Melbourne Design Week (MDW) celebrates design in an annual 11-day program of talks, tours, exhibitions, launches, installations and workshops across Australia’s design capital.
The program champions design through promoting its broad array of disciplines, including: communication design, industrial design, service design, gaming, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design, fashion, craft and functional art. What also unites these disciplines in MDW is a focus on experimentation, innovation and ideas that enrich the world.
MDW is a platform for designers, educators, enthusiasts, thinkers and businesses to come together to share ideas, show and sell new work, and consider how design can be used as a force for good in an increasingly complex and precarious world.
The curation of the program is led by the NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture team; Ewan McEoin, Simone LeAmon and Myf Doughty alongside Timothy Moore, Director of Sibling Architecture.
The program is curated into two streams. There is a stream of local and international exhibitions and presentations organised by the National Gallery of Victoria, which includes the Melbourne Art Book Fair and the Melbourne Design Fair. There is also the satellite program of events and exhibitions organised by the design community. The satellite program makes up approximately 90 per cent of the program with events held at ateliers, studios, retail spaces, universities, galleries, gardens and public spaces throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria. Participation in the satellite program is via an expression-of-interest. Applications for Melbourne Design Week 2023 will open in August, 2022.
MDW is an initiative of the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and delivered by the NGV. The program is built on the enthusiastic engagement and participation of the design sector and the general public. Since 2017 the program has grown in scope and scale from just under 100 programs in 2017 to over 300 in 2022 making it Australia’s leading and largest design event.
In 2021, Melbourne Design Week explored the theme ‘Design the world you want’ and asked designers to consider how they could collaborate to create a healthier future.
In 2022, the program continues with this call-to-action to celebrate the diverse ways design can work towards this better future.Two pillars – civic good and making good – provide a focused exploration of the main theme.
Design and creativity can transform aspects of society by benefiting everyone rather than individuals. The thematic of ‘civic good’ encourages participants to think beyond the individual, and look to the objects, buildings, designs and services that make people feel part of a community, and importantly, serve the common interest.
The value of a design is not only judged through its functional or aesthetic impact, but also on its environmental and social impact on the planet. Whether digital or physical, handmade or manufactured, service, system or object, making good considers the many ways in which ideas and experiments are realised through the lens of ethical and sustainable practices that rethink design processes, production and materials.
Melbourne Design Week is underpinned by five core principles developed by Creative Victoria as part of the Creative State 2025. These are:
• First Peoples first (including the 11 Guiding Principles of Aboriginal Self-Determination)
• For every Victorian
• Whole of state
• Health and wellbeing, and
• Environmental impact.
Melbourne Design Week
17–27 March 2022