Design Canberra Festival Design Canberra Festival

Robyn Archer

Robyn Archer

Object Subject

Key Speaker

Robyn Archer AO FAHA is a singer, writer, director and public advocate for the arts. She has released twelve albums, the most recent in 2019 being Classic Cabaret Rarities and currently tours four song recital programs Que Reste-t’Il, Dancing on the Volcano and The Fortunes of Exile (both German) and The Other Great American Songbook. She premiered Picaresque (featuring 200 built models from her collection of architectural maquettes)  at the 2019 Adelaide Festival. Many remember Robyn for her one-woman shows including A Star is Torn which will celebrate a 40th anniversary in 2020, but also as Artistic Director of the Adelaide and Melbourne International arts festivals and Ten Days on the Island which she created for Tasmania. Robyn began the Artistic Direction stream of her career in Canberra for the National Festival of Australian Theatre in 1993, and returned to direct the 2013 Centenary of Canberra which inspired fresh looks at the city and its historic and contemporary design credentials.  Robyn’s lifelong interest in architecture includes Architektin, a play she wrote about Margrete Schutte-Lihotsky. Among her many awards she has been honoured by France, Belgium and the US, holds honorary doctorates from five Australian universities and is an Australian Book Review laureate, read more at  or at

Presented as part of the popular DESIGN Canberra festival, Object Subject: 2019 National Design Writing Conference will build on the successful inaugural event, which inspired new conversations, connections and ideas, questioned the very role and responsibility of design, and resulted in the publication of a special issue of the international scholarly journal, Fusion.