Installation view of Babel Bookcase on display as part of the Melbourne Now exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne, from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Peter Bennetts
Past program

What is Melbourne graphic design now? How has it changed in the past decade? Where is it heading?  

Communication design, which includes but isn’t limited to ‘graphic design’, is at once an industry and a mainstay of everyday culture, a site of social innovation and of commercial disruption, an incubator of the new and a bastion of tradition. Babel Bookcase, on display in Melbourne Now, is a showcase of communication design practice.  

In an informal conversation in Community Hall, hear practising designers’ perspectives on the recent history, the current state, and the future of graphic design in Naarm/Melbourne.  

Moderated by guest curator Brad Haylock, the conversation will feature Babel Bookcase contributors Michaela Webb (Round), Stuart Geddes, and Nina Gibbes. 


Michaela Webb is the creative director of Round, a studio she founded in 2003 in Melbourne, Victoria. In more than 25 years of professional experience, Michaela has worked for Wolff Olins and Spin in London. She has lectured full-time at RMIT (Melbourne), Mediarts (New Zealand) and has served as a judge at D&AD, AGDA and AWARD, where she was chair. She currently sits on two advisory boards for Melbourne Art Foundation and Potter Museum of Art. 

Stuart Geddes is a graphic designer working mostly with books, he is also a lecturer, researcher and PhD candidate at RMIT University. Together with Žiga Testen he is part of Graphic Design Work Pty Ltd, a design studio focused on book design and publishing for arts and culture. Stuart is also one of the Australian members of Alliance Graphique Internationale. In recent years Stuart’s work has earned many awards and has been collected and exhibited in Australia and internationally.  

Nina Gibbes is a graphic designer with an interest in feminism, publication design and collaborative practice. Her work spans cultural projects, exhibitions, publications, typography, branding for not-for-profit organisations and small businesses, commissioned artworks, and music. Gibbes has a background in contemporary art and emerging art spaces, and began working as a designer in 2018. She currently works as a visual designer at R/GA, balancing her work in digital design with her independent practice. 

Brad Haylock is a designer, publisher, and academic. He is Associate Dean, Communication Design, in the School of Design at RMIT University. His research spans design studies, material culture studies, publishing studies, and the sociology of critique. His most recent books include Art Writing in Crisis (Sternberg Press, 2021, co-edited with Megan Patty) and One and Many Mirrors: Perspectives on Graphic Design Education (Occasional Papers, 2020, co-edited with Luke Wood). 

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