Melbourne Design Week is an annual design program linking creativity with business and community.

Each year the program will explore the value of good design in a ten-day, city-wide celebration offering talks by leading designers, tours, workshops and industry events at NGV and partner venues throughout Melbourne.

Melbourne Design Week is part of a Victorian Government strategy to strengthen, support and promote the state’s design industry.


Melbourne Design Week is an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

The annual ten-day design program offers a platform for celebration of local and international design excellence, highlighting Melbourne’s credentials as a design city while emphasising the role of design as a catalyst linking creativity with business, technology and the community, to drive innovation, and enrich culture and society.

The 2018 program coincides with the NGV Triennial of Contemporary Art and Design – offering a unique opportunity for Victorian designers to leverage one of Australia’s most significant design events – linking with leading international practitioners to present exhibitions, talks, tours, panels and industry events, responding to the 2018 theme of Design Effects, held at NGV International, NGV Australia or partner venues throughout the city and regions.

Connecting program participants to the NGV’s broad general public, business and design industry audiences, Melbourne Design Week strives to offer a compelling annual opportunity for designers, studios, galleries and design-led businesses to get involved, joining with the NGV to present a vibrant array of exhibitions, programs and satellite projects across Melbourne and regional Victoria.


Melbourne Design Week is an opportunity to celebrate the best of local design and take inspiration from design leaders from around the world. But more than that, it’s about showing what good design can achieve – for individuals and communities, for businesses and for our society as a whole. Now in its second year, Melbourne Design Week is part of a suite of the Andrews Labor Government’s initiatives to strengthen our design industry and capability, promote the value and use of design, and put design at the heart of our creative state.

Martin Foley
Minister for Creative Industries

Director’s Message

The National Gallery of Victoria is proud of its reputation as Australia’s most visited public gallery. The NGV’s vision is to present and make art and design accessible to a broad range of audiences, from creative professionals to families, young people and those with diverse backgrounds, experience and abilities.

Melbourne Design Week commenced in 2017 as an annual four-year program the NGV will curate as part of the Victorian Design Program, developed in partnership with the Victorian Government.

In 2018 we are excited to deliver another highly collaborative program that aligns Victoria’s active design community with diverse audiences. We look forward to your involvement, as a participant or audience member, during Melbourne Design Week and inspiring visitors with some of the most innovative design projects and concepts from around the world.

Tony Ellwood
Director, National Gallery of Victoria

Curatorial Team

Ewan McEoin
Senior Curator Contemporary Design and Architecture, NGV

Simone LeAmon
Curator Contemporary Design and Architecture, NGV

Timothy Moore
Satellite Program Curator

Myf Doughty
Design Project Officer

2018 Theme – Design Effects

In 2018 Melbourne Design Week looks at the theme Design Effects and delves into the wide-reaching nature of design in its broadest sense. From the physical to the creation of experiences, services and identities it asks: What effects does design have on the environment around us? How is design a catalyst for change? What change do we want this to be?


Melbourne Design Week embraces a strong mix of events that brings design to a broad range of audiences.

The program offers artisans, architects, designers and design-led businesses an annual platform to organise activities that are centrally promoted through the communications, marketing and media reach provided by the NGV.



Melbourne Design Week celebrates design culture and practice. The program aims to explore ways in which design and architecture shapes our economy, society, culture and ecology. Programs for 2018 will respond to the theme Design Effects exploring a range of themes and ideas including design innovation, design for social impact, urbanism, object culture, and design business.

Key dates

Submissions due 8 Dec 2017
Participants notified 15 Dec 2017
Full Melbourne Design Week program online 14 Feb 2018


Priority for acceptance into the Melbourne Design Week program will be given to submissions that:

  • Align with the theme of the 2018 event – Design Effects
  • Align with the goals of Melbourne Design Week (stated above)
  • Support and build on/collaborate with existing programs or are unique

Events/programs must:

  • Be held during, or run through, the official Melbourne Design Week dates: 15 – 25 March 2018
  • Occur within the state of Victoria, Australia

The NGV reserves the right to reject an event where:

  • There is a conflict of interest with Melbourne Design Week creative direction, objectives, partners or sponsors
  • There is not adequate supporting evidence the application will be delivered to a high standard

Successful applicants must agree to:

  • Promote your own event to your network and mailing list;
  • Deliver your event autonomously, and to a high quality standard;
  • Ensure your event is safe and ethical;
  • Supply text and images to the organising team by the deadline provided;
  • Acknowledge Melbourne Design Week / NGV as requested on all event collateral;
  • Use Melbourne Design Week social media details when promoting your event;
  • Be available to discuss your proposed event/installation where appropriate;
  • Participate in official event research as requested.


Can I present my work at Melbourne Design Week?

Yes. Melbourne Design Week welcomes individuals and organisations to submit applications to present work as part of the program. Work should respond to the 2018 theme Design Effects. Please refer to the participate section above for more information about submission criteria.

Can I produce an event for Melbourne Design Week?

Yes. Submissions are now open for individuals and organisations to be part of the program. Please refer to the participate section above for more information about submission criteria.

What types of events are eligible?

Melbourne Design Week embraces a strong mix of events that brings design to a broad range of audiences. Whether the event is a talk, forum, exhibition, performance or party, it should address the theme of Design Effects.

Are events restricted to the City of Melbourne?

Melbourne Design Week is a city-wide event with events occurring across the CBD and inner-city neighbourhoods such as Collingwood, Fitzroy, Richmond and South Melbourne. We also welcome submissions from Victoria’s towns, suburbs and regions.

What does it cost to host an event?

There is no cost to participate in Melbourne Design Week. Associated event partners are responsible for the management and costs of their event.

What happens after I submit my application?

After submitting your application, we will review the event and respond to you within three weeks.

Can you put me in touch with participating designers?

Melbourne Design Week is an umbrella organisation connecting a network of designers, companies, institutions and venues. We are happy to provide assistance in connecting you to other participants.

Who do I contact regarding Melbourne Design Week?

Melbourne Design Week is coordinated by the National Gallery of Victoria.


Melbourne Design Week is coordinated by the National Gallery of Victoria.

To discuss your involvement in Melbourne Design Week please contact:

Timothy Moore 

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Marion Joseph
Head of Media & Public Affairs
(03) 8620 2346
0427 147 999

Victorian Design Challenge 2018

Come together to design a difference – win $30,000 to realise your design

In partnership with VicHealth, NGV’s inaugural Victorian Design Challenge invites designers to form multi-disciplinary teams and respond to the question
“How might we increase the resilience of today’s young people?”

Part of the newly developed Victorian Design Program, funded by Creative Victoria and NGV, the Victorian Design Challenge is run as a two stage open competition and shortlisted competitors will be announced during Melbourne Design Week in March 2018.

A prize of $30,000 will be awarded to one winning team to help fund further development and prototyping of their design.

Find out more

NGV Triennial

Melbourne Design Week 2018 coincides with the inaugural NGV Triennial of Contemporary Art and Design – Featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the NGV Triennial surveys the world’s best art and design, across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives. A free exhibition, the NGV Triennial is a celebration of contemporary art and design practice that traverses all four levels of NGV International, as well as offering a rich array of programs.

The NGV Triennial explores cutting edge technologies, architecture, animation, performance, film, painting, drawing, fashion design, tapestry and sculpture. In this context Melbourne Design Week will include a broad array of local and international design and architecture at a scale never before seen in Australia – participating Melbourne Design Week exhibitors have an opportunity to present Melbourne’s rich design sector while simultaneously being aligned with an ambitious international presentation of design today.

NGV Triennial

Melbourne Design Week 2017

Partners and Supporters

The NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture is generously supported by The Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation.

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Image Captions

1. teamLab
Moving Creates Vortices and Vortices Create Movement, 2017
© Courtesy teamLab

2. Disassembly images from Formafantasma

3. Melbourne Design Week 2017.
Photos: Tobias Titz

4. Retallack Thompson and Other Architects
Garden wall 2017 (detail)
© Courtesy Retallack Thompson and Other Architects

5. Sean O’Connell
Spark discharge: copper 2015
© Sean O’Connell

6. Retallack Thompson and Other Architects
Garden wall 2017 (detail)
© Courtesy Retallack Thompson and Other Architects

7. Neri Oxman (designer)
Mediated Matter Group (design collaborator)
Stratasys (manufacturer)
Mask 2 Series 2, from The New Ancient collection 2016
Image courtesy of Mediated Matter Group

8. Disassembly images from Formafantasma

9 – 12. Melbourne Design Week 2017.
Photos: Tobias Titz