Ends in 4 days, 21 hours


DESIGN Canberra 5 – 25 November 2018

DESIGN Canberra celebrates and promotes Canberra as a global city of design. It is the main public outreach activity for Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, and through the festival we aim to explore the best contemporary craft and design, develop new and expanded audiences, forge marketplace connections and unexpected collaborations, and provide makers with a source of inspiration.

Throughout November 2018, over 100 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist open studios and open homes will be showcased as DESIGN Canberra, transforming the nation’s capital into a new platform for the best in design. The festival, now in its 5th year, is for all interests and ages and most events are free. The 2018 festival will build on the success of DESIGN Canberra 2017, which saw over 94,000 people attend.

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. In 2017 we sought, as much as possible, to group studios together by location so that audiences could easily visit a number of studios in one outing. We also standardised opening times to be each Saturday from 10am – 4pm to avoid confusion. These changes benefited the program, which received over 3,400 attendees over three days, more than double 2016.

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.

  • Silt, a collective of makers, held an open studio at Watson Arts Centre that combined the ritual of tea drinking with their sale of ceramics. They also hired a group of musicians 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 series of professional development workshops for members in photographing your work, hosting a successful open studio and using social media. More details will be announced soon.

Who can hold an Open Studio?

All open studios nominated by 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.

When to hold your Open Studio:

We will run Open Studios on each Saturday of the festival - so Saturday 10, 17 and 24 of November. Our aim, as in 2017, will be to cluster the studios together by location to make it as easy for possible as attendees. The opening times will be 11 - 4 each of those days.

As you express your interest, you will be asked about your preference among those dates and we will do our best to meet people's dates requests. We would ask that you please be as flexible as possible when indicating your availability, as even still it will be hard for us to accommodate everyone's first preference.

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

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.

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