Design Canberra 2020 logo

Marilou Chagnaud, Play in a loop, DESIGN Canberra 2018. Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Marilou Chagnaud, Play in a loop, DESIGN Canberra 2018. Photo: 5 Foot Photography


Civic Square will be transformed to become the dedicated site for talks, entertainment, parties, performances, art, wellness and ideas during each working week from 4 – 24 November for the DESIGN Canberra 2019 festival.

The centerpiece of Civic Square will be a large painted ground design decided by competition, and a temporary sculptural pavilion, commissioned by DESIGN Canberra and designed by the University of Canberra Faculty of Arts and Design team. The designs will create a dialogue between the ground plane of Civic Square, its fascinating history, and a remarkable program delivered by DESIGN Canberra and its partners.

This year’s temporary architectural installation in Civic Square will be designed, fabricated and installed by a multidisciplinary design team headed up by the University of Canberra’s Iain (Max) Maxwell, the co-director of international award-winning architecture and innovation practice Supermanoeuvre, and recent addition to the Faculty of Arts and Design.

The architectural installation will celebrate the festival’s commitment to design excellence and experimentation and will become a backdrop to an exciting program of events, experiences and community engagement.

DESIGN Canberra is also calling on artists and designers to make their mark on the city centre with a competition for a ‘graphic intervention’.

Building on the popularity of DESIGN Canberra’s collaborations with local artists in Civic Square such as Jodie Cunningham (2017) and Marilou Chagnaud (2018), this year the team are seeking proposals that create a dialogue between the ground plane of Civic Square and the temporary architectural pavilion.

In addition to being an art experience of its own, the Graphic Intervention will be used as a prelude and backdrop to the DESIGN Canberra pavilion—a sculptural intervention into the open space of Civic Square. Together the graphic and architectural installations will frame audience experiences for DESIGN Canberra’s programs including talks, tours, exhibitions, performances, a pop-up bar and wellness programs like public yoga and meditation.

For more information on the GRAPHIC Intervention Competition 2019 click here.

The transformation of Civic Square and cultural engagement has been made possible with support from the ACT Government under the City Renewal Authority’s City Grants program.