School of Music, Daryl Jackson and Evan Walker (1976). Photo: Martin Ollman 
School of Music, Daryl Jackson and Evan Walker (1976). Photo: Martin Ollman 

Design in the 70s: Photography Competition

DESIGN Canberra’s photography competition returns for 2021 exploring design in the 1970s.

DESIGN Canberra’s annual photography competition has announced its theme for 2021, encouraging professional and amateur photographers to take photos which take a closer look at Canberra’s iconic design and architecture from the 1970s.

The 2021 photo competition invites individuals to submit digital photographs that celebrate the visionary and experimental design that emerged from the nation’s capital in the 1970s. The theme of ‘Design in the 70s’ may capture architecture by Taglietti, Seidler, Boyd, Andrews and Pegrum; co-living medium density experiments; public art by Bert Flugelman and Margel Hinder; or the refinement of the Y plan in Canberra’s town planning.

“We are seeing a renewed interest in Canberra’s iconic design from the 1970s, with site-sensitive form, scale and materials, limited palettes, an embrace of social innovation and celebration of the hand-made. Fifty years ago, design muscles were flexed across design disciplines and between public and private sectors. In architecture, the School of Music and Cameron Offices opened, co-housing experiments like Urambi Village and Wybalena Grove were brought to reality, major public art was commissioned from the city to suburban centres, and Craft ACT was established which forged a close-knit community to nurture and transform artists’ practice for half a century” said Rachael Coghlan CEO of Craft ACT and Artistic Director of DESIGN Canberra 2021.

The photography competition is the first in a collection of curated programs DESIGN Canberra will present as part of the Design Revisited thread which celebrates design history, design education and design excellence in a city of design. DESIGN Canberra will explore what we can learn from the 1970s to achieve transformation in contemporary design – sustainability, community, experimentation, education, cross fertilisation.

Enjoy personal reflections, behind the scenes access, contemporary insights, tours and artist reimaginings. Design lovers, architecture enthusiasts and photographers are encouraged to take a closer look at their surroundings and draw out the details of this city’s architecture, object and urban design for the chance to win some wonderful prizes. A panel of judges will select 4 finalists (2 for the open category and 2 for the student category) and 1 overall winner. The winner will receive a staycation at A by Adina, including two night’s accommodation, $300 gift voucher for Meat and Wine Co and breakfast at ARC Cafe in the new Constitution Place precinct. The four finalists will receive a $100 Canberra Centre voucher.

The top 100 photos will be printed and exhibited in a signature DESIGN Canberra exhibition at Canberra Contemporary Art Space from 8-28 November 2021. Last year’s photo competition attracted a record number of entries, over 800.

Entries need to be submitted on Instagram, between 16 June and the 30 September 2021. For entries to be considered, participants will need to follow and tag @designcanberrafestival and hashtag their photographs with #designcanberra #dcphotocomp2021 #visitcanberra and #student if you are a college or primary/high school student.

The winners will be announced on social media and the DESIGN Canberra website in November 2021. More information about the DESIGN Canberra Photography Competition is available online.

Find out more including the terms and conditions + selection criteria on our highlight page.

Browse our Canberra 70s design guide for inspiration.

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.