Design shaping life: RMIT at the heart of Melbourne Design Week

Design shaping life: RMIT at the heart of Melbourne Design Week

In partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, RMIT explores how design is tackling some of the biggest challenges we face in an exciting program of events at Melbourne Design Week 2020.

From designing for better healthcare to rethinking how we engage with urban spaces, Australia’s leading international design event is an exciting showcase of Victoria’s world-class design industry.

With over 300 talks, tours, exhibitions and workshops, the program which runs from 12-22 March, will explore how design can shape life through four ‘Big Ideas’: The War on Waste Continues, Design Cultures, Healthy Cities and Design Evolution.

Professor Martyn Hook, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Partnerships and Dean of School of Architecture and Urban Design, said he was excited to explore the collaboration between designers and researchers.

“Melbourne Design Week provides a connection between the design industry with the academic world to explore new opportunities and address impacts facing the industry,” he said.

“The program shines a light on the breadth and impact of design and explores key challenges and opportunities facing the design industry, including waste, sustainability and what underpins change and ideas in design.”

RMIT has again partnered with the NGV on Melbourne Design Week as part of a longstanding relationship to promote collaboration and showcase Victorian talent.

RMIT is ranked #11 in the world for Art and Design (2020 QS Rankings by Discipline).

Explore more RMIT events at Melbourne Design Week

Why Space?

When: 20 March, 9am-2pm

Where: NGV Garden Restaurant, NGV International

The Sir Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Research Centre at RMIT University and the NGV will co-convene a think tank on the future trajectory of Australia’s Space sector. They will be joined by a formidable group of local and international thought leaders to engage and discuss how engineering, design, science and business might collaborate to enhance the quality of life on earth, increasing sustainability and resilience, and heralding an era where smart technologies might assist us our way of life.

Metahaven: Field Report

When: 6 March – 9 May
Where: RMIT Design Hub Gallery

Register: Via Eventbrite (for the opening weekend)

Metahaven: Field Report is the first Australian solo exhibition of renowned Amsterdam-based artists, filmmakers and designers Metahaven, at RMIT Design Hub Gallery. Presented by RMIT Design Hub Gallery and Melbourne Design Week / Melbourne Art Book Fair, Metahaven: Field Report brings the immersive and compelling art and design practice of Metahaven to Australian audiences for the first time.

Metahaven: Field Report will bring 'immersive and compelling' art and design practices to RMIT and Melbourne

Multiplicity of Play/ce

When:12 March 6-8pm

Where: The Capitol Theatre

Register: No booking required

Join Parbin-ata Carolyn Briggs AM (Boon Wurrung Foundation), Seb Chan (ACMI), Olivia Guntarik (RMIT) and Troy Innocent (RMIT) in a conversation about urban play, starting with First Peoples connection to place. First Peoples connection to place create ways of being that enable reimagination, reconnection and reconfiguration of the world.

Cybernetic Design Lab: Disruptive Design For Health

When: 17 March 2-5pm

Where: Level 2, 155 Pelham St, Carlton

Register: Via Eventbrite

Cybernetics is the framework that considered the interface between humanity, technology and society. This design methodology goes off-script to deliver tangible transformation in health care service, system and product design. Clinicians and designers will showcase their work for attendees.

Industrial Design: Design Evolution In The Archives

When: 18 March 11am-12pm

Where: RMIT Design Archives, 154 Victoria Street, Carlton

Register: Via Eventbrite

In this seminar the panel and audience will consider ideas around product and service development with regard to health and wellbeing. It will explore the new wave of design thinking that emerged in the 1990s, and contrast contemporary practices with examples from the past held in the RMIT Design Archives collections.

Designing For A Less Lonely City

When: 21 March 2-4pm

Where: Health Transformation Lab, Level 2, 155 Pelham St, Carlton

Register: Via Eventbrite

Loneliness and social isolation are a public health crisis and design solutions exist to help solve this merging phenomena. The event explores designing less lonely cities, establishing participation cultures and opportunities for social collision through architecture, social impact start-ups in partnership with the health sector. The social prescribing movement, where clinicians prescribe social activities to patients, is gathering base in Australia.


Designing for a less lonely city proposes design solutions to a public health issue

For a full list of RMIT’s involvement with Melbourne Design Week 2020, you can download this PDF


Story: Jasmijn van Houten and Finn Devlin

06 March 2020


06 March 2020


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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 created by Louisa Bloomer