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Jodie Cunningham. We dance together. DESIGN Canberra 2017 Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Jodie Cunningham. We dance together. DESIGN Canberra 2017 Photo: 5 Foot Photography

Is Canberra the next UNESCO City of DESIGN?

DESIGN Canberra would like to thank everyone who attended the UNESCO City of Design workshop in November, with special thanks to Midnight Hotel for hosting and ThinkPlace for facilitating.

We look forward to continuing the conversation in 2020. You can read a summary of the workshop outcomes HERE


As part of its overall strategic planning, Craft ACT has a long term ambition to pursue listing of Canberra as a City of Design amongst the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

The UNESCO City of Design accolade aims to promote the development of local creative industries, and to foster relationships and resource-sharing between fellow Cities of Design. Cities of Design recognised so far include Montreal, Buenos Aires, Bilbao, Helsinki, Singapore and Beijing, among others.

City of Design status is awarded as part of the Creative Cities Network established by UNESCO in 2004, which also recognises contributions to literature, art, music, film and gastronomy. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

To achieve City of Design status, cities must meet criteria defined by UNESCO that includes having a thriving design industry fed by design schools and research centres, and practising groups of creators and designers.

Craft ACT believe that Canberra is more than worthy of being a member of and contributing to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Design. Join Craft ACT in the promotion of the wonderfully vibrant city that we live in hopes of achieving City of Design status in the near future.