Sampling the Future: NGV’s enlightening free design and technology exhibition

It used to be that design was the poor cousin of art, relegated along with fashion to being craft and decoration. But like fashion, design has been increasingly elevated in the cultural hierarchy

In recent years the National Gallery of Victoria has actively promoted and showcased design and designers – national and international – with shows such as Melbourne Now (2013, returning in 2023) and regular fashion exhibitions such as The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture in 2017, and Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto, which is on now until April 25

A free show at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square until February 6, Sampling the Future blends design, science, and technology to ask the big questions about what the world will look like in the future. It’s timely given the heavy discussions that came out of Glasgow and the issues facing society

The exhibition explores two themes: the near future, which looks to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution (depressing but true) while the distant future engages with history, mythology and philosophy to posit strategies to rebuild and renew.  The exhibition brings together diverse practitioners such as speculative architects Roland Snooks and Leanne Zilka, Alice Springs designer Elliat Rich, Sydney duo Kyoko Hashimoto and Guy Keulemans, and Melbourne duo Georgia Nowak and Eugene Perepletchikov via architectural installations, design objects, and multimedia film works.

One of the highlights is a 3D-printed reef commissioned from Alex Goad that is designed to mitigate the negative effects of human activity and create a habitat for small fish. It’s a modular system that mimics a real reef; it can also be reconfigured to support coral, oysters and mussels.

Sampling the Future is an inspiring show that melds artistic expression with deep scientific thinking. It’s one for all the family to see during the holidays.

Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories, the first major retrospective of this Indigenous Melbourne artist/designer

Big Weather, a fantastic exhibition that examines the sophisticated appreciation of weather systems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge through visual art

We Change the World, an exhibition showing how prominent contemporary Australian and international artists use change as provocation

Found and Gathered: Rosalie Gascoigne and Lorraine Connelly-Northey, a show uniting two Australian artists who use found and discarded materials in their work.

This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of

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Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.


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