Yesterday I listed my top-picks for the upcoming Melbourne International Design Festival… and today to balance things out, I’ve put together my short-list for the eagerly anticipated State of Design festival, which starts in only a few days time on July 10th.
‘Design for Everyone‘ is the cultural program of the festival, and encompasses all the events which are open to the general public (rather than trade events such as Furnitex etc). There’s a huge variety on offer…. my top picks include:
Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Exhibition
The Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Exhibition runs at the Melbourne Museum from 24th July to October 5th. This exhibition features the best of Australian functional design every year – among this year finalists are Nick Rennie, and Bernebei Freeman (who won the Bombay Sapphire Award last year). Always worth a look, and this one runs for a while so there’s no worries of it clashing with any of the other major events.
Design Now! National Graduate Exhibition
If you’re heading to the Melbourne Museum to see the Bombay Sapphire Exhibition, you really should also check out Design Now!, which is also at the museum from July 24 to October 5th. I always love seeing the work of graduates and emerging designers… it’s a fantastic opportunity to see what’s next in store for Australian design.
This exhibition presents works by 18 leading university graduates from a variety of design courses nationwide – including fashion, digital media, architecture, furniture and more.
Top 8×8 – Influences and Inspiration
I have been really excited about this one ever since the festival program was announced, and have been checking the State of Design Website almost daily to avoid missing out! This week they finally added booking and venue details, and I snapped up 2 spots immediately!
Top 8×8 is presented by the Design Institute of Australia, and features 8 prominent Australian designers, who will each share their top 8 influences of inspirations with a captive audience. The evening promises to be a fast-paced, highly-visual presentation. Presenters include John Wardle of John Wardle Architects, Caroline Ryan of 2Fish brand experience/event design, and fashion designer Yeojin Bae among others.
Top 8 x 8 will take place at the Thonet Showroom, 237 Napier st Fitzroy, from 6pm-8pm. It costs $30 for non DIA members. If you’re interested, I’d book early here.
The Architects – Live Open Broadcast
Triple RRR presents the ever-popular Architects radio show, broadcasting live from Beer Deluxe(?), Federation Square on Tuesday 22nd July, 7pm – 8pm. They’ll be leading a panel on ‘The Future of the Australian City’. Not sure yet which architects will feature on the panel, I’ll keep ya posted! Either way I’m sure this one will be a really entertaining, informative event with a fun, casual atmosphere.
Totally Open – Architecture and Design on View
Totally Open is another open-studio event, but on a grand scale. Total House at 180 Russell st is an office building which contains a multitude of architecture and design practices. Totally Open will expose the inner workings of Total House design studios to the public.
Throughout the State of Design festival the ground floor lift lobby will be fitted with a video installation, presenting live images of the design practices at work. On the last day of the festival the building will be open to the public, providing views of working studios as well as special exhibitions on each of the four floors.
The Open Studio takes place on Thursday 24 July, from 9am – 7pm. The Lobby Installation runs from Wednesday 16 – Thursday 24 July. Admission is free.
Design:Made:Trade is a trade event (thus not part of the Design for Everyone program)… however it is open to the public on Sunday the 20th July from 10am – 5pm with an entry fee of $5. (Trade visitors can access the show from the 17th – 20th July, but you’ll need to pre-register).
Design:Made:Trade is a new trade event showcasing Australia’s smaller, independent manufacturers, product designers, and design makers. I know it’s a big call, but I have to say, I am constantly disappointed by Furnitex at the Exhibition Centre… and I think Design:Made:Trade shows great potential for a more select, interesting collection of Australian designers and retailers.
Exhibitors that have caught my eye include established favourites like Spacecraft, Cloth, and Marc Pascal, as well as relative newcomers to the festival Studio Sam, Ilias and Yellow Diva.