Design for the future: Melbourne Design Week

Design for the future: Melbourne Design Week

RMIT, proud Design Partner to the NGV, is gearing up for one of the most exciting creative events of the year: Melbourne Design Week.

An initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV, Melbourne Design Week (14-24 March) is Australia’s leading international design event.

Now in its third year, Melbourne Design Week presents its largest program to date with more than 200 exhibitions, tours and workshops that explore how design can shape the future.

RMIT’s rich history of partnership with the NGV has included both student and academic collaborations and is based on a shared desire to explore and showcase Victoria’s world-class design industry.

Melbourne Design Week provides a unique platform to connect the design industry with the academic world to explore new opportunities and address impacts facing the industry today, tomorrow and into the future.

The ten-day program shines a light on the breadth and impact of design and explores key challenges and opportunities facing the design industry, including waste and sustainability and how best to engage new and connected audiences.

The events on offer are a testament to the strength of the new School of Design, which launched in early 2018 and encompasses the fields of animation, games and interactive design, communication design and industrial design.

RMIT is ranked #12 in the world for Art and Design (2019 QS Rankings by Discipline).

mdw wasteland Welcome to Wasteland - CMYK Chair by Morgan Doty. Photo: Morgan Doty

Delve into pioneering design concepts, hear from world-leading experts and discover cutting-edge technologies.

The Graphic Fashion symposium (14 March) examines the intersection between fashion and graphic design. This symposium features international and Australian practitioners whose work blurs the line between fashion and graphic design. They will discuss what is fashionable about graphic design, and what does graphic design contribute to fashion practice?

Masterclass #1: Curating for Future Audiences (Challenging Established Conventions) (18 March) is developed for curators, designers, event managers, the publishing industry and corporate professionals. The all-day event will examine what knowledge is required in today’s world to create unique and immersive experiences that fully engage our socially connected audiences. RMIT guest speakers include Associate Professor in Communication Design Brad Haylock and Associate Director of Marketing Business Partners Helen Whitehead.

At Design Shift (19 March), industry professionals working in the vanguard of design, strategy, media, and social innovation, present their view on the future of the design industry. Due to advancements in technology, heightened social and environmental turbulence, and restructuring within business and commerce, the design industry is staring down the barrel of some monumental changes.

Waste in Time: exploring our disposable future (19 March) will speculate on the ever-growing levels of waste impacting our human lives. A thinktank of scientists, artists, designers, researchers, including designer and lecturer in the School of Fashion and Textiles Doctor Pia Interlandi will theorise about the positive action one can enable.

melb design week masterclass Refik Anadol, installation view of Virtual Archive 2017. Image courtesy of Refik Anadol

Explore more RMIT events at Melbourne Design week:

Design for Green: a conversation with Simon Lockrey (20 March). RMIT Design Hub, 11am–12pm. Free

The RMIT Centre for Design’s work crosses a large range of industries including design consultancies, leading commercial interior furniture manufacturers and multinational appliance companies. Included in this session is a special viewing of the Centre for Design Archive, which comprises sketches, renderings, models and reports from household names.

Furnishing Culpra (14–24 March). Blak Dot Gallery, 12pm–5pm. Free

Furnishing Culpra situates collaboratively designed furniture pieces constructed from salvaged surplus River Red Gum from an abandoned milling operation on Culpra Station in western NSW. The exhibition explores, encapsulates and further develops this collaborative project between the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation (CMAC), Office and RMIT University.

Future Interior (18–24 March). 185 Ferrars St Southbank, 12pm–6pm. Free

Held in a heritage-listed building surrounded by a rapidly transforming urban landscape, this location offers a space to pause and consider the dynamics of the past, present and future implicated in design research. Individual research trajectories from the School of Interior Design are collected and arranged as an exhibition to tease out how ideas of the future are currently implicated in interior design and research.

Lisa Walker and All the Jewellery (29 January–4 May). RMIT Design Hub, Tue-Fri 10am–5pm, Sat & Sun 12–5pm. Free

Walker’s vast body of work is a career-length conversation with the question ‘What is jewellery?’ Two exhibitions at the Design Hub gallery examine her practice and tackle key questions about contemporary jewellery. The other exhibition All the jewellery exists in dialogue with Lisa’s retrospective.

Vico Magistretti – Archivio in Viaggio/Travelling Archive (14-24 March). RMIT Design Archive, Mon–Fri 10am–4pm, & Sat–Sun 12pm–5pm. Free

This exhibition documents material from the archive of Italian architect and product, industrial and furniture designer Vico Magistretti (1920-2006) and re-evaluates and re-positions it in relation to conditions that inform current design cultures. The School of Architecture and Urban Design proudly co-presents with the Italian Institute of Culture, Melbourne and the Vico Magistretti Foundation, Milan. 

Vienna Abroad (21 March). RMIT Design Archives, 6pm-8pm. Free

RMIT Design Archives launches the latest issue of its journal, a publication that focuses on Melbourne design practices from the mid-twentieth-century to today. Contributors to this issue include Harriet Edquist, Professor of Architectural History at RMIT University and Director of the RMIT Design Archives.

Winner Announcement 2019 NGV Architecture Commission & Exhibition (21 March). RMIT Design Hub, 5:30pm–7:45pm. Free

For one night only, the submissions for the fifth annual 2019 NGV Architecture Commission will be exhibited at the RMIT Design Hub. Shortlisted teams will present their designs to the public at the exhibition, and the winner will be announced on the night.

Wasteland (14-14 March). Compound Interest, 22 March 6-9pm (Launch), Mon-Fri 11am-5pm (Exhibition)

Welcome to Wasteland presents projects by creative disciplines exploring the use of waste materials and offering visitors an insight into how leading practitioners are approaching Australian waste issues. RMIT staff and alumni are featured among the contributors.

For a full list of RMIT events at Melbourne Design Week, view the program here.

All RMIT events listed are part of Melbourne Design Week 2019, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.


Story: Jasmijn van Houten


  • Awards
  • Design
  • Arts and culture
  • Urban Design

Related News

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.