Director’s Message

Reflecting the dynamism of Melbourne’s design community, Melbourne Design Week has undeniably cemented its position as the country’s largest annual international design event. A testament to Victoria’s status as Australia’s most design-focused state, this festival of design has grown year on year since 2017 and now offers an annual focal point for Australia’s design sector to share their ideas, products, innovations and plans for tomorrow. Now in its fifth year, the event draws exhibitors and visitors from across the country as the one event in the design calendar not to be missed.

Responding to the theme ‘Design the World You Want’ the 2021 program will challenge and inspire us as we reflect on the capacity of design to shape our lives and the world-at-large. As we reactivate our cities together, there is no better time than now to celebrate the sense of collaboration and positivity that define Victorian design. Together, the design disciplines offer immense potential and opportunity to reinvigorate our economy while enriching society and the environment. The Victorian Government and NGV are dedicated to supporting and embracing the design sector, with Melbourne Design Week as a key initiative in an ongoing strategy.

This year’s festival takes place across Melbourne and Victoria in a range of spaces, with a new dedicated regional program in Gippsland. Highly accessible, and open to all, there are exhibitions, workshops, tours, talks, and more. Melbourne Design Week also includes the Melbourne Art Book Fair, which for 2021 spreads out across the city in a celebration of Melbourne’s vibrant independent publishing community.

We are excited with the sense of optimism and opportunity that abounds in our design community. As Melbourne Design Week brings people together, it is a great time to look at what we have achieved and think about the world we want to make together for tomorrow.

Tony Ellwood AM
Director NGV