The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) have revealed a raft of new design initiatives to spearhead the gallery’s vision of becoming a leading international hub for design.  

A new Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture, headed by former design professionals Ewan McEoin and Simone LeAmon, will be given gallery space in 2015 and work closely with the local and international design industries to collect, present and explore the most interesting trajectories of design and architecture.

Tony Ellwood, Director of the NGV, notes that McEoin (founder of Studio Propeller), and LeAmon (founder of SIMONE leAMON) will bring strong industry perspective, connections and ideas to the Gallery.

“The NGV has a rich history and association with design and architecture,” he says.

“Our renewed approach is integral to the NGV’s thinking, with design permeating all areas and platforms of the institution – not only through our collection, exhibitions and programs – but also through architecture, way finding, exhibition, retail, hospitality and digital design. Ewan and Simone’s contribution will bring vitality and bold ideas to all of these arenas.

“At the NGV we have a strong desire to create a dedicated and permanent home for design. Our future plans in this terrain are bold and ambitious, aimed at positioning the NGV and Australia firmly on the world stage as a leading hub for contemporary art, design and architecture.”

^John Wardle Architects will take up the inaugural Ephemeral Architecture program from NGV in 2015. Their parametric-design ‘I Dips Me Lid’ will be on display in the gallery’s Grollo Equiset garden  from September 2015.  Image: John Wardle Architects

A number of other design-related initiatives have also been announced by the NGV including:

  • A new Design Project Space in the gallery to present a diverse program of design and architecture projects, exhibitions, films and conversations.
  • The Rigg Design Prize shortlist announcement which will see $30,000 awarded to an Australian contemporary designer displaying outstanding creative achievements in design production.
  • A new NGV Commission for Ephemeral architecture which will see architects and designers offer innovative designs for a temporary outdoor installation in the NGV’s Grollo Equiset garden. For 2015 the inaugural Commission has been developed by John Wardle Architects for their project entitled ‘I Dips Me Lid’.
  • A new-look NGV design store that was recently rebranded and restocked with products from leading designers, artists and manufacturers

Events and programs announced include:

  • Design Speaks: Housing Futures - 31 July 2015

Featuring local and international architects, including Charles Renfro (New York), Kerstin Thompson (Melbourne) and Philip Thalis (Sydney) this event is presented in partnership with Architecture Media.

  • Parallels – Journeys into Contemporary Making – September 2015

The NGV in partnership with the National Craft Initiative (NCI) will present a major 2-day international conference designed to reframe conversations about contemporary craft and design practices. The event will explore important forces realigning the world of contemporary making including: material innovation; globalisation; digitisation; and the rise of the market for limited editions.

  • 2017 NGV Triennial

Work continues on this large-scale celebration of contemporary art design and architecture from around the world. Distinguishing itself from other contemporary art events, the NGV Triennial will provide a multidisciplinary focus on art, design and architecture, as well as fashion, film, performance and a variety of cultural practices.