Author Archives: tessmccabe

Until we MIDF again

And just like that, the MIDF has wrapped for another year. It was all over so quickly! I feel like I’ve been running/biking/tramming all over town to see what the participants in this year’s festival put forth, but it was most definitely worth it.

Personal highlights included…

the Underground x 4 exhibition at Tongue and Groove – it was a great example of how beautifully designed objects can transform a space beyond recognition!

… meeting designers such as Bonnie So and Jansen Lye and talking to them about their Pop-ups. This is This isn’t is a concept that will be on my mind for a while to come – the idea of re-purposing designed objects for other uses, rather than designing something using brand new materials.

… The Design on Toast Breakfast Series event featuring Chloe Quigley of Michi Girl fame, and pioneering brand strategist Stanley Johnson. It was a casual conversation-style forum about what effective branding has evolved into in this day and age, and it was a relaxing start to a cold July morning. Watching the sky lighten through the trapezoidal windows of BMW edge at Fed Square was a delight. (Note: I was slightly disappointed that there was no actual toast, or indeed any other breakfast foods or beverages, provided at this event. But, that’s just me.)

… and the Studio Open day, where local design studios opened their doors to allow fellow design practitioners and students in to ask questions, network, and learn about each other’s businesses. Although we may be in competition, it’s important to maintain relationships with contemporaries and to learn from each others successes, failures, and office layouts! On a side note, Studio Open participants and independent publishers Ripe Off The Press have just been confirmed as finalists in this years Telstra Business Awards, and after visiting the lovely studio of these two passionate women, one can see why they deserve such an award!

On one of my many visits to Fed Square over the course of the festival, it was sad to see some broken and vandalized plastic bubbles amongst the Index Award – Design to Improve Life exhibition. But overall, just looking at the turnout to the Melbourne Design Market and the queues of people keen to participate in Open House proves that Melbournians love their yearly dose of design festivities. I don’t know the data on 2008s festival patronage compared to previous years, but I think that MIDF 2008 has shown that Melbourne is happy to patronise events like this if they were to happen more frequently. At the very least, the Market might reconsider the design and layout of its stalls – for the benefit of shoppers and stressed-out stallholders alike!

See you next year!

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Takeaway Thonet

by Tess McCabe

18 Chairs are captured and waiting for the final verdict, which you can help decide, by visiting the exhibition which ends on Sunday.

Should you wish to purchase a chair you can visit the Thonet Showroom 237 Napier St, Fitzroy and bid on the cheque books displayed.

Alternatively you can just enjoy the varied interpretations of this brief by 18 exciting design practitioners.
For more information on any of the designers or the project visit the website!

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Screen Savers – Aludean

By Tess McCabe

If you ever find yourself in the position where you live in a property that is without internal walls (I wish this were a more common problem), then please don’t despair. The folk at Aludean have your privacy issues covered.

Aludean is Lu Skacej and Dean Colls, trained sculptors with a wealth of design and construction training behind them. Their aim is to create sculpture that exists outside of the gallery environment – and their folio includes commissions from retail, residential and public spaces.

As part of the Design Festival, Aludean are now releasing six new screen designs along with a “user friendly” modular concept that builds on their philosophy of involving the end-user in the design process.

You can see their beautifully designed screens in the context of an uber-hip lounge or bedroom setting at Hub Furniture Lighting Living, 63 Exhibition Street, Melbourne. 10am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Saturday (cost: free).

Now where is my sledgehammer…

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5-minute Feedback: a constructive pop-up event

by Tess McCabe

There are many, many University and TAFE design courses in a number of disciplines on offer in this city, and for that reason I was surprised at the small turnout to the DIAs 5-minute-feedback session at BMW Edge on Friday. Considering it’s July, theoretically there should be a plethora of students winding up their degrees and preparing their folios for the few entry-level graduate positions that will be on offer early in the new year. To have someone in your prospective design industry review your portfolio of student work and offer suggestions and improvements, at a time when you can implement those suggestions before getting serious about landing a job, seems like an opportunity too good to pass up.

Speaking to some of the students who did take part in the feedback sessions, their dedication to becoming better designers and their awareness of the competition within their industries for employment opportunities was clear. They also seemed to display a healthy respect for those with experience in the industry and welcomed constructive criticism from practitioners in other design strains.

When I spoke to some of the professional designers, the consensus was that they were always on the lookout for fresh new talent, and that they were ready and willing to offer those present encouragement, and constructive criticism, on student work and portfolio presentation styles. Monique McNamara from Up and Up Creative was keen to offer information as to how young designers could combine sustainability practices into their career. Many, such as Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan of Blank Canvas Interiors, were happy to engage students in discussion about what to expect as an entry-level designer within an established studio.

For more information on upcoming DIA events aimed at both students and professionals, visit their website.

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Selected Projeckta

Pete from Really Whale and Sixto from Do Yeah create art for Bamakkos storefront window in real time.

Vida Lay and the chest of drawers that almost never was

From a broken couple of these to this attractive magazine stand… that’s Ebay on the Freeway at Design Loop.

Projeckta continues with more artists in-store this Saturday 26th July (tomorrow!), 11-4pm, at the five Projeckta 57 locations.

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Living Eames

The Gifted Eye of Charles Eames is on at Living Edge, 345 Bridge Road, Richmond, now!

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Underground x 4 opening night – WOW!

Underground x 4 us downstairs at Tongue and Groove, open Wed-Sunday throughout the festival. It surpasses all expectation. Go and see it!

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