An Intriguing New Exhibition That Merges Design And Digital Art

Melbourne Design Week starts today and it’s always an exciting opportunity to see some of our favourite local creatives’ latest works. One of the intriguing exhibitions kicking things off is Tessellate, a new collaborative show from designer Zachary Frankel and 3D artist Mikaela Stafford.

The exhibition merges physical pieces with digital graphics in an ‘unconventional domestic space’ in Collingwood, to ask what the future of design might hold. Take a special sneak peek here, and get the full experience in real life from tonight!

Christina Karras

The show combines Zac’s bold furniture with Mikaela’s surreal graphics. Photo – Charlie Hawks

The pair wanted to explore the potential parallels of their seemingly very different practices of furniture making and 3D animation. Photo – Charlie Hawks

The exhibition is being held in an unconventional domestic space on Johnston Street.  Photo – Charlie Hawks

‘From the start, I felt that our new works could sit side by side and be entirely complimentary. Mikaela is interested in the intersection between real and virtual spaces and as the project progressed, our work became more and more intertwined,’ Zac says. Photo – Charlie Hawks

Zac has been hard at work on the range since early-to-mid last year. Photo – Annika Kafcaloudis 

Take a trip through the physical and the digital show. Photo – Charlie Hawks

It’s all a part of Melbourne Design Week’s theme of ‘Design The World You Want’. Photo – Charlie Hawks

‘We hope to inspire our audiences with a sense of limitlessness and excitement about the future of sustainable production methods and digital media as an art form,’ Mikaela says. Photo – Charlie Hawks

Christina Karras
17th of March 2022

Virtual art meets the physical world in a new exhibition opening today from Melbourne designer Zachary Frankel and artist Mikaela Stafford.

While Zachary is known for his bold and sculptural furniture designs, Mikaela specialises in large-scale installations and has recently delved into the world of digital animation – impressively, teaching herself all of the technology during the pandemic! But despite being worlds apart in their mediums, this new collaboration is the perfect exploration of the intersection between real and virtual spaces.

‘From the start, I felt that our new works could sit side by side and be entirely complimentary. My work exists in the physical space and Mikaela has enabled them to exist in the digital sphere in the form of 3D motion graphics,’ Zachary explains.

For Tessellate, Mikaela has re-imagined his colourful and quirky pieces of furniture as surreal 3D models ‘the scale of buildings and in spaces not limited by gravity’.

‘My intention was to take Zac’s everyday objects and insert them into impossible realities that encourage audiences to think about the possibilities and challenges of a cyber-physical future,’ Mikeala says.

The works also take part in Melbourne Design Week 2022’s larger conversation on sustainability. Zachary’s works utilise recycled materials and the exhbition’s integration of the digital world seeks to encourages audiences to rethink ‘how we engage with the everyday’.

‘I hope that people experience both of our work as an immersive experience, appreciate the possibilities of both physical and virtual spaces,’ he says. ‘And the greater intention is to create more conversations around waste and the possibility of creating long lasting, functional and beautiful pieces from it.’

See Tessellate from 17 March – 20 March at 103 Johnston St, Collingwood for free. 

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