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2018, A Year In Review

I have a few regular traditions around new year’s eve – I know it’s VERY nerdy but I like to use this time make a list of goals for the year ahead, both personal and professional.

When making these grand plans, it’s important to reflect on the past twelve months, too. My Mum always reminds me to stop and celebrate the small achievements (thanks Mum!) instead of racing ahead all the time! So, today, I’m looking back, at the highs, the lows, and the #trending themes which emerged in our world in 2018!

31st December, 2018
Lucy Feagins
Monday 31st December 2018

It’s been another jam-packed year in TDF-land!

As we re-capped last week, 2018 was definitely the year of the cabin / shack / hut / tiny dream home! We (and you!) couldn’t get enough of these inspiring stories – its amazing to see the creative ways which make home ownership, and small footprint living possible, and we are planning to bring you many more exemplary tiny homes in 2019.

Back in April (which feels like a lifetime ago TBH) I was SO lucky to travel to Milan with Dulux, to produce ‘Milan in Colour – a 3-part video series captured at the Salone Del Mobile aka Milan Design Fair! It was so amazing to get out of the Melbourne bubble and plug into the international design scene briefly – WOAH. What a week! Revisit the series here.

This year was a HUGE one for us in terms of events. We launched a wonderful partnership with Mercedes me in 2018, and I hosted no less than 14 events in their beautiful cafe / event space this year! Highlights were seeing Tammy Kanat’s incredible process up close, making floral magic with Hattie Molloy, and chatting with Tantri Mustika about her meteoric career success (from hairdresser to full-time ceramist in one year!). It seems you guys are loving seeing more of TDF in the real world… so we have lots more coming in 2019.

That brings us to TDF Collect – our beloved little art gallery in Collingwood, where we hosted five exhibitions this year. Marc Martin’s mid year show was a standout (and instant sell out!), other highlights included our first photography show with Sean Fennessy, and our first sculpture show with Sean Meilak – SO GOOD.

This year we saw an incredible cross section of charity collaborations and social enterprises celebrating diversity and inclusivity. We loved supporting these inspiring initiatives, and seeing you guys get behind them too! Highlights included our recipe series with Tamil Feasts, our coverage of the AMAZING Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood in Sydney, and the incredibly successful Pattern For Yemen‘ fundraiser show, which raised $40k for the Yemeni humanitarian crisis. SO AMAZING! If YOU are planning something awesome like this in 2019 – please get in touch, we’d love to support it.

One of our biggest stories this year was Nightingale Housing, and the completion of Nightingale 1 – a truly inspiring new model for home ownership in Australia. Learn more about Nightingale here – and you should also listen to our Podcast conversation with Jeremy Mcleod, the founder and champion of this game-changing new property development model.

In 2018 we super-charged our weekly content offering – leaping from five stories a week, to publishing between 15 and 20 stories a week. Not bad for a 3-person editorial team! A big part of this has been the evolution of our ‘News’ stories – short, up-to-the-minute coverage of launches, events, exhibitions, and design / art / architecture news across the country. One of our biggest news stories of the year was this one, about NGV’s MASSIVE expansion plans – bring it on!

The appreciation for Mid-century homes continues to grow exponentially around here – our monthly Modernist Australia column, authored by the brilliant Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs, is now one of our most popular columns! Revisit the archive here, and keep your eye on Patricia and Pete’s own website for an hawk-eyed overview of the best mid century real estate listings across Australia – we can dream, right?

We launched TDF Talks, our fortnightly Podcast this year, and we have been BLOWN AWAY to receive more than 100,000 downloads across our first two seasons – THANKYOU SO MUCH for supporting our podcast! Of course, we have plenty more amazing conversations coming at you in 2019 – subscribe here.

Outside of TDF, The Rigg Design Prize was a standout exhibition for us this year – it was amazing to see the NGV get behind interior design in a big way. It’s still on at NGV Australia until February 29th – well worth a visit these holidays if you’re in town.

I can’t sign off on this year without mentioning two talented Melbourne creatives who we sadly lost this year. The inimitable Mirka Mora passed away in August, and her incredible contributions to Melbourne’s creative community were remembered fondly by so many. Revisit my 2014 interview with Mirka here – it’s so heart-warming and really capture’s Mirka’s unique sense of humour!

More recently, in November, we were devastated to hear of the passing of Melbourne artist Sandra Eterovic, after a short illness. Sandra was so incredibly talented – we profiled her a number of times on The Design Files over the years, and featured her distinctive portraits and quirky handpainted objets d’art at many of our Open House events. We have loved seeing the countless tributes to Sandra across Melbourne’s blogosphere (can I still use that word?!) and Instagram over the past month. Revisit Sandra’s work on her website here.

WELL, that’s it for this epic recap of the year that was. Thankyou so much for all your incredible support this year – we can’t wait to get stuck in 2019 with you soon! Next week we will continue our holiday content scheduling, before re-launching all new content next Monday Jan 7th.

Happy New Year, from all of our team! x

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.