Ends in 6 days, 22 hours


DESIGN Canberra 2017

7 – 26 November 2017

DESIGN Canberra celebrates and promotes Canberra as a global city of design – a living design laboratory from the time of Walter and Marion Griffin's visionary city design a century ago, to iconic experimental modernist architecture of the 1950s and 60s, through to contemporary and sustainable design developments today.

The festival explores the best contemporary craft, design and architecture, develops new and expanded audiences, forges marketplace connections and unexpected collaborations, and is a source of inspiration.

Throughout November 2017, over 100 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist 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 4th year, is for all interests and ages and most events are free. The 2017 festival will build on the success of DESIGN Canberra 2016, which saw over 69,000 people attend, almost tripling previous attendance records.


Living Rooms is the DESIGN Canberra showcase of the best new architectural projects in Canberra. It focuses on domestic architecture and opens homes to the public on each Sunday of the festival. It was the breakout program of 2016, attracting over 2,800 people over four weekends. The aim of Living Rooms is to show how important good design is to day-to-day living, the value of engaging an architect and to celebrate architecture, design and craft in Canberra.

Requirements for included homes:

  • Should be designed by an architect or feature a renovation designed by an architect.

  • Should be a ‘recent’ design, not older than 10 years.

  • Must be willing and able to be open to the general public for between 1 – 2 hours on one Sunday during the festival in November (the opening date will be determined in coordinating the final selection by location, but will be one of November 12, 19 or 26).

  • Will need to be willing to host a pop-up exhibition of a craft artist or designer within the home on the open day. This is done in sympathy with the home and at a manageable scale.

  • Will require the Architect to be present at the opening of the home and willing to engage with the public about the design.

  • Will require the owner and/or architect to identify and remove, or address, any hazards prior to the opening.

  • Architects and home owners should engage to promote their involvement in the Living Rooms program through their networks and social media.

Who and what is involved:

Home owners or Architects can nominate a home for inclusion, with either acting as the main contact for DESIGN Canberra. However, the Architect should be involved in the opening of the home to the public, to engage with the public about the design.

Participants in the program will be expected to promote their participation in Living Rooms through their networks and social media.

Architects and home owners, and individual homes, may be called upon to be ‘talent’ in media for the program.

What will DESIGN Canberra do?

DESIGN Canberra festival will manage the Living Rooms program overall, including selecting and coordinating open dates and times among the nominated houses. We will work with our partner, the Australian Institute of Architects (ACT Chapter) in selecting the homes.

DESIGN Canberra will promote the Living Rooms program through the festival’s marketing and publicity.

We will provide volunteers to be present on the day the home is open and provide the signage (a sandwich board) for outside the home, as well as festival programs and some other information to have inside. As with 2016, we may park a BMW in your driveway as part of our partnership with Rolfe Classic BMW and have Holly Komorowski greet attendees as part of our partnership with home by holly.


If your architectural project is selected to be part of Living Rooms, you will be asked to pay a participation fee. The fee will contribute towards a hard-copy flyer specifically for the Living Rooms program that includes (project) images and contact details for all the participating architectural practices. This is designed to capitalise on the demand for follow-up meetings with architects that emerged from attendees of the 2016 program.  The participation fee is payable on acceptance of the Expression of Interest. Craft ACT will provide instructions to pay the fee and it must be paid in full within 21 days of acceptance and is non- refundable. Payment of fees confirms your participation and promotion in DESIGN Canberra.

The participation fee for Living Rooms in 2017 will be $220 excluding GST for members of the Australian Institute of Architects.

For non-members of Australian Institute of Architects the fee will be $440.

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