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Meet the 2024 MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission Artist

January 1 | 3 minute read

Memo Ngv Mecca Women In Design Commission Christien Hero 16x9

Words by Samantha Brigden

Originally published on | February 21

Elevating and empowering women has long been a part of MECCA's continuing mission to achieve gender equality across all arenas.

In partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, we are championing the creative women changing the design world through the Women in Design Commission – a major ongoing series that invites internationally renowned female designers and architects to create new and important work for the NGV Collection.

Over five years, a commissioned designer will be revealed annually in the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8, with the final work unveiled towards the end of the year. Our partnership with the NGV – the first and only of its kind in Australia – will culminate in a major exhibition.

This year, we are proud to announce Netherlands-based designer Christien Meindertsma as the recipient of the 2024 MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission. Meindertsma is the third in the annual commission series (to continue over a five-year period), which has been made possible by a significant contribution from MECCA’s social change program, M-POWER, which champions equality and opportunity for women and girls – including elevating women in art and design.


Meindertsma’s research-based design practice delves into the world of materials such as flax, porcelain and wool, aiming to unravel their stories, physical properties, applications, and the industrial systems that govern them. Over the past two decades, the visionary designer has predominantly produced objects, textile and furniture works exploring wide-ranging subjects such as animal by-products, household and textile waste, and forestry.

Meindertsma uses design to investigate complex problems, and in her most recent research, has developed a new method for fabricating items using waste and recycled wool that demonstrates its unique properties and potential uses – its softness, strength, warmth, acoustic properties and biodegradable nature.

Meindertsma has won three Dutch Design Awards and has work held in permanent collections at MoMA (New York), The Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rein).

Memo Ngv Mecca Women In Design Commission Christien Thumbnail Portrait 3x4 4a
Memo Ngv Mecca Women In Design Commission Christien Thumbnail Portrait 3x4 1a

Tony Ellwood AM, NGV Director, said: “We are delighted to announce Christien Meindertsma as the latest recipient of the MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission; an inspiring designer who is developing groundbreaking methods of production to revolutionise the global wool industry.

“The NGV is incredibly grateful to NGV Foundation Board member Jo Horgan AM for her visionary leadership support of this design series which provides a vital platform to profile female designers.”

Supporting female designers is a cause close to MECCA Founder & Co-CEO Jo Horgan's heart. It's a natural partnership, according to Horgan: “Christien Meindertsma is not only reshaping industries but also inspiring women to redefine the boundaries of design. Christien invites us to explore, question and even reinvent the world around us. It's an ethos we share at MECCA M-POWER, our social change initiative that seeks to make the world over, by dismantling the systems and narratives that hold women and girls back from being their best.”

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For this year’s MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission, opening in October, Meindertsma will produce her most ambitious work to date; a large-scale form made from European wool that would be otherwise disposed of. Revolutionising the ways that waste wool can be repurposed, Meindertsma has developed a world-first robotic technology and technique in collaboration with Netherlands-based start-up Tools for Technology, making it possible to build structural, three-dimensional objects from wool.

Meindertsma is excited to reveal what she has planned: “I feel very honoured to have been awarded this commission and am very much looking forward to making a new work. This opportunity will allow me to explore and push the possibilities of wool as a strong and at the same time soft material, in directions it has not gone before.”

The designer’s previous work includes One sheep sweater, where she produced 20 sweaters from the coats of individual merino sheep, the multi-award-winning Flax Chair – an innovative, biodegradable piece of furniture made from a now rarely used material – and the book PIG 05049, which documented all of the products made from a single pig.

Memo Ngv Mecca Women In Design Commission Christien Thumbnail Portrait 3x4 1b
Memo Ngv Mecca Women In Design Commission Christien Thumbnail Portrait 3x4 4b

To celebrate the announcement, the NGV will be hosting a day of free programs on Saturday 9 March, including insightful conversations, a drop-by workshop, and more. In the NGV’s Great Hall, Meindertsma will join Jo Horgan in person, as well as previous recipients Bethan Laura Wood and Tatiana Bilbao live via video link to discuss the MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission. NGV will also host a free interactive workshop inspired by Meindertsma’s material practice where visitors can learn to felt their own miniature woolen lamb.

In 2023, London-based designer Bethan Laura Wood presented the MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission with an installation titled Kaleidoscope-o-rama, consisting of two new major works conceived in dialogue with Regency era works from the NGV Collection and presented among an immersive audio-visual display. Wood’s work is on display as part of NGV Triennial at NGV International until 7 April, 2024.

The 2024 MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission will be on display from 4 October, 2024, until February, 2025m at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne (with free entry). Further information is available via the NGV website.

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