Melbourne Design Week 2019

In 2019, Australia's leading annual international design event, Melbourne Design Week, will present its largest program to date, with more than 200 events including 47 exhibitions, 14 film screenings, 77 talks, 22 tours and 18 workshops across Melbourne and – for the very first time – Geelong from 14 – 24 March 2019. Celebrating the best of local, national and international design, the expanding, state-wide festival is an initiative of the Victorian Government presented by Creative Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria.

From Yarra River boat tours showcasing long-held aspirations for Melbourne’s waterways, to keynote addresses from major international speakers, including internationally renowned Turkish-born digital media artist Refik Anadol, British design and architecture critic Oliver Wainwright and Jing Liu, an architect, educator and co-founder of the award-winning design firm SO-IL in New York City, the diverse program explores the central theme of Design Experiments, which asks the question ‘How can design shape the future?’

HIGHLIGHTS from Melbourne Design Week 2019 include:

  • REFIK ANADOL: IN THE MIND’S EYE: A major keynote address by LA-based media artist Refik Anadol who is best known for creating visually stunning and immersive digital experiences using advanced methods of visual design, data compression, algorithmic processing and machine learning. In this talk, presented exclusively by Telstra and the NGV, Anadol will examine how machine intelligence is reshaping the world around him.
  • WATERFRONT: For 2019, Melbourne Design Week celebrates the Birrarung (Yarra River) and asks Melbournians to reconsider and reconnect with the river that runs through this city. Offering unique experiences and insights into this winding watercourse, Open House Melbourne presents Waterfront – a program of conversations, boat tours and special events that deep dive into the role design plays in reframing Melbourne’s relationship with water.
  • VICTORIAN DESIGN CHALLENGE: WASTE CHALLENGE LIVE PITCH FINAL: The Victorian Design Challenge invites design professionals and students to tackle one of the great challenges of our time – waste. The Challenge aims to inspire impactful and implementable solutions that demonstrate the value of design and creativity to the creation of a better future. Craig Reucassel from ABC’s War on Waste leads this year’s Challenge jury that will determine who will be crowned Waste Challenge Champions.
  • TOXIC CITY? SYMPOSIUM: Cities and the systems that sustain them – food, water, and energy – are major factors in climate change and the interlinked cycles of waste and pollution. This high-energy, provocative symposium brings together local and international experts to examine the challenges of the urban environment and to ask how we might build cleaner, healthier, more resilient cities, confronting the systemic problems that are poisoning them in the first place. Speakers include Daan Roosegaarde, Dutch artist and founder of Studio Roosegaarde; Somini Sengupta, George Polk Award-winning journalist and international climate reporter for The New York Times; and local speakers including eco-innovator Joost Bakker, and Bonnie Herring of Breath Architecture.
  • WELCOME TO WASTELAND: Plates made from lettuce, jewellery boxes from blood or furniture made from coffee? Welcome to Wasteland is an exhibition that asks if you can see these items, created from everyday waste, in your everyday life. Contributors include: Ash Allen; Jonathan Ben-Tovim; Christopher Boots; Sarah Ceravolo; Adam Cornish; Thomas Coward and Nick Rennie; Ben Edwards; Tom Fereday and Ryan McGoldrick; Adam Markovitz; Liane Rossler and Kate Dunn; Maddison Ryder; Andrew Simpson; U-P; Anna Varendorff; Kristen Wang and many more.

Event starts
Thursday 14 March, 2019
Event Ends
Sunday 24 March, 2019
Various venues
Venue Address
Various venues


Festivals & Programs