Jólan van der WIEL (designer and maker)<br/>
<em>Original gravity stool</em> 2011 {designed}; 2016 {manufactured} <!-- (view ) --><br />

iron, polyurethane, pigment<br />
29.5 x 34.4 x 32.3 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with funds donated by Gordon Moffatt AM, 2017<br />
2016.1047<br />
© Jólan van der Wiel
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Jólan van der WIEL (designer and maker)
Original gravity stool 2011 {designed}; 2016 {manufactured}
Media Release • 17 Feb 17

Melbourne Design Week 2017

From iconic chair design to high density apartment architecture, the inaugural Melbourne Design Week will explore the value of good design and showcase local and international innovators in a city-wide program from 16–26 March 2017.

An initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, the eclectic ten-day event will comprise talks by leading design experts, design-focused exhibitions, tours, panel discussions and industry events held at NGV International and partner venues throughout the city.

Responding to the central provocation: ‘What does design value, and what do we value in design?’, the 2017 Melbourne Design Week program includes an exhibition celebrating the creativity of chair design; a panel discussion interrogating the impact of high density living; and the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and witness the inner workings of 15 Australian institutions and businesses, in a collaboration with Open House Melbourne.

Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries, commented, ‘Melbourne Design Week will explore the value design can and does bring to Victoria – to our lives, communities, businesses and industries. Being a creative state isn’t just about having great arts and cultural events – it’s about applying creative thinking and approaches to all aspects of our society.’

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Melbourne Design Week 2017 is the first of four annual Melbourne Design Week programs that the National Gallery of Victoria will curate as part of the Victorian Design Program, developed by the NGV in partnership with the Victorian Government. The program will reinforce Melbourne’s reputation as a city of great design and architecture, and will inspire diverse audiences with some of the most innovative design projects and concepts from around the world.’

Melbourne Design Week 2017 highlights include:

  • Creating the Contemporary Chair: A showcase of thirty-five contemporary chairs including a stool coated in volcanic rock from Chile’s Villarrica volcanos and a suspended chair that resembles a killer whale. All recently acquired by the NGV, the works reveal some of the most inventive Australian and international designers practising today.
  • 26 Original Fakes: An exhibition that explores replica furniture design, which is a booming market in Australia due to limited legal rights for designers to protect their work from imitation. 26 Original Fakes will see 26 contemporary Australian practitioners reconfigure an imitation copy of Jasper Morrison’s Hal Chair, inviting visitors to re-evaluate the replica.
  • International Design Project: Catenary Pottery Printer: Chilean designers Great Things to People (gt2p) bring their pottery-printing installation to Federation Court at NGV International. gt2p’s low-tech resourcefulness uses a fabric sling, suspended at adjustable intervals, to mould liquid clay into beautiful vessels. As the ceramic slip drains and dries, one of a kind objects are created. Over the course of Melbourne Design Week gt2p will lead local designers and students to create their own custom works with the Catenary Pottery Printer.
  • The Throne Chair with Wolf Burchard: Almost every human culture has created furniture that reflects hierarchical distinctions within their society. Wolf Burchard, Furniture Research Curator, National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, revisits the history of the throne chair from antiquity to the present day, and explores their function and design based on the most intriguing examples known to survive.
  • 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair. The Asia-Pacific region’s largest art book fair sees more than 100 stallholders transform the NGV Great Hall into a vibrant art book market.
  • High Density Happiness: Join a panel of leading Melbourne architects and designers as they discuss the value of good apartment design to ensure the ongoing social and environmental sustainability of our cities.
  • Open State: Fifteen Victorian businesses across retail, health, innovation, industry and manufacturing will open their doors in a special series of tours by Open House Melbourne. Revealing the ways in which design has been used to transform processes and add value to the workspace, these tours will illustrate each organisation’s strong design DNA.
  • Does Blak Design Matter? What is meaningful Indigenous design, and why does it matter? From interior and product design to landscape, architecture and town planning, this panel, hosted by Daniel Browning, examines the practices of outstanding Indigenous designers and interrogates how Indigenous design is defined, received, and made visible in Australia.
  • Contemporary Jewellery Trail Walking Tour: A guided tour through the studios and galleries of Melbourne jewellery designers.
  • Innovators: Australian Design and Innovation: An augmented reality exhibition celebrating design and innovation from Australia including Wi-Fi, the bionic ear and polymer banknote.

The full program for Melbourne Design Week 2017 is available at DESIGNWEEK.MELBOURNE.