Design Canberra Festival 2020 logo

Zoe Brand, Genuine Festive GOLD. Photo: Supplied
Zoe Brand, Genuine Festive GOLD. Photo: Supplied

DESIGN Canberra 2021: Transformation

DESIGN Canberra announces theme for 2021: Transformation

In the context of the upheaval and disruption of the global pandemic and other confronting experiences of 2020, we have a shared responsibility and extraordinary opportunity to achieve real transformation.

After world changing events, history has shown that citizens, business and communities have responded with a celebration of life and gratitude and a burst of entrepreneurial energy. We hope that (after a well-earned rest at the end of 2020), 2021 creates momentum to build a more resilient, connected, creative and responsible way of living. The eighth edition of the DESIGN Canberra festival asks what should we retain and what can we discard to connect more meaningfully as a community, to nurture wellbeing and health, celebrate creativity and reduce our burden on the environment? Can design foster a vibrant, equitable, sustainable and innovative society?

The festival theme arose from our planning for Craft ACT’s 50th – golden – anniversary which takes place in 2021. We explored the values, tradition and symbolism of gold and, through that, alchemy and transformation. We remain constantly inspired by the ways that artists and designers transform raw materials and ideas into objects, spaces and buildings to creatively express layers of meaning, history and connection from the domestic to the public sphere. Since 1971 CraftACT has played a vital role in sustaining Australia’s high-quality studio practice and supporting craftspeople, designers and audiences. We are proudly one of Australia’s longest continuous-running membership organisations in the visual arts and we celebrate the many ways our close-knit community has nurtured and transformed artists’ practice for half a century.

We committed to this theme of transformation in 2019, but as 2020 draws to a close and uncertainty remains, this vision for the next DESIGN Canberra festival seems more timely than ever. Craft ACT’s artistic and public programs, including our major outreach DESIGN Canberra, will celebrate transformation – fostering innovation, facilitating quality discourse, supporting professional development and promoting social inclusion. We hope you can be part of it.

-Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director since 2016

DESIGN Canberra
8-28 November 2021