The inaugural Melbourne Design Fair showcases everyday objects transformed into collectible designs by Australian designers

Melbourne Design Fair

The first ever Melbourne Design Fair, to be held during Melbourne Design Week, offers a chance to view and purchase works by established, emerging, and first nations Australian contemporary designers

Design aficionados down under are in for a treat this month during Melbourne Design Week. The event will see the inaugural edition of Melbourne Design Fair, the first collectible design fair of its kind in Australia.

An initiative by the National Gallery of Victoria held in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation, it will run from 16 to 20 March, presenting an opportunity for visitors to acquire unique, limited edition designs by Australian contemporary designers, both established and emerging, as well as first nations.

Melbourne Design Fair
Clare Belfrage, Collection in Green and Blue, 2020, courtesy of JamFactory. Photo: Pippy Mount

The fair is divided into two categories: Present, and Select. The former focuses on collections represented by the country’s leading art organisations, galleries, agencies, and studios. Some participating names include Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert from Sydney, Studio Roland Snooks from Melbourne, and JamFactory from Adelaide.

The latter showcases 35 individual designers brought together by Simone LeAmon, Hugh Williamson curator of contemporary design and architecture at National Gallery of Victoria. Find works by industrial designer Adam Goodrum, multidisciplinary artist Marta Figueiredo, and object design studio Brud Studia, among many others.

In addition to retail and exhibition experiences, the fair will also offer an educational programme featuring conversations with exhibiting designers, curators and critics. A film, presented by event partner Mecedes-Benz Australia, shares further insights into the creative processes of participating designers.

Melbourne Design Fair
Big Talk chairs by Adam Goodrum. Photo: Luke Evens

LeAmon says of the significance of the fair: “Collectible contemporary design is cultural production reflecting our time, offering alternative points of view, commentary or insights into design, and making of objects anchored to function and the rituals of everyday life. Collectible design invites us to explore and contemplate Australian material culture through the convergence of ideas, materials and making, which is what makes the Melbourne Design Fair an event not to be missed.”

The fair will be held at Warehouse 16, 28 Duke Street in Abbotsford.

Melbourne Design Fair