The fifth annual Melbourne Design Week will this year branch into East Gippsland in 2021, aligning Open House Melbourne’s Waterfront program with the festival's theme of ‘design the world you want’.

The program will be presented between 30 March and 3 April, and will discuss the issues and challenges surrounding Victoria’s waterways, and asks citizens, workers, commuters and residents, to pause, explore, reflect on and celebrate the relationships with the creeks, rivers, bays and oceans people live with

Developed and curated by Centre for Architecture Victoria | Open House Melbourne (CAV|OHM) with the School for unTourists, a series of events inspired by the East Gippsland Lakes will introduce previously undiscovered sites around Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers. Championing creative entrepreneurship of the region, attendees can expect a series of walks, tours, talks, boat trips, kayaking activities and more.

Traditional Owners, local community members, designers, creative practitioners, artists, entrepreneurs, makers, researchers and marine experts will discuss important issues affecting the Lakes. Visitors will also explore the area’s most fascinating buildings and participate in conversations about how the post-fishing community can continue to build a prosperous community for the future.

Fleur Watson, CAV|OHM’s executive director and chief curator says the extension into East Gippsland will provide an insight never before seen into Melbourne’s waterways.

“Building on the success of earlier Waterfront programs for Melbourne Design Week, CAV|OHM is thrilled to be bringing Waterfront to East Gippsland for the first time. Working closely with the NGV and local collaborators such as the School for unTourists, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation and the East Gippsland Shire Council, Waterfront offers everyone the opportunity to take a deep dive into our collective relationship with water and the role that design and creative practice can play in shaping a positive and more sustainable future for our waterways.”

Highlights of the Waterfront in East Gippsland program includes a Welcome to Country with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation on March 31; Waterfront: FLOATing with School of unTourists, a kayak tour of Lake Tyers, and a Seafood Appreciation Dinner held on April 1 at Sodafish Restaurant.

The entirety of the 2021 Melbourne Design Festival runs from March 26 until April 5. To secure your spot as an attendee of the festival, click here.