DESIGN Canberra
5–25 November 2018


DESIGN Canberra is an annual festival which celebrates and promotes Canberra as a global city of design. 

Throughout November, DESIGN Canberra will transform the nation’s capital, hosting over 100 events, such as exhibitions, talks, tours, collaborations, artist studios and open homes, activations and markets showcasing the best in design. 

Now in its 5th year, DESIGN Canberra is the city’s fastest growing festival, continuing to grow its reach and engagement each year and connecting makers and designers with new audiences.

The theme of this year’s program reflects the strong geometry present throughout our city and is calling for projects to be featured during the festival that reference Canberra’s distinctive form.

The ACT’s fastest growing festival

DESIGN Canberra is the ACT’s fastest growing festival. In 2017, over 94,000 people attended the festival, a 37% increase from the 69,000 in attendance in 2016.

Since 2014, DESIGN Canberra has become a successful and highly experienced integrated events program in the ACT. With an active and engaged community, established communication channels, passionate sponsors and strong reputation, the festival will confidently, effectively and efficiently deliver a creative new program of the best in contemporary design in 2018.

Weekly spotlights

DESIGN Canberra 2018 will celebrate the strong geometry present throughout our city and the ways it creates human, creative and global connections from Australia’s city of design. Weekly spotlights include:

Week 1: Canberra an international city of design 

  • forging global collaborations
  • part of an international conversation
  • UNESCO city of design

Week 2: Canberra icons

  • acclaimed designers choose to live, work and make here in Canberra
  • Canberra’s world-class craft and design community
  • special focus: architect Enrico Taglietti

Week 3: the future of design

  • the social responsibility of design
  • emerging designers
  • the art of placemaking

How can I get involved?

There are many ways for the tourism and hospitality sector to get involved in DESIGN Canberra 2018. Host a dinner, tour, workshop or an exhibition, create a special deal for your guests, share the festival program and content with your networks.

All ticketed events need to be sold via the DESIGN Canberra website and a 20% booking fee will be charged.

Note that proposals can include dates before or after 5–25 November, but your event must have some overlap with DESIGN Canberra dates to be included in the 2018 program.

What will DESIGN Canberra do to support my event?

DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity of Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre. Last year, we attracted over 94,000 people to the festival.

Craft ACT curates the festival program: we present opening and keynote events and exhibitions that form the backbone of the festival and provide a context for the events, exhibitions and activities of other presenters. We work with a network of stakeholders to present the festival and are generously supported and inspired by our design-focused partners and corporate sponsors. This is a time for growth and long-term ambition.

A multi-layered proven marketing strategy will be developed to build high visibility for festival events – including social media, direct marketing, print marketing, PR and outdoor promotions. We manage a festival website on which all events will be listed and coordinate Design Canberra social media. Our research shows that these are the main channels to access the program for most attendees. In 2017, DESIGN Canberra had more than 700,000 social media impressions and 106,000 web page views. 

We produce and distribute a hard-copy festival flyer for high-level promotion and featured events and exhibitions. We send electronic newsletters to DESIGN Canberra followers who have been signing up since 2014. We encourage collaborative marketing and will engage with selected proposals on cross-promotion and DESIGN Canberra branding requirements.

Tell us about your project

Complete the form below to tell us about your proposed project.

What if my proposal is accepted?

Congratulations! Your event will be included in DESIGN Canberra 2018.

Once we advise that your proposal has been accepted, we will ask you for additional information for marketing and promotional purposes. This will include text and images, with credits, that we can use on the DESIGN Canberra website.

We will ask for evidence of your public liability insurance (PLI) coverage. We will also provide you with DESIGN Canberra key promotional dates and information about how we can best promote your project and how you can best promote your participation in DESIGN Canberra.

The festival has a growing, but still limited, budget for marketing. Increasing public and interstate recognition of the festival is where the bulk of that money goes and that is in the interest of all participants. Running a successful project or event in DESIGN Canberra is a collaborative endeavour. We require you to bring your audiences to DESIGN Canberra and in turn we will do what we can to bring awareness of the DESIGN Canberra audience to your project. In our experience, projects in the festival are successful when all parties actively promote their participation to their own networks and communities, and we share in each other’s hard work.


You will be responsible for:

· Organisation of your activity

· Staffing during your activity

· All relevant insurances and public liability (Craft ACT members have insurance included in their membership)

· Ensuring safety of any/all participants for your activity

· All costs associated with your activity

· Delivery of promotional information by due dates (as requested by Craft ACT) to be used for promotional purposes

What happens if my proposal is not successful?

We will let you know if your proposal is not accepted. Please don’t be discouraged or disheartened if your proposal is unsuccessful. It simply is not possible to include all proposals in the program.

Fees and charges
In most instances, DESIGN Canberra does not charge a fee to participate in the festival. DESIGN Canberra relies on the generous support of sponsors and partners to deliver a quality, creative and engaging program of events.

All ticketed events need to be sold via the DESIGN Canberra website and a 20% booking fee will be charged.

Commercial operators or entities may be invited to become a sponsor of the festival where appropriate. Commercial operators who wish to participate without sponsoring the festival will be charged a participation fee or commission, commensurate with the event. Advertising packages will also be available. For more information contact



DESIGN Canberra 2018

LIVING ROOMS: Architecture + design + craft = an open home with a difference.


As part of DESIGN Canberra 2018, explore the living rooms of acclaimed Canberra houses and discover pop-up exhibitions with works on sale by local artists, makers and craft practitioners. Enjoy a progressive exhibition as you take in the beauty of design in our own backyard.

Program Overview

Living Rooms is DESIGN Canberra’s showcase of the best architect-designed houses in Canberra which offer an insight into different housing typologies, showing firsthand the impact of good design on day-to-day living.  

Each open home will have a specially curated pop-up exhibition of work by emerging designers and craft practitioners; typically in dining rooms or on kitchen benches, with work on display for sale to the public. These artists are Craft ACT members. Not a member? Join today!

Opening homes to the public on each Sunday of the festival, Living Rooms shines the light on the value of engaging an architect and celebrates architecture, design and craft in Canberra. We are calling out for architecturally designed or renovated homes to feature in the 2018 Living Rooms program. 


Selection Criteria

The House:

  • Is designed by an architect or features a renovation by an architect
  • Demonstrates design excellence which enhance people’s health and wellbeing and provides a sense of delight.
  • Located in the inner North or South of Canberra.

The Owner / Architect is:

  • Willing and able to be open to the general public for between 1-2 hours on one Sunday during the festival – either 11, 18 or 25th November.  Opening date and time will be confirmed closer to the festival.
  • Willing to open the main living areas of the home to the public.  Other areas, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, do not need to be open to the public.  A request for guests to remove their shoes can also be specified.
  • Willing and able to host a pop-up exhibition of a craft artist or designer within the home on the open day.  The exhibition will be curated to be in sympathy with the home and at a manageable scale.
  • The owner and/or architect will identify and remove, or address, any hazards prior to opening.
  • Willing to promote their involvement in the Living Rooms program through their social media networks.

The Architect is:

  • Present during the opening of the home and willing to engage with the public about design.
  • Willing to complete a Project Description pro-forma and provide high quality images of the project for use in the Promotional Flyer.


DESIGN Canberra's Role

DESIGN Canberra will curate, manage and promote the Living Rooms program.

Specifically this includes the selection of houses and pop-up exhibitions for inclusion in the program, tailor the pop-up exhibition for each house, nominating the open house dates and times, liaising between all the participants and promoting the Living Rooms through the festival’s marketing campaign. 


DESIGN Canberra will provide:

  • An “on-the-day checklist” for owners / architects
  •  Curators who will ‘bump in and bump out’ the pop-up exhibitions, in consultation with the owner.
  • Volunteers who will provide a moveable sign for placing on the verge, greet the public and hand out festival programs, survey and flyers.
  • A Promotional Flyer for each house.
  •  A detailed risk management plan


Living Rooms is proudly supported by holly (Holly Komorowski) and Rolfe Classic BMW. Holly will welcome visitors as they arrive, and BMW may display a car in the driveway which aligns with the architecture of the house. 



A Participation Fee of $250.00 (incl. GST) for AIA members and $500 (incl. GST) for non-members, which contributes to the costs of managing, resourcing and promoting the Living Room program, is payable in full to Craft ACT within 21 days of acceptance of an offer to participate.  It is non-refundable.  Payment of fees confirms participation and promotion in DESIGN Canberra.


Selection Process & Program

DESIGN Canberra will call for Expressions of Interest from architects or owners in April and May 2018.  Houses that best contribute to aims of the Living Rooms program will be invited to confirm their participation in the program by June 2018, with payment of the Participation Fee due within 21 days of acceptance.

DESIGN Canberra will contact participants in early October to facilitate preparations for the open houses. 


DESIGN Canberra festival is from the 5th to the 25th of November 2018


Craft ACT's Accredited Professional Membership fee is $250.00, we will contact you to make payment after your application has been approved.


Accredited Professional members are professional craft practitioners and designers whose outstanding contributions demonstrate a high standard of artistic merit and technical skill who have local, national and international experience and standing.

The Craft ACT Membership Sub-committee will assess and notify applicants of their status within four weeks, if you require your application to be expedited please get in touch

Please read through the APM information package, member benefits and insurance information documents available on the membership page of our website  and if necessary to contact Craft ACT at before submitting an application. 



  •   Artistic Merit - demonstrate excellence of artistic merit. 
  •   Innovation - demonstrate an evolution in the concepts of their work.
  •   Technical Skill - demonstrate a high standard of technical skill. 
  •   Professional Standing - submit a CV demonstrating ongoing professional activities in both your specialised field and the broader arts sector.


  • Individuals whose work demonstrates a consistent, high level of artistic and technical standard are eligible to apply for Accredited Professional Membership. 
  • Applicants should have a professional approach to their work and to the business of maintaining a professional career, though it is not essential to be full time artists.
  • It is not a requirement for applicants to have undertaken formal studies. 
  • Applications are ineligible where work submitted is undergraduate work. Applications by post graduate students will be considered on a case by case basis according to prior practice.

Craft ACT is always in need of professional publication quality images of our members work, please assist us to ensure the information and images we have reflect your current practice.

Craft ACT's Associate Membership fee is $250.00, we will contact you to make payment after your application has been approved.


Associate Members are emerging and established professional craft practitioners and designers who have strong local experience and engagement. 

Applications are welcome anytime during the year. Ensure you meet and address the criteria requirements below and understand member benefits and insurance information. If you have questions, email before you submit your application. 

The Craft ACT Membership Sub-committee will assess and notify applicants of their status within four weeks, if you require your application to be expedited please get in touch.


  • Individuals whose work demonstrates a consistent, high level of artistic and technical standard are eligible to apply for Associate Membership. 
  • Applicants should have a professional approach to their work and to the business of developing and maintaining a professional career. 
  • It is not a requirement for applicants to have undertaken formal studies. 
  • Professional craft practitioners and designers seeking insurance to support their professional practices. 
  Assessment Criteria 
  • Artistic Merit - primary criterion is a demonstrated high level of artistic merit. 
  • Technical Skill - demonstrate a high standard of technical skill. 
  • Professional Standing - submit a CV demonstrating their commitment to ongoing professional activities in their specialised field. 

Ready Set Market! Professional Development Program

To celebrate the range of beautiful handcrafted work being created in Canberra, and nurture Canberra’s talented emerging artists, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre is proud to present the 2018 Ready Set Market program.

Ready Set Market will support a small group of makers to get market ready. From developing production work, crafting your brand, being sales ready and presenting your work and your brand in one of Australia’s leading design markets, Undercurrent Design Market at the National Portrait Gallery (23-25 November 2018).

Following a successful pilot in 2017, this program has been expanded and offers a solid foundation for budding production makers, though a series of intensive workshops led by leading stylists, photographer and makers, and step by step support in a small group over five months.

Each place includes:

· A shared market stall at Undercurrent Design Market Presented by the Curatoreum as part of the Design Canberra Festival at the National Portrait Gallery on November 23rd, 24th and 25th

· Workshop - Product development 1 with Richilde Flavell from Girl Nomad Ceramics (3 hours)

· Workshop – Product development 2 with medium-specific established makers (3 hours)

· Workshop - Crafting your brand with artist, designer and facilitator Yasmin Masri (1 hour)

· Photoshoot – product styling and photoshoot with photographer and stylist Anisa Sabet (1.5 hours)

· Workshop - Market Ready with Sydney based prop stylist Lynsay Fryers and Richilde Flavell from Girl Nomad Ceramics (3 hours)

· Your participation in the Undercurrent Design Market will be supported by DESIGN Canberra’s active Social Media and Marketing campaign


This program including your Undercurrent Market stall fee, 11.5 hours of quality workshops and photoshoot is $680 (and just $380 for Craft ACT members!) (inc GST) per participant. 

Learn from 

Photographer and stylist Anisa Sabet

Stylist Lynsay Fryers

Designer and facilitator Yasmin Masri 

Product maker and market regular Girl Nomad Ceramics 

Applications close saturday June 30 2018

PLACE MAKERS: Craft ACT 2018 Members Exhibition

Curatorial context:

The 2018 Craft ACT members show will celebrate and explore the Canberra region’s distinct design identity defined by place, craftsmanship and experimentation.

Placemaking is designing with the past, present and future in mind, to develop identity and pride, and to increase social and cultural capital. 

Canberra is a city of design and a place of makers who bring skills, knowledge, dedication and commitment to create their craft and nourish our community. Acclaimed designers, makers and craftspeople ­– including jewellers, glass and textiles artists, ceramicists, fashion and furniture designers - are globally connected but choose to live, work and make in the Canberra region. For nearly 50 years, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre has supported these artists and helped to establish a creative and closely-knit community.

PLACE MAKERS is inspired by the thoughts of acclaimed Japanese architect (and distinguished DESIGN Canberra 2018 collaborator) Kengo Kuma: a place is 'rich' not because of its natural environment, resources, or skilled craftspeople but instead gains its value through the relationship between these things. (Kengo Kuma: complete works, p8).

Brief to artists:

Each AM and APM Craft ACT member is invited to contribute a recent work to the exhibition. New work is encouraged, but recent work that reflects your current practice and has been made in the last couple of years is also appropriate. 

Please submit 2 works for curatorial consideration. Each work can be a single object or a small series. Please contact me to discuss works larger than 1m in any direction. The exhibition will be installed in the Craft ACT gallery - please propose works appropriate for the space. 

We also call for volunteers to assist with installing and demounting. 

Key dates:

Exhibition dates: 7 September – 20 October 2018

Exhibition opening: Thursday 6 September 2018

Online submission for curatorial consideration: 26 July 2018

Deliver work: Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 August 2018

Installing: From Friday 31 August to 4 September

Demount: 22 October 2018

How to submit work:

1.      Complete online submission by 26 July 2018

2.      Deliver selected work to Craft ACT on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 August 2018

3.      Promote the exhibition through your networks, invite friends and collectors

4.      Volunteer to assist with painting on 28 August, installing 31 to 4 September, and demounting 22 October

5.      Collect your work from Craft ACT on Monday 22 October 2018