DESIGN Canberra 2020 calls for submissions

DESIGN Canberra 2020 is calling for leading architecture, design and craft initiatives to be part of the annual three-week festival, that takes over the nation’s capital from 9 until 29 November, celebrating Canberra as a global city of design and a living design laboratory.

Now in its seventh year, the fast-growing festival – which attracted a record 114 770 people in 2019 – showcases the city’s thriving design community and in 2020 will present more than 200 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artists’ studios and open homes.

With humanity facing unprecedented challenges including climate change and a global health pandemic, DESIGN Canberra’s 2020 theme of ‘Care’ is intensely relevant.

“In 2020, the value of care is more important than ever: for our community, for our environment, for architecture and for our world. The festival will become a collaborative forum for contemporary, experimental and authentic design to celebrate and explore the ways that care and caring is valuable and vital,” explained CEO of Craft ACT: Craft & Design, and Artistic Director of DESIGN Canberra, Rachael Coghlan.

For the craft and design sector, care underpins a designer’s or maker’s commitments: to forge new relationships to materials; to invest time in developing techniques and skill; and to honour design’s tradition of exchange, mentoring and collaboration.

The call-out from DESIGN Canberra 2020 invites architects, designers and makers to submit in the following areas:

  • Living Rooms Program: Architects and homeowners are invited to propose recent projects for the Living Rooms, one of the festival’s most popular programs. Living Rooms offers a rare opportunity for festival visitors to explore some of Canberra’s finest houses and for the public to buy directly from local artists, makers and craft practitioners from their studios and homes.
  • Exhibitions: Artists and galleries with exhibitions speaking to the festival theme  and coinciding with festival dates (9-29 November 2020) are invited to submit a proposal for inclusion in the 2020 program.
  • General ideas: DESIGN Canberra welcomes proposals that speak to festival values and themes that may include events, tours, workshops, activations, installations, design-related performances, public talks, publication launches, food and drink offerings, online works or research. Participants may be individual makers, a collective, cultural or educational institution, businesses, researchers or a government agency.

DESIGN Canberra continues to resonate with architecture lovers from all over Australia, proving itself a powerful platform to celebrate the best in architecture from the Canberra Region and beyond. In 2018, the festival celebrated the work and legacy of Italian-born Australian architect, the late Enrico Taglietti AO (1926-2019) and collaborated with acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma for an ephemeral installation on Aspen Island in collaboration with Arts and Design students from the University of Canberra. In 2019, DESIGN Canberra shone a light on one of Australia’s most internationally renowned architects, John Andrews AO.

The DESIGN Canberra callout deadline is Friday 3 April 2020. For more information on the call for proposals and how to make a submission visit:

The festival welcomes people of all ages and interests and the majority of events are free.

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