Public offer: Ways to share design
01.02.2013 – 27.03.2013

The celebration and interrogation of design publishing was the inaugural exhibition at RMIT Design Hub Gallery.

Designers have produced a phalanx of publications since the mid-twentieth century in the city of Melbourne. Public Offer aggregated these discussion platforms — zines, journals, blogs, apps, informal exchange circles, radio shows and podcasts — to look at how publishing has shaped conversations about the city and its design culture. Through this presentation (of fashion, architecture, industrial design, landscape architecture and graphic design), Public Offer prompted the questions: What do designers have to say? What can designers offer by being public?

The assembled material in Public Offer was unpacked through several voices — makers, publishers, critics, writers and readers — that became an additional guide. These personal narratives were accompanied by a program of public activities including sports, evening drinks, roundtables, coffee breaks, workshops, beamer presentations and talks that provided the social space that is vital for an exchange of ideas.

In considering both the past and the present field of design publishing, Public Offer and its host RMIT Design Hub Gallery sought to be part of a generous, critical community for design by creating a site for conversation, archiving and self-publishing. By exhibiting these publishing platforms, it shared some of the tools and topics designers use to engage with the public today, and its implications. By making a public offer, we declare our values as designers.

Public Offer was a program of activities, an exhibition, a library and a partner to the touring exhibition Archizines, curated by Elias Redstone, while in Melbourne at RMIT Design Hub.

–Kate Rhodes and Timothy Moore