Melbourne Design Week 2024

Shaping a Sustainable Future at Melbourne Design Week 2024

Photo credit: Melbourne Design Week

Melbourne Design Week (MDW) is Australia’s annual international design event that will take place from May 23 to June 2, 2024. Exploring the theme of ‘Design the world you want’, The 2024 edition highlights the use of energy, ethics, and ecology to encourage positive change, reimagine existing systems and offer innovative design solutions to global challenges.

Each topic will explore various opportunities and challenges that designers are facing. For example, ecology explores the entangled relationship between things and beings. On the other hand, ethics will focus on the way designers address societal issues to contribute positively to their communities. Lastly, energy takes into account the way society is transitioning into a new era led by renewables. This topic is going to revolve around the question of how designers can harness new technologies and transform systems to power and empower through design.

MDW celebrates design by utilizing talks, tours, exhibitions, installations, workshops, and more across Australia’s capital. The program is driven by ideas by providing a platform for designers, educators, enthusiasts, and businesses to come together to share their ideas, showcase new works, and ponder on how design can be used as a driving force for good in our modern and complex world.

Highlights of the 2024 program include a keynote from Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo. She will share insights into her socially responsive approaches to urbanism and discuss architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Tosin Oshinowo Melbourne Design Week 2024
Tosin Oshinowo Melbourne Design Week 2024

There also will be a symposium exploring speculative riverside designs from the Birrarung. Moreover, there will be presentations of work by Visnja Brdar, Jessie French, Sruli Recht, and Ross Gardam.

Following a think tank on Country in Arnhem Land, the NGV and Agency Project will present a Rubbish on the Show to examine the intersection of culture, creativity, and sustainability by investigating design solutions for ocean and river debris affecting communities across Australia.

A keynote talk from the Victoria and Alber Museum’s Senior Curator of Africa and Diaspora Textiles and Fashion, Dr Christine Checinska will highlight the fashion culture of the African continent in celebration of Africa Fashion. The exhibition opens at NGV International in May. It celebrates the creativity, innovation, and indelible impact of African fashion from the mid-twentieth century to the present day.

In addition, galleries and design curators will present a series of exhibitions highlighting the inspiring scope of Australian designers with displays at Craft, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Pieces of Eight, and more. Australia’s leading showrooms, brands, and design studios will also participate with exhibitions taking place at venues including Aesop, Cult, Spacecraft, Tair, Mobilia, and more.

Since 2017, Melbourne Design Week has become an important event for design practitioners throughout the country, providing a crucial platform for their work and encouraging critical thought that will help shape the future. From commercial design objects to effective design solutions, the program of over 300 events showcases how Australia is leading global design innovation.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV

MDW invites everyone to explore the city through regional hubs and independent exhibitions.

In the past years, Melbourne Design Week has introduced The Melbourne Design Week Award presented by Mercedes-Benz. It is the annual prize awarded for an outstanding contribution to Australia’s largest design event. The winner receives peer recognition among the local and international community, and a cash prize thanks to Major Partner, Mercedes-Benz. The winner is selected from the program that most resonantly responds to the theme of Melbourne Design Week. The 2024 award winner is selected by the NGV Melbourne Design Week team.

The 2023 winner was Paula Savage, a senior Mualgal artist from Moa Island in the Torres Strait renowned for her ability to bring to life the enduring traditional material practices of her cultural heritage.

Paula Savage Melbourne Design week 2023
Paula Savage Melbourne Design week 2023