Why don’t we acknowledge our designers in the same way that we worship our home-grown actors, musicians and athletes?
That’s the question posed by Ian Wong, curator of the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Showcase at the RMIT Design Hub in Carlton.
If Ian had his way, Victorian designers like Susan Cohn, Paul Charlwood, Visnja Brdar, Michael Simcoe, Mary Featherston and Gerry Mussett would be household names, reflecting the enormous contribution they’ve made not only to our built environment, aesthetic and objects we use every day, but to design worldwide.
For the past 25 years the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards, which is Australia’s longest running and most prestigious state-based design awards, have acknowledged excellence in eight fields of design — including architecture, product, fashion, digital, service, strategy, communication and student.
To mark the milestone, Creative Victoria commissioned award-winning industrial designer, Monash University academic and design historian Ian Wong to curate an exhibition that articulates, elevates and celebrates our design industry.
For Ian, there are many personal connections within the showcase. His mother was a dressmaker so the opportunity to look at the contribution of Victorian fashion and textile designers is meaningful. So too is his link with Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design - Ian and Grant both grew up in Shepparton.
“Despite its name, this showcase is not just a retrospective. I want it to elevate the public consciousness when it comes to Victorian design and its global impact. Extraordinary things have been done here by our design leaders and those working their way up now. Melbourne is an acknowledged design city with incredible capabilities that rival London, New York or Milan,” said Ian.
“Victorian designers are some of the most talented and innovative in the world today. International clients are beating a path to their door. They employ large numbers of people, offering opportunities to recent graduates and those under the age of 30, helping to ensure the future of Victorian design is bright.”
From the 2006 Commonwealth Games Queen’s baton to lifesaving heart pumps and the iconic Monaro sportscar to Oscar-winning film-making equipment, the Victoria Premier’s Design Awards Showcase highlights the craftmanship, creativity and ingenuity of the State’s nearly 100,000 designers and their indelible legacy on international design.
What: The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Showcase: Celebrating 25 years of design excellence
Where: RMIT Design Hub, Lower Level, Building 100, Corner Swanston Victoria Sts, Carlton
When: 17 – 27 March 2022
How: Entry is free
For more information go to designweek.melbourne/program.
Article courtesy Victorian Premier’s Design Awards