Our DESIGN Canberra Festival highlights

Visitors to the 6th DESIGN Canberra Festival are in for a treat if the glimpse I received over a weekend recently is anything to go by. Following this year’s festival theme of Utopia, designers and artists have reflected on what makes a perfect society.

Open Studio offers the rare chance to to see and hear about the work of Canberra’s many artists and designers. Jeweller, Phoebe Porter and designers Tom Skeehan and Fink Design shared the workings of their studios and their ideas – they are just three of dozens who will open over two weekends.

Tours of some of Canberra’s iconic architecture, and talks and walks celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus design will open up a hidden world to the uninitiated in the backstreets of the capital and at the Australian National Gallery.

A complicated cardboard pavilion built by students using robotics from the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design will house the festival’s hub, while local artists, makers and craft practitioners will sell and display their works inside some of Canberra’s finest houses as a part of Living Rooms. If you missed Welcome to Wasteland whilst it was on in Melbourne, get along to Nishi Gallery and whilst in the neighbourhood pop in for a bite or drink at the fabulous Mocan and Green Grout.

Canberra’s city centre, Monaro Mall, designed by Whitehead and Payne Architects in 1963, will be bustling with tours, exhibitions and activities as part of the festival. Meanwhile over at Craft ACT, inspired by the chandelier installed by architect Enrico Taglietti at the Italian ambassador’s Canberra residence, a selection of contemporary glass pieces by Italian and Australian designers will make up Glass Utopia.

These are just some of the hundreds of exhibitions, talks, tours and activities that will fill Canberra’s buildings and streets over three weeks. The festival runs from November 4 – 24; it’s the perfect time to visit for both design aficionados and anyone after some informative and inspiring fun.


More green updates