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Second Space by City Renewal Authority

Second Space

Finding Space for Creative People

The City Renewal Authority’s Second Space program is a pilot to establish a suite of spaces that will offer the opportunity for creative industry and business users to connect and activate the City Centre.

Our goal is to attract more people, more investment, and more business to the City Centre with a program that will lead to major, social, and economic benefits that will ripple outwards. With several vacant and latent tenancies and buildings in the City Centre, the program will support activation and visibility of these spaces for its duration.

The simple act of ‘turning on the lights’ can have the effect of changing the way spaces are perceived, creating a feeling of safety after hours, drawing people’s attention, dissuading anti-social behaviour and reducing CBD building vacancy.

The role of the pilot is to test the viability of connecting vacant retail and commercial city spaces with local creatives and innovators for 3-6 months on a rent-free agreement.

Second Space Civic Square

We’ve partnered with the Cultural Facilities Corporation, Australian National University School of Art and Design, and Craft ACT to establish a space in Civic Square that fosters curiosity and innovative ideas.

The long-dormant former elections office is being reinvigorated as a studio space to host creative production and works of an international standard from the ANU School of Art and Design, along with art installations and workshops through the DESIGN Canberra Festival.

Activator program

  • 12-18 Sept 2022: Natural Dying Machine – Rebecca Mayo – ANU
  • 19-30 Sept 2022: Ceramic 3D – Rod Bamford – ANU
  • 10-30 Oct 2022: Sculpture Weaving – Lucy Irvine ANU and DESIGN Canberra
  • 15 Oct – 15 Dec 2022: DESIGN Canberra Festival Hub – Craft ACT
  • 2-20 Nov 2022: Creative Kids Design Thinking – DESIGN Canberra and Craft ACT

Get involved

The Authority is looking for building owners who are interested in working collaboratively to provide unique occupancy experiences and who see value in the potential of activating spaces that are currently vacant or underutilised.

This program supports makers, doers, collectives, and creatives to gain a foothold in commercial city spaces while transforming vacant buildings and shopfronts into vibrant places of curiosity and creativity for all to enjoy. We’re looking for anyone who wants to test new ideas, institutions looking to display works or hold workshops, or social enterprises and not-for-profits.

To discuss opportunities for property owners, artists and creatives, please contact our team via 02 6205 1878 or and ask about the Second Space program.

Second Space by City Renewal Authority

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.