State of Design brand identity illustration by Qube Konstrukt and R-Co.

OK so I’m sure you all know that State of Design – Victoria’s design festival is nearly upon us, running from July 15th – 25th. How exciting! But do you know what is even more exciting?

1) The Design Files is officially a ‘media partner’ of the festival – I am the official festival blogger!

2) I have 6 double-passes to give away to the Festival Opening Night Preview at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton on Wednesday July 15th, from 7.00pm! (Thankyou State of Design marketing team!)

If you want a double pass (tickets are worth $27.50 each and are strictly limited), leave me a comment at the end of this post. If more than 6 people comment, I will put all names in a hat and let you know tomorrow who gets ‘em. Very high-tech competition procedures over here at The Design Files.

Personally I have a ridiculous itinery planned for the festival which includes 21 events (plus 6 more ‘maybes’) in 10 days and daily updates of course! Call me crazy. I will also be posting mini-interviews with many exciting Australian and international designers who are taking part in festival events!

But in the interests of everyone’s sanity, I have shortlisted my top-5 festival highlights below. These are the things I am most excited about!

Lucy’s top 5 State of Design shortlist!

Design Made Trade
Incorporating Designboom Mart – all the way from Italy!!!

Design Made Trade 2008 – beautiful hand-crafted homewares from Studio Sam

Remember I blogged this one last year? An accessible, low-tech trade fair aimed at showcasing Australia’s smaller manufacturers, product designers, and designer makers… free to trade visitors, $10 to the public. BUT if you get one of the double passes mentioned above, this includes a special preview of Design Made Trade on the Wednesday night, before it’s open to the public!

The highlight of Design Made Trade will be Designboom Mart, showcasing design from the hottest young international designers! Background info on Designboom Mart is here.

Designboom Mart in Tokyo last year

Design Made Trade – Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens.
Open 10am – 5pm daily from 16 – 19 July.
16 – 17 July – Trade only days – register here.
18 – 19 July – Public days – $10 entry, no registration required.

This is Not a Design Market

Melbourne loves a design market, and this one is sure to draw the crowds. Staged by Melbourne’s own Bigger than Ten Bears (of Joost’s Greenhouse fame), and the fabulous Moth Design (of Penthouse Mouse fame), there’s no doubt this’ll be a winner. Not to be missed!

This is not a Design Market – The Factory, 500 Latrobe St, Melbourne
Open 10.00am – 5.00pm Sunday July 19th (one day only!)

Design Capital Conference

UK designer Nipa Doshi and Partner Jonathan Levien in their London studio

An amazing line-up of Australian and International Speakers… I’ll be there on day 2 (design day, Friday July 17th). I am so excited to hear UK superstar Nipa Doshi talk! If you don’t know her work you must check out the Doshi Levien website. SO excited.

Doshi Levien’s My Beautiful Backside couch and Principessa daybed (inspired by the Princess and the Pea, of course!). Both for Moroso.

Unfortunately Design Capital is a little pricey, but well worth it if you look at the international line-up! The upside is you can just buy a single-session ticket, which makes it a little more affordable and accessable than, say, AGIdeas! (No disrespect, but you know, who manages to get 3 days off work for these things?)

Design Capital Conference – BMW Edge, Federation Square,
16th – 17th July

Convergence at Yarra Lane

Convergence at Yarra Lane is a mysterious group installation in South Yarra… not sure exactly what it will entail, but the lineup of collaborating designers is extremely impressive and includes Julia deVille, Emma van Leest, Moth Design and Nick Rennie.

Oh, and Liane Rossler (of Dinosaur Designs) just tweeted(?) about it yesterday. So it must be good.

Convergence @ Yarra Lane – Yarra Lane, 9-19 Claremont st, South Yarra
18th July – 17th August, 24 hours

Design Dinner at Comme with Tim Yu from Cool Hunting

The Grand Room at Comme, Melbourne

This one is very posh. In Comme’s stunning Grand Room, Cool Hunting’s cultural curator, Tim Yu will lead a discussion on the current patterns and future trends in art, design, culture and technology around the world.

This’ll accompany a three-course dinner, served with matching wines, to complement the discussion. $85 a head. Oooh la la.

ps) stay tuned with a mini-interview with Tim Yu here next week!

Design Dinner with Tim Yu – Comme, 7 Alfred Place, Melbourne
Thursday July 16th, 6.30 for a 7.00pm start
Bookings through Comme – +61 3 9631 4000

For more State of Design info, check out the website, download a catalogue, or pick one up from any number of affiliated venues around town. Also check out the State of Design lift-out in today’s Herald Sun!