Design Canberra – The subtle propaganda that makes our city great.

by The Editor



At The Canberran we celebrate great design. We love the new Vibe hotel at the airport, and the gorgeous sweep of the Bowen Place Underpass. But sometimes we meander through life aimlessly, almost unconsciously … without even thinking about how our world is so enriched by others. So who are these people?




They are local designers, artists, architects and craftspeople. These are the inspiring and talented creatives who work their arses off to make our world a pretty specky place. We need to stand up and celebrate and nurture their work.

That’s exactly what you can do from 21 to 29 November when the annual DESIGN Canberra festival rolls out its nifty program of events and activities. The festival will take you places you’ve never seen before and makes you think in new ways. Do you dare?

This is the biggest design event in the capital and in 2015 the program put us Canberrans (and visitors) in direct contact with designers and artists. It’s designed to shake us up and get us collaborating, creating and connecting with creative minds. Get us talking, and walking and exploring.




So what’s up with this nine-day festival (that includes two weekends)? Around 70 activities, mostly free, and something for everyone and every age (yup, even kids are covered). DESIGN Canberra is about celebrating the work of architects, landscape designers, interior designers, industrial designers, fashion designers, jewellers, visual artists, craftspeople and more.

The best plan of attack is to get stuck into reviewing the whopper of a program and make a list of what you don’t want to miss.




When trawling through the program, remember there are five streams of activities. Here they are:

ACTivate—Explore an ACTivated Canberra CBD through pop-up exhibitions, installations, studios and shops featuring the diverse work of some of the capital’s most innovative designers.

Capital of CULTURE—See Canberra in a whole new light through exclusive guided tours of architectural and cultural landscape around the city, led by designers, architects and artists.

Living Artists— Gain exclusive insights into the innovative work of some of Canberra’s best local artists and design firms through tours of their inspiring studios and working spaces.

Exhibitions— Experience exciting art, craft and design through exhibitions hosted in Canberra’s premier galleries.

DESIGN Buzz— Engage in vibrant discussions on big ideas, creative thinking, design for social change, and Canberra’s urban future through conversations and lectures with some big thinkers.




A special note on DESIGN Buzz. Held over two nights, this segment brings together some of the best thinkers, designers and craftspeople from across the world from some utterly stimulating conversation on collaboration, place making, sustainability and the future. Big guns from overseas include the likes of Ingrid van der Wacht, a connector, communicator and collaborator (Netherlands) and Jessica Hemmings, Head of the School of Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design (Dublin). Grab your ticket early and secure your spot.

Also, keep your eye out for the distinctive pink and yellow DESIGN Canberra program being distributed for free through Canberra’s best cafes, shops and cultural institutions. Some events and activities are open every day, others select times and days, and some are not-to-be-missed, one-off events.

By the way, hats off to Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre. DESIGN Canberra is their initiative and it’s a ripper.


Design Canberra
21-29 November
Various sites across Canberra