The 2019 Melbourne Design Week will present its largest program to date, with more than 200 events across Victoria.
Themed “Design experiments: how can design shape the future?” the program will explore the ways in which design can reimagine our quality of life from products and services to transport and health.
The program has been curated under five thematic pillars: reconnecting with Birrarung (Yarra river), the war on waste, material matters, possible futures and inclusive cities.
For the first time in its three-year history, the Melbourne Design Week program will also extend to Geelong, in recognition of its designation as a UNESCO City of Design. A number of events will be presented in Victoria’s second city, including a keynote lecture by architect Jefa Greenaway who will explore how the built environment can celebrate and connect to Indigenous culture, and a panel discussion chaired by the Victorian Government Architect Jill Garner on what design leadership means to the City of Design.
Open House Melbourne will also present a series of conversations, boat tours and special events that will examine the role of design in reframing Melbourne’s relationship with water.
Find ArchitectureAU’s selection of the festival’s architectural highlights below.
22 March, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International
One of the world’s most influential architecture critics, the Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright will deliver the Robin Boyd Centenary Address, in which he will explore the financialization of housing in the 21st century. The address will examine housing from a number of perspectives from the forces that control the housing market to how difference societies solve their housing problems and the role of architects can play in meeting these challenges.
7 March to 28 July, NGV Australia
Fresh off the boat from the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, John Wardle Architects’ installation Somewhere Other will be exhibited in the foyer of the NGV Australia for Australian audiences. The practice was invited by curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara to participate in the main exhibition of the 2018 biennale, titled Freespace. The installation is a complex geometric instrument – a viewing portal that allows visitor to experience abstracted vignettes of some of JWA’s projects.
30 November 2018 to 24 March 2019, NGV International, Level 3
Israeli architectural photographer Erieta Attali has photographed the work of some of the world’s leading architects. Originally a landscape and archeological photographer, Attali’s training has given her a unique perspective. This exhibition explores the relationship between architecture and landscape and coincides with the launch of her book Periphery: Archaeology of Light, edited by Attali and Martyn Hook.
8 March to 4 August, NGV International
New York-based practice SO–IL has designed a vibrant architectural display for more than 50 porcelain objects from the NGV’s Decorative Arts Collection. The display comprises a number geometric vitrines made from coloured dichroic acrylic. The installation recontextualizes the objects and creates a dialogue between the historical artifacts and contemporary design. SO–IL director Jing Liu will also give a lecture on 18 March.
14 to 24 March, Budd Street Gallery
In the next 40 years, the population of Melbourne is expected to double from five million to 10 million, which would place the city in an elite group of “megacities,” as defined by the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs. Curators Amy Evans and Conor Todd are seeking a wide range of ideas and propositions from architects and designers for this exhibition that explore Melbourne’s future as a megacity.
15 to 16 March Learning and Teaching Building, Monash University
The Australian Institute of Architects invites the public to attend the jury presentations for the 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards. Architects will present project across 11 major categories from residential to public and commercial. The presentations will be held at John Wardle Architects’ Learning and Teaching Building at Monash University, which won a National Award for Educational Architecture in 2018.
21 March, RMIT Design Hub
For one night only, the submissions for the 2019 NGV Architecture Commission will be exhibited at the RMIT Design Hub. The 2019 commission will be the fifth annual installation undertaken by the National Gallery of Victoria. The competition is judged anonymously and shortlisted teams will present their designs to the public at the exhibition. The winner will be announced following the presentations.
20 March, Melbourne School of Design
Architecture academic and musician Simona Castricum will moderate a panel of speakers who will share insights into how architecture affects the lives of queer, trans and gender diverse people. The discussion will also highlight the critical knowledge base to inform more equitable and inclusive design.
7 to 24 March, Melbourne School of Design
This exhibition explores the work of Jewish émigré architects in Melbourne’s south eastern municipality of Glen Eira. The exhibition establishes a dialogue between housing, cultural and historical landscapes through archival materials such as drawings, documentation, interviews, print media and 3D models.
This tour will take visitors to five homes that “explore housing at the edge of normal,” including a compact young family home, a share house for baby boomers, a mixed work-live house and a converted obsolete garage. The tour will engage both the architects and their clients who brought the projects to reality.
15 March, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International
This event will bring together representatives from government, housing associations, the development industry and the design sector to discuss their visions for addressing the urgent and complex issue of affordable housing. The discussion will also address how to provide for a functioning and productive city, more than just an equitable city.
22 March, Housemuseum Galleries
Melbourne’s newest art gallery, the Lyon Housemuseum Galleries will open in March. Architect Corbett Lyon will lead a guided tour of the building, which is located adjacent to the Lyon Housemuseum, the private home of Corbett and his family. The new public gallery will also host its inaugural exhibition Enter during Melbourne Design Week.
14 to 23 March, Bates Smart Gallery
Bates Smart will present an exhibition focused around the recently completed Club Stand at Flemington Racecourse, which will include a sectional sculpture of the stand, paired with a project timeline, from conception to completion. The exhibition explores both the spatial outcomes of the design as well as providing an insight into architectural and interior design process.
Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn will present 11 films examining contemporary design during Melbourne Design Week, including Mies on Scene: Barcelona in Two Acts, Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect, Renzo Piano: Architect of Light, and the Australian premiere of Relics of the Future.