Designing the circular economy talk

Melbourne Design Week in 2022 was mammoth

20 April 2022

Melbourne Design Week in 2022 was mammoth confirming Melbourne as Australia’s design capital. From 17–27 March 2022, MDW returned for its sixth edition, which included: the inaugural Melbourne Design Fair (MDF), Melbourne Art Book Fair (MABF), MDW Film Festival (MDWFF), and a program of brand and showroom presentations alongside 300-plus events. Expanding the reach of the week, Castlemaine, Ballarat, and the LaTrobe Valley became regional destinations hosting a series of MDW events. 

In 2022, over 350 Melbourne Design Week events were scheduled, including: over 50 Melbourne Art Book Fair events; over 100 exhibitions; over 25 launches; and over 250 talks, tours and workshops. More than 210 organisations and individuals presented events as part of Melbourne Design Week. The number of events was matched by the number of people in attendance with around 55,000 people attending an event during the week.

A highlight of MDW was the inaugural Melbourne Design Fair, an initiative of the NGV presented in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation. The Melbourne Design Fair showcased the best collectible contemporary design from over 100 Australian designers and makers with 13 galleries, studios and organisations alongside 40 designers. The Melbourne Design Fair was the first of its kind in Australia, breaking new ground in the presentation, promotion, and sale of collectible contemporary design in the region. The fair welcomed over 3,000 design and art collectors, enthusiasts, and interior designers over a six-day period.

The Australian Furniture Design Award returned for its fourth iteration. The Australian Furniture Design Award began in 2015 as Australia’s richest furniture design prize. Sydney-based designer Seaton McKeon won the inaugural award in 2015 with The Sun The Moon and Me, a freestanding light and mirror. In 2017 Alice Springs-based designer Elliat Rich received the award for her sculptural vanity, Place. The 2020 winner was James Walsh’s Anthropic Bench which combined rammed earth with recycled glass filings to produce a sustainable and hard-wearing composite. Ashley Eriksmoen was awarded the Australian Furniture Design Award in 2022 and a $20,000 cash prize for her entry The Dream, or: the view from here is both bleak and resplendent. The chaise is constructed from discarded timber with a palette referencing the rise of modernism on the Australian landscape.

Ashley Eriksmoen’s winning work.

Major Partner Mercedes-Benz presented The Melbourne Design Week Award, an annual prize awarded for an outstanding contribution to MDW in that year. The 2022 winner was Revival Projects for its Zero Footprint Repurposing, one of the world’s first free hubs for repurposing waste from construction and demolition, a place to store and reuse demolished materials that would otherwise become landfill. The winner received peer recognition among the local and international design community, and a cash prize from Mercedes-Benz.

Carpenter and builder Robbie Neville from Revival Projects at the repurposing hub.

The 2022 program also saw several cultural institutions become hubs for festival, including Collingwood Yards, Melbourne Connect, Scienceworks RMIT Design Hub and Archives, MPavilion and NGV.

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