Gaze into the future of Australian contemporary design as Top Designs returns for 2018

Top Designs 2018 - Ingrid Crossing

Gaze into the future of Australian contemporary design when Top Designs 2018 opens at Melbourne Museum from Saturday 17 March until Sunday 15 July.

With a selection of work from Victoria’s best and brightest VCE and VET design students, the exhibition celebrates the next generation of designers, filmmakers, engineers, scientists, architects, web developers, couturiers and, included for the first time this year, theatre designers. Top Designs 2018 considers: what does the future of design mean for young people, what challenges are present in our world today and how can design help in addressing these?

It is becoming common practice for contemporary design to positively shape the world. Such influential ideas become evident in the transformative works produced across each of the subjects in Top Designs. In Systems Engineering works on display reflect the effort to make our lives easier; in Product Design and Technology materials are often re-purposed or designers seek to address how their productions can have minimal impact on the environment; the exhibitors within Visual Communication Design explore the importance of reinventing shared community resources; those working with Media consider how film, photography and print productions can contribute to positive, shared experiences of our world. Students of VCE VET Creative and Digital Media use new technologies and generate ideas- seeking to harness these products for human benefit; Theatre Studies students find innovative uses for existing products and materials.

The 79 works on display were selected from nearly 1180 submissions across the spectrum of design practice including fashion, furniture, graphic design, animation, film, digital media, mechanical, electronic and theatre design. The array of outstanding work shows how designers have responded to challenges presented in the world today, such as a low-cost 3D printed prosthetic leg designed for amputees in developing world countries, an eye-controlled wheelchair designed to be reconstructed inexpensively with readily available materials and a basic understanding of electronics, and garments designed with sustainability and re-purposing waste in in mind.

Also on display, stunning photography exploring themes of identity, a sleek modern rocking chair made from American oak and cowhide and a range of films and animations spanning genres of experimental, sci-fi thriller, documentary, and rom-com. Alongside these are a variety of eye-catching graphic design including logos, posters, labels and more.

Theatre Studies Design has been introduced as a category in the Top Designs 2018 exhibition, with impressive works of costume, makeup, set and sound design on show. Students have employed a range of materials and approaches culminating in spectacular interpretations of characters from Animal Farm, A Christmas Carol and Into The Woods.

Architecture & landscape model
Top Designs 2018 - Danijela Mandic

Top Designs 2018 is complemented by a range of educational programs, including introductory talks and forums which provide exceptional advice and inspiration to current VCE and VET design students from industry professionals, state reviewers and senior teachers.

Run in partnership with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), the Creative Museum Program returns this year and will allow six Top Designs exhibitors to experience three to four days in the creative life of Museums Victoria. The successful applicants will have a rare opportunity to be immersed in our award-winning design, exhibition and digital media teams.

Lynley Marshall, the CEO of Museums Victoria said, "Museums Victoria is proud to champion our future innovators in contemporary Australian design by once again hosting Top Designs at Melbourne Museum. We congratulate each of the outstanding young designers in this year’s exhibition and hope that current VCE and VET design students find inspiration in the works on show."

Mr Chris Wardlaw, Chair of the VCAA said, "I am thrilled to once again celebrate the skills and talents of these young designers at the prestigious Melbourne Museum. This exhibition demonstrates our world-class VCE curriculum that fosters excellence in creative pursuits, and I hope future students are inspired to undertake studies that allow them to develop their creativity."

He also noted that the inclusion of Theatre Studies for the first time in 2018 recognises the diverse forms of design available within the VCE, and has produced some truly impressive works: "I congratulate all our 2018 Top Designers and thank their teachers, mentors, families and friends for their ongoing support and encouragement of our VCE students," Wardlaw said.

Top Designs 2018 is proudly presented in partnership with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) as part of the VCE Season of Excellence, which includes Top Acts, Top Arts, Top Class and Top Screen. It represents students from a range of government, independent and Catholic schools in Victoria’s metropolitan and regional areas.

Top Designs 2018 | Melbourne Museum
17 March – 15 July 2018
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Admission included with museum entry
Adult $14, Concession and Children FREE

Interviews available with:
Carly Richardson, Curator (VACC)
All Top Designs exhibitors (available upon request)

For interviews, images or other enquires please contact:

Portrait of Anna Quinn
Anna Quinn
Media & Communications Manager, Immigration Museum
[email protected]
0437 565 300
A grey icon of a person
Jacqui Wilson
Media and Communications Manager
[email protected]
0466 622 621

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