Females are at the forefront of the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition Designing Women, with fifty trailblazing designers who’ve been shaping the present and future of object and fashion design, lighting, furniture, textiles, architecture, and even jewellery. Until next year’s March 24, visit the show that explores leadership, research, teamwork and community as its prominent themes.
Ever heard of an artwork that is displayed in a different way every time it’s exhibited? Referencing the interaction between people in public places, Bloom is a dynamic installation by Alisa Andrasek commissioned by the Greater London Authority for a series of events during the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2012 that features coils, rings, spirals and branches made up of interlocking pieces called ‘cells’, used to build quite a unique formation.

Other pieces on the cutting edge of contemporary design include Zaha Hadid’s Genesy Lamp, which she created for the Italian manufacturer Artemide. It stands out and it stands tall, since it’s almost two meters high, and was inspired by the growth patterns of trees within a forest. The late Iraqi-British designer used advanced design and manufacturing technology to surpass her counterparts in architectural practice. The beauty of her designs is connected to innovation, technologies of the future as well as social progress. Another artist to highlight is Iris van Herpen, whose 3D-printed fashion designs have been breaking boundaries within the industry for some years now.

But it’s not just futuristic pieces that you’ll see. For example, Lee Darroch stands out with her fervent admiration for aboriginal culture. “I’m really interested in the return of aboriginal cultural practices from the past and bringing them in through to today”, she says. “Cloaks are our encyclopaedias, they’re our libraries – they contain all our cultural stories”, she continues, giving a glimpse into the stories behind her designs.

With over sixty varied works, there’s something for everyone to explore. In Tony Ellwood’s words, NGV’s director, “Designing Women showcases a diverse and broad range of exceptional international and local design produced by some of the most exciting, innovative and dynamic designers of the last forty years. Featuring recently acquired works, this exhibition highlights the breadth and richness of the NGV’s Collection”. 
The Designing Women exhibition will be on view until Marc 24, 2019, at the National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne.
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