Kambri is the new cultural precinct at the Australian National University. Drawing from the principles of the Ngunnawal/ Ngambri peoples, Kambri functions as a meeting place for the ANU community. As part of this year’s DESIGN Canberra festival, Kambri will host several events, including talks, exhibitions and the annual Object Subject design writing conference.
DESIGN Canberra x Kambri @ ANU
Elisa Donato, Gallery Coordinator
What DESIGN Canberra project have you enjoyed?
Last year I sat in on James Carpenter’s Light in the Public Realm lecture at the NGA. James spoke about the innovative ways his firm was using glass to harness natural light in communal spaces. I love how he drew attention to the idea of light as a public resource, and the fact that architects, builders and designers have a responsibility to enhance (or perhaps even block!) light in civic areas. It’s not just a superficial element
to play with, it’s actually a crucial component that – when harnessed and displayed effectively – can enhance people’s day-to-day lives.
What is the biggest challenge that humankind needs to solve? How can design help?
Without a doubt, it’s climate change. While it might be our biggest challenge, I think there’s a lot that design can offer in terms of solving it. Using recycled or waste materials is a step in the right direction, but we need to look at the issue at a macro level as well. Ultimately we need to re-evaluate so many things that are intrinsic to the way we live. An example of this is purchasing products at supermarkets that come in plastic packaging. In many ways, we might think that as the end consumer we don’t have a choice and the problem seems too big, but I think designers and innovators have a real opportunity to present a new way of doing things that does away with this lack of choice and therefore the problem.
What would you change about Canberra?
Only people’s perceptions of it! Canberra is a really exciting place to be at the moment, which I think will only grow in time. I’m a student at ANU, studying Art History and Curatorship, and I also work as the Gallery and Events Coordinator at aMBUSH Gallery Kambri, so I get to see first-hand that there are so many creatives – young, old, established and up-and-coming – who are dedicated to supporting the arts. They’re out there buying local art, organising arts-related events, and so on. Canberra has truly progressed beyond its stereotype, and people need to know about it!