Ends in 3 days, 20 hours

DESIGN Canberra 

4–24 November 2019

DESIGN Canberra has resonated with Canberrans, the design sector and design lovers near and far because design is in Canberra’s DNA. From the time of Walter and Marion Griffin's visionary design a century ago, to iconic experimental architecture of the 1950s and 60s, through to contemporary and sustainable design developments today, Canberra has been — and always will be — a living design laboratory.

From 4-24 November 2019, DESIGN Canberra will transform the nation’s capital, hosting over 150 events. Now in its 6th year, DESIGN Canberra increases its reach and engagement each year, linking makers and designers with new audiences and forging unexpected collaborations and marketplace connections. 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.

Call for Expressions of Interest to Participate - Open Studios

Open Studios have been a feature of DESIGN Canberra since the 2014 festival. An Open Studio is a unique opportunity for the general public to engage directly with artists and designers, to learn about, and hopefully to purchase, their work. Collectively, the program also makes an invaluable contribution to DESIGN Canberra’s efforts to create a culture that values craft artists and designers and the work they produce. As we work hard to attract new and more diverse audiences for design, Open Studios are a revealing part of the festival’s offering and one of the main ways we aim to give benefit back to Craft ACT members.

Each year DESIGN Canberra gains more experience in what makes an Open Studio successful for both makers and attendees. Building on lessons learned in 2017, in 2018 we grouped studios together by location so that audiences could easily visit a number of studios in one outing and we continued standardised opening times for each Saturday from 11am – 4pm. In addition to this, we implemented a postcard flyer with each weekend's studio adresses and provided new corflute signage. These changes benefited the program, which received over 3,800 attendees over the three days. 

There are ideas from successful Open Studios, both practical and creative, you may want to consider in thinking about hosting an open studio that works for you and the visitors to the studio:

  • Ceramicist Bev Hogg makes an event of her annual open studio, now timed to coincide with Design Canberra. She enlists multiple volunteer helpers to be on hand to greet and talk to visitors, serves food, has music and promotes as heavily as possible through social media and other communication channels;
  • Textiles artist Annie Trevillian also has multiple helpers on hand, who are able to greet visitors and sell work to people in an especially set up area downstairs, while upstairs she is able to display and speak to visitors about her work, practice and process.
  • For two years now, a collective of makers have held "Tea in the Potters Garden", an open studio at Watson Arts Centre that combined the ritual of tea drinking with their sale of ceramics. They also incorporated musicians and florists and promoted the event heavily using beautiful photographs through social media (do you see a trend developing here about the use of social media… )
  • Wood artist Hiroshi Yamaguchi had flocks of people, especially families, to his studio where he was offering chopstick making workshops. For a small cost, visitors could make their chopsticks and take them home.
  • In brief, it’s worth thinking about how you can do something to create an experience for visitors while being authentic to your craft. 

Prior to the festival, Craft ACT will run a professional development workshop for members in hosting a successful open studio. Details will be released closer to the date.


Who can hold an Open Studio?

All open studios nominated by Craft ACT members will be accepted. Open studio events nominated by non-members will be included by selection by Craft ACT and that selection will be final. Past experience has shown that people are more interested in studios of makers than professional environments such as architecture offices, however, we welcome nominations from all different types of studios.


When to hold your Open Studio:

We will run Open Studios on each Saturday of the festival - Saturday 09, 16 and 23 November. Our aim will be to cluster the studios together by location to make it as easy as possible for attendees. The opening times will be 11am-4pm each of those days.

As you fill out the form you will be asked about your preference among those dates and we will do our best to meet people's requests. We would ask that you please be as flexible as possible when indicating your availability, as it is always tricky to accommodate everyone's first preferences.


What is involved:

You will be responsible for:

  • Organisation of  your Open Studio
  • Staffing during your Open Studio
  • All relevant insurances and public liability (Craft ACT Accredited Professional Members and Associate Members have insurance included in their membership)
  • Ensuring safety of any/all participants for your Open Studio
  • All costs associated with your Open Studio
  • Payment of the Participation Fee (for non-members of Craft ACT)
  • Delivery of promotional information by due dates (as requested by Craft ACT) to be used for promotional purposes
  • Keeping a count of visitors (where possible)
  • Completing a short survey for reporting purposes


What will DESIGN Canberra do?

DESIGN Canberra festival will manage the Open Studios program overall, including selecting and coordinating open dates and times among the nominated studios. 

DESIGN Canberra will promote the Open Studios program through the festival’s marketing and publicity. 

We will provide signage for outside the studio and make A2 posters available for studio holders to collect from Craft ACT and display in the week(s) leading up to your event.


Participation fee

Hosting an Open Studio in DESIGN Canberra is free to members of Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre

For non-members, if your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to pay a Participation Fee, of $110, when you provide your final information. Become a member of Craft ACT – membership starts from $66.