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Top Picks for State of Design 2011!

27th June, 2011
Lucy Feagins
Monday 27th June 2011

State of Design Festival Opening Night 2010, photos by Tobias Titz

Melbourne's annual design festival, State of Design, is just under a month away which means NOW is the time to peruse the public program and book yourselves in for things before they sell out!

Running from July 20th - 31st, the festival calendar is brimming with so many brilliant varied events... I thought I'd list just a few top picks to whet the appetite!

State of Design Opening Night

Wednesday July 20th
$35.00 - info and tickets here

SOD Opening night is always a buzzing evening.  This year, in addition to catching a preview of Design : Made : Trade, you can sip on a drink, grab a bite from the Beat Box Kitchen or HASSELL's Japanese food truck Chasing Kitsune... and enjoy some quirky and uniquely 'Melbourne' entertainment - Penny Modra's Collingwood Skipping Club, and the insanely popular Bodyelectric dance troupe!  Sheesh.  Now that wouldn't happen in Sydney.

Design : Made : Trade

Thursday 21st July - Friday 22nd July - Trade Only
Saturday 23rd July - Sunday 24th July - Open to the Public
$10.00 - info and tickets here

Always a mixed bag, Design : Made : Trade is Melbourne's indie trade show, featuring small manufacturers and designer / makers.  Located once again in the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building, here you can meet and view the work of a huge variety of emerging and independent design labels (listed here).

The new 'Open Studio' event at D:M:T also looks interesting - selected designer / makers including Bridget Bodenham and the darling Emily Green bring their studio to you, setting up workshop in Royal Exhibition Building.  This event will host twelve makers over four days.

ALSO at Design : Made : Trade this year, visit the Daniel : Emma Pop-Up Library - a custom made library designed by Adelaide design duo Daniel : Emma, with local and international design publications supplied by Magnation!  DESIGN MAGAZINES for public viewing?  Bring it on.

Design:Made:Trade 2010 - photos Lucy Feagins

Melbourne Open House

Saturday July 30th and Sunday 31st
Free event, some bookings required - all info here

Now in it's fourth year, Melbourne Open House maintains it's enviable position as one of Melbourne's most popular and well attended design events!  The premise, as I'm sure you know, is to open many of Melbourne's most beautiful, iconic or architecturally significant buildings to the public. This year, Melbourne Open House will unlock more buildings than ever before, with 75 buildings opening their doors.  Despite is enormous popularity, Melbourne Open House remains a free and not for profit event.  A fantastic initiative!

Design Reading Room

Do Design Space, Level 2, GPO
350 Bourke st, enter via Postal Lane, lift B

Opening event - Monday July 25th, 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Drop in from 9.00am - 9.00pm, Monday 25th - Friday 29th July

Based at the 'Do Design Space' - SOD's festival hub from July 24th - 29th, the Design Reading Room is a library of printed matter selected by Melbourne designers. Drop in anytime from 9.00am - 9.00pm and peruse the shelves... it's presented by The Coöp and Perimeter Books so is sure to be awesome!


Harvest Workroom
528 Lygon st, East Brunswick
Various dates, various prices - all info and tickets here!

A series of inspired workshops presented by Melbourne's most energetic little design studio - Harvest Workroom!

You can book into one of six brilliant workshops showcasing local designers who use up-cycling to enrich the story of their products -

Up-cycle vintage wallpaper with Harvest Textiles, make your own willow chair with Greg Hatton, make a mini teepee using reclaimed yacht sailcloths with Leila Sanderson, make a basket using Pacific Island weaving techniques with Maryann Talia Pau, make a reclaimed Laminex Brooche with Betty Jo, or attend a knitting workshop with Nikki Gabriel using her new 'WOOLI' upcycled mixed fibre yarn!

ALL are gonna be AMAZING!!!!!  How could you possibly choose!?

Willow chair by Greg Hatton, mini teepee by Leila Sanderson!

The Gertrude st Projection Festival

Gertrude st, Fitzroy
July 22nd - July 31st, 6.00pm - midnight

I must say I do have a soft spot for the Gertrude Project Festival.  Maybe it's because I would take any excuse to have dinner at Anada? Either way, it really is always such a beautiful way to spend a winter's evening, all rugged up for a brisk walk, discovering projected artwork as you stroll... This year 24 sites will project moving, still and installation work where you least expect it!

Gertrude st Projection Festival 2009 - photos Lucy Feagins

The Design Files Live Talks - now SOLD OUT (sorry!)

Do Design Space, Level 2, GPO
350 Bourke st, enter via Postal Lane, lift B

July 28th, 6.15pm - 8.00pm
Tickets $11.00 here

OK so if you haven't noticed that little button in the left-hand column, I am hosting a little event for State of Design entitled The Design Files Live Talks!  It's really just an excuse to have a chat with three inspiring local creative ladies and learn a little more about their creative businesses, their achievements and what makes them tick.  The lovely ladies in question are - interiors stylist Clair Wayman, illustrator / designer Beci Orpin and Chloe Quigley of Ortolan design studio and Michi Girl!

I'll chair an informal Q & A with each creative, and there'll be time for drinks afterwards for a little mingle and chat if you're so inclined!

I'm telling you RIGHT NOW there are not many tickets left, please do not kill me if you don't get one! :)

9 to 5 Talks Program

Five separate talks over 5 days - 25th - 29th July

The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street

Free - bookings essential

The 9 to 5 Talks Program, is not, as the name suggests, happening between 9.00 and 5.00.  It's actually a series of nine questions, posed to five PRETTY FAMOUS international designers, by a panel of Melbourne design industry people.

This will happen, ingeniously, in a series of live, Skype conversations at The Wheeler Centre!  The line-up is quite epic but my top pick would be checking out the Ilse Crawford Q & A on Monday July 25th, 6.15pm - 8.00pm!  I am biased, however, because I am one of the panelists who will pose questions to Ilse Crawford at this session!

ISLE CRAWFORD, people!  Brilliant!

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email