DesignBUILD is returning to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 2 to 4 May, for three days of networking and inspiration.
In its 32nd year, the central theme of the event is, “It’s all in the detail”. DesignBUILD 2018 will showcase PowerHouse prefabricated homes, Wattyl Paint and Swiss Krono Group.

Alongside the trade exhibition are two paid speaker and education programs, curated to cover the themes of industry compliance, sustainability and innovation. This includes panel discussions on topics such as build to rent, property resale and commercial buildings of the future.

The DesignBUILD speaker program provides access to leading industry professionals who will discuss new products, policy and applications needed to keep ahead of the game.

Keynote speakers Michael McCormack (Milieu Property Group), Robert Simeoni (Robert Simeoni Architects) and Simon Knott (BKK Architects) will be joining the town planners and design panel to discuss how the growth of Melbourne as an international city depends on a successful working relationship between developers, architects and town planners.

Product compliance and conformity – informed by the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London last year and the 2014 Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne – is a critical issue at DesignBUILD this year. They will be addressed through a panel discussion hosted by the Building Products Innovation Council’s Rodger Hills.
In addition to speakers, DesignBUILD’s “Incubator” is a creative pavilion at the trade show that champions innovative thinkers and gives them a commercial platform to launch their inventions. The five most innovative entries are judged by an industry advisory panel against a set of criteria covering: innovation, creative, sustainability and impact on industry.

In another project, DesignBUILD’s RAW allows university students to experience the full tender and construction process as they compete to have their designs built as key feature areas on the show floor.

Conference director Pia Argiratos said this year’s event will include three panels led by respected architecture and design journalist Stephen Crafti. The discussions will be focused on: whether property speculation is compromising design outcomes; innovations in multi-level development; and how architects and town planners can collaborate rather than clash, for mutual benefit.
“DesignBUILD is about bringing together people who are talking about the big topics that the industry is starting to deal with. It’s bringing together industry leaders to be able to lead discussions on this,” says Argiratos.

“DesignBUILD is an opportunity for people to come together and not only learn about the latest products and innovation, but also to pause and reflect where the industry could do better…

“[It] represents a space for the many ‘tribes’ of the industry to come together off the work site and learn together. This event is an opportunity to think about better ways to do things – so it’s a chance to work on the business, not in it.