Stellar line-up of speakers for Parallels

The upcoming Parallels – Journeys into Contemporary Making (17-18 September) at the National Gallery of Victoria is a rare opportunity to hear over 25 leading international and local makers, designers and curators share their view on the changing worlds of craft and design. See the stellar line up of speakers.

In September, Melbourne will host some of the world's leading thinkers and practitioners in contemporary craft and design. This two-day event will see more than 10 international and 20 Australian speakers explore the future of contemporary craft and design – sharing their stories, presenting new mindsets and considering opportunities to further evolve the complementary worlds of craft and design.

Created In partnership with the National Craft Initiative, the National Gallery of Victoria will host stellar international speakers including Simone Farresin & Andrea Trimarchi of Formafantasma (Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Gijs Bakker (Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Wava Carpenter of L’ArcoBaleno and Design Miami (USA); Trevyn & Julian McGowan of Southern Guild (South Africa); Brodie Neill of Made in Radio (London, England); Cyril Zammit of Design Days Dubai (UAE); Antonio Aricò (Milan); Mavis Ganambarr of Elcho Island Arts (Elcho Island, NT); Simon Hasan of Craft & Industry (London, England); Shun Horoki of the East Japan Project (Tokyo, Japan).

Informative, inspirational, and provocative, visitors will be able to hear the latest ideas and thinking across broad terrains – from the hand made to the industrial, from studio practice, curation, technology, and retail strategy, to online markets, international exhibiting, limited editions, collectors and more.

Delivered as part of the National Craft Initiative (NCI) program, and curated by the new Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the NGV, Parallels offers an optimistic platform for Australian designers and craft practitioners to engage with international practitioners, buyers, and facilitators.

This is an event created for anyone interested in understanding the new cultural and commercial landscape for contemporary making, or those interested in interpreting how local/global forces are reshaping the parallel (and convergent) worlds of craft and design.


Gijs Bakker

An eminent figure in contemporary design, Gijs Bakker’s career encompasses jewellery, home accessories and household appliances, furniture, interiors, public spaces and exhibitions. Bakker co-founded design collective Droog Design in 1993 and in 1996 co-founded Chi ha paura…?, a platform established for the promotion of contemporary jewellery.

Wava Carpenter

Editor in Chief of L’ArcoBaleno, a rapidly growing online resource for exploring, discovering and collecting international design. In addition to curating Design Miami for many years, Carpenter has supported design culture through teaching, writing and exhibition curation.


Amsterdam based design duo with a research-based practice named by MOMA’s Paola Antonelli as one of a few that would shape the future of design.

Jon Goulder

Internationally acclaimed furniture designer and craftsperson with work held in both private and commercial collections worldwide. In his current role as Creative Director of Furniture at the Jam Factory, Jon works toward developing financially sustainable working models for craft and design practitioners in Australia.

Simon Hasan

Working in a territory between craft and industrial design, Simon Hasan combines historical research with hands on material experimentation. He has worked with international design galleries, developed his own self-branded retail range, and obtained commissions with brands such as Fendi and Kvadrat.

Shun Horiki

Tokyo-based architect and coordinator of The East Japan Project, an initiative started in in 2011 to reestablish traditional craft practices in East Japan following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Khai Liew

Revered South Australian furniture designer, with work previously exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Design Museum, London and the Triennale di Milano. Drawing on his cultural heritage and his experience and knowledge as a specialist conservator, Liew designs and produces furniture informed by the old and the new, the regional and the international. See a feature on Khai Liew's practice in The Australian.

Southern Guild

The sole gallery representing South African limited-edition design, Southern Guild was founded in 2008 by Trevyn and Julian McGowan. Established as a forum for South African designers to challenge and support each other, Southern Guild invite a selection of the very best local makers, designers, artists, architects and upcoming talents to produce and premier original pieces for their annual collections.

Sasha Titchkosky

The co-founder and director of Koskela, a Sydney based furniture and product design company and retail store. Believing that great design can be used to effect social change, Koskela collaborates with Yolngu weavers from Elcho Island Arts with an aim to aims to provide Indigenous weavers with an additional stream of income from their work and develop new and compelling contemporary design products. See Sasha Titchkosky and Koskela profiled in The Design Files.

Cyril Zammit

Director of Design Days Dubai, the leading fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectable and limited edition furniture and design objects.

Stellar line-up of speakers for Parallels