Hi, How Can We Help You?
  • Address: Veternik, 10000 Prishtinë
  • Email Address: office@tecol.eu

Blog

June 5, 2024

10 impressively executed works at Melbourne Design Week 2024


Melbourne Design Week 2024 has concluded. This year, the NGV curated a program that explored “ethics, energy and ecology”, which saw leading global thinkers like Alice Rawsthorn share ideas on how “designing with attitude” can help to solve global crises, and Tosin Oshinowo speak about the role of architecture and design in a time of scarcity. Several exhibitions presented sustainable design solutions, like Other Matter’s algae-based bowls for Arc’teryx, while others, like BVN’s retrofitting workshop, investigated social issues. The 300-plus events provided equal aesthetic and intellectual nourishment, and anyone who is part of the design scene got approximately no sleep for the duration of the program, not to mention the exhibitors’ months of preparations prior. Significant congratulations go to all the designers, their teams, and to the NGV for what was a fulfilling Melbourne Design Week.

Installation view of By/Product with works by Joanne Odisho, Marlo Lyda and Sarah Nedovic presented by Craft Victoria as part of Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Sarah Forgie

How does one now digest and apply what was experienced? The event’s overarching goals help to frame this question: Melbourne Design Week exists to further the local industry, foster discussion and generate a commercial appetite for Australian design. Beyond this, the program seeks to illustrate how design can be a force for good in a complex world. These are worthy but lofty goals that certainly have no end point, but this year’s program did push things further in the right direction.

Several exhibitions that spoke to this year’s theme have been covered. In this post-event mindset, it’s the designers who pushed their technical craft further, then executed their idea incredibly well, that seem to have made themselves at home at the top of my mind. I’ll be keeping an eye on the following designers, and would like to highlight their key works:

Studio Tops

The Matters exhibition at Villa Alba continues to go from strength-to-strength. This year, several designers revealed the result of their latest craftsmanship exploits. Studio Tops’ Soloist collection of handmade, stretched black Kangaroo leather tables and armchair were exceptionally put together, and best yet, their block components can be taken apart and rearranged. These pieces reflect the designer, Simone Tops’, generational leather-making expertise, and the unbelievably smooth leather surface encasing each form took a moment to decipher as, in fact leather; not glass or metal. Top hat off to you, Simone.

Studio Tops' Soloist collection on display at the Matters exhibition at Villa Alba during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Studio Tops’ Soloist collection on display at the Matters exhibition at Villa Alba during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Tess Kelly

Zachary Frankel

Frankel’s Fancy Old or New Drinks Cabinet shown during the Fabric exhibition at Ma House Supply Store represents a serious commitment to cabinetry. More of an heirloom piece than one intended for production, Frankel’s handmade cabinet reimagines 16th century craftsmanship for contemporary tastes, and it fit perfectly inside Ma House which typically curates old and new things. The solid, linenfold motif on the cabinet doors and the curved, bow-like handle on the internal drawers are delightful, flawless and emblematic of Frankel’s dedication to develop his skills under the guidance of his mentor.

The Fancy Old or New Drinks Cabinet by Zachary Frankel shown at the Fabric exhibition at Ma House during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

The Fancy Old or New Drinks Cabinet by Zachary Frankel shown at the Fabric exhibition at Ma House during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Charlie Hawks

Sarah Nedovic

At Craft Victoria’s By/Product group show, Nedovic’s Untitled Corner Wall Light, though displayed in the gallery’s back corner, absolutely stood out. At 2.6 meters high, the stacked, warm globes glow through textured silk off-cut shades, each tightly wrapped onto aluminium frames that are supported by a tubular stand. Through this piece, Nedovic blends rationality and romance with an effortlessness that belies the light’s meticulous construction. It’s an impressive evolution of Nedovic’s previous ceramics and glass works, suggesting this designer might be able to do anything.

Sarah Nedovic's Untitled Corner Wall Light on display at Craft Victoria during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Sarah Nedovic’s Untitled Corner Wall Light on display at Craft Victoria during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image: XX

Old Four Legs for Terrain

Terrain opened during Melbourne Design Week with their Symbiotic Structures exhibition. Claiming a permanent space on Brunswick Street, Terrain is a bookstore, gallery, coworking studio, and consultancy focussing on biophilia and ecologically oriented design. The interior features wall lights made from mycelium and recycled, irregularly formed aluminium furniture by Old Four Legs. Off-cuts from Terrain’s aluminium shelves were re-cast to make the store’s counter. Terrain’s choice to fit the space with predominantly recycled aluminium derives from research into the material’s abundance, and its significant energy consumption during new production.

The interior of Terrain with aluminium furniture by Old Four Legs.

The interior of Terrain with aluminium furniture by Old Four Legs.

Image:

James Whiting

Pit Projects

Elsewhere, Anni Hagberg and Michael Gittings’ presented their unusable Thistle Chair which as the name suggests, is covered in collected Artichoke thistle (that connection hasn’t gone unnoticed) seed pods that sit like a thirsty garden bed atop a stainless steel frame. The piece took a year and a half to resolve, and it toys with the tension between art and furniture, and the notion of owning an ‘object’. This one will decay, but the idea and techniques may give rise to further pieces through Hagberg and Gittings’ new Pit Projects collaboration.

Installation view of the Thistle Chair by Pitt Projects during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Installation view of the Thistle Chair by Pitt Projects during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Michael Pham

Saturday Yard Work

At Calum Hurely and Andy Trevortran’s clever Soft exhibition (which followed Hard), Nathan Martin of Saturday Yard Work’s ‘mirror’ and chair proved that Martin is quite good at manipulating metal. The partially polished, semi-reflective cast aluminium (scrap polystyrene foam internal) Melancholy Mirror walked a pleasing line between imperfect and perfect, and best yet, it cannot be used to take selfies. Presented in the living room, Nathan’s bent, tubular steel Chair 01 made entirely from off-the-shelf aluminium resembles a form you might encounter in a car yard, but it’s no accident; the shape is precise, well-proportioned, and it’s nice and shiny. Neither of these pieces are new, but that’s not the point.

Nathan Martin's Chair 01 exhibited at Soft during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Nathan Martin’s Chair 01 exhibited at Soft during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Kayla May Petty-Kook

Daniel Boddam and Jessie French

At Daniel Boddam Gallery’s Circular exhibition, the architect and designer presented his first furniture collaboration. Working with Other Matter’s Jessie French, Boddam’s Puddle Tables merge aluminium bases with French’s algae-based, non-petrochemical plastics. Fixed under a glass tabletop, the deep orange organic material is incredibly enticing, more so because its untouchable. The piece pushed French to evolve her already impressive material development towards permanent applications, and I look forward to seeing where she takes algae next.

Puddle Tables by Daniel Boddam and Jessie French shown at the Circular exhibition during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Puddle Tables by Daniel Boddam and Jessie French shown at the Circular exhibition during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Kelly Geddes

Tomas Maxam

Back to Matters at Villa Alba, Maxam unveiled his Bricks ceiling light and a pair of table lights. The glass light shades were slow-poured and pressed with a ‘creased’ fabric texture – a risky technique that delivers rewards – and that subtly resemble the surface of familiar Australian bricks. The glass components are neatly housed in aluminium frames, making these pieces sleek and simple but as with all others listed here, difficult to execute.

Thomas Maxam's Brick lighting at Villa Alba's Matter's exhibitions during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Thomas Maxam’s Brick lighting at Villa Alba’s Matter’s exhibitions during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Tess Kelly

In addition to these pieces, the industry drew attention to two designers through partnership awards. With likely 1000 pieces shown during the ‘week’, I’m miffed as to how two were chosen, though the ones that were are most certainly deserving for their ambitious concepts and incredible craftsmanship.

Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur

Mercedes-Benz Australia gave the fifth annual Melbourne Design Week Award to A&A, a collaboration between Australian industrial designer Adam Goodrum and French marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur. Their curved, monolithic piece, The Kissing Cabinet, is a psychedelic presentation of tiny, coloured straw marquetry. Displayed alone in a vast room at Tolarno Galleries, the piece draws you closer to make sense of its materiality and mind-bending craftsmanship, and upon opening like a flower it incites a ‘whoa!’.

Installation view of The Kissing Cabinet by Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seignur presented by Tolarno Galleries.

Installation view of The Kissing Cabinet by Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seignur presented by Tolarno Galleries.

Image:

Andrew Curtis

Marta Figueiredo

Figueiredo was also selected for the Stylecraft and NGV Australian Furniture Design Award for her Chronicles of Resilience cabinet. This highly personal piece is designed to bring attention to chronic illness many women face, highlighting endometriosis. Decorative tiles are affixed to the rotating drums which span four vertical segments, each one exploring a different theme including ‘challenge’, ‘resilience’, ‘empowerment’, and ‘imagined future’. Taken together these pillars reflect the experience endometriosis. The piece emits an overall attitude of vulnerability, openness, strength and hope.

Marta Figueiredo's Chronicles of Resilience cabinet on view during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Marta Figueiredo’s Chronicles of Resilience cabinet on view during Melbourne Design Week 2024.

Image:

Ben Moynihan

The Australian design market moves comparatively slower than other design fair meccas like Milan, Paris, New York and the Middle East. I would argue this is a good thing. Australia is not burdened by thousands of years of commercial design and craft legacy like other nations are. This seems to be an opportunity to at once hone local skills while tapping into a collectively open-minded design community, who are free to innovate. Thankfully the designers mentioned above, and many others, are doing just that.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This field is required.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">html</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*This field is required.