A reflection on Melbourne Design Week 2024, and our immersive exhibition ‘The hands that touch the timber’
A reflection on Melbourne Design Week 2024, and our immersive exhibition ‘The hands that touch the timber’

At Tongue & Groove, we’re passionate about all things design and this year’s Melbourne Design Week provided us with the perfect opportunity to show our support for the industry.

From 23 May to 1 June, alongside our collaborative partners, Elton Group and Green Magazine our Melbourne showroom hosted ‘The Hands That Touch the Timber’, a multi-faceted experience exploring the process, materiality and sustainability of timber in our built environment.

Located on the Wurundjeri Land of the Kulin nation, our Richmond showroom was transformed into a gallery playing host to ‘Touchwood’, an immersive exhibition exploring the essence of wood.

The exhibition showcased art, photography, poetry, and design objects created by some of Australia’s top emerging and established creatives, including Shannon McGrath, Edward Linacre, Rochelle Morris, Drew Abrahamson, Bolaji Teniola, Hayley Curnow, Tanya Hillman and Ross Didier.

The diverse collection featured works crafted from various timber species highlighting the memories embedded in timber and its intersection with beauty, tactility, and sustainability.

The 10-day exhibition was also bookended by two interactive ‘Meet the Makers’ sessions,  offering visitors an intimate opportunity to engage with the creatives and delve deeper into their works and practices.

"The Hands That Touch The Timber was a fantastic display of various sculptural timber works and the craftsmanship of each piece, enhanced further by the dynamic Tongue & Groove showroom," said artist Bolaji Teniola.

"I particularly enjoyed the Meet The Makers session, where I got a chance to share the process and thoughts behind my pieces and learn more about the works of the other participants, too."

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A key feature of the program was our sustainability-focused discussion, ‘Designing with Timber: Honouring Nature's Legacy’, which brought together the A&D community and thought leaders from architecture, interior design, and the timber industry. Moderated by Green Magazine publisher, Tom Bodycomb, the panel comprised Dylan Kane (Elton Group), Michael Welgus (Studio Welgus) and Melissa Leung (Fraser & Partners).

The engaging discussion centred on the role of timber in design and architecture, its journey from source to finished product, and the vital importance and challenges of maximising circularity in its production and consumption.

“What a great experience to discuss all things timber,” said speaker Michael Wegus.  “As an interior designer, it was exciting to see the extent of mediums used by each artist to celebrate the material in different ways. Timber will remain an integral part of my design practice and in the pursuit of timelessness and authenticity in my work.”

We’re honoured to have been a part of this year’s Melbourne Design Week and extend our deepest gratitude to all our partners, collaborators, speakers and team members who worked tirelessly to make ‘The Hands That Touch the Timber’ a huge success.

See you again next year!