Last month the who’s-who of A+D across the Asia Pacific region was in Melbourne for two days. The 2016 Melbourne Indesign event is a fresh concept that celebrates the local design and architecture community, bringing the industry together to converse, collaborate, create and innovate. With installations, launches, seminars and collaborations across the two days, the most important aspect about Melbourne Indesign this year was its focus on how we can improve A+D for everyone. Eschewing the East Coast v West Coast, Australia v APAC mindsets, designers, architects and a huge number of stakeholders put regional differences and struggles aside to really get to the crux of issues that affect us all.
Sometimes, in our well-intentioned attempts to celebrate and recognise the incredible production coming from A+D in Western Australia, it can be easy to forget that we are part of a bigger picture, a bigger movement. A+D across Asia Pacific is a multi-state and multi-national initiative, and the benefits of embracing regional difference and diversity are numerous and promising.
But what is Melbourne Indesign? Well, firstly, it’s a forum for celebrating diversity in A+D. Secondly, it’s a commitment.
Founded in Sydney in 1999, Indesign Media Asia Pacific launched with Indesign Magazine, closely followed by Habitus Magazine, envisioned as an architectural publication that would be at once world class and local. This ethic has since inspired all our publications, platforms and events – including Western Australia’s very own ContemporaryAU.com – fiercely dedicated to our region and passionate about profiling, representing and celebrating the architecture and design industries, projects, cultures and communities of Australia and Asia, bringing them onto the world stage.
As the latest chapter of this story, Melbourne Indesign 2016 was a jam-packed weekend that truly tackled some of the biggest struggles A+D are facing today and can expect tomorrow. Here’s what went down –
The design takeover of Melbourne kicked off first thing on Friday morning with the hotly anticipated Disrupt Design Living LiveLife seminar hosted by Darkon at their Collingwood studio. The hits kept coming throughout the morning, as we saw the best in the industry clash over and discuss the gender divide in architecture and design, Australia’s design heritage and cultural cringe, and how fed up with fame and the so-called ‘starchitects’ we are.
While we’re incredibly proud of the seminar series we presented, we were equally excited to see what our exhibitors had in store. We saw a fascinating talk with Ian McDougall, founding Director of ARM Architecture, who spoke about the design of ARM’s additions to the Shrine Of Remembrance in the Kings Domain Melbourne. The morning was rounded out by a terrific appearance from a special guest speaker at Sketch Tile Concepts; Fernando Mendez from Atlas Concorde touched down from Italy to introduce Sketch’s new range of Atlas Concorde tiles.
The afternoon continued the mix of Indesign and Habitus hosted seminar discussion events and terrific exhibitor presented events. Heads butted as we see the industry debate over the practicalities of designing for the public and how important public opinion is when designing at the Interface hosted WorkLife Design for the Public discussion. While DKO Architecture and AJAR furniture offered up and afternoon house tour of DKO’s innovative Bedford St project, Authentic Design Alliance were showcasing the industry’s dirty secret – knock off design – and what we can do to stop it.
After a celebration of Indesign’s Launch Pad program with RE:LAUNCH, it was time to let our hair down and enjoy Melbourne Indesign after dark with Up Late. Up Late was a blast for all involved, as we bar hopped between a select catered collection of Melbourne’s cultural and design landmarks. From District to Hub Furniture, the National Gallery of Victoria, Zenith and COS, we feel humbled to have brought Melbourne alive with this series of one-night-only experiences.
Melbourne Indesign 2016