Introducing Design Fringe - 34 years of Fringe Furniture, reimagined

A stool crafted from found objects. An intricate, woodworking masterpiece to stand the test of time. An amorphous ceramic object that challenges the limits of form and materials because… why not? For decades Fringe Furniture has been a space for designers to experiment and play, to look beyond the bounds of traditional furniture and design. After 34 years, it’s time for the next stage of evolution. Introducing… Design Fringe!

Design Fringe is Fringe Furniture reimagined – a safe space to show both the timeless and the bizarre, the inventive and the totally impractical. It honours the legacy of Fringe Furniture while looking forward into the future of the contemporary design industry. Design Fringe holds a (very artistically designed) mirror up to the who’s who and what’s what of the industry right now, and celebrates innovation across design of all kinds. It’s everything we love about Fringe Furniture with a fresh perspective and a slick new look, celebrating the changing face of design and amplifying the work of ambitious new design leaders.

With this new reinvigoration comes a new home, so we are delighted to announce our partnership with Linden New Art. Our curatorial partners at Linden have a track record of supporting brave new art by mid-career artists, and engaging visitors through inspiring, thought-provoking exhibitions of new work. Through our partnership we will create an exhibition that incorporates our long-living, much-loved furniture and design showcase, as well as reaching further into experimental design that forges forward to the cutting edge of contemporary design. Linden have provided new place for us to call home, and beyond their walls, Design Fringe will pop up in other spaces across the City of Port Phillip. Where, you ask? Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements.

The Design Fringe program encompasses all there is to celebrate about the design industry. Along with the expanded exhibition in fresh new digs, the program solidifies its ties to industry with enhanced professional development opportunities for designers, and public programs that provoke and inspire. Design Fringe will also introduce a bolder focus on reducing barriers and achieving greater diversity in design, starting with the fourth year of the Gender Equity initiative offering discounts and mentorships to female and non-binary identifying designers. The new First Nations Design Commission looks to commission a bespoke, sculptural piece from a First Nations designer – a celebratory focal point to sit at the heart of the Design Fringe exhibition.

Design Fringe will invite new audiences into the fold, with an exciting program of exhibitions and events that educate and inspire artists and audiences, while championing the bright new voices in the industry. Welcome to Design Fringe – a place for the ambitious, the innovative, the shape-shifting and the magic-making. We can’t wait to pull up a place at this table.

Registrations for Design Fringe are open now, and are open to all Australian-based artists and designers at any stage of their career.


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Design Fringe is proudly supported by