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Design:Made:Trade Round Up

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 25th July 2011

The beautiful temporary studio space of textile designer Elizabeth Yong of Primoeza, for Craft Victoria’s Open Studios‘ at Design:Made:Trade last week

Elizabeth Yong of Primoeza

Book sculptor Nicholas Jones in his ‘Open Studio’ space

Melbourne’s annual Design:Made:Trade event at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton wrapped up yesterday, and as always I have a little round up for you today.  AS USUAL I got completely overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the event and all the familiar faces… It took about 2 hours just to get through Craft Victoria’s excellent Open Studios‘ area at the entrance!  Agh.  I need some kind of time allowance per stand and alarm clock system next year I think!

Filling an important niche as Melbourne’s ‘indie’ trade show, D:M:T is always a mixed bag, and this year was no exception. There was some AWESOME stuff.  There was some slightly questionable stuff.  There was a lot of stuff I’d seen before.  Generally though, I find D:M:T always offers a great snapshot of what’s happening in local design, with just enough free events, hands-on workshops and kids activities over the weekend to keep things buzzing!

The new Open Studios‘ event this year was an absolute winner.  Curated by Craft Victoria, selected designer / makers including Emily Green, Nicholas Jones and Elizabeth Yong of Primoeza set themselves up in temporary studio spaces, working on site at the Exhibition Building from Thursday through to Sunday. SO GREAT to see these wonderful local creatives working and chatting to visitors about their practice.  Massive congrats to Craft Victoria and all the makers who went to great efforts to really ‘move in’ and decorate their makeshift studios – this was certainly a highlight for me.

Other fab initiatives this year – the Pop-Up Design Library, housed in a custom-made structure designed by Adelaide design duo Daniel : EmmaTreadlie‘s fabulous ‘Made To Measure’ custom bike exhibit at the entrance.  The BRILLIANT Roll-Up bicycle valet service on opening night – with support from Vic Health and Flexicar, this simple free service will follow many events this week allowing easy bike access for festival-goers.  (Cute red tents and 50’s inspired uniforms make it even more appealing….!).

In keeping with my own self-imposed tradition, I’ve decided to dish out a few cute and completely arbitrary D:M:T awards once again this year -

Best new festival initiative for 2011Roll-Up bicycle valet service
Best stand design / styling - Notemaker stationery set up a fully functional office complete with retro-inspired scandi furniture, telephone, pot plant!
Best international accent – Festival photographer Tobias Titz clinches this category again (and thanks for the pics Tobias!)
Cutest couple award - Emma Aiston and Daniel To of Daniel : Emma!  Seriously too cute.  And a bit matching, if you ask me.
Best New Talent – Olinda-based Ari Prasetya‘s impressive furniture range created from salvaged timbers – channeling Piet Hein Eek (though Ari’s never heard of him!)
One to WatchMaryann Talia Pau, designer / weaver extraordinaire.  I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of Maryann!
Most popular – Ah, maybe me?! unfortunately!
Least popular – Flimsy cardboard partitions… tres controversial.

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

After finally seeing them both in one place, I can confirm Milly Flemming (pictured here) is most definitely a completely separate person to Stephanie De Kuijer (They are, however, the MOST identical twins I have ever come across).  SORRY Milly for always calling you Steph!  And vice versa.  Aghhhhhh.

Milly Flemming beautiful faceted jewellery designs and workspace details

Emma Greenwood making shoes!

Designer / weaver Maryann Talia Pau

Emily Green smiles coyly for the paparazzi (ie, me and Dawn Tan)

GORGEOUS collab between Leah Jackson (ceramics) and Andrea Shaw / Stampel Studio (woodblocks, collage and macrame!)

Matthew Thomson of Mattt Bags stitches up a storm in the Open Studios

A D:M:T regular, Daylesford-based designer Jessie Fairweather once again presented a beautiful range of hand printed paper goods under her label – The Foundry

Ink & Spindle‘s beautiful stand showcased their popular hand printed organic fabrics, and the new Inklet range
Designed in Brunswick‘s retro-inspired prints, cushions and lamps
Sweet handmade babushka dolls by The Crafty Squirrel

Melbourne-made furniture by another D:M:T regular – George Harper of Tide Design

Sweet colourful creations using unique digitally printed fabrics by Pocket Carnival

Cushion Totem!  By Harvest Workroom
‘Trashkova’ versatile vessel (can be a bin, stool, laundry basket, umbrella stand). I think I like the idea of a Gold plated RUBBISH BIN best!  Made in Australia, designed by Tim Stone at Boquil.

Shelley Panton‘s beautiful hand crafted ceramics

Sweet cards and stationery by Anamiro
Amazing ceramic vessels with geometric patterns created using CAD and a 3D printer (then slip cast) by The Mod Collective.
Notemaker – amazing stand complete with an entire set of office furniture ! (Did you know Notemaker are now importing this Danish-inspired furniture from Korean design studio In Detail!?  Check it out here)

Daniel : Emma‘s design library!

Daniel : Emma‘s design library with publications by MagNation

Great to see JamFactory here after blogged their new website last week!  SERIOUSLY COVETING one of those handcrafted Kink oil bottles!

Treadlie‘s fabulous ‘Made To Measure’ custom bike showcase

I LOVE these circular timber hanging shelved by Bride&Wolfe so much!  SO MUCH!
Gorgeous handcrafted bags, storage baskets and poufs handmade in Melbourne using coffee sacks and french linen by A Thoughtful Spot

Ari Prasetya‘s furniture created from salvaged timbers – channeling Piet Hein Eek (though Ari says he’s never heard of him!)

Roll-Up bicycle valet service – GENIUS! Look out for these guys at other festival events this week! This pic – Tobias Titz

Roll-Up bicycle valet service – GENIUS! This pic – Tobias Titz

Opening night at D:M:T – this pic – Tobias Titz

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 25th July 2011

34 comments

  • Sarah B 3 years ago

    Wow, so much creative goodness! I’d be like a kid in a candy shop :)

  • jen barker 3 years ago

    Hello :) I enjoy your updates in my inbox each morning – Thank you! Today’s one is just too much for my eyes ;)

  • Thanks Lucy, you most popular lady!

  • Amanda Thorson 3 years ago

    this is great! so many things i’m now planning on purchasing…thanks :)

  • jj 3 years ago

    Its a shame you covered so much craft at a design show. I freely admit this is the main problem with dmt, but there was a lot of great new design that you seemed to have ignored. Glad you had fun tho :)

  • Kate 3 years ago

    I also attended DMT and Design Market on weekend and had a great time. Went home with more goodies from Notemaker, a printed piece by Spacecraft (from market) and some KeepCups as pressies (not new but brilliant design and NEW colours with dark clip-things so they dont lipstick stain like mine).

    I must add to the loves you have here the fabric lights by Enoki which zipped off their wooden frames and their humourous rugs (the splat dog was hilarious) which could be made in any shade (tattslotto gods why do you fail me!) Also the lights in repurposed microscope boxes by “two layers of cells” have stayed with me, and the side tables and rocker day bed by MULE.. Playing on the mind of my other half is MattT new bag for men (sadly i cannot fit another bag without adopting out some current ones but for those french market bags i can make an exception). Also planning to get a circular hanging shelf….. even without tattslotto. Maybe that is incentive to do my tax.
    I also liked the locally made lights by tub-design but wasnt clear if they fitted here or at furnitext.

    What was lovely was the work of design students and design finalists – what I didnt like was that there seemed to be little information on the designs./process so I was lucky I had read about them all elsewhere but most attendees were shuflfing past the round ball of brackish water unaware of the genius of its design. Same with bamboo cycle. I wanted to yell -“go back and really look”…
    Finally a special LOVE for weaver Maryann Talia Pau, My husband did her workshop and I am happy owner of new woven vessel. Thanks Design Week.

  • Emma 3 years ago

    As one of the craft practitioners mentioned above, I’m going to say thanks Lucy for being a champion of our work. Surely all design starts with the hands, crafting in one way or another, a sketch, a model, a sample.

    I found that most of my visitors were so pleased to see people actually making work, and felt included and invited into our worlds, instead of wandering past exhibits staffed by bored looking stallholders.

    ‘Design that Moves’ was the title of DMT this year, hence the inclusion and focus on craftspeople making and doing in the flesh. We had a ball!

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    THANKS EMMA! I heart your comment :) Thank YOU all for letting us in to see a little ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into your work and your creative practice!

    Thanks also for all the other lovely comments here!

  • Lara 3 years ago

    I totally agree on the craft front, the Open Studios section of the event was SO imperative. It gave the show brightness, warmth & tactility and also helped illustrate how amazing creative businesses and products come into existence.

    Besides, who’s to decide what’s “craft” and what’s “design”, and which is superior?? In many cases is there even a difference?

    I for one hope that we continue to have Open Studios and individuals represented by Craft Victoria at DMT – it’s SUCH an important bridge between the world of markets and the world of trade shows. As one of the larger stall holders I know first hand how very hard it can be to make that leap.

  • jj 3 years ago

    There is a fairly significant difference between craft and design. Just as ther is between design and art. Not to mention the sub classifications within each. But that isnt the point. Nor is the validity of each in question. Craft is by far the larger group, so no need to defend their honour, they are the knitted elephant in the room and a strong, popular discipline. The point is, as i discussed with a few craft practitioners at the show, that design made trade is a DESIGN event. A little bleed here or there is great, but the majority of stalls were clearly craft. This is a curatorial problem that damages both disciplines. Craftspeople expressed to me their horror at the mishmash of stalls presented and their dissapointment that they were seeing craft and not design. The criticism comes from within and without and is perfectly valid. It is not the fault of the craftspeople or the designers. I am happy to see and commend craft…its great, but its not design.

  • Kay 3 years ago

    I understand where JJ is coming from. I don’t think there is any criticism of craft intended but the show is called DESIGN, Made, trade – and whilst the “made” descriptor was well-covered by craft and artisanal products, the “design” aspect seemed to receive less attention in media coverage and across stall representation, which is a shame because the work that goes into product and furniture design is no less intensive than that of hand-made work and there are so many trade shows devoted purely to handmade crafts that it can be frustrating for designers to get as much coverage.

  • steve 3 years ago

    Cheers Lucy for again covering these events and drawing attention to all the local talent that we seem to have in this fair city!
    As for the comments about design vs craft, there’s a pandora’s box of opinions to be shared there, but as a qualified designer and a newly self-made craftsperson I will point out that there are lots of events out there that are more/entirely ‘design’ oriented (ie Furnitex, DesignEx etc) so it shouldn’t matter if in some years crossover events like DMT seem weighted one way or the other. Design/Craft/Art like fashion is cyclical, so things will always swing back and forth in popularity and prevalence.
    Lets all just work on what we love and rest assured we’ll all get our ‘day in the sun’!

  • jj 3 years ago

    Believe it or not, having a day in the sun is not what this is about. Trotting out credentials doesnt help your argument, nor does it change mine. I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say. I wish that shows like furnitex and designex were design focused, but they arent. And besides thats got nothing to do with my initial comment. It is a problem, but perhaps a craft blog isnt the correct forum. Carry on, nothing to see here.

  • Lara 3 years ago

    I think that’s a fair call regarding the weighting of representation of types of stalls, but I also feel that in this context the lines between design and craft are very blurred.

    When the maker is present and performing their skills at the show they are deemed a craftsperson, but were their business to grow and they were to outsource this component (or if process was hidden behind tradeshow walls) would their role not simply be the designer? In any designed product there is surely a craftsperson involved (furniture design a perfect example) so does it sometimes simply come down to the scale of the business & volume of production for one to deem it ‘design’ rather than ‘craft’?

    I design my own textiles so I call myself a textile designer. But we also screen print those textiles as meterage with our very own hands. Had I been screen printing at my stall on the day would I have been deemed a craftsperson or a designer?

  • jj 3 years ago

    Yay lara! :) thank you for such a well written and considered response. I can totally see what you mean. Scale is certainly a factor and you raise a very interesting point. I suppose that i am coming from a fairly specific segment of product design that rarely touches the edges of craft. One thing that i would say is that i personally consider textile design to be craft heavy at all scales( i apologise if this seems offensive). Should it be at dmt? Yes, definately. But it should be curated appropriately.
    *ducks for cover*

  • It was fabulous to see so many local designers and people who actually make their products themselves, and I did not see any craftspeople who had not actually also designed their product.

    I think it’s great to have an event like this which is supportive of locally designed AND produced goods.

  • Rosie 3 years ago

    Lucy, thanks for the report-loved the images. Commentors- thanks for a thought provoking discussion…keep it up.

  • dani 3 years ago

    wow! so much debate over craft and design. its great!
    i my self am a designer who makes. there are craft people out there that craft without design- this may offend some, but i think this is what sets me and the crafts people you would have seen at DMT apart. our work is considered and as much about the design and its appeal as it is about the act of making.

    i for one would feel very out of place at a craft trade show. have you seen a craft show?!

    i hope people can see there is craft, there is design, and this awesome middle section where they meet.

  • steve 3 years ago

    oh well, lets agree to disagree on this one rather than chewing up pages and pages of Design Files web space.
    JJ, I can understand that if you went to DMT as a designer looking for displays from design firms and/or cutting edge Core77 sort of stuff then you may well have left disappointed. I’ve left plenty of shows in the past feeling deflated that I didn’t see what I went looking for, so I hope that the next one is more like what you want. Perhaps send an email to the organizers, that has worked for me in the past – constructive feedback is always appreciated i find.

    I only hope we can all agree that the people who were there, regardless of their craft or design standing had pretty great stuff to show and tell.

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    Thanks so much for all your intelligent comments guys! I’ve been out at a festival event this evening, but I LOVE how I can leave it to you guys to discuss this issue and not feel the need to intervene..!

    Although there is just one thing I would say jj – The Design Files is NOT a craft blog! I do have a great respect for craft and craft blogs, but TDF has a much broader focus – architecture, interiors, fine art, graphic design and illustration etc…. in my mind ‘craft’ falls under the broad umbrella of design!

    I truly appreciate your time contributing to this post everyone! Thanks so much! x

  • Marianne Sourial 3 years ago

    Thank you Lucy for this thorough coverage of D:M:T. We did not actually get to attend this year, as we were at D+D exhibiting, so it is wonderful to see so many images here on your blog! This discussion has been most thought provoking, as we only just launched our business + product and were at odds as to which event would be a “better fit” for us! We definitely are under the ‘Design’ umbrella but at one stage we were also doing the crafting ourselves! We were not entirely sure we fit into the D:M:T exhibitor “profile”, so we went for D+D, but as jj points out these are not designed focused events. It is food for thought for us!

  • Reading this post reminds me of a similar event we have here in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver) and a few places in the US (Chicago, New York) called the One-of-a-Kind show. Like you, I find it’s often a mix of good, questionable and definitely seen it before! I was just thinking that it is too bad we couldn’t see all of the Australian work up here (new to us, exciting!) and we could send down all the Canucks and Americans. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some stuff you haven’t seen before?!

  • PRIMOEZA 3 years ago

    First of all thanks for such wonderful coverage Lucy – I didn’t get around to see all the stands in detail and I’ve certainly caught up on some now!

    The debate going on here was interesting to read. I want to add that as a textile designer working with knit, a traditional craft practice, I am constantly surprised at how much design thought I have to put into my work – I don’t mean making something ‘look nice’, I mean refining and refining my patterns and process so that I can replicate several pieces in a reasonable amount of time. This is in addition to the useability of the item, its price point and place in the market and of course the aesthetic appeal. I currently work on a very small scale, but these are the same factors that they would be considering in large, commercial design houses. My partner also works in the IT industry, helping to build information management systems for large corporate clients, and we often discuss our respective projects and find there is so much in common in terms of creating something that is going to have longevity and that the customer/client will be able to use successfully.

    A lot of people would be probably be surprised at the amount of design energy being put into my products that come out looking quite sweet and whimsical but I don’t see how I can run my craft practice without having a well thought out design process.

  • Ramona 3 years ago

    Thought I’d weigh in here. As a board member of Craft VIctoria I of course have nothing but praise for the wonderful makers who allowed us some insight into their practice as part of design made trade. I think it’s important to note the middle word of that particular event is ‘made’ – which is indeed at the heart of craft. We in the craft community have long understood that the lines between art craft and design do blur and that makers – from potters, to industrial designers, to architects should be encouraged and supported in their multidisciplinary practices. If you were to look at the collection of makers in the open studios there were in fact designers (Matt Thompson, Harvest Textiles, Sneak Design, Holly Daze, Primezoa) artists (Nicholas Jones, Andrea Shaw, Leah Jackson) and craftspeople (Emma Greenwood, Milly Fleming, Andrea Daniel).
    I saw plenty of design at Design Made Trade and continue to do so as the Design Festival continues.

  • Pip 3 years ago

    Oh this is very interesting! I think that on the whole, design decisions are made no matter what kind of crafter/craftsperson you are. We too design the things we make. Perhaps what we are talking about, a particular design aesthetic here, rather than craft vs design? I don’t really know why we need to draw those lines, but I accept that some people think that it’s necessary (not me!)

    I WOULD like to observe that it makes perfect sense that these photos are quite craft laden. Lucy hangs with the crafty peeps because they know how to have a good time, they are very hardworking, knowledgeable and down to earth, PLUS they usually have a healthy supply of mixed lollies and know where the best coffee is.

    (As an aside, the designers who use crafty elements tend to be part of a huge wider craft community, so they bring a LOT of nice, loyal punters to events like this… hence they are included {rightly so!} more and more.)

    That is not to say that Ms Lucy doesn’t have a keen eye for the best of things in all kinds of ‘design’ niches : art, architecture, interiors, publishing, fashion, film and more… because she TOTES does and I for one think she curates this blog with a very clever discerning eye. Go Lucy!

  • Pip 3 years ago

    … talking about *is* a particular design aesthetic.. ooops! Left out the *is* in that sentence! Sorry!

  • jen@bluecaravan 3 years ago

    My! What verbose comment leavers! I love it. Thanks Lucy for the round-up. Would have loved to have been there. Thank goodness we have people like you to ease the pain of those who could not attend. Jen x

  • belinda/gretchenmist 3 years ago

    fantastic! i so need to go next time round :)

  • Tom 3 years ago

    check it out Craft Victoria @ DMT http://vimeo.com/26948515

  • Morgan Wills 3 years ago

    Lovely to meet you Lucy! Keep up the good work ;-) Morgan x

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