Thursday, July 24, 2008


Design:Made:Trade was a welcome addition to the State of Design line-up this year... the 4-day trade event took place last Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th at the Exhibition Building in Carlton, and was also open to the public on the Sunday. The idea for this new event is to showcase Australia's small manufacturers, product designers, and design makers. The event was specifically created for designers seeking collaboration with manufacturers, retail and export buyers. Lots of great independent design was on show, some I'd seen before, but also some really interesting new companies I wasn't aware of.

The best thing about Design:Made:Trade is that it separates these smaller design firms from the sprawling Furnitex/Decoration + Design event, giving them a more specialised environment in which to show their work.

Also I loved the design of the exhibition itself - cardboard fold-out booths gave it a low-fi, sustainable feel (although... I'm not sure what happened to all that cardboard afterwards!... I hope it got recycled.)

*update - Just heard from Melbourne-based design house Buro North, who are responsible for the excellent exhibition design at D:M:T. They have confirmed that all materials used in the project were recycled after the event, in collaboration with VISY. (see comments below) Wicked.

Highlights below:

Samantha Parsons of Studio Sam chats to visitors

Studio Sam products - above, Siena the book block table (available from Format Furniture) below, custom-embellished plates created by Samantha for the Eat Green Design event

Stunning textured wallpapers by Ilias, inspired by braille. I love the colours and the flocking - also he's branching into rugs and showed the first rug in his range.

New typography/graphic design company The Foundry showed some beautiful simple printed products, with as much emphasis on well-researched content as aesthetic appeal. In particular I loved the 'produce in season' wall chart... I'll write more about The Foundry next week - I think they deserve a post of their own!

The Foundry's 'produce in season' wallchart

Yellow Diva's striking pieces

Marc Pascal's colourful hand-made lights

It was lovely to meet Volker Haug in person after interviewing him a while ago for this site! He was so nice and friendly... wish I had more time to chat! (I was frantic as usual getting all my photos...) He showed a small selection of his fantastic lighting range...

Tractor Home had a gorgeous stand full of hand-made treasures from South Africa... including some of superstar South African designer Heath Nash's work. Nash makes his pieces from discarded plastics, combining different colours to create the most fantastic homewares and lights... I must visit the Tractor Home retail store! Stunning stuff.


  1. Hi there Lucy, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading the design files. It's great having your perspective of our lovely city.

  2. Hello there. Great blog. Always on my Monday morning list of things to check... Anyway, you asked about what happened to the cardboard stands? They were recycled, we designed (Buro North) the stands in collaboration with VISY and developed the exhibition with AEC to ensure it was all made from recycled content card and was recycled post show... Best, Soren (soren[at]

  3. Hello! Love your blog, its on my every Monday morning get into the week list... So, we ( ) designed the DMT exhibition in collaboration with VISY, and you asked if it was recycled? The stands were made from part recycled content card, and were developed to be completely recycled post the show... Keep up the blogging, best, Soren

  4. Kylie - what a lovely comment! Thankyou so much :) I haven't had many comments recently and it always makes me wonder who is reading and if they're enjoying my posts.... so this comment made my day :) thankyou so much for your encouragement and kind words! Also I am so sorry I didn't notice or mention your work at the Design Market - it was so chaotic and I didn't get along to every stall... it must have been one of the ones I missed... :( very sorry!

    Soren: thanks so much for your comment :) I'm very flattered that you read my blog. Actually I am a friend of Skye's who I think works at Buro North with you? A little while ago I posted about her upcoming exhibition 'Head Case'. Anyway thanks also for the clarification re: DMT. I will amend the article to let my readers know that all the materials were recycled! Thanks so much :) Lucy

  5. Hi There, fyi the DMT Modular Cardboard exhibition shell was conceived, designed and engineered by The structural design team at Visy specialties here in Melbourne and is in fact a Visy owned product. The collaboration with Buro North consisted of Layout design and Graphic Art direction, Not the design and development of the modular system itself.