Design Canberra Festival Design Canberra Festival

Jeremy Brown, Wall Pods, 2016. Photo: Saini Copp
Jeremy Brown, Wall Pods, 2016. Photo: Saini Copp

DESIGN Canberra Festival Guide: The Design Student

Are you a budding design student with a super keen interest in all things craft and design?

We don’t want you to miss out and we also know that you’re on a pretty tight budget so here is your reference guide – your journey (that is super affordable) to DESIGN Canberra and all that it holds. Let’s get started…



Week 01 of DESIGN Canberra is packed full of mingling, parting and learning through conferences, design auctions and events. So, prepare yourself to be transported into the intriguing and fascinating world of craft and design at DESIGN Canberra Festival 2017.

You first weekend of the festival is going to be spectacular, so get ready to rumble!

Start your 2017 DESIGN Canberra Festival experience off on 10 November with Object Subject: Inaugural National Design Writing Conference.

The Object Subject conference will be held at the Shine Dome as a signature DESIGN Canberra Object Subject event. For the first time, designers, writers, critics, bloggers, researchers, collectors, makers, curators and design lovers will come together to explore the creative and important ways that writing has become essential to the future of design. Hear from a New York time critic, world class designers and industry commentators.

After the conference, head on over to the Inner South Arts Hub for Art After Dark. Gallery hop through the leafy inner south for a packed evening of exhibitions, open studios, art making workshops and more! Hop on your bike from M16 Artspace for Art & Ride from 6pm and see local bands and DJ’s, purchase a drink from their open air bar and sit back and take in the tunes.

At 8pm, officially kick off the DESIGN Canberra festivities with a bang at the Opening and Design Auction Party at The Fitters Workshop. Limited edition and one-off pieces from Canberra’s leading designers will be on display and up for auction. While you place your bids, an experimental lighting design installation by Matt Adey of House of Vnholy (Dark Mofo) will be setting the mood. Tickets are only $10 online and you will receive a free drink on entry.

On Saturday 11 November rise early and head to the Bloggers Breakfast with Dana Tomic Hughes from Yellowtrace at Vibe Hotel Canberra. During the breakfast, Dana will candidly share her journey from her humble beginnings up until today, along with many lessons learned along the way. Eat a delicious breakfast, socialise and listen to all that Dana has to share about her experiences in the digital design space.

Then on Sunday grab your camera and head to the ANU Acton Campus for a Photography Walking Tour of ANU. Take a walk around the ANU campus and surrounds with award winning photographer Darren Bradley where Darren will share his tips and tricks for architectural photography with several examples of modernist buildings on and around the campus. Darren will also show you how to make your snaps shine with a brief editing workshop.



So, with Week 01 complete, let’s take a look at what’s in the program for week 02 of the festival.

On Saturday afternoon, listen to a Public Talk by Mary Featherston at the National Portrait Gallery. Mary is an Interior Designer and was one of the inaugural inductees into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame. This is most definitely an event you will not want to miss as Mary shares her wealth and knowledge from her experiences in the design industry.

Then on Sunday, explore a range of Living Rooms of acclaimed Canberra houses designed by female architects, where architecture + design+ craft = an open home with a difference.

Afterwards, head straight from the last house on the Living Rooms tour to the Canberra Centre’s new Monaro Mall Lifestyle Precinct, which acts as the central hub of this year’s festival. There you will find Everyday Beautiful, Home:Made, Local Milan and six degrees of separation exhibitions that showcase emerging and established designers from Canberra and across Australia.



Start your week with a visit to various open studios around Canberra on Saturday the 25th – visit a list of amazing, local designers and makers and explore their practises in their studio. Gain an important insight to how a maker works at week three of Open studios.

Its Sunday and you cant miss out on the final week of Living Rooms so get your walking shoes on and make your way to house number one at 10am.

Conclude your fun filled weekend and relax at Sunday Sessions in Haig Park 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.

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