Melbourne Design Week 2021

Our Top Picks

A New Normal – Presented by Kennedy Nolan

This installation is a sampler for our more ambitious ‘A New Architecture’ pilot project: a hotel that will allow as many people as possible to experience the initiatives that enable zero carbon ‘grid positive’ construction. We are working with Finding Infinity to create Hotel Optimismo, a new building that gives more than it takes, both environmentally & culturally.



BAR Studio brings together a panel of acclaimed Australian artists Robert Bridgewater, Maree Clarke and Geoffrey Nees to explore the role, type and artisanal processes in creative collaborations between artists and designers. In this live stream panel discussion Design Anthology editor-in-chief Suzy Annetta will lead the discussion about the intersection of private practise and commercial collaborations.



Studio Tate presents a tour and panel discussion of Our Community House as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021.

This event includes a pre-recorded tour of Our Community (OC) House sharing the story behind the organisation and its collaboration with Melbourne based interior architecture practice Studio Tate, followed by a panel discussion.

OC House will showcase the country’s first community based co-work – a social innovation data science and communications lab, designed to bring Australia’s social sector safely and productively into the data era.



Cathedral of Circularity reflects upon the circular economy: A social enterprise that teaches repair and reuse. The facility repairs and sells refurbished products, and hosts workshops where individuals can come along and learn how to repair their own things. This allows people to rethink how they use and dispose of resources. At the same time, workshops with businesses and manufacturers are hosted encouraging the transition into circular products in all industries.


AFTER HOURS – Presented by Volker Haug Studio

Hosted by Volker Haug Studio, After Hours is an exhibition housed within the VHS building.

With an interest in featuring the side projects of established multi-disciplinary professionals, After Hours will feature furniture produced by interior designers; functional objects created by visual artists; and installations designed by architects.

Exhibitors will showcase their accomplished yet little known sideline practices, with out-of-hours works from the likes of ACV Studio; Ritz & Ghougassian; Oliver du Puy; Michael White of Freadman White with Johan Hermijanto of Bates Smart; Wes Waddell of Studio HiHo; Brahman Perera; Marsha Golemac; and Volker Haug Studio on display, capturing the approachable and personable spirit of interdisciplinary design in Melbourne.


A NEW NORMAL: ELECTRIC DREAMS – Presented by Foolscap StudioBy 2030, we must provide a legitimate, electric alternative to air travel. As a way of encouraging consumers to use the train more, to demonstrate to our political leaders that Australians enjoy and want a better train system that’s fast and electric, we start by improving the experience on our existing trains. Foolscap Studio brings Melbourne’s hospitality scene to the train tracks, allowing people to enjoy the journey between our cities.Electric Dreams presents a prototype for the future via a beautifully designed bar cart, suggesting the experience of a converted train.


A NEW NORMAL: THE CITY AFTER NATURAL GAS – Presented by Clare Cousins Architects

It’s time to transition our buildings from running on dirty fossil fuels to clean electric power. This transition presents an opportunity to not only benefit from renewable energy systems, but also promote a cleaner future through the adaptive reuse of existing systems.

This installation calls into question our relationship with gas as a building service through the reimagining of a commonplace tea-room. Pop the kettle on, and enjoy a cup – green tea, fossil free.


AALTO – Presented by ACMI

A must-see for anyone interested in architecture and design, Virpi Suutari’s stylish new documentary explores the life and work of one of the great pioneers of Modernist architecture and design with a cinematic journey that explores the life and work of one of the great pioneers of Modernist architecture and furniture design, Alvar Aalto.

Often cited next to figures such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto was best known for designs that were harmonious in their relationship to the organic world. With a belief that “architecture and its details are in some way all part of biology”, his designs incorporate the textures, shapes and at times, elements of the natural world.


Back to the future: A contemplative design conversation – Presented by Cera Stribley x Two Four Nine

A curated panel of design professionals of the built environment industry sit down together to discuss their insights and thoughts on the realities and opportunities available to positively impact and better our future in a local and global context.

Through their extensive experience and perspectives their conversations will provoke further questions and dialogue about how different design disciplines can work both together and alongside one another to promote a healthier built environment both physically and mentally.

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