THE STATE DESIGN FESTIVAL, Melbourne, Australia, by Lucy King

Melbourne is a fantastic city, and one which embraces and supports all forms of art and design. I am very lucky to live in a city where art and design is appreciated in its very broadest form, and actively encourages the design community, residents and visitors to participate in an array of design events to ensure that design is a part of every-day life for Melbournians.
I want to share my experiences of living in Melbourne with its thriving design community, and thought I would start with ‘The State of Design Festival’ which is has just taken place. This festival runs each year in Melbourne bringing together a diverse program of local and international design events, exhibitions, workshops and speaker programs during its two-week duration. There is a huge amount of events taking place in-and-around the city covering such broad design topics as graffiti, film, multi-media, textiles, sound-art, fashion, freeway architecture, typography, interiors, paper-planes, printmaking, architectural bus tours, graphic design in the city, fashion and so on…. Then there are the international speakers, discussion forums, trade fairs and workshops – phew! All of this is aimed at both industry and the public, with many events being free to attend making it very accessible and inclusive. The festival has a strong link towards consideration of sustainable design whilst also engaging people to think about how design interacts on a social, environmental and economic level and can help towards creating better products and environments for everyone for the future.
The first event I visited as part of the State of Design Festival was Design: Made: Trade. This boutique design fair is geared towards small or up-and-coming design businesses to showcase their products to manufacturers, retailers and the public. The fair took place in the beautiful Exhibition Buildings (built for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, the building also famously hosted the opening of the first Australian Federal Parliament) which offered a very informal setting to view the designs and products on show, along with being able to chat to the designers about their work. The fair encompassed a fantastic selection of innovative furniture, lighting, jewellery, stationery, paper-products and textile design - which offered thoroughly inspiring viewing!
I will write more about the State of Design Festival events that I attend, along with other Melbourne Design events over the next few weeks - as there is plenty going on in this fabulous cultural city! In the meantime you can click on these links to visit the State of Design Festival website to see the full line-up of events, and the link for the Design: Made: Trade website.

Photographs: Top, Design: Made: Trade by Festival Photographer
Tobias Titz:
Image taken from The Design Files:
Middle Right, The Exhibition Building, location of, Design: Made: Trade. Bottom Left, Melbourne's city skyline viewed from St Kilda beach.
State of Design festival:
Design: Made: Trade:

Post published 8th August 09 by Lucy King

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