From Unique Objects to Thought-provoking Ideas: Highlights from Melbourne Design Week 2023.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 (MDW) is over for another year but not without igniting more curiosity, discovery and pride in our Australian design community than ever—just in time to tide us over for the winter.

Curated by the NGV, the continued support of designers and makers was felt in more ways than one, as the event used its platform to advocate the value of good design and specifically foster a place for participants to promote and sell their work—because starving artists is a played-out cliché, isn’t it? But more importantly, how do we expect to see continuously beautiful and provocative work if we don’t first respect the object and the person behind it?

Located at the new end of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne Design Fair was on another level this year, offering one-of-a-kind, limited edition and small-batch design production of furniture, lighting and objects for sale by emerging designers and makers. Over at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, the NGV’s Melbourne Now continued with The Design Wall celebrating consumer products designed in Melbourne, bringing together twenty-five design studios that are shaping the way we live today.

Melbourne Now: NGV’s History-making Exhibition With 200+ Victorian-based Artists Now Open.

The second edition of the ground-breaking exhibition highlights the extraordinary work of more than 200 Victorian-based artists, designers…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Studios Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 01

Installation view of Oigall Studios at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Studios Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 02a

Installation view of Oigall Studios at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Studio Alm Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 03

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Studio Alm Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 04Installation view of Studio ALM at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Sullivan Strumpf Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 05

Installation view of Sullivan+Strumpf at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Studio Tops Melbourne Design Fair Photo Sean Fennessy 06

Installation view of Studio Tops at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Sozou Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 07

Installation view of Sozou at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Snelling Studio Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Sean Fennessy 08Installation view of Snelling Studio at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Christopher Boots Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Sean Fennessy 09Installation view of Christopher Boots at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace C Gallery Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 10
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace C Gallery Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 11Installation view of C. Gallery at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photos: Lillie Thompson.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Gallery Sally Dan Cuthbert Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 12

Installation view of Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Neon Parc Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 15

Installation view of Gaetano Pesce for Neon Parc at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Dowell Jones Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 16Installation view of Dowell Jones at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Jack And Mark Fearon Melbourne Design Fair 2023 Photo Lillie Thompson 17Installation view of Jack and Mark Fearon at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Lillie Thompson.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Uniteplayperform Sentients Furniture Series 2023 19Sentients Furniture Series, 2023 by UnitePlayPerform.

 

Alexander Lotersztain Der In Situ Metamorphic Table YellowtraceLimited edition Metamorphic Table by Alexander Lotersztain.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Paula Savage Mdw Award 20

Paula Savage’s work on display in FOCUS at Melbourne Design Fair 2023 from 18-21 May at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy. Paula was awarded the 2023 Melbourne Design Week Award, presented by Mercedes-Benz.

 

With the event’s enduring theme, Design The World You Want, feeling increasingly more relevant as the years go on, we observed three leading principles offering ‘food for thought’—Community, Materiality and Legacy. The participants looked inward at the existing rituals that define us and outward to push the boundaries of these parameters in an effort to futureproof our world.

Designers seemed to strike similar chords from completely different perspectives and seemingly, with little to no discussion, an indication to us that this is what’s important right now to our local design community.

Let’s dive in.

 

This Yellowtrace Promotion is supported by The NGV and Melbourne Design Week. Like everything we do, our partner content is carefully curated to maintain the utmost relevance to our audience. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Yellowtrace.

 

The Good, The Inspiring & The Talented: Melbourne Design Week 2021 Video Highlights.

This video highlights some of the incredible Australian designers and their installations we visited during our trip to Melbourne…

 

Coco Flip Linear Explorations In Pleating Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 22

Coco Flip presented Linear, an exhibition of limited-edition lighting alongside a short film that explores the history and legacy of pleating. Working with Melbourne’s last remaining pleating factory—Specialty Pleaters in Williamstown—the lighting and design studio seeks to understand the historical significance of pleating and engage with the process, exploring new ways that pleating can be applied in a contemporary design context. Photos: Pier Carthew.

 

Coco Flip Linear Explorations In Pleating Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 08

Coco Flip Linear Explorations In Pleating Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 03
Coco Flip Linear Explorations In Pleating Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 16Coco Flip’s Linear. Photos: Pier Carthew.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Mud Australia Lamp Collection With Zachary Hanna Robin Boyd Walsh St Residence Photo Sean Fennessy 07

At Robin Boyd’s Walsh St residence, Mud Australia founder and creative director Shelley Simpson and industrial designer Zachary Hanna debuted three lamps designed collaboratively. The unique shapes and colours were born from a truly collaborative process between the two designers, pushing the boundaries in their respective porcelain and lighting design fields. Photos: Sean Fennessy.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Mud Australia Lamp Collection With Zachary Hanna Robin Boyd Walsh St Residence Photo Sean Fennessy 08

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Mud Australia Lamp Collection With Zachary Hanna Robin Boyd Walsh St Residence Photo Sean Fennessy 09

Zachary Hanna’s ceramic lamp for Mud Australia. Photos: Sean Fennessy.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Kieren Karritpul Textere Installation View Tolarno Gallery 02

Kieren Karritpul’s ‘Texere’ at the Tolarno Gallery delivered a vibrant display of flowing fabric adorned with layered printing techniques. Karritpul’s artistry narrated Indigenous stories, histories and experiences, powerfully illustrating his deep connection to the land. Installation view of Kieren Karritpul’s Texere: New Woven Surfaces On Fabric presented by Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne on display from 18-27 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Andrew Curtis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Kieren Karritpul Textere Installation View Tolarno Gallery 03

Kieren Karritpul’s ‘Texere’ at Tolarno Gallery. Photo: Andrew Curtis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace A&a Florescence Installation View Tolarno Gallery 06A&A at Tolarno Gallery—Florescence Pod (blue) 2023 custom-dyed rye straw carbon biopolymer brass inlay, unique 50 x 43.5 x 43.5 cm. Photo: Andrew Curtis.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace A&a Florescence Installation View Tolarno Gallery 05Australian industrial designer Adam Goodrum and French straw marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur return as A&A with a new collection at Tolarno Gallery, which comprises three pods and one table, taking its inspiration from the process or period of a plant’s flowering, known as florescence. Florescence Pod (yellow) 2023 custom-dyed rye straw carbon biopolymer brass inlay, unique 50 x 43.5 x 43.5 cm. Photo: Andrew Curtis.

 

All Roads Lead to Community

At the heart of MDW, the theme of ‘community’ pulsed through a series of diverse exhibitions. These ranged from the reflective object study ‘Vitrine’ to the sensory exploration ‘Villages’, from the open-door concept ‘Design House’ and the communal spirit of ‘Open Table’.

In Vitrine, Marsha Golemac invited nine artists to reflect on the significance of objects and how they shape and reflect our identity. The participants on paper, from renowned Australian sculptor Peter D. Cole to Melbourne-based artist Jeremy Blincoe, couldn’t seem further apart, yet come together cohesively through a bond of self-expression. The bringing together of people and unearthing new talent is one of Marsha’s many talents as she invites and creates space, bringing people who may not consider themselves a part of the traditional design community into the fold.

Over at At the Above, Ceramic artist Sarah Nedovic collaborated with Art Director Stephanie Stamatis in Villages, a moving exhibition that drew on their own first-generation experience of immigrants to explore two interrelated components—nostalgic memories from the land and conversations at the long table. The two creatives combined their skills, Sarah presenting a series of illuminating sculptures inspired by Brutalist Spomenik memorials of her former-Yugoslavian heritage, alongside a long table curated by Stephanie filled with cultural signifiers and memory lodgers like spices, sunflower seeds and figs–representing a drawn out meal. The exhibition even came with a meal, with Stephanie hosting a dinner that spoke to her own ties to family and tradition utilising usable artefacts designed by Sarah and her team.

Coco Flip Explores the art of Pleating at Melbourne Design Week 2023.

Linear is an exhibition of limited-edition lights alongside a short-film that explores the history and legacy of pleating. Working with…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 11

Oigall Projects welcomed guests into their Fitzroy gallery’s restored private home, presenting ‘Design House’—a space where conceptual design met everyday life. Shown here is a light by Volker Haug and a timber chair by Lex Williams. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 12

Brud Studia table and stool, and light by Henry Wilson. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 14Den Holm at Design House.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 15Wall sculpture by Henry Wilson.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 16

Ceiling Light by Brem Perera. Fabric Floor Lamp by Fletcher Barns. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 17Floor Light by Olivia Bossy. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Oigall Project Design House Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 13‘Design House’ by Oigall Projects. Photos: Annika Kafcaloudis.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Danielle Brustman Crosswords Light Ancher Architecture Office Corey Thomas Josee Vesely Manning Photo Pier Carthew 20

At the Silo Project, the former grain silos played host to experimental design strategies from leading Australian voices, including Pascale Gomes-McNabb, Volker Haug, and Meagan Streader. An architectural intervention, it challenged the isolation of the silos, fostering a space for creative fluidity and collectivity. Installation view of Danielle Brustman’s Crosswords Light in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Installation View Fomu Billie Civello Bel Williams Ashisha Cunningham Photo Pier Carthew 21

Installation view of FOMU, Billie Civello, Bel WIlliams and Ashisha Cunningham’s work in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Meagan Streader Squiggle Light Photo Pier Carthew 22Installation view of Meagan Streader’s Squiggle light in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne DesignWeek 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Corey Thomas Photo Pier Carthew 23Installation view of Corey Thomas’ work in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Corey Thomas Photo Pier Carthew 24

Installation view of Corey Thomas’ work in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Billie Civello Siros Chaise Photo Pier Carthew 25Installation view of Billie Civello’s Siros Chaise in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023.Photo: Pier Carthew.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace The Silo Project Josee Vesely Manning Mood Rings And Cluster Lights Photo Pier Carthew 26Installation view of Josee Vesely Manning’s Mood Rings and Cluster lights in Silo Project presented by Ancher Architecture Office, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

With a connection to the land in mind, Kieren Karritpul’s first solo exhibition Texere: New Woven Surfaces On Fabric was grounded a little closer to home. Held at Tolarno Gallery, the artist who is from Nauiyu/ Daly River in the Northern Territory presented a commanding show of flowing fabric adorned with screen printing, stencil and lino printing—with techniques often layered on top of one another. Colourful and magnetic, stories and histories of an indigenous life were woven into fabric through repetition and lines.

Oigall Projects opened the doors of their private home, set atop their Fitzroy gallery, after a long and, in their words, sometimes painful restoration, to present Design House—a celebration of conceptual design in an everyday context, away from any pedestals. As they explain: “Functional art, performing its function… We want to place design in a considered and liveable context. Let it be fussed over, touched and tried, wiped down, shuffled around and switched on and off at the end of a day.” Bravo boys, no notes.

After Hours presented by Volker Haug Studio for Melbourne Design Week 2022.

Celebrating the artistic pursuits of a select group of Australian artists and designers, exploring the artistic projects and passions…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Jeremy Blincoe Metaorganic Horizon Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 27

In ‘Vitrine’, Marsha Golemac invited nine artists to explore how objects shape and reflect our identities. United by the common thread of self-expression, these individuals from different artistic realms expanded the conventional notions of the design community. Installation view of Jeremy Blincoe’s work on display in Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemac at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Peter D Cole Rocks And Moons Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 28

Installation view of Peter D Cole’s work on display in Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemacat Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Anna Varendorff Illume Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 29Installation view of Anna Varendroff’s work on display in Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemac at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Jeremy Blincoe Everything In Everything Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 30Installation view of Jeremy Blincoe’s work on display in Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemac at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Entry View Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 31

Installation view of Matt Bromhead’s work on display in Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemac at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Jay Jermyn Sequence Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 32Jay Jermyn’s work for Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemac at Melbourne Design Week 2023.Photo: Annika Kafcaloudis.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Vitrine Curated By Marsha Golemac Install Room Sheet Photo Annika Kafcaloudis 33Vitrine: Object Identity presented by Marsha Golemac on display at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo:Annika Kafcaloudis.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio 34aJason Phu’s posters for ‘Open Table’ hosted by Flack Studio.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Outside View 35Flack Studio, in collaboration with many artists and designers, convened ‘Open Table’—an exploration of familial memories and habits centred around the universal setting of the table. The spirit of community, shared experiences, and the rhythms of home came alive within this vibrant exhibition.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio With Danielle Brustman Minaal Lawn Sara Yael Dylan James 36

Installation view of Danielle Brustman, Minaal Lawn, Sara Yael & Dylan James’ work for Open Table.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio 39aFlack Studio for Open Table.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Ramesh Nithiyendran 38Installation View of Ramesh Nithiyendran’s work at Open Table.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio 39
Flack Studio for Open Table.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Marsha Golemac Servis 40
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Marsha Golemac Servis 41Installation view of Marsha Golemac’s Servis at Open Table.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Karen Black Ruby Black 42Installation view of Karen Black & Ruby Black’s work at Open Table.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Studio John Fish 43Installation View of Studio John Fish’s work at Open Table.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Open Table Flack Studio Foolscap Studio 44Installation View of Foolscap Studio’s work at Open Table.

 

Just a short walk away, community was also on the minds of Flack Studio with Open Table. Collaborating with a range of artists and designers, the studio curated an exhibition responding to the idea of gathering around a table. Closely linked to family and home, participants recalled memories, rituals and habits that all formed at this universal setting.

Friends and Associates and Myf Doughty were around for a good time, but not a long time. Described by one half of F&A, Dale Hardiman, as “mayhem”, the collective invited everyone to join in on their temporary show 1-Hour Exhibition and bring an object to be sat on—the only requirement being that you must stay for the complete 60 minutes. An exhibition that didn’t take itself too seriously, entries ranged from an opened can of coke; a pile of books, a suitcase and a number of creative cardboard creations, to some sensational design pieces.

The Nature of an Island by Dale Hardiman & James Lemon at Melbourne Design Week 2021.

Responding to this year’s premise ‘Design the World You Want’, the duo conceived the Nature of an Island as a motif of a future of chaos led by individuality…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Villages Sarah Nedovic And Stephanie Stematis At The Above Photo Stephanie Stematis 45‘Villages’ at At the Above offered a poignant examination of nostalgic memories and immigrant experiences. Ceramic artist Sarah Nedovic collaborated with Art Director Stephanie Stamatis, integrating Brutalist Spomenik-inspired sculptures and a curated ‘long table’, serving up a cultural significance feast, using artefacts Nedovic’s team designed.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Villages Sarah Nedovic And Stephanie Stematis At The Above Photo Stephanie Stematis 46

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Villages Sarah Nedovic And Stephanie Stematis At The Above Photo Stephanie Stematis 47
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Villages Sarah Nedovic And Stephanie Stematis At The Above Photo Stephanie Stematis 48Scenes from ‘Villages’ at At the Above.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace 1 Hour Exhibition Friends And Associates Myf Doughty Installation View 49

Friends and Associates and Myf Doughty created the playful ‘1-Hour Exhibition’, inviting visitors to bring an object to be sat on for a full hour. The collective’s unique take on participatory design highlighted the theme of community in an unconventional and delightfully engaging way. Photo above: George Shvili. Photos below: Catherine Feint.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace 1 Hour Exhibition Friends And Associates Myf Doughty Participants And Chairs 50

 

Materiality and Waste Exploration

Material and process exploration were everywhere you looked during the week, challenging established ideas and showcasing a collective hunger for responsibility around consumption and sustainability.

One exhibition that intersected both Community and Materiality was HARD, curated by Calum Hurley. In its second edition, 19 queer creatives from across Australia created something new with found household waste. Celebrating queer sexuality and identity in tandem with the Australian ritual of sneaking out after dark to scour the streets for hard rubbish—something anyone who’s lived in a share house can relate to, it’s an exhibition that wears its heart on its sleeve. As Elliott Papazahariakis elaborates in his essay written for the show: “[household waste, or hard rubbish is] too bulky, too strange, too queer even, to fit neatly into coloured bins, thus continues its important role for those living on the margins.”

Sydney-based Tom Fereday and Melbourne-based Charlie White presented Versa, a joint show developed through a process of independent collaboration. The exhibition showcases a collection of unique furniture and architectural elements, made by Tom and Charlie respectively, tailored to the three spaces of the Meat Market Stables in North Melbourne. The pair sought to create a series of works that explore the turning of waste materials and the challenging of their perceived value.

Opus Vincula: Mattresses Bound by Charlie White at Melbourne Design Week 2021.

Presented at Blackwoods Gallery this exhibition explores the experimental furniture uses of mattresses found curbside. These discarded…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Workshop 01 Misc Objet New Assemblage Object Density 01 Photo Nicholas Wilton 51

Presented by Misc Objet and New Assemblage WORKSHOP01 showcased new work by eleven emerging designers with wildly diverse outlooks, all united by a desire to push boundaries beyond the aesthetically consensual. The exhibition provides unique insight into the varied influences and processes that shape creative output. Photo: Nicholas Wilton.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Workshop 01 Misc Objet New Assemblage Julian Leigh May 01 Photo Nicholas Wilton 52

Installation view of Julian Leigh May’s work in WORKSHOP 01 presented by Misc Objet and New Assemblage on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Nicholas Wilton.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Workshop 01 Misc Objet New Assemblage Nicholas Aylward Photo Nicholas Wilton 53Installation view of Nicholas Aylward’s work in WORKSHOP 01 presented by Misc Objet and New Assemblage on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Nicholas Wilton.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Workshop 01 Misc Objet New Assemblage Tess Pirrie Photo Nicholas Wilton 54

Installation view of Tess Pirrie’s work in WORKSHOP 01 presented by Misc Objet and New Assemblage on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Nicholas Wilton.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Workshop 01 Misc Objet New Assemblage Tanika Jellis 01 Photo Nicholas Wilton 55Installation view of Tanika Jellis’s work in WORKSHOP 01 presented by Misc Objet and New Assemblage on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Nicholas Wilton.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Workshop 01 Misc Objet New Assemblage Alexis Williams Photo Nicholas Wilton 56Installation view of Alexis Williams’s work in WORKSHOP 01 presented by Misc Objet and New Assemblage on display from 18-21 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Nicholas Wilton.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Trade Between Do Works Dalton Stewart Basalt Shelf Shalini Rautela Timber Veneer Lounge Chair Angus Grant Photo Pier Carthew 57

DO WORKS presents its first project, Trade Between, at the Nicholas Building. Drawing on furniture’s rich history and cultural significance, the exhibition featured a collection of furniture by emerging architects and designers that transcends the mundane and challenges assumptions of use. Installation view of works by Dalton Stewart, Shalini Rautela & Angus Grant. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Trade Between Do Works Annie Paxton Form Iv Dalton Stewart And Shalini Rautela Balustrade Lampand Garden Bench Photo Pier Carthew 58Works by Annie Paxton, Dalton Stewart and Shalini Rautela at Trade Between presented by DO WORKS, on display from 18-28 May at the Nicholas Building as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Jugs Installation View Photo Henry Trumble 59

At Craft Victoria, a fantastic display of jugs was on show with twenty ceramic artists invited to reinterpret the classic vessel; big, small and detailed, the object was explored as an object of utility and connection to the human experience. Photo: Henry Trumble.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Jugs Rona Rubuntja Hermannsburg Potters Photo Henry Trumble 60Rona Rubuntja Hermannsburg Potters. Photo: Henry Trumble.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Jugs Nicolette Johnson Photo Henry Trumble 61Nicolette Johnson’s for Jugs. Photo: Henry Trumble.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Jugs Installation View Photo Henry Trumble 62Installation View at Craft Victoria’s Jugs exhibition. Photo: Henry Trumble.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Jugs Kate Jones Henry Trumble 64Kate Jones work for Jugs. Photo: Henry Trumble.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Jugs Vipoo Srivilasa Photo Henry Trumble 63Cheeky jug by Vipoo Srivilasa. Photo: Henry Trumble.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Monolithic Two Lines Studio Solo Exhibition Photo Henry Trumble 65

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Craft Victoria Monolithic Two Lines Studio Solo Exhibition Photo Henry Trumble 66Also at Craft Victoria, Two Lines Studio held Monolithic, a solo exhibition. The immersive installation featured modular furniture pieces alongside sculptural objects, carefully crafted from a passion and appreciation for skilled craftpersonship and influenced by contemporary architectural design.

 

 

Futures Collective returned to the Villa Alba with a collective showcase filling the museum that may be the closest thing we have to a Milanese palazzo. On the ground floor, MATTERS saw a collection of Australian and International designers-makers embark on a process-driven exploration that will be gradually developed over the course of three exhibitions. Curated by Marlo Lyda, the emerging platform established with Jordan Fleming in 2023 prompted the participants with the question ‘What matters to you? With the relentless demand for new output on designers, to the point of needlessness or worse creative output, this slow approach to process was one of the most exciting things we saw come out of MDW—and the best part is we will have to wait to see how they turn out!

Upstairs Sydney-based Genevieve Hromas and Juliet Ramsey of OKLO OKLO presented a series of playful pieces that oscillated between object and furniture, found and formed as the duo leaned into the possibilities of re-use and limiting waste with resources. Fiona Lyda drew on the Australian landscape to present Innate, a new collection of rugs and bath towels in two conversing rooms. Also on show was TAPPETI X YSG’s inaugural rug collaboration and a chair designed by Tom Fereday in partnership with Eco Outdoor.

Alvaro Catalan de Ocon’s Monumental Rug Collection ‘Plastic Rivers’ Arrives in Australia.

Created ethically in collaboration with GAN and a team of artisans in India, each rug is hand-tufted with yarn made from recycled plastic debris…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Villa Alba Tappeti X Ysg And Oko Oko Photo Tess Kelly 67

Tappeti X YSG’s new rug collection alongside pieces by OKLO OKLO at Villa Alba for Futures Collective. OKLO OKLO’s Genevieve Hromas and Juliet Ramsey brought their resourceful spirit to the table with playful pieces that oscillated between objects and furniture. Photo: Tess Kelly.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Villa Alba Innate Photo Tess Kelly 68

Fiona Lyda drew on the Australian landscape to present Innate, a new collection of rugs and bath towels in two conversing rooms. Photo: Tess Kelly.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Villa Alba Oko Oko Photo Sean Fennessy 69Side table by OKLO OKLO at Futures Collective. Photo: Sean Fennessy.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Matters Villa Alba Photo Sean Fennessy 70Installation view of (NOTHINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda at Villa Alba on display from 18-24 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Matters Villa Alba Photo Tess Kelly 71

Villa Alba Museum was the backdrop for Futures Collective’s exhibition ‘MATTERS’. A mix of local and international designers embarked on a slow, process-driven exploration in a bid to answer the question, ‘What matters to you?’ The slow-burn approach provided a refreshing reprieve from the relentless demand for new output, sparking intrigue for the forthcoming exhibitions. Photo: Tess Kelly.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Matters Villa Alba Photo Sean Fennessy 72Installation view of (NOTHINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda at Villa Alba on display from 18-24 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Futures Collective Matters Villa Alba Photo Sean Fennessy 73Installation view of (NOTHINGS) MATTERS presented by Marlo Lyda at Villa Alba on display from 18-24 May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

Versa Tom Fereday Charlie White Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 15

A joint exhibition, ‘Versa’, conceived by Tom Fereday and Charlie White, presented a unique assembly of furniture and architectural elements at the Meat Market Stables in North Melbourne. Here, waste materials were not just repurposed but reimagined, challenging notions of perceived value and fostering a dialogue on sustainability. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Versa Tom Fereday Mano Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 11MANO by Tom Fereday.
Versa Charlie White Cloud Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 09Installation view of CLOUD by Charlie White on display in VERSA at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

Versa Charlie White 090423 Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 07

Installation view of 090423 by Charlie White on display in VERSA at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

Versa Tom Fereday Charlie White Melbourne Design Week 2023 Photo Pier Carthew Yellowtrace 02

Installation view of VERSA presented by Charlie White and Tom Fereday at Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photo: Pier Carthew.

 

 

In a site-specific location just as grand as Villa Alba, The Silo Project took place in six former grain silos in inner city Melbourne. Presented with tireless effort (and a lot of cleaning up to make it ‘exhibition’ ready) by Ancher Architecture, Corey Thomas and Josee Vesely-Manning, the now obsolete industrial monolith played host to an architectural intervention by some of Australia’s leading design voices including Pascale Gomes-McNabb, Volker Haug and Meagan Streader. Responding directly to the moody site, contributors presented new experimental design strategies that played against the space’s starkness and as “an inversion of the meaning of silo as verb, where rather than working in isolation, collectivity and creative fluidity is implicit.”

In Cult’s Waste Dream in collaboration with Mater, the exhibition took visitors on a circular design journey from waste to furniture with Mater’s new ‘Conscious Collection’—a series of innovative products that takes fibrous waste material, such as coffee bean shells, fishing nets, sawdust and beer kegs, and up-cycles it into a unique composite material that can be press-moulded to create new furniture. The collection is usable and beautiful—watch this space.

A Creative Dialogue: Versa by Tom Fereday & Charlie White at Melbourne Design Week.

Developed through a process of independent collaboration, the pair utilise end-of-life materials and the challenging of their perceived value…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Hard Exhibition Curated By Calum Hurley Harrison Lambooy Photo Jax Oliver Studios 74

‘HARD’, curated by Calum Hurley, brought together 19 queer creatives from across Australia, all revelling in the transformation of found household waste into newfound treasures. It bravely celebrated queer identity and the Australian tradition of scavenging hard rubbish, creating a palpable sense of community that echoed in every corner of the show. Photo: Jax Oliver Studios.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Hard Exhibition Curated By Calum Hurley Andy Tt Photo Jax Oliver Studios 75Installation view of Andy TT’s work for HARD. Photo: Jax Oliver Studios.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Hard Exhibition Curated By Calum Hurley Alison Smiles Photo Jax Oliver Studios 76Installation view of Alison Smiles’s work for HARD. Photo: Jax Oliver Studios.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Hard Exhibition Curated By Calum Hurley Tom Summer Photo Jax Oliver Studios 77Installation view of Tom Summer’s work for HARD. Photo: Jax Oliver Studios.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Hard Exhibition Curated By Calum Hurley Yuchen Gao Yiling Shen Photo Jax Oliver Studios 78Installation view of Yuchen Gao & Yiling She’s work for HARD. Photo: Jax Oliver Studios.
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Hard Exhibition Curated By Calum Hurley Julian Leigh May Photo Jax Oliver Studios 79Installation view of Julian Leigh May’s work for HARD. Photo: Jax Oliver Studios.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Waste Dream Cult Design Photo Lumea Photo 80

Cult’s Waste Dream, in collaboration with Mater, demonstrated the circular journey from waste to furniture with their innovative ‘Conscious Collection’. Photos: Lumea Photo.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Waste Dream Cult Design Photo Lumea Photo 81

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Waste Dream Cult Design Photo Lumea Photo 82
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Waste Dream Cult Design Photo Lumea Photo 83Cult’s Waste Dream, in collaboration with Mater. Photos: Lumea Photo.

 

Legacy

In a delightful nod to the past, Melbourne Design Week 2023 offered a riveting journey through design history with a plethora of exhibitions paying homage to rich design legacies.

At the invitation of Tait, Marsha Golemac curated the Australian design company’s mammoth milestone in 30 Years of Tait. From the hammer to the robot, the exhibition highlighted the rich history that’s developed along the way.

Held at their showroom in Hawthorn, BACHLI Furniture presented The Principle of Lightness a spectacular exhibition created to mark MDF Italia’s 30th anniversary. A new collection of limited editions in hand-polished steel or aluminium finishes reimagined four exemplary products from its history; simultaneously freezing them in time and bringing them back to life.

Inside the Artist’s Residence in the historic ‘Foy and Gibson’ precinct of Collingwood, Fred International and Halycon Lake presented a uniquely curated apartment space showcasing a collection of art & objects, furniture, rugs and lighting, immersing us into the world of the artisan in residence, V.Brokkr. Curated by Without Studio, the apartment felt like a welcome haven during our non-stop stomping on day two.

That’s all for now, folks! Well, at least that was all we could fit into one article, which is a testament to our amazing design community that continues to outdo itself year after year. We already cannot wait for 2024.

Highlights from Melbourne Design Week 2022.

With a sense of possibility in the air, bolstered by an overwhelming sense of community, designers, artists, makers and commercial…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace 30 Years Of Tait Curated By Marsha Golemac Photo Haydn Cattach 84

Curated by Marsha Golemac, “30 Years of Tait” commemorated the monumental journey of the Australian design company, Tait. From hammer to robot, this show traced the intriguing evolution of Tait’s design narrative. Photo: Haydn Cattach.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Bachli The Principle Of Lightness Photo Nicholas Wilkins 85

BACHLI Furniture marked MDF Italia’s 30th anniversary with “The Principle of Lightness”. This captivating showcase breathed new life into four of MDF Italia’s iconic products, each in limited edition hand-polished steel or aluminium finishes. Photo: Nicholas Wilkins.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Fred International Halycon Lake The Artists Residence Vbrokkr Curated By Without Studio 86

Nestled in Collingwood’s historic ‘Foy and Gibson’ precinct, the Artist’s Residence provided a respite from the whirlwind of exhibitions. This unique apartment, curated by Without Studio, featured a curated mix of art, objects, furniture, rugs, and lighting from Fred and Halcyon Lake, encapsulating the world of the artisan in residence, V.Brokkr.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Fred International Halycon Lake The Artists Residence Vbrokkr Curated By Without Studio 87

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Fred International Halycon Lake The Artists Residence Vbrokkr Curated By Without Studio 88

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Fred International Halycon Lake The Artists Residence Vbrokkr Curated By Without Studio 89
Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Fred International Halycon Lake The Artists Residence Vbrokkr Curated By Without Studio 90Artist’s Residence, presented by Fred with Halcyon Lake.

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Alpha 60 Brendan Huntley Sense Of Direction Photo Sean Fennessy 91

Installation view of Sense of Direction presented by Alpha 60 and Brendan Huntly on display from 18-28May as part of Melbourne Design Week 2023. Photos: Sean Fennessy.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Alpha 60 Brendan Huntley Sense Of Direction Photo Sean Fennessy 92

Sense of Direction by Alpha 60 and Brendan Huntly. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

 

Sense of Direction: Alpha60 X Brendan Huntley at the Heide Museum of Modern Art.

An installation of paintings, sculptures, monotypes, rugs and clocks that together explore the transience of personal transformation…

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Foreign Dialogues Fin Gallery 93

Held at FIN gallery’s new location in Prahran, Foreign Dialogues brought together both emerging and established voices from Australia and Europe to highlight the worldwide shift towards material experimentation and process-based design using the notion of ‘intricately entangled’ as a jumping-off point. Pictured: Joana Schneider.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2023 Highlights By Yellowtrace Foreign Dialogues Fin Gallery 98Tadeas Podracky’s Fading Reflection Mirror at Fin Gallery’s Foreign Dialogues show.

 

 


[Images courtesy of NGV and the Designers. Photography credits as noted.]

 

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