NGV in collaboration with Melbourne Art Foundation launch the inaugural Melbourne Design Fair

Clare-Belfrage-Elements-of-a-Place-2019-JamFactory-photo-by-Pippy-MountPresented as part of Melbourne Design Week, the inaugural Melbourne Design Fair (16 – 20 March 2022) is a commercial showcase of limited edition, rare and one-of-a kind collectable design by Australia’s leading emerging and established contemporary designers and designer-makers.

An initiative of the National Gallery of Victoria in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation, the Fair breaks new ground in the presentation, promotion and sale of collectible contemporary design in Australia and will offer audiences a unique cultural experience with all the design works presented available for purchase.

“Presented in partnership with the Melbourne Art Foundation, Melbourne Design Fair builds on the NGV’s long-standing commitment to the local design sector and its practitioners,” said Tony Ellwood AM, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria.

“The Fair is a new and innovative opportunity to showcase the extraordinary work of our talented designers, galleries and studios.”

“Bringing together the design sector and its supporters for the very first time, this event is a unique proposition in Australia and proudly positions design as an integral part of the artistic and fiscal vitality of our creative industries,” said Mr Ellwood.

Melbourne Design Fair is a key event within the Victorian government backed Melbourne Design Week program, and the first of its kind in Australia to bring together designers, design organisations, agencies, studios and galleries with collectors to meet and do business over five days at Warehouse 16 (28 Duke Street, Abbotsford).

The Fair will showcase collectible contemporary design works across two platforms: PRESENT where galleries, design organisations, agencies and studios mount dedicated displays by the design creatives they represent, and SELECT, a curated exhibition featuring the best works by emerging and established designers and designer-makers from across Australia. Works across both platforms will be available for purchase.

PRESENT includes presentations by thirteen of Australia’s leading galleries, design organisations, agencies, and studios. Participation in the inaugural Fair, curated by NGV includes Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert (Sydney), Sophie Gannon Gallery (Melbourne), Studio Roland Snooks (Melbourne), Sullivan+Strumpf (Sydney), Broached Commissions (Melbourne), Agency Projects (Melbourne), Christopher Boots (Melbourne), C. Gallery (Melbourne), Craft (Melbourne), JamFactory (Adelaide), Local Design (Sydney), Modern Times (Melbourne) and Design Tasmania (Tasmania).

SELECT brings together over thirty-five Australian design creatives in a presentation curated by Simone LeAmon, NGV’s Hugh Williamson Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture. Works for sale will manifest in a compelling exhibition comprising a mix of Australian design luminaries and rising stars, including Dale Hardiman, Ashley Eriksmoen, Emery and Poole, Pirjo Haikola, Elliot Bastianon, Marta Figueiredo, Jordan Fleming, Adam Goodrum, Brodie Neill, Ella Saddington, Susan Cohn, James Lemon, Delissa Walker, Helen Kontouris, Jon Goulder, Andrew Carvolth, Cassie Leatham, Anna Varendorff and Damien Wright, among others.

Providing an unrivalled opportunity to view, discover and purchase significant works of collectable contemporary design by Australian and New Zealand designers, Melbourne Design Fair will include a program of talks and conversations with exhibiting designers, design curators, and critics to broaden awareness of the contemporary collectable design scene in Australia and internationally, and a film series presented by major partner Mercedes-Benz Australia, offering further insight into the creative practices and design work of participating designers.

“Melbourne Design Fair marks a significant moment for design in Australia. Established in response to the increasing demand from collectors to have access to highly collectable contemporary design on Australian shores, the Fair will be a true celebration of design culture and commerce in this country,” said Maree Di Pasquale, CEO of Melbourne Art Foundation.

“Melbourne Art Foundation is  delighted to collaborate on the vision of the National Gallery of Victoria curatorial team to deliver this national first.”

“A platform for investment and innovation, Melbourne Design Fair will bring together the region’s most influential designers and makers, collectors, curators, and critics to cultivate a new commercial market for collectable design,” said Di Pasquale.

“Collectible contemporary design is cultural production reflecting our time, offering alternative points of view, commentary or insights into the design, and making of objects anchored to function and the rituals of everyday life,” said Simone LeAmon, The Hugh Williamson Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture, National Gallery of Victoria.

“Audiences will find prototypes, limited edition, limited serial production and one-of-a-kind, works on offer. 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,” said LeAmon.

Melbourne Design Fair (16 – 20 March 2022) is an initiative of the National Gallery of Victoria delivered in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation. It will take place at Warehouse 16, 28 Duke Street in Abbotsford. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Clare Belfrage, Elements of a Place, 2019 – photo by Pippy Mount