Blak Design Matters – First Peoples Design Forum

7. ENOKi Darcy McConnell Fall From Grace 1 scaled
7. ENOKi Darcy McConnell Fall From Grace 1 scaled
7. ENOKi Darcy McConnell Fall From Grace 1
ENOKi (Darcy McConnell) (Dja Dja Wurrung, Yorta Yorta) Fallen From Grace, 2022 digital print on paper Winner of the Josh Muir Digital Art Award, 10th Koorie Art Show 2022. Collection of KHT

Friday 12 May 2023


Blak Design Matters – First Peoples Design Forum explores First Nations design and why it matters.  Presented by the Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT), the Forum extends the ground-breaking work of the Koorie Heritage Trust explored in the 2018 exhibition Blak Design Matters and the subsequent Blak Design Program. 

Bringing together leading First Nations curators, creatives, architects and academics, along with renowned practitioners to speculate and imagine, yarn and collaborate, the Blak Design Forum will “explore the compelling narratives that First Nation culture holds, how Blak Design has adapted and evolved to find its voice, including the success stories but also the more difficult issues including around cultural appropriation,” says Tom Mosby, CEO, KHT

The forum will include a series of panel discussions and conversations, storytelling, Q&As and to finish the day, a celebration of Blak Design through food and music.  Panel discussions include: What is Blak Design; Ownership of Design Identity; and New ways in Benchmarking Fashion Sovereignty. 

KHT has led the way in this space with its innovative Blak Design program, now in its third year, fostering First Nations cultural innovation within the Victorian design sector and providing a platform for nurturing sustainable, First Nations design practices.

‘Blak Design is the continuation of a series of projects and discourse KHT has delivered since 2014, exploring Australian contemporary First Nations design”, says Mosby.  “These projects aim to promote First Nations design principles and best practice methodologies and theories to the broader design community while supporting and mentoring First Nations designers”.

As a First Nation only event, the forum will provide opportunities for designers from all spheres of the design and artistic world to connect in a culturally safe space to interrogate the question of “What is Blak Design?”. 

A First Peoples only event, the Blak Design Forum is presented by the Koorie Heritage Trust in partnership with Creative Victoria as part of YIRRAMBOI Festival 2023. The Blak Design Forum is supported by Fed Square and in collaboration with KIN Fashion, Solid Lines, Baluk Arts and Kaiela Arts. 

Blak Design Matters – First Peoples Design Forum, Friday 12 May 2023, 9am-4.30pm (Forum at The Edge, Fed Square); 5-8pm (Networking Evening at KHT, Yarra Building, Fed Square).

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