Saturday in Design took over Melbourne on the weekend… lanyard-wearing design industry professionals could be seen traipsing every footpath from St Kilda to Fitzroy, toting showbags, complimentary take-away coffee cups and bright red tulips!

SID is one of my favourite events on the design calender – it’s such a simple idea, but it’s so well organised, and visitors are so well looked after! The free shuttle buses between venues were fantastically prompt, and most venues took the opportunity to really encourage lingering and networking, with complimentary wine, soft drink, coffee, and delicious snacks on offer. If I were reviewing the catering – Poliform would win hands down this year… (catering by Damm Fine Food – check out the photos below)… mind you I couldn’t indulge in much with a camera in one hand and a notebook in the other! It was an incredible spread – although I did get a bit worried as visitors reclined on $20,000 Poliform couches clutching plates piled with marinated olives and tomato salad! (Actually Living Edge was even serving beetroot – very brave!).

Anyway enough about the catering – the best thing about SID is the opportunity to get out and see all the latest furniture and design product all in one crazy day! It also offers a chance to have a good chat to suppliers about their product – each venue was teeming with worded-up staff, and the emphasis was certainly on product exposure and education, rather than making sales. All this results in a social, friendly event where showrooms that might otherwise feel a little intimidating become accessible even to design students and industry newcomers. (Plus every single showroom was happy for me to photograph their product – this is rare and very much appreciated!)

I didn’t get along to every venue on the Saturday (surely one of these days SID will expand to include Sunday?), however I did see most of what Richmond and the City had to offer, as well as visiting the Meat Market and Launch Pad exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. My only disappointments were not getting a totebag from Rugs Carpet & Design in Richmond (they were such great looking bags I was really mad about that), not getting a bunch of Format‘s beautiful tulips (was a little weighed down by then), and completely forgetting to get my 3121 Design Precinct card stamped in all 3 areas because I was too distracted by taking notes and photos! Blah.

Highlights of the day below!

Space Furniture was abuzz with visitors. It was great to see a lot of new product on show, as well as the usual suspects. Top image above – B&B Italia‘s enormous foot (stool, chair?) made me chuckle. Bottom image – Nicole Aebischer‘s Joker ceramic range for B&B Italia, nicely lit by Moooi‘s stunning Cluster Lamp designed by Joel Degermark.

Space are finally showing some innovative outdoor furniture (‘cos aren’t we all getting a little tired of timber slatted tables and chairs?). These beauties are by the incredible Patricia Urquiola – they’re part of B&B’s Canasta outdoor range.

Space Furniture again. Can’t get enough of Bertjan Pot‘s Random Lights for Moooi (top image). Also I do like Cassina‘s special anniversary limited edition LC3 Le Corbusier armchair. Love the upholstery colours and that grey powder coated frame is such a nice contemporary alternative to the classic chrome.

Mingling crowds at Space, and a rather bored-looking DJ! (Well, it was 11.00am at this stage… perhaps things cranked up later on…)

Poliform. Top image – Rina Menardi’s set of 4 Nautilus bowls, bottom image – small Dama coffee tables in solid cedar.

Poliform knows how to look after its visitors! Incredible catering by Damm Fine Food.

Living EdgeAlbi modular lounge and Lulu table by Norman + Quaine.

Living Edge commercial furniture – Sedus Four Connects table legs are cute modular desk legs designed and made in Germany, which Living Edge pairs with locally produced table tops. Adds a bit of quirky personality to the commercial range. Available in white or anthrazite(?) – sounds like an airborne disease but apparently it means grey.

Living Edge food. Cute kids waiting patiently while the grown-ups network.

Living Edge – crazy Calypso couch by Jon Goulder.

More Living Edge. Top image – kooky Miniature Chests by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Bottom image – nothing new but still a winner with the crowds ; Eames Eames and more Eames.

Melbourne’s newest furniture designers/manufacturers Yellow Diva showed off their range of eyecatching chairs and chaises in their stunning Abbotsford showroom.

Format Furniture stole the show for me this year! The tulips were an absolute winner – they looked a little sad by the time I got into town, but still – they made such an impact against the grimy cobbled laneway… not to mention brightening up the SID trail all over town popping out of everyone’s SID totebags! Simple, fabulous idea. NOTE also the stunning Format employee (bottom image above) who co-ordinated her wardrobe with the decor, wearing a beautiful bright tulip-printed skirt! Perfect!

Format – more tulips lining the laneway, and inside – a truly spectacular Alice in Wonderland-inspired indoor garden. I loved it! After a weary few hours pounding the pavement, Format’s showroom was like a magical little oasis! Frivolous, fun, – but showcasing some seriously stunning product too.

Format’s Folding Press installation by Universaldesignstudio (is that supposed to have gaps or no gaps?). Pages and pages of (I’m assuming) Indesign mag and Design Quarterly were delicated folded and layered along the entire length of Format’s showroom wall. Beautiful.

Format still. The highly publicised Tea Towel Chair by Susie Stanford. (sorry this one’s a little blurry).

More Format! I love the brave colours they’ve pulled together here.. also what a lovely idea to fill Jasper Morrison’s Cork Bowl (Vitra) with tiny pots of brightly coloured flowers! I really like the way they’ve displayed these high-end pieces in such a fun, lighthearted way.

THE SHOWSTOPPER – I love love love Fontana Arte‘s Loop Lamp by Voon Wong and Benson Saw. Not sure if its clear here – but essentially its made up of 2 stainless steel shallow ‘bowls’, one on top of the other. The top ‘bowl’ contains a circular fluroescent tube. You can gently rotate the top ‘bowl’ by hand to control the amount of light emitted. AAggggghh. Utterly stunning.

Still at Format. Vitra‘s Slow Chair by the Bouroullec Brothers. I love the pink and green together, and the semi-translucent mesh.

Corporate Culture gathered the crowds with a their Fritz Hansen Egg Chair giveaway, valued at $12,000! Bottom image above – I really like the simple Loop clothes stand by Leif Jorgensen for Danish furniture company Hay.

More from Hay at Corporate Culture. Top image above – cute Don’t Leave Me side tables by Thomas Bentzen. Bottom image above – beautiful hand-quilted throws also from Hay.

Corporate Culture’s Pantop pendant lights by Verner Panton seem to have a personality all their own… they remind me of Yoshitomo Nara‘s kooky characters for some reason.

Stylecraft – an installation called ‘Suspended Animation’ by Geyer saw metres of bright pink polypropylene cord intertwine all through Stylecraft’s city showroom… But Alexander Lotersztain’s oversized patchwork bear/koala, created from recycled denim stole the show! This installation promotes Durlot’s Restitch range of products including ottomans and soft furnishings, which use recycled denim in this way.

Stylecraft again. Geyer‘s pink polypropylene suspends a Derlot Plantation rocking chair high above the stairwell.

Stylecraft. the fun Zoe seating range from Verzelloni Italy. Designer – Lievore Alther Molina.

Stylecraft crowds mingle.

Last stop(!) – Launchpad at Melbourne Museum. Top image above – the gorgeous Xai side table by Denver Cramer and Liely Faulkner (DenverandLiely) looks like its about to scuttle away on those delicate little legs. Bottom image above – Freight Pouf by Dhiren Bhagwandas.

More Launchpad – top image above – Finn Light by Dhiren Bhagwandas. Bottom image – Woven Structure by John Quan.

Phew.