Parallels @ NGV: Contemporary craft and design

Published:  August 17, 2015
Claire Brown

Contemporary ideas, and the changing ideas of craft and design are about to echo off the walls of National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) over a two-day conference in September.  The conference, Parallels — Journeys into Contemporary Making, will be held on 17-18 September and draws on over 25 internationally and locally renowned makers, designers and curators. They’ll inspire, they’ll educate, and they’ll discuss the shifting priorities and emerging opportunities in the Australian Industry, which are guaranteed to rock our socks off.


Created in partnership with the National Craft Initiative, the National Gallery of Victoria will host stellar international and local speakers, who include:

Simon Hassan
Industrial Designer, London


Even as traditional methods of leather tanning and roping are on the slide into obscurity, that barely halts the innovative London designer Simon Hassan. Nurturing a fascination between traditional craft methods and industrial design, his work stems from a mindset of ‘Design Archaeology’ that consistently produces pieces which have won over 11 major design awards within six years.  A graduate of the Royal College of the Arts, a dabbler in medieval armour making techniques, and commissioned by Fendi, Hassan’s designs don’t only cover the globe, but spreads across the ages.

Wava Carpenter
Editor-in-chief for L’ArcoBaleno & past curator of Design Miami, USA


There’s not much about design culture that Wava Carpenter doesn’t know. With her early career teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organising talks and writing articles as just a few of her many pursuits, Carpenter now shifts her focus to L’ArcoBaleno. It is a new and rapidly growing resource that travels the globe to discover materials from the world’s most interesting galleries and makers, and stores it all in a public website that mixes a strongly curated marketplace with an intelligent, magazine-style layout. Offering fresh insight covering all aspects of design, Wava and the team at L’ArcoBaleno celebrates extraordinary design through collaboration with some of the most forward-looking and influential masters of the field.   

Damien Wright
Owner of Wright Studio, Australia


A Melbourne-based, home-grown Australian innovator. Literally. With pieces scattered around major venues such as the NGV, the Melbourne Museum, and the Federal Court, Damien Wright has raked in the awards for his sleek, modern, stylish furniture designs. His quirky use of the rare Ancient Redgum,  Gidgee and Wollowa trees are a stand-out choice in his design process, and he tackles his commissions using a ‘whole tree’ approach that utilises and honours all aspects of the plant. In a spacious Northcote studio that is a beacon to dogs and clients alike, Damien uproots furniture innovation onto a whole new level.


Parallels: Journey into Contemporary Making
17-18 September 2015
Admission fees apply

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