Established to shine a light on Melbourne’s local design community, explore the role design plays in our daily life, and underline the ways design is helping to tackle the challenges of the future, this year’s edition of the Melbourne Design Week reflects on design experiments within a society that enters an exceptional period of urbanisation, digitalisation, population growth and ecological transformation. From March 14 to 24, discover how the future will look like through workshops, exhibitions, talks, and more. 

Open from March 18 to 24, this free entry installation is a collaboration between product designer Eugenie Kawabata, photographer and director Adrian Lander, and sound designer and composer Duane Morrison. Inspired by Lake Tyrrell, a shallow, salt-crusted depression in the Mallee district of north-west Victoria, in Australia, this installation reflects the impermanence of form and our relationship with space and objects through a mix of product design, visuals and soundscapes.

Architecture of Infinity

“Who has the ownership of spirituality?”, asks one of the architects and artists starring in Architecture of Infinity. The film, directed by Christoph Schaub, explores how artists, designers and architects work with concepts such as ‘infinity’ and ‘transcendence’ within space. Featuring renowned figures like James Turrell, Jojo Mayer, Cristina Iglesias, Peter Zumthor, Álvaro Siza Vieira, or Peter Märkli, the director creates a beautiful audio-visual document about sacredness, spirituality, and metaphysics.
Four contemporary Australian artists present their work side by side some selected pieces by renowned Italian brand Arflex. Curated by Dana Tomic, the exhibition Art-Design-Arflex shows how the fields of fine art and design are as intertwined and blurred as ever, while also proving how a historic brand can be pioneering – and remain to be. Don’t miss the works by Anna-Wili Highfield- Daniel Shipp, Sean Meilak and Simon Davidson until March 24 at Poliform.
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Simon Davidson's LITMUP paired with Botolo chairs and Infinity coffee table by Arflex // Photo: Ant Geerneart

Sex in the 21st century

Project Geldom programs one of the most interesting talks of the design week. On March 21, head to the Swinburne University Hawthorn to discover how will the sex industry look like in fewer years than you think. ‘Sextech’, as the industry mixing sex with technology is known, is increasing at an unstoppable pace and, as a society, we must be part of the conversation and interrogation: will we have sex with robots? Will they ever be able to substitute human relationships? How can we help change porn and how it’s perceived to make it more educational and inclusive?

The Experimental City

Did you know that, decades ago, there was a plan to build a city from scratch in the isolated woods of Minnesota (United States)? It’s an untold story with scientist and inventor Athelstan Spilhaus at the centre, who worked on the project and involved hundreds of professionals and experts. Now, the documentary The Experimental City sheds a light on this rather unusual and unheard of idea.


A series of photographic works created by artist Peta Clancy during a twelve-month artist residency in collaboration with the Dja Dja Wurrung community shape this solo exhibition that showcases massacre sites that have been drowned because of colonial occupation of the land and disruption to the natural waterways. Clancy reflects the emotional, cultural and physical scars through her artistry in photography. A not to be missed space that illustrates layers of time and place, on view until April 28.

Melbourne Art Book Fair

Coinciding with the design week, Melbourne Art Book Fair will take place from March 15 to 17. Discover the most interesting titles in design, art, architecture, photography, and other creative fields, and don’t miss the many events related to it, from presentations to symposiums. We sure won’t miss Darren Sylvester’s exhibition catalogue launch, Fast Fashiun: DIY or Die Look Book’s presentation – the result of an artist residency with queer artists Tenfingerz and Sebastian Berto –, or the symposium Graphic Fashion, where speakers from i-D, Tunica or Girls Like Us will talk about the importance of graphic design in fashion and art publications. 


How does it feel to be completely disconnected from screens, the internet, and social media? Explore so in this installation by Hassell in collaboration with Eness, Arup, AllSense, Kvadrat Maharam, and others. Nowadays, we communicate everything we do: from stories to live videos, to posts on every social media. Despite being fun and letting everyone know what a cool life we have – although, is it that cool? –, there are also downsides to this. With Pause, the organisers expect us to relax and fully embrace the immersive and sensory experiment, which can only be experienced one person at a time. An interesting experience for both those who don’t know what does it mean to fully concentrate on oneself and those who already do.

Renzo Piano: Architect of Light

From the Centre Pompidou in Paris to the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, architect Renzo Piano is responsible for some of the most visited and iconic buildings of today. With this documentary, film director Carlos Saura follows the Italian creative in the design of the Botín Center in Santander (Spain), which serves as an overall reflection of his way of thinking, working, and understanding art, architecture, and beauty.

The Rise of Sustainable Leather: Create Your Own Vegan Leather Satchel

It’s 2019 and the world is fucked. It’s true that we should pass the main responsibility to the State, who should rule and legislate accordingly, and to producers and big companies, who’re more responsible for pollution and global warming than anybody else. Nevertheless, we should try to improve in recycling, reusing, and reducing. For that reason, The Masters Institute of Creative Education has organized a workshop about vegan, sustainable leather, after which you’ll have your own satchel bag. You help the planet and leave the class with a fashionable, responsible accessory. What else can you ask for?
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