Design Canberra Festival DESIGN Canberra Festival Guide: The Design Collectors – Design Canberra Festival

Alison Jackson, Teapot 2017, fine silver, white acrylic
Alison Jackson, Teapot 2017, fine silver, white acrylic

DESIGN Canberra Festival Guide: The Design Collectors

A collector can be described as someone who has a keen eye for a particular thing. They search the world high and low to find what they are looking for. They are inspired by and resonate with the maker and their works.

Are you an explorer of art and design? Intrigued by its story and its past? Inspired to curate hand-chosen pieces to become part of your life?

The 2017 DESIGN Canberra Festival is your chance to find and collect works by a local designer who lives and works in Canberra. This is your opportunity to experience and collect from our very own designers.

We don’t want you to miss out, so here is your roadmap to DESIGN Canberra Festival 2017 and all that it holds.


Week 01 of your DESIGN Canberra collectors experience will be filled with design exhibitions, parties and events, as well as artist open studios.

Start your DESIGN Canberra experience off on Wednesday 8 November at the Collaborative Projects Opening Event. This event brings together the five residents of ‘Six Wiluna’ and five ceramicists, pairing skills in furniture making and ceramics to create new work. This curated exhibition will celebrate the collaborative nature of contemporary craft and design, providing an opportunity for experimentation and innovation and producing work that embraces unique couplings of materials and techniques.

On Friday 10 November, celebrate the best of Canberra design and the launch of the festival with an opening-weekend party – SELL OUT. Music, food, and local wines, local brews and spirits, hosted at the historic Canberra Fitters Workshop, will create an exciting and vibrant atmosphere for the main event. Limited edition and one-off pieces from Canberra’s leading designers will be displayed on the night, highlighted by an experimental lighting design installation by Matt Adey of House of Vnholy (Dark Mofo).

Spend your Saturday visiting the Open Studios of some of Canberra’s best designers and makers between 11am-4pm. We highly recommend you make time to stop by and see the works of Alison Jackson, Tom Skeehan, Dan Lorrimer and Jeremy Lepisto. Check out our website for the full list of designers and makers that you can visit or book a seat on our glass bus tour for a more intimate experience.

Make a detour during Open Studios to hear from Alice Rawsthorn, award-winning design critic whose columns for the New York Times are syndicated worldwide. Her talk will explore the role of experimentation in design, arguing that it is now more important than ever, as a new generation of independent, politically engaged designers to fulfil László Moholy-Nagy’s belief that “design is an attitude, not a profession.”


This week is all about women in design. Attend a special Women in Design opening at Craft ACT on Thursday 16 November at 6pm to see work by Kelly Austin, Zoe Veness, Chelsea Lemon & Lynette Lewis.

On Saturday 18 November, book your seat on the Ceramics Artist Studio Bus Tour. Join Henrietta Farrelly-Barnett on a guided tour of Canberra’s ceramics scene where you will be given an exclusive insight into studio practices and have the opportunity to purchase works directly from the artists.

Spend your Sunday exploring a range of Living Rooms of acclaimed Canberra houses, and discover pop-up exhibitions with works on sale by local artists, makers and craft practitioners.

Afterwards, head to along to Sunday Sessions where Canberra will come alive with music by local acts and an award-winning architectural pop-up wine bar. Sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere of Canberra’s iconic architectural landmarks.


Head to the Canberra Centre’s new Monaro Mall Lifestyle Precinct, the central hub of this year’s festival. There you will find Everyday Beautiful, Home:Made, Local Milan and Six Degrees of Separation – four displays showcasing emerging and established designers from Canberra and across Australia.

On Thursday 23 November the University of Canberra is proud to invite you to its Graduating Exhibition for 2017. This exhibition will feature the applied work of students from the Disciplines of Creative and Cultural Practice, Built Environment and Design, and Communication and Media. Work will be on display from a variety of areas including but not limited to Architects, Interior Architects, Industrial Designers and Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Writers, Film Producers and students of other areas within the Faculty such as Heritage, International Studies, Communication, Media and Building and Construction Management.

On Sunday afternoon, head on over to Nishi where you will see an exhibition of beautiful handcrafted bicycles at Bicycle Design – which is elegant and sculptural. It is here where you will find beautifully crafted bikes on display from Fikas Bikes, Thomas Hume’s Roadie Bike Boxes and Olas Design.

While you are in the area, stick around for a lively Meraki night at Mocan and Green Grout. Based on the meaning of meraki – the spirit or love that you put into a work as you create it, the exhibition focuses on beautiful and considered functional and everyday objects. Mocan has again brought together a small collection of local designers and craftspeople to exhibit and sell their works for one night only.

Looking for more? There are many other events that you can partake in, so head to our website for more information.