Ends on


The DESIGN Canberra Festival 2021 was cancelled due to COVID-19 but we are back, and are planning for 2022!

The 2021 theme Transformation will continue to be the theme for DESIGN Canberra 2022.

After world changing events, history has shown that citizens, business and communities have responded with a celebration of life and gratitude and a burst of entrepreneurial energy. We hope that 2022 creates momentum to build a more resilient, connected, creative and responsible way of living. The eighth edition of the DESIGN Canberra Festival asks what should we retain and what can we discard to connect more meaningfully as a community, to nurture wellbeing and health, celebrate creativity and reduce our burden on the environment? Can design foster a vibrant, equitable, sustainable and innovative society? As 2021 draws to a close and uncertainty remains, this vision for the next DESIGN Canberra Festival seems more timely than ever.

How can I get involved?

There are two main ways to get involved:

1. DESIGN Canberra Commission - Curated Programs and Call Outs
Your work is selected via a curatorial approach or call out for a specific stream of DESIGN Canberra.
Each year DESIGN Canberra runs several programs that provide opportunities for local craftspeople and designers to participate:

If you are successful in gaining a DESIGN Canberra Commission we will pay Artists fees, materials fees and exhibition fees. Amounts depend on the program you are part of and range from $250-$5000. 

Please do not use this form to apply for Curated Programs or Call outs. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive information about Call Outs.

Curated programs for DESIGN Canberra 2022 are full due to DESIGN Canberra 2021 programs being rolled over.

2. Cross Promoted programs
List your talk, tour, book launch or exhibition etc to be part of the DESIGN Canberra program.

Your proposal can include dates before or after 2-20 November 2022 but must have some overlap with DESIGN Canberra 2022 dates to be included in the program. Programs will be listed from 2 November 2022.

Please note if we accept your proposal, we will manage the ticketing and we take a 20% commission of the ticket price. 

In calling for proposals from across all design disciplines, we encourage a spirit of collaboration where Canberra’s creative community works together to showcase the best in contemporary design. We welcome proposals which align with the Festival values, ambitions, aspirations and theme including being contemporary, relevant, exploratory and authentic.

Whether you are an individual maker, a collective, a cultural or educational institution, a business, a researcher or a government agency, the Festival provides a platform for a multi-faceted exploration of design, arts and creative industries.

Proposals for Cross Promoted programs are welcome for the following fields:

  • Activations
  • Design-related performance
  • Events
  • Exhibitions
  • Installations
  • Online works
  • Open Studio
  • Public talks
  • Publication launches
  • Research
  • Tours
  • Workshops

DESIGN Canberra encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers to submit proposals for the festival program.

What will DESIGN Canberra do to support my program?

  • DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity of Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, a not-for-profit membership-based organisation which supports local artists, designers, and makers at every stage of their careers. The Festival is delivered in collaboration with industry, associations and educational institutions committed to the design arts and creative industries in Canberra. DESIGN Canberra Festival has grown from an audience of 24,000 in 2014 to a record 114,770 audience in 2019. We were very pleased that 84,731 people attended in 2020 during the global pandemic.
  • Craft ACT curates the Festival program, presenting opening and keynote events and exhibitions that form the backbone of the festival and provides 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 corporate sponsors including the City Renewal Authority, Canberra BMW, home. by holly, University of Canberra, A by Adina Hotel, Capital Airport Group, Canberra Centre and the Alastair Swayn Foundation.
  • ACT Government funding underpins the presentation of the Festival, with a commitment to fund the festival every year from 2017-2022. This is a time for growth and long-term ambition.
  • Craft ACT has overall management responsibility for DESIGN Canberra, including governance, fundraising and high-level marketing and publicity. We are the central repository and contact point for a diverse range of presenters who engage with the Festival.
  • We manage the Festival website on which all programs are listed and coordinate DESIGN Canberra social and digital media. These are the main channels to access the program for most attendees. In 2020, DESIGN Canberra had more than 400,000 social media impressions and 190,000 web page views and 2.3 million impressions on digital ads.
  • We produce and distribute a hard-copy Festival flyer for high-level promotion with featured events and exhibitions that is distributed to 10,000 people. We send electronic newsletters to DESIGN Canberra followers who have been signing up since 2014.
  • In 2020, artists and designers in DESIGN Canberra generated over $210,000 income directly through commissions, open studios, market sales and exhibitions.
  • We provide a team of volunteers to assist with the running of the DESIGN Canberra program.

Fees, charges and ticketing

  • All ticketing is managed by DESIGN Canberra
  • Free unticketed programs will not incur any fees or charges
  • Free ticketed programs will not incur any fees or charges
  • Paid ticketed programs will incur a 20% commission paid to DESIGN Canberra
  • All charges by our ticketing provider are absorbed by DESIGN Canberra as part of the 20% commission. Booking fees are NOT passed onto ticket purchasers ie: if your ticket is priced at $25, a ticket purchaser will only pay $25.
  • DESIGN Canberra 20% commission will be deducted from your total ticket sales with the balance being transferred into your nominated bank account in December 2022

Please note whilst Design Canberra would love to support your proposal we cannot provide funding so please provide information on how you intend to fund your program. Should your proposal be accepted, if you are a Craft ACT member we are happy to assist you in applying for grants by writing a letter of support for you.

I’ve submitted my proposal. What next?

A curatorial panel will review the proposals and determine which ideas make a good fit with the DESIGN Canberra 2022 Festival theme of Transformation and the overall program. The panel will include the Artistic Director of DESIGN Canberra, as well as members of the Craft ACT staff and DESIGN Canberra committee of cross-disciplinary experts and collaborators.

What if my proposal is accepted?

Congratulations! Your proposal will be included in DESIGN Canberra 2022.

Once we advise that your proposal has been accepted, we will draft your program listing for the DESIGN Canberra 2022 website based on the information you submitted in your proposal.

Running a successful program in DESIGN Canberra is a collaborative endeavour. We require you to bring your audiences to DESIGN Canberra and in turn we will bring awareness of the DESIGN Canberra audience to your program. In our experience, programs 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:

  • Providing accurate marketing text and high-quality images for your program in the submission process
  • Providing any additional promotional information by due dates
  • Assisting in media interviews to promote DESIGN Canberra when requested
  • Organisation of your program
  • Staffing your program
  • All relevant insurances and public liability (Craft ACT Accredited Professional and Associate members have insurance included in their membership)
  • All approvals (Works Approval for outdoor activities etc as required) and Licences (electricians, riggers etc as required)
  • Ensuring WHS and COVID safety of any/all participants for your program
  • All costs associated with your program
  • Completing our evaluation survey at the end for reporting purposes

Design Canberra will be responsible for:

  • Listing your program on the DESIGN Canberra website, social media and in other marketing channels locally and nationally
  • Managing the ticketing process, including setting up tickets and managing financials related to tickets
  • Compiling a comprehensive report on the Festival

What happens if my proposal is not successful?

We will let you know if your proposal is not accepted. It is not possible to include all proposals in the program. Please don’t be discouraged if your proposal is unsuccessful and please submit a proposal again in the future.

Key dates 2022

  • 15 February - information session (to be recorded if you can't make this date)
  • 28 March - DC22 Submissions close
  • Late April - notification if your proposal has been accepted to be included in DC22 program
  • 1 June – DC22 website listing proof to be sent by Craft ACT for approval
  • 15 June – DC22 website listing approval due
  • First week of September – DC22 Program launch/DC22 website live/tickets on sale
  • 2 Nov – DC22 Festival commences
  • 2 Nov – DC22 VIP launch
  • 20 Nov - DC22 Festival concludes
  • Dec – Transfer of any outstanding balances (ticketed - purchase events only)

Please contact Justine Merrony, Production Manager on Justine.Merrony@craftact.org.au if you have any further questions.

We look forward to receiving your proposals. 

Warm regards, the DESIGN Canberra team

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.