Vaughan BOLWELL (designer)<br/>
born Australia 1971<br/>
BOLWELL CORPORATION PTY LTD, Melbourne (manufacturer)<br/>
Australia est. 1962<br/>
<em>Bolwell EDGE</em> 2008<br/>
composite plastic, steel, (various materials)<br/>
584.0 x 217.0 x 240.0 cm<br/>
A participant in the project <em>Melbourne Design Now</em><br/>
The project <em>Melbourne Design Now</em> is supported by The Hugh D. T Williamson Foundation<br/>
© Bolwell Corporation

Melbourne Now countdown – day 76

Vaughan BOLWELL (designer)
born Australia 1971

From Sherrin footballs to the bionic eye…a conversation with Simone LeAmon, consultant curator for Melbourne Design Now, gets us thinking about design education possibilities and the hidden wealth talent and innovation right here in Melbourne!

Melbourne Design Now, Simone explains, will explore design as a way of proposing ideas about the world and delivering solutions to problems, but also as a way of engaging with

– The economy
– Social culture
– Sustainability
– The human body
– Visual culture

These fives themes will shape the presentation over two sites – NGV Australia at Federation Square and NGV International on St Kilda Road – with an exemplar chosen for each theme. One such exemplar is the award winning Bolwell EDGE caravan – the latest stage in caravan evolution, incorporating cutting edge materials and aerospace technology.

Meet the designer

Sited in the garden at NGV International, the Bolwell EDGE caravan will become the working studio of a different designer-in-residence each week for the duration of the exhibition. This ‘open door’ studio will provide a great opportunity to meet Melbourne’s current crop of cutting edge designers, to see what they are working on and how they are going about it.

Thinking, not finite solutions…

An exploration of the design of the everyday will explore the creative process embedded in humble objects designed in Melbourne, like the Willow cooler and jug, the Sherrin glow in the dark football, the Crumpler bag. These objects, Simone enthuses, are embedded with poesy, meaning and aesthetic qualities that reach beyond their pure functionality.

Designer/ Maker


Melbourne’s unique culture of designer/ makers is celebrated, too, in a collection of twenty five flamboyant, visually arresting and aesthetically exciting pieces – each selected for its links to a Melbourne story. Ash Allen’s Japanese inspired Sticks and Stones table and stools, for example, use recycled rubber from one of Australia’s oldest rubber factories Abar Rubber in Thomastown, owned by the designer’s family.

Design for now, design for the future

Importantly, Melbourne Design Now will challenge us to think about issues of sustainability in design, manufacture and consumption. Leyla Acaroglu, educator and design sustainability provocateur, is creative director of the award winning sustainability education project The Secret Life of Things‘, and creator of the Design Play Cards‘. Called the ‘fun way to Eco design’, the cards explore the opportunities for change through designing for sustainability. These award winning projects will be presented as another exemplary design project.

For students and teachers of design and technology, seekers of inspiration and food for thought, Melbourne Design Now promises an embarrassment of riches!

In support of Melbourne Design Now, NGV Schools will host a Professional Learning day for teachers of Visual Communication and Design and Product Design and Technology on the Thursday 28th November 2013.

Interested in finding out more about Melbourne Now? Come to a free information night for educators on Wednesday 11 September, 6pm at NGV International. Includes refreshments on arrival.

For more information, please contact NGV Schools Bookings on 03 8620 2340 or

Melbourne Design Now is supported by the Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation.