Render of the 'Solar Pavilion' by John Wardle Architects in collaboration with Ash Keating Studio & Openwork Studio as part of A New Normal.

The Unmissable Events To Attend At Melbourne Design Week 2021

These are the must-see talks and exhibitions at the top of our hit-list for MDW’s biggest program ever!

Sasha Gattermayr
16th of March 2021

Remember *that week* last year when everything changed? That fateful spate of cancellations fell right on the opening days of Melbourne Design Week, one of the biggest dates in the national industry calendar. It was a frightening harbinger at the time; but now, this year’s program benefits from a whole twelve months of perspective. The makers, designers, sole traders and collectives that were rocked by 2020 are also the ones uniquely positioned to innovate around its shortcomings, and be inspired by its abnormality.

With this in mind, the festival’s thematic pillars are care, community and climate. The most expansive program in the festival’s existence spans 300 events across Victoria, encompassing talks, exhibitions, films, tours and workshops. At the forefront of this ambitious thematic scheme is an exciting new mini program from Finding Infinity called A New Normal, which will see architects and designers reimagine Melbourne as a completely renewable, self-sufficient city (watch this space for more detailed info coming soon!).

Also at the top of our list is a keynote conversation with Joost Bakker about his trailblazing Future Food Systems Greenhouse (remember our feature from earlier this year?), and Brave Blooms – an immersive exhibition of sustainable design from 29 local creatives such as Tantri Mustika, Tracy Quertier + Pip Newell of Curated Spaces!

Future Inheritance is an exhibition investigating the everlasting physicality of objects, how they carry meaning, and how that meaning changes over time, through the work of twenty multidisciplinary designers. Similarly, Volker Haug Studio will host After Hours: an exhibition of side hustles which showcases the work industry pros like Brahman Perera, Marsha Golemac and Wes Waddell have made outside their typical creative beat.

Coco Flip and Plyroom will host a particularly thought-provoking talk about the ethical principals of small business at their shared headquarters in Northcote. SMALL is a discussion about keeping creative businesses and projects purposefully compact in a fast-paced world, with panellists including B Corp executive Andrew Davies, Fatuma Ndenzako of Collective Closets + Monique Woodward of WOWOWA.

And as always, the inaugural festival weekend will be opened by the ever-popular Art Book Fair!

Melbourne Design Week runs from the 26th March – April 5th. See the full program here!

Supported by Melbourne Design Week

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