Design Canberra 2021 logo

Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Past event Sold out - join the waiting list

Two Minutes to Midnight: This Is Suburbia

2020 represents a time of rapid change in our city and nation’s history. In this time of uncertainty, is good design an unaffordable luxury or the best possible use of public money? If our public spaces reflect the society that creates them, how will the decisions we make today about our suburban environments express our concerns and hopes for our community, our city, and our world? Could the response to the coronavirus, and the lessons being learned, point to more caring solutions in the future which will design and build a good life, a fair society and a healthy planet?

Join our panel of thought leaders to explore and identify future solutions:


  • Shelley Penn, architect and urbanist


  • Andrew Leigh, politician, author and economist
  • Catherine Simpson, Green The Street founder, urban designer and placemaker.

About Two Minutes to Midnight

DESIGN Canberra’s new Two Minutes to Midnight series invites designers and thought-leaders to engage in deeper conversations with the community about the spaces, places and values we need in order to survive and thrive.

With artists excluded from income support, our built heritage needing investment, and suburbs transforming into places of work, study and leisure, this is an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild and reimagine a sustainable and more caring way of living.

Each event is hosted by a provocateur to encourage honest debate beyond the hyperbole. The provocateur frames the debate, the topic for discussion and identifies two high impact proposals to help build a future which is as yet unwritten.


Watch the recording of the talk below.

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.