also worked as a freelance writer and has a keen eye for finding the latest in the world of architecture and design - with a soft spot for all things creative in the workplace and at home.