10 Events You Don't Want To Miss At Melbourne Design Week 2024!

Other places in Australia might have more famous landmarks and (arguably) nicer beaches, but Melbourne is famous for its creative culture — and Melbourne Design Week is when our city really comes alive.

Delivered by the NGV, the eighth edition of Australia’s largest annual design festival kicks off on May 23, with more than 300 innovative exhibitions, displays, symposiums, and talks taking place across the mammoth 11-day program.

From the beloved Melbourne Art Book Fair, to showcases from local makers and leading architects, there’s truly something for everyone. Find our top 10 picks from the line-up below and start planning what you’re going to see and do!

Christina Karras
This Story is Supported by Melbourne Design Week

Photo – Pier Carthew

Material Matters 02
May 23 – June 1

Material Matters 02 highlights the work of architects, designers, and makers who are pushing the boundaries when it comes to the sustainability of our built environment. Across the week, there will be informal conversations with the innovative exhibitors, including architectural practice Breathe, experimental designers Cordon Salon, Other Matter founder Jessie French and more — showing how they use (and reuse) material in their respective fields.

Find out more here.

Limbo Accra’s Super Limbo, or the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023, curated by Tosin Oshiwono. Photo – Edmund Sumner

Al Borde’s Raw Threshold for the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023, curated by Tosin Oshiwono. Photo – Danko Stjepanovic

Adrian Pepe’s Utility of Being for the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023, curated by Tosin Oshiwono. Photo – Edmund Sumner

Portrait of Tosin Oshinowo. Image photographed for Identity magazine. Photo – Bashar Belal

Tosin Oshinowo
May 26

Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo has just been named one of the 50 most powerful women in architecture and design, and she’s the keynote speaker at this year’s Melbourne Design Week. Famous for her socially responsive approach to commercial, cultural and civic architecture in the face of scarcity, Tosin will share insights from her experiences working across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It’s a one-off event, so bookings for this one are essential.

Find out more here.

Isamu Noguchi Akari 10A, Sori Yanagi Butterfly Stool. Photo – Courtesy CIBI

Everyday Living Japan | 1950’s & Today
May 23 – June 2

Family-run business CIBI is famous for its authentic Japanese menu, but the café and concept store is also a big champion of all things Japanese design. For MDW, the Collingwood institution is holding an exhibition that explores the works of leading furniture designers from the 1950s to the 1960s. Browse iconic pieces by the likes of Isamu Nogouchi, Sori Yanagi, Yamanaka Design Office, Reiko Watanabe, Daisaku Cho, Saburo Innui, and Isamu Kenmochi, and treat yourself to a delicious breakfast set afterwards!

Find out more here.

House Editions by Claudia Lau. Photo – Ben Hosking

Aqua Culture by Collective Territories. Photo – courtesy of the artist

House Editions Vases by Claudia Lau. Photo – Courtesy of the artist

House Editions Showroom | Material Processes
May 23 – June 2

Incredible ceramicist Claudia Lau (House Editions) has teamed up with architect Joseph Gauci-Seddon (Collective Territories) for a unique activation in Claudia’s Melbourne showroom. Described as a bathroom installation with hundreds of hand-made tiles, Material Processes spotlights not only the beauty of the finished work, but the many, many material tests, conceptual objects, and scale models that go into the art of creating behind the scenes.

Find out more here.

HotHaus Glass Studio’s Amanda Dziedzic at work. Photo – Martina Gemmola

May 23 – May 27

Amanda Dziedzic and Laurel Kohut are the brains behind HotHaus Glass Studio, and they’re taking over The Design Files’ very own gallery space to reveal their debut lighting range. The new pieces take inspiration from the ever-changing Australian skies to create a colourful, and creative collection. And if we know anything about these glass artists, it’s that the craftsmanship will be impeccable!

Find out more here.

L: NNA Crocodile Trap Photo – Timothy Hillier. Image courtesy of Numbulwar Numburindi Arts. R: Annindilyakwa Sea Shepherd Australia. Photo – Rebecca Griffiths

Rubbish On The Shore | Design And Discourse
May 24 – May 27

In partnership with First Nations design thinkers, Agency Projects are continuing the conversation around the impact of ghost nets on Indigenous communities across the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Torres Strait. A structure will be built from ghost nets and other marine debris across the duration of the exhibition — using waste materials collected by Indigenous Ranger Groups — investigating design solutions for these plastic fishing nets, which take 600 years to break down.

Find out more here.

Ben Mooney runs vintage store and concept space Ma House Supply Store. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Zachary Frankel in his Melbourne studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

May 23 – June 2

FABRIC explores the way textiles and materials make us feel in a collaboration between two of our favourite local creatives, furniture designer Zachary Frankel and Ma House Supply Store creative director Ben Mooney. Spanning multiple spaces at Ma House’s inner-city storefront, each room in the immersive exhibition will have a different theme. Intriguing right?

Find out more here.

Melbourne Art Book Fair 2022 in the NGV Great Hall. Photo – Tobias Titz

Melbourne Art Book Fair
Stallholder Fair, May 24 – May 26
Satellite Program, May 23 – June 2

The Melbourne Art Book Fair is an undisputed fan favourite that gets bigger and better every year. For the Fair’s 10th edition, spend a morning inside NGV’s magnificent Great Hall browsing stallholders from indie book publishers, art galleries, zine makers and art prints, before getting involved in the stacked line-up of free events — like one from FlexMami on the art of good conversation, and a special talk from award-winning British design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn! Plus, there’s plenty of satellite events taking place across Melbourne and in regional Victoria.

Find out more here.

Photo – Courtesy of Haydens and the artist

Jacqueline Stojanovic in her studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Colour Ways
May 24 – June 2

Melbourne-based artist Jacqueline Stojanovic creates beautiful handmade weavings inspired by the past, and her new solo show Colour Ways builds on the idea that weaving is an ancient carrier of culture. In addition to her signature steel grids wrapped in coloured wool,  Jacqueline’s latest body of work also features a small suite of furniture created in collaboration with Haydens director Hayden Stuart, bringing her techniques to a range of chairs and stools.

Find out more here.

Installation view of (NO THINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda at Villa Alba on display from 18-24 May 2023 as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo – Tess Kelly

Installation view of Marlo Lyda’s podium on display in (NO THINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda at Villa Alba on display from 18-24 May 2023 as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo – Matt McQuiggan

Installation view of (NO THINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda at Villa Alba on display from 18-24 May 2023 as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo – Tess Kelly

(MATTERS) at Villa Alba
May 24 – May 27

Villa Alba Museum in Kew is one of Melbourne’s most historic buildings that also doubles as a gallery space for a series of different creatives every MDW. This year, Villa Alba will play host to works from furniture and industrial designer Adam Goodrum, experimental maker Jordan Fleming, homegrown design company Design By Them — just to name a few. It’s a contemporary group exhibition of epic proportions, set inside the walls of the lavishly decorated 1880s Italianate mansion!

Find out more here.


Melbourne Design Week 2024 runs from May 23 – June 2.
Explore the full program online here.

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