Monday, July 12, 2010

State of Design - top ten picks!

Design:Made:Trade 2009 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton

Gertrude st Projection Festival - always brilliant! Here Ian de Gruchy's giant polka dots grace the Gertrude Hotel from last year's event (more here...)

Paper Plane Academy 2009 - incredible! (more shots below)

Did you know that Melbourne's annual design festival, State of Design is nearly upon us!? Did you know it starts this Wednesday!?


Now there is a LOT on. You really need to visit the website and make some diary notes...! But in an effort to be semi-helpful, I thought I might list the Top 10 events worth seeing at State of Design, in my humble opinion. (Please don't hate me if your event is not listed here... there are sooo many - this is just a small sample)

Ok.. deep breath!

General not-to-be-missed Events

1) Design:Made: Trade -

Some of this year's D:M:T exhibitors include Buro North (Green X-mas Trees, top left), Volker Haug (top right - his brand new Daisy lights), Trent Jansen (Sign stools, bottom left), and my Mum's HookTurn Industries, with their fantabulous BYO coffee cups!

is the best place to see the work of over 80 local designers and makers, all in one place. It is the friendly, indie equivalent to those huge exhausting industry trade shows... giving local and emerging designers a unique platform to reach thousands of visitors over 4 huge days.

Design:Made Trade is at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton again this year... it's going to be a really fantastic hub with so so so many things going on alongside D:M:T. For instance, The Long Table, running the length of the Exhibition Building, will host a variety of workshops, discussions, a design mini library (thanks to Magnation!) and a café. All at one super long table! Seriously awesome.

ALSO worth mentoning, State of Design's organisers are really keen to get local bloggers in on the action, and have kindly set up a 'Blogger's Lounge' at the Exhibition Building especially for us! Here local bloggers are welcome to have a seat, re-charge their batteries and make use of free wi-fi in order to blog and tweet live from the festival! (BYO laptop). I should have also requested a hammock. I may need forty winks between events!

Open to trade / media this Thursday 15th and Friday 16th July.
Open to the public Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July.
$10.00 - pre-purchase tickets online

See my pics of last year's Design:Made:Trade here!

2) Iron Designer -

This ever-popular event is set to be another crowd-pleaser - the heat will be on as eight new challengers including Tin & Ed, Hecker Phelan Guthrie, Right Angle Studio and Studio Round square off for the people’s ovation and fame forever.

Inspired by their Japanese cooking counterparts, the challengers work in a pressure cooker style design-off. Teams are given 20 minutes to impress the judges with their innovative use of the battle’s key ingredients... presented by Melbourne's very clever Studio Binocular.

Iron Designer

Friday 23rd July, 6.30pm
$33.00 - book here

Self guided daytime walking fun

3) Look. Stop. Shop -

Presented by City of Melbourne, Look.Stop.Shop is a design-led walk through Melbourne’s City Centre, where a select group of retailers have created special window displays and in-store installations exploring sustainable design.

There is a cute guide map which you can download from the SoD website - the line-up seems really interesting and diverse, with contributions from big-name department stores, tiny boutiques, designer-owned spaces, and pop-up shops (of course!).

4) Audio Design Museum -

The Audio Design Museum is a self-guided audio walking tour, guiding listeners through Melbourne's creative spaces via the voices of designers, architects and others who have shaped the design of our fair city. You will soon be able to download maps and audio content from the Audio Design Museum website (launching this Wednesday).

The Audio Design Musuem encompasses the full spectrum of design: architecture, object, furniture and industrial design, graphics, jewellery and fashion. It is curated by Vivienne Stappmans (editor of the excellent Melbourne and Sydney Design Guides), and curator extraordinaire / chronic over-achiever Kate Rhodes. So there is really no way it could be anything other than excellent!

Self guided night time walking fun

5) Gertrude st Projection Festival -

Gertrude st Projection 2009

GOD it's good. It's really good. Just go. Look how awesome it was last year.

On now! Runs every night until this Sunday 18th July.

6) Trent Jansen's 3D Stencil laneway installation -

Trent Jansen's demonstrates his illuminated 3D Stencil

Trent Jansen is one of Australia's most exciting young designers (you might remember me raving about his Kissing Pendants which took out the Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award last year?...)

When Trent is not designing award-winning products, hanging out with Marcel Wanders or travelling the globe exhibiting his work, he is apparently making amazing 3D stencils. They glow in the dark, people! Do pop down and see them brightening up Higson Lane after dinner in the CBD next week.

3D Stencil Project
Higson Lane, CBD
From Sunday 19th July - Sunday 25th July.

Great events for kids!

7) Paper Plane Academy -

I saw these incredible pics of last year's Paper Plane Academy and was truly blown away! It just looked SO insanely awesome... 120 kids wearing pilot's goggles, an aerial obstacle course, a resident Air-marshall, and of course hundreds of paper planes! You can check out all the excellent photos from last year's event here, and there's a great YouTube video too.

I really have no idea how such a randomly brilliant thing was invented. All credit to the guys at Jones-Chijoff!

Paper Plane Academy
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July - Melbourne
Saturday 24th July - Bendigo
Free - register at the Paper Plane Academy website

8) My Patch, My Biomorphic City -

Returning for the third year in a row, My Patch is another great creative crafty workshop where kids, families and friends will have an opportunity to create their ideal miniature city. Kids will make their 'Patch' from a wide range of raw and recycled materials, with the help of designers, architects and consultants. As the day progresses, 'Patches' will be pieced together to form a colourful mini metropolis. Sure to inspire the pint-sized architect / builder / town planner in any family!

My Patch, My Biomorphic City
Sunday 18th July, 2.00pm in Melbourne
Satudray 24th July, 11.00am in Bendigo
Free - download a registration form here

Super special, slightly pricey things to do

9) Comme Design Dinner -

OK so it's $85.00 a head - but you will be wined and dined to your heart's content.. and Comme is truly such a beautiful restaurant... and... I'm one of the speakers! Actually it is very casual, I will be just answering questions inbetween courses, along with two other brilliant guests - Dan Hill who writes the super popular architecture blog City of Sound, and Mikael Colville-Andersen from Denmark, whose blog Copenhagenize covers bike culture in his home city.

If you do come along please come find me and say hello!

Comme Design Dinner
Thursday 22nd July 7.00pm
$85.00 per head. Bookings through Comme - ph. 03 9631 4000

10) Edible Tapestry Tales -

Previous Edible events by Rachel and Frankie. That top image is Rachel Khoo and Caroline Hobkinson.

Oooh this one looks super cool... design + food is always a stellar combination!

Edible Tapestry Tales is a six-course dining experience and experimental culinary concept. Over three nights, The Victorian Tapestry Workshop will host three 'pop-up' dining events, which will incorporate local foods and pay tribute to this historical setting.

Edible Tales is brought to life by Rachel Khoo and Frankie Unsworth... 2 super cool British girls who met whilst studying at the Cordon Bleu in Paris! Over the past few years Rachel and Frankie have collaborated on various unique edible experiences across the globe - stay tuned for my interview with this prolific pair this Friday!

Edible Tapestry Tales
Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July, 7.00pm.
$110.00 per head - includes cocktail and wine.
Bookings -

PS) STAY TUNED later this morning I also have a very special State of Design workshop giveaway! If you are a textile / printmaking enthusiast, pop back at around 10.00am for the chance to win a spot in an inspired hands-on workshop with one of Melbourne's most respected craft-based businesses... !


  1. Thanks for posting your top picks - helpful for those of us (like me) who weren't quite sure where to start!

  2. Come and say hi to the BYO Coffee Cup team. Love to say hello at Design Made Trade