Design:Made:Trade at the Melbourne exhibition building on the weekend! Lovely sunny top photo by Miriam McGarry (thanks Miriam!), all other pics here by me unless otherwise stated.

Melbourne Design Embassy

OK so I hope you have a strong cup of coffee this morning… because after much consideration I have decided to post ALL of my Design:Made:Trade highlights here in one very loooong post! Aggh. So much to look at!

In all honesty, I had originally planned to cover the State of Design festival in a very organised fashion using photo galleries and a guest blog, both of which are exciting features of The Design Files brand new WordPress site(!!) – which was supposed to launch last week. BUT of course as is the nature of technical things, there have been a few last-minute hiccups, and unfortunately the new site is still not quite ready to go… thus I have no swish new photo galleries, and no choice but to post all pics in full right here!

Ah well. Onward and upwards.

HOW awesome was Design:Made:Trade on the weekend!? Seriously! I should know because I may or may not have spent four out of the last four days at the Exhibition Building. Sad but true. There was just so much brilliant local design to see! I loved the more ‘open’ layout this year (last year’s D:M:T was a bit of a rabbit warren), and I must say the free wi-fi made me one very happy blogger. FREE WI-FI people! Few things make me so excited.

It was an excellent idea to locate lots of other fun events within the Exhibition Building alongside D:M:T – it really created such a great buzz in the building. Sanctuary Magazine’s speed dating with architects was a resounding success – brilliant to see so many festival-goers all prepared with notes, houseplans and even lap-tops(!), snatching 10 minutes of valuable face time with some of Melbourne’s best green / sustainable architects at the Long Table! Also I truly cannot describe the sheer brilliance of Jones-Chijoff‘s Paper Plane Academy – I have never seen so many tiny happy people in one room. Brilliant!

As far as exhibitors go, it was particularly great to see so many brand new designs on show… I loved Trent Jansen‘s simple but genius bike reflectors made from re-purposed reflective road signs, also loved Melbourne designer Kate Stoke’s new Coco Pendant light at Tongue + Groove, Volker Haug‘s new hand-woven daisy lights are even more beautiful in the flesh.. as were Tim Fleming’s new Flatland vessels / planters.

Other highlights worth mentioning include -

Best new festival initiative for 2010 – Free Wi-fi!
Best stand design - Yellow Diva for their excellent gilt-framed cubicle – nice work!
Best international accent - Festival photographer Tobias Titz by a narrow margin with lighting designer Volker Haug a close second.
Cutest couple award goes to Perth based Jayden and Jessica from B&M felt who make fabulous things from imported high density felt in the most brilliant range of colours (they didn’t want me to make a big deal about them being ‘together’ but truly they are so gorgeous I could not help myself – soorrry dudes!)
Best death staresHookturn vs. Keep Cup. It’s on!
Most popular - Sanctuary Magazine’s architects at the Long Table – inundated!
Least popular - evil ‘Warden’ clamping down on photography… yeah yeah I get it, but really, how is one supposed to blog this thing without taking photos?!

Ok enough waffling from me… hope you enjoy the pics!

Trent Jansen‘s fantastic bike reflectors made from re-purposed reflective road signs

Volker Haug takes a breather – love his new hand woven ‘Daisy’ lights…

New handmade plywood vessels from Tim Fleming / Flatland OK

B&M Felt from Perth

B&M felt products – these pics from the B&M website

Tongue + Groove showed some excellent locally-designed lighting… My favourite was Kate Stoke’s new timber / aluminium Coco pendant (top right).

Lox + Savvy back again with vibrant neon stationary… How good is the wacky printed wrapping paper!?

Boniko super-cute Japanese-style socks and sock creatures shared a stand with Lox + Savvy

Paper Plane Academy – conducted with much seriousness by air-marshall Carl Jones. Love those binoculars, hats and boots… these guys take their pilot-training very seriously!

The great paper plane throw outside the Exhibition Building!

Hookturn! My mum Chrissie (on the left) and business partners Renae and Saskia peddle their coffee cups! Photo – Jules Tahan.

Julie Paterson at her very popular Cloth stand… love her hand-printed linen skirt in one of Cloth’s most popular designs!

Brand new Cloth Wallpapers

Craft Victoria had three stalls and they were BUSY!

Loved Harvest Textiles beautiful hand-printed creations and DIY craft kits at Craft Victoria’s stand. ‘Bat in a Bag’ – genius!

Me and Amber – beautiful, simple hand-printed artworks, cards and teatowels from two clever Sydney-siders.

‘Lightsource’ signage and Make Do creature…

Fun activities at AGDA’s Design Fete – bottom photo – Paul Fuog from The Co-Op hand-painted tattoos for kids (and willing grown-ups!). Very authentic with the ‘sterile’ gloves…!

Aegis – not the only laptop cases at D:M:T but very cool ones nonetheless.

Yellow Diva – excellent work with the gilt-frame and custom signage on the side of their stand too!

New products by Yellow Diva – the Fandeck pendant light-shades were a winner with the crowds…!

Loved The Foundry‘s new screenprinted Thaumatrope wondercards! Super cute.

Illustrator / designer Skye Jefferys painted one of Buro North’s X-mas Trees… lovely work!

Impressive pieces by graduate designer Matt Prince

After seeing Darcy Clarke‘s lights in Milan earlier this year is was great to meet him here at D:M:T! Lovely lighting and furniture all hand-made in Western Australia.

Beautifully crafted pieces with a slight scandi aesthetic by Melbourne designer George Harper of Tide Design.

New modular fabric planters at Kif & Katast.

Ceramics and lighting by one of Melbourne’s most respected craftspeople, Gregory Bonasera.

More lovely laptop cases! The ‘Shuky’ is an envelope-style design in Italian leather (it felt really beautiful), by This Is accessories. They also do these slightly peculiar but seemingly very popular corian twisted bracelets and accessories.

Last but not least! From WoopWoop is a brand new Melbourne start-up who showed a kooky range of recycled cork tableware… cute Australiana-inspired prints with pop-out coasters and trivets.