Melbourne Design Week was established to shine a light on our local design community, explore the role design plays in everyday life, and showcase the ways design is helping to tackle the challenges of the future. With events across Melbourne and Geelong, Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design, this is our biggest design week to date and an extraordinary demonstration of the breadth and impact of design.
Minister for Creative Industries
Victoria has a vibrant and highly respected design community working across broad discipline areas – including architecture, industrial and product design, games design, design thinking and artisan production. Melbourne Design Week, Australia’s leading annual international design event, is a unique opportunity for this community to come together, to present new work, debate ideas, and reveal some of the ways that design is shaping the world around us.
Together with Creative Victoria and a dedicated network of supporters and contributors, the NGV is delighted to present Melbourne Design Week in 2019. Now in its third year, the program continues to grow in scale and diversity with a rich presentation of exhibitions, events and experiences on offer.
With a focus on our city and our surrounding environment, Victorians will have the opportunity to experience pioneering design concepts, hear from world-leading experts and encounter cutting-edge technologies that will help us all consider new and innovative possibilities for the future of our state.
By bringing together a compelling eleven-day program, we can reach new audiences and create an engaging and supportive environment for new work to be made, for conversations to start, and opportunities to be generated.
We are proud to offer this platform for our community to come together to better understand how design is shaping our society, culture and economy.
Tony Ellwood AM
Director, National Gallery of Victoria
At its best design imagines and creates new and better futures. But at times, design creates problems. It can celebrate newness over knowledge, aesthetics over ethics, and image over substance. This raises the question – if design is shaping the future, is it the best possible future, and for whom?
As society enters an unprecedented period of urbanisation, digitisation, population growth and ecological transformation, many believe that design and architecture hold great potential for positive transformation, offering disruptive ideas as it intersects with industry, politics, history, science, ecology, psychology and more.
Embracing the past, present and future, we encourage participants to demonstrate cultural and historical awareness – to delve into social and cultural history, peel back the layers of design and articulate that the future is informed by the past.
Through this idealistic agenda, Melbourne Design Week 2019 is an opportunity for designers to reflect on what they do, to imagine new and better ways of doing things, and share these ideas and insights with a broad audience.
Curated and presented by the National Gallery of Victoria
Tony Ellwood AM, Director
Donna McColm, Associate Director, Audience Engagement and Learning
Ewan McEoin, Hugh D. T. Williamson Senior Curator, Contemporary Design and Architecture
Simone Leamon, Hugh D. T. Williamson Curator, Contemporary Design and Architecture
Timothy Moore, Curator, Melbourne Design Week Satellite Program
Jes Wawrzynski, Senior Public Programmer
Megan Patty, Head of Publications, Photographic Services and Library
Myf Doughty, Design Project Officer, Contemporary Design and Architecture
Hannah Curtis, Project Assistant, Melbourne Art Book Fair
Zoe Kirkby, Public Programmer
Melbourne Design Week is Australia’s leading annual international design event. In 2019, Melbourne Design Week presents 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 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.
Melbourne Design Week and the Victorian Design Program are initiatives of the Victorian Government and curated by the National Gallery of Victoria. Satellite events are individually organised and produced by event partners across the design community.
Melbourne Design Week runs from 14 – 24 March 2019 with many events extending over the month of March.
In 2019, Melbourne Design Week explores the central theme of Design Experiments, which asks the question ‘How can design shape the future?’
The 2019 program has been curated under five thematic pillars: Reconnecting with Birrarung, a series presented by Open House Melbourne that explores how we can reconnect with the Yarra River; The War on Waste, which reveals that ways in which design can impact the environment; Material Matters, which looks at how designers are thinking about where materials come from and where they will end up; Possible Futures, which explores the ways in which design informs our quality of life – from products and services to transport and health; and Inclusive Cities, a series that interrogates the role of design in redressing the problems of the city and proposing new ways to realise our urban realm.
Melbourne Design Week 2019 exhibitions, events, talks and workshops will be held at NGV International, NGV Australia and partner venues across Melbourne, Geelong and Victoria from 14 – 24 March 2019. Please check individual event listings for venues and booking requirements.
Melbourne Design Week expands to Geelong in 2019 to showcase why the city has recently been recognised as a UNESCO City of Design. More than twenty events during Design Week aggregate the aspirations and agitators of Geelong’s creative community and provide an opportunity for all Victorians to discover the depth of design the city has to offer.
Most events for Melbourne Design Week are open to the public with free entry. Some events have limited capacity so please check individual event listings for booking requirements.
Most events for Melbourne Design Week are free. Please check individual event listings to confirm admission details.
Submissions have now closed for individuals and organisations to be part of Melbourne Design Week 2019. To express interest in submitting an event for next year, please contact:
For all media opportunities please contact:
Account Director, Articulate PR
0403 162 220
There are a range of Melbourne Design Week images available for media and publicity. Please contact:
Account Director, Articulate PR
0403 162 220