Ecology, ethics and energy: RMIT talent on show at Melbourne Design Week

Ecology, ethics and energy: RMIT talent on show at Melbourne Design Week

Students are set to feature in Victoria's annual celebration of design, Melbourne Design Week (MDW), running from 23 May until 2 June this year.

MDW celebrates design in an annual 11-day program of talks, tours, exhibitions, launches, installations, and workshops. A partner since the program’s inception in 2017, RMIT will present a series of events in 2024 alongside RMIT Culture and RMIT Design Archives.

In 2024, the MDW theme is ecology, ethics and energy, which encompasses exploring the relationship between humans and things, addressing societal issues to make a positive community contribution and harnessing new technologies to power and empower through design. 

Exploring ‘queering’ of interior design in toilets

On show for MDW 2024 is a student-based interior design project and global design pedagogy collaboration between RMIT University, University of the Arts London, and Toronto Metropolitan University called The Toilet Stories.

“The Toilet Stories studio explored the tactic of “queering” – which means deviating from the expected – through design, particularly regarding Melbourne’s public bathroom spaces,” said RMIT student and organiser Ashleigh Thompson.

Over a number of weeks, intimate bathroom processes and iconic public restrooms in Melbourne were dissected and examined to determine who these spaces really benefit and how these existing conditions can be subverted.
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“This work inspired a series of clay pieces crafted through movements used in these kinds of bathroom spaces, exploring ideas of dirt and dirtiness in both their materiality and form.”

“The concept of exposure through materials, layout, function and design, also developed as one of the key narratives in this exhibit, subverting our expectations of what a bathroom should provide its inhabitants.”

“This event is open to all, with designs inclusive to queer communities and those with various mental and physical disabilities.”

More information and registration details can be found here. 

New ideas for a suburb with a huge legacy

Also during MDW 2024, RMIT PlaceLab and Merri-bek City Council have collaborated to present Disruptive Ideas for Revitalising Coburg, a discussion designed to provoke new thinking and hear new perspectives, as Council plans to transform some of the under-used spaces it owns in the heart of Coburg.

The event will be hosted at Schoolhouse Studios, alongside a panel of ‘urban provocateurs’ to think about public space and urban design from new and often hyper-local angles.

This event will mark the start of a participatory design project where we will interrogate the way we understand place and design through a collaboration between RMIT academics and Master of Architecture students, and community members; building an understanding of how a revitalised Coburg can better support and enhance diverse public life – today and into the future.

More information and registration details can be found here

21 May 2024


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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.