Attracting over 160,000 visitors and wrapping up 12 days of events, exhibitions and leading local and international guests, the 2011 State of Design Festival, under the theme of "Design that Moves" has been heralded as the most successful to date.
Taking place from July 20 - 31, 2011, the State of Design Festival is the largest and most innovative design event in Australia and the heart of design thinking and design activity each year. The Festival aims to increase the awareness of the value of design in business, industry and throughout the community.
"The 2011 State of Design Festival has succeeded in curating and producing more exhibitions, events and activities than ever before," said Kate Rhodes, Creative Director for Victoria's 2011 State of the Design Festival. "We are thrilled that all of the State of Design Festival-produced events sold out. The 2011 Festival took designers for the first time to regional primary schools and the festival has been able to create a number of 'legacy' projects that will continue to be active within the city after the official dates, including: The Sound of Buildings and Design for an Active City."
Under the theme of "Design that moves" the Festival held three major programs: Design for Everyone, Design for Business and Design: Made: Trade.
Design for Everyone
Design for Everyone, the Festival's public program, inspired a broad audience through informative workshops and creative activities across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Responding to the 2011 Festival theme of 'Design That Moves,' Design for Everyone explored how we are influenced by our experiences in, on and around projects that are transformative, mobile and networked. Events were presented in transitional zones such as platforms, public urban spaces, foyers and stairs as the Festival explored how Melbourne can use design to become a more active city.
Highlights of the Design for Everyone program included Look.Stop.Shop, Urban Reality: Landscape Urbanism, Paper Plane Academy, Melbourne Open House, Late Night Platform at ACCA, Design to Go and Sound of Buildings.
In regional Victoria, the Design For Everyone program included Moving the Design - Projector Bike in Geelong, Camp Street Campout + Lookout in Ballarat.
The Design To Go program, delivered with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, saw State of Design deliver a touring children's design program to three regional Victorian schools including Moe, Wangaratta and Ballarat. The program introduced design to school children through hands-on activities led by architects and industrial designers.
Design for Business
The Design for Business program was developed with a focus on inspiration as a legitimate tool for improvement. The program featured some of the world's most important design thinkers and innovators exploring issues relevant to an Australian business audience.
Keynote Speaker Carolyn Steel (UK) was warmly welcomed throughout her brief Melbourne visit. An architect, lecturer and writer Carolyn Steel hosted three forums around food consumption in cities with a focus on urban agriculture. With Steel's chief interest in exploring how cities are shaped by food, Melburnians soaked up her insight and her lateral approach to urban design.
Taking place at the Wheeler Centre, the Festival's free 9 to 5 Talks Program showed that a new format for hosting international speakers can work. Each of the 5 Skype interviews went off without a hitch and brought the minds of five international design thinkers into Melbourne for an hour-long conversation around design issues, practice and ideas to huge audiences.
In its fourth year, Design:Made:Trade is the one and only design fair of its kind in Australia. Design:Made:Trade once again took place at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton accompanied by design-related workshops, talks, exhibitions and displays.
A stepping stone for emerging designers, Design:Made:Trade is a curated show which presents a unique platform to create networks and perfectly balances a market atmosphere with trade opportunity.
Celebrating a diverse range of design, this year's exhibitors covered an array of disciplines such as graphics, interiors, industrial, software, fashion, and visual arts. From conceptual works by designers such as Rowena Martinich, to finished and realised product from DesignByThem, Tide Design and Ink & Spindle - a spectrum of designers blurred creative boundaries and offered boundless inspiration.