Design Canberra Festival set to transform the capital

Craft ACT has announced the DESIGN Canberra Festival dates and theme for 2017. DESIGN Canberra 2017 will be inspired by the spirit of modernism, a celebration of the creativity, experimentation and optimism for which Canberra’s mid-century architecture is acclaimed.

DESIGN Canberra offers an insight into the talent pool of makers that are working, living and creating in the nation’s capital. This year’s festival will showcase works from the latest recipient of The Belle Alessi award, Rene Linssen together with Alison Jackson whose work is featured on “The Store” and Tom Skeehan who recently exhibited in Milan Design Week and ICFF in New York among many others.

DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity of Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, a not-for-profit membership based organisation which supports artists, craft practitioners, designers and makers at every stage of their careers.

In 2016, DESIGN Canberra attracted a record 69,000 people to the festival – a substantial increase from 26,000 in the year before. Now in its fourth year, DESIGN Canberra 2017 is heading in a new direction, led by the idea of Canberra as a living design laboratory, a global city of design.

“Design is in Canberra’s DNA. From the time of Walter and Marion Griffin’s visionary design a century ago, to iconic experimental modernist architecture of the 1950s and 60s, and contemporary and sustainable design developments today, Canberra has been — and will always be — a living design laboratory”, said Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director, Craft ACT.

Scheduled to run from the 7th – 26th November 2017, over 100 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist studios and open homes will be showcased at DESIGN Canberra, transforming the nation’s capital into a new platform for the best in design. The festival is for all interests and ages and most events are free.

“We are excited to offer this year’s schedule of more than 100+ events throughout the busy calendar. It is our most beautiful and most ambitious festival program yet. DESIGN Canberra is an incredibly important part of the arts community. It is so important to support local artists, designers and makers to forge unexpected collaborations and marketplace connections, and develop new and expanded audiences” Says Coghlan.

In the spirit of a living design laboratory, DESIGN Canberra will experiment with new ideas and expand the most successful programs into new directions in the 2017 festival. The festival is sure to attract attention from local and national design lovers with new events including the launch of The Live Auction, which will see unique studio-produced pieces from Canberra’s design community go to market at a live auction.

Favourites like Open Studios and Living Rooms will remain on the calendar and new additions include:

Live Auction
A group of emerging and established designers will be auctioning off prototypes and experimental design and craft produced in studios in Canberra and beyond. International City Curator Experience customised activations including highly visual and engaging events and exhibitions in the city throughout the duration of the festival.

Writers Conference
The first national design writing conference, Object | Subject will explore the way design speaks to us, and the way we speak about design.

Architecture Bus Tours
Bus tours of Canberra’s best architecture including mid-century modernist icons by Grounds, Boyd and Seidler, new buildings and additions by emerging and award-winning architects.

Women In Design
Women In Design – Four solo exhibitions by contemporary designer makers: ceramicist Kelly Austin; contemporary art jeweller Zoe Verness; Indigenous jeweller and ceramic artist Lynette Lewis; and furniture designer maker Chelsea Lemon.

Sketching Process
Celebrate sketching and learn from leading Australian designers. Led by acclaimed Canberra designer Tom Skeehan, visitors of all ages can develop technical drawing skills and their own unique style of drawn communication. Craft ACT promotes and celebrates excellence and innovation in contemporary craft and design.

Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre is supported by the ACT Government; the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments; and the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

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