Celebrating 25 years of great Australian design, DesignEX has kicked off today at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

During the three-day showcase, a plethora of national and international design talent and brands will come together to unveil their latest products and projects.

This year’s Speaker Series, The Business of Design features a collection of sessions aimed at openly discussing the current economic climate and its effects on local practices/studios; the challeng­es in creating and maintaining workplaces that promote thought leadership and idea generation that, with our location and isolation can be an issue.

Featuring a number of influential speakers from the industry and with impressive international guest speaker, Michael Young, the series will look to raise the topic of local collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches and the importance of community.

Also speaking is a collection of some big players from a range of architecture and design companies including Western Australia’s pioneering architectural firm, Felix, lead by Rene Van Meeuwen; Melbourne-based architect and director of PHOOEY Architects, Emma Young; French fabric house Pierre Frey’s creative director, Patrick Frey and GECA’s Rupert Posner to name just a few.

Currently, when purchasing tickets for Business of Design if the promotional code ‘2For1’ is entered, purchases will receive a free ticket.

Hickory's Unitised Building Australia in use.

Additionally, the NEST showcase returns for a second year, providing the opportunity for independent Austra­lian furniture, lighting and object designers to showcase new products in a commercial environ­ment.

Also returning for its second year, Hives 2013 will be a showcase of impressive products, all sourced from Melbourne, with a focus on collab­oration between designers and interdisciplinary and innovation and technology. This display will be supported by a seminar session in The Business of Design, which will present four different collaborating teams including an indus­trial designer and furniture manufacturer and interior designer and artist amongst others.

Some of Australia’s best brands as well as a selection of prominent international names, are all on display at designEX to launch their latest products and projects.

A product of using the Tasman 3D printer.

The architectural space has some top companies showcasing the latest technologies including Tasman launching its 3D Printers and Hickory set to exhibit an impressively innovative alternative to tradition­al construction methods from Unitised Building Australia.

Meanwhile Great Dane Contract, Tait, Corporate Culture and James Richardson promise to bring the ultimate in comfort and style to the furniture stage.

More information on The Business of Design can be found here.