Design Wall


  • Carter LeAmon
  • National Gallery of Victoria


Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria for the exhibition Melbourne Now – the largest and most comprehensively diverse exhibition ever staged by the NGV, the ‘Design Wall’ curated by Simone LeAmon and designed by Carter LeAmon presented 40 design projects by 21 Melbourne design studios in an exhibition design of 7H x 1W x 15L metres. Communicating design’s relationship to serial manufacturing the projects were presented in multiples with near to 700 objects on display. Installed between 22 November 2013 and 23 March 2014 the Design Wall was located on the third floor of NGV Australia.

Key Features


Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria for the exhibition Melbourne Now the Design Wall curated by LeAmon and designed by Carter LeAmon presented 40 industrial design projects by 21 Melbourne design studios. Responding to the brief, the Design Wall provided a compelling insight into Melbourne’s contemporary design practice. Asked to translate design’s relation to serial production the Design Wall presented products in multiples culminating in 700 objects. The volume of content, exhibit site, coupled with strict budgetary requirements, mandated a rethinking of exhibition design. The accessibility, multi-media accompaniment and visceral impact had immediate appeal with more than 750,000 visitors.


Translating the curatorial selection in an immersive exhibition experience for NGV audiences, Carter LeAmon’s Design Wall was an investment in public education in the value of design in everyday life. An extensive curatorial process selected products through five themes: Social Culture, Visual Culture, Sustainability, Human Body and the Economy. Demonstrating how ‘place’ finds its way into design through research, narrative, material, technology and capacity, the Design Wall demystified and made comprehensible Melbourne Design. Carter LeAmon’s modular, universal mounting system overcame a complex brief and site and continues to resonate with the NGV in the way exhibitions can be conceived.


The Design Wall brought together an eclectic collection of Melbourne designed products including: wetsuits, sailboat hardware, taps, power tools, food coolers, tram handles, chairs and bike lights in a visually arresting exhibition design. Delivered prudently, with strict funding, the Design Wall facilitated exceptional exposure and media opportunity for the National Gallery of Victoria, the 21 participating design studios and Melbourne design in general. A legacy project instating design’s social, cultural and economic importance, the Design Wall garnered national and international exposure delivering near to one-quarter of Melbourne Now’s press and continues to be experienced through documentation created by the NGV.


Installing 40 design projects, culminating in near to 700 objects of various dimensions and weights to the gallery wall necessitated a clever, adaptable, low cost mounting system. Carter LeAmon worked closely with local fabricators and suppliers to design a universal mount that is modular and reusable. Comprising a steel mount in 3 sizes and timber dowel customised in 7 ways – made possible 21 mount combinations, allowing objects to be mounted modestly and securely. This flexibility enhanced the curatorial objectives and experience of the exhibit, objects were mounted with consideration to adjacency, height and protrusion from the wall.

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