RMIT and The Capitol in the spotlight for Melbourne Design Week

RMIT and The Capitol in the spotlight for Melbourne Design Week

Commencing Friday 26 March, Melbourne Design Week (MDW) will run for 11 days with RMIT at the heart of more than 50 events.

Since launching in 2017, Melbourne Design Week has grown to over 300 events in 2021 making it Australia’s largest international design event.

This year’s theme is ‘design the world you want’ exploring how design is tackling some of the biggest challenges of tomorrow.

There are installations, exhibitions, lectures, launches, talks and films from across all areas of RMIT’s College of Design and Social Context (DSC).

RMIT is ranked number 1 in Australia and Asia-Pacific and 15th globally for Art and Design, with the University officially the NGV Design Partner and major partner for Melbourne Design Week.

Melbourne Design Week. 300+ exhibitions, talks, tours and workshops across Victoria and online.

DVC Design and Social Context Tim Marshall said that Melbourne Design Week had inspired many people at RMIT to think about how to create a better, healthier future.

“It is hard to think of a theme that might resonate more with Victorians at this point in our history than 'Design the World You Want', the focus of this year's Melbourne Design Week,” Marshall said.

See the gamut of RMIT involved events here.

Green Renaissance

When: 26 March, 27 March, 28 March, 30 March, 1 April, 2 April, 3 April, 4 April.

Green Renaissance is a dystopian speculation about the future of food and farming. Green Renaissance is a dystopian speculation about the future of food and farming.

The world relies on quality topsoil to grow 95 percent of our food.

But intensive farming practices and human activity mean that in 60 years, the world could run out of the vital non-renewable resource.

Green Renaissance is a dystopian exploration of the future of food and farming in 2090. Below is an excerpt from their event listing:

    'There’s levitating organic structures controlled by artificial intelligence to avoid contamination from our toxic environment,     ensuring the survival of the human race in a land made barren by our own doing.'

The exhibition is designed by RMIT’s Master of Design Innovation and Technology students Shanshan Wei, Mengke Lian and Haonan Ma, building on the design studio led by Dr Ollie Cotsaftis.

The exhibition is at the Queen Victoria Market via Queen Street, with a supplementary event at The Capitol on 1 April as a platform for a conversation on the future of food and farming.

More information can be found here.

Highlights of RMIT-involved events include Polar Patterns, an immersive and visceral experience of the extreme forces shaping Antarctica; A panel discussion for the book ‘Kerstin Thompson Architects: Encompassing People & Place’, moderated by Virginia Trioli; Counterfactual City, a series of alternative visions for the future city that are predicated a singular ‘what if?’ scenario; and 64 Ways of Being, an AR app that brings Melbourne’s parks, streets, rivers and laneways to life to create a conversation with the city.

MDW @ The Capitol

For the first time, The Capitol and RMIT Culture join with NGV to present MDW @ The Capitol RMIT.

They’re hosting an assortment of talks, films, book launches and installations across the 11 days.

Part of MDW @ The Capitol is ‘Past Futures: Dystopias, Utopias and Back to Futurism on Screen’ – a program presenting 10 visionary science fiction films.

Creative Producer at The Capitol, Ghita Loebenstein, said the curated sci-fi films were not the typical intergalactic space-wars type.

“We look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century,” Loebenstein said.

“The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being.”

The program opens on 26 March with Metropolis, the 1927 German expressionist classic displayed on 35mm, followed by Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her.

Complementing the RMIT’s ‘Green Renaissance’ exhibition on 1 April is a panel discussion at The Capitol and a screening of Richard Fleischer’s Soylent Green.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr Ollie Cotsaftis and features David Holmgren, environmental designer and co-originator of the permaculture concept; University of Melbourne Associate Professor Alex Johnson; and RMIT’s Dr Pirjo Haikola, a designer and a researcher working on regenerative marine design projects, and whose current work Urchin Corals is exhibited at the NGV Triennial.

Still of the dystopian film, Soylent Green. Still of the dystopian film, Soylent Green.

The Capitol is also screening a double dose of dystopia on Saturday 27 March, with Australian feminist heist film On Guard followed by the film adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.

You can see the full list of events at The Capitol for Melbourne Design Week here. RMIT Staff and Students can access free tickets to the Past Futures film series.


Story: Caleb Scanlon

25 March 2021


25 March 2021


  • Design
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  • Architecture
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