2 December 2015

This weekend's top picks for the DESIGN Canberra festival

| Canfan
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DESIGN Canberra raced out of the gate proving that the capital is very much en vogue. The festival—now in its second year—is putting on more than 70 events and activities, many free and something for all ages and interests.

The festival is about connecting you with artists, designers, architects, interior designers, landscape designers, craftspeople and other capital talent, giving you a chance to see them create, hear them talk about their inspiration and experience all design genres.

So what’s up this week and through to the close on 29 November?

Check out these options for a quick rundown, but also explore the full program on DESIGN Canberra’s website.

It’s pop-ups galore with several clustered in the city so it’s easy to get to them and walk from one to another. 72 Northbourne has a product, jewellery and fashion focus, 64 Northbourne a homewares, stationary, interior design and fashion focus, 42-54 Northbourne an industrial design vibe and Garema Centre an architecture focus.

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At these pop-ups you’ll meet designers and craftspeople like Claudia Owen, Maddison Jayne Design, Lazy Home Sunday, DVANT Designs (launching their new range), Bonty and others. You’ll also get to venture to the Design Hub pop-up by the Design Institute of Australia and explore the world of the architect. And you can take your writing to a whole new level with the ‘Explore with Writing Craft’ workshop, using calligraphy techniques.


A festival highlight is ‘Designs from the Bush’ presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation. This is a rare opportunity to see the incredible work being produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. All work is genuine and all proceeds from sales go direct to the artists and their communities. See traditional fish traps made using traditional techniques that are now being used by interior designers as lampshades (they’ve even appeared in Vogue magazine). Also see baskets, vessels and fabulous fabric and fashion.

DESIGN Canberra is also rolling out exhibitions, including by Designcraft celebrating iconic design by Eames, the ANU School of Art with ‘Multiples and Production: The Unique Offering’ and ‘Stitched up’. The University of Canberra’s undergraduate architecture program is hosting the Tokyo Derive exhibition.

Three exhibitions are on at Craft ACT, including ‘A Splash of Colours’, ceramics by Yukie Wathelet using a Japanese technique of creating patterns with coloured clay. ‘Thought – Process’ presents the Hoshi range by industrial design firm Skeehan, and ‘Discover Define Develop Deliver’ gives an insight into a creative’s mind in a diverse display of work by more than a dozen Accredited Professional Members of Craft ACT.

With such a jam packed program, it’s best to explore what suits your interests by getting stuck into the program. It’s online or you can watch out for the distinctive DESIGN Canberra pink and yellow hard copy programs and festival maps available in select cafes and shops throughout the city.

Top off your weekend with the free closing event at Westside Acton Park, hosted by Craft ACT. Drop-ins welcome and you’ll to hear first-hand who has won Designcraft’s 2015 DESIGN + CRAFT Award.

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