Melbourne Now

The NGV’s Melbourne Now exhibition is an ambitious cross-disciplinary project that celebrates the breadth and depth of Melbourne’s creativity, featuring contributions from the fields of architecture, fashion, art, design and performance.

The exhibition is a first for any Australian state gallery, and for the first time the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) will feature contemporary product design. “The exhibition has embraced a very strong design agenda, because we recognise that Melbourne has such a strong design community” according to NGV’s Director Tony Ellwood.

The Design In Everyday Living installation accounts for almost a third of the entire Melbourne Now program, with the wall becoming a centrepiece for the exhibition’s strong design focus. Curated by Simone LeAmon and covering an enormous area 16 metres wide and 8 metres high, the ‘design wall’ will feature multiple units of products designed in Melbourne.

According to LeAmon: ”We have the products in multiples because the aim is really to say design has a really strong relationship with serial production”. What most people don’t realise, she says, is that “mass-produced items are often subject to the same rigorous design processes as luxury products. The really humble, simple things – even something like a dustpan and brush – are the result of a lot of creative angst and a lot of thinking and a lot of energy and work.”

Cobalt were honoured to be invited to submit three of our products for this important exhibition: the iconic Yarra Tram grab handles, the slimline Exit Lights and the acclaimed KeepCup, illustrating Cobalt’s significant and ongoing contribution to Melbourne’s design landscape. Other familiar products such as Willow coolers and Rip Curl wetsuits, to name a few, will also feature as multiples on the wall.

Exhibition visitors can view daily information via the Melbourne Now online social hub, run through the Herald Sun website. They can also upload a smart phone app for detailed artist information, programs and maps, as well as an interactive component called Clickwithme, encouraging users to engage their creativity by uploading their own impressions of daily life in Melbourne. Melbourne Now opens at the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday 22nd November and runs until March 2014. Entry is free.