Design as an Attitude with Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn OBE, courtesy of Author. Photography: Michael Leckie


Thu 23 May 6:00pm - 7:00pm


$40 A / $36 M / $38 C / $12 Livestream + option to pre-purchase a copy of the publication for an additional $49.95, to collect on the night. Members receive a 10% discount on the publication. Booking Fee $5.50


180 Saint Kilda Road, Southbank Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives – and we urgently need its power at this intensely turbulent time.  

Celebrating the release of NGV’s latest book, Observations: Moments in Design History, award-winning design critic and author of Design as an Attitude, Alice Rawsthorn OBE joins us in Melbourne to share her vision of how digitally empowered, politically engaged designers are addressing the complex challenges facing us now, and in the future. 

This special event will open the 2024 Melbourne Art Book Fair and Melbourne Design Week, and launch the second volume of NGV’s Observations series. In this new book, writers, scholars and curators from around the world explore almost 400 years of design innovation across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. The book explores the ways in which design is intrinsically linked to culture, considering key historical moments, materials, manufacturers and design movements.  

Presented by NGV

Alice Rawsthorn Speaker

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and author, whose books include Design as an Attitude, Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and, most recently, Design Emergency: Building a Better Future, co-written with Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Design at MoMA, New York. Alice’s weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. In all her work, Alice champions design’s potential as a social, political and ecological tool that can help to foster positive change.

Sarah Teasley Moderator

Sarah Teasley is Professor of Design at RMIT University. Her teaching and research combine approaches from design research, history of technology, social history and gender studies to explore how intersectional identity and lived experience shape access to power, how social and participatory design interventions can support equity, particularly in Asia-Pacific, and what the materiality of emergent technologies and materials demands of designers and makers in everyday practice. Publications include Designing Modern Japan (2022), Global Design History (2011), and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters in journals including The Journal of Design History and Design Issues.