The Festival

DESIGN Canberra celebrates and promotes Canberra as a global city of design.

From the time of Walter and Marion Griffin’s visionary design a century ago, to iconic experimental modernist architecture of the 1950s and 60s, through to contemporary and sustainable design developments today, Canberra has been – and will always be – a living design laboratory.

Throughout November 2017, over 100 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist studios and open homes will be showcased as DESIGN Canberra, transforming the nation’s capital into a new platform for the best in design. The festival, now in its 4th year, is for all interests and ages and most events are free.

DESIGN Canberra 2016 – our biggest festival yet

As a city of design in the making, Canberra continually crafts new and better ways to live: the DESIGN Canberra festival collaborates internationally and demonstrates what makes Canberra such a uniquely creative and liveable city, the ideal site for an annual festival of design.

In 2016, over 69,000 people attended the festival, almost tripling previous attendance records. Last year’s festival (27 October – 25 November 2016) presented over 170 events including acclaimed exhibitions celebrating the best of Canberra’s design community and practice: Luminary: Remembering Robert Foster; and Reclaim. Festival special guests included installation artist Francis Sollano (Philippines), sustainable designer David Trubridge (New Zealand), design curator Giovanna Massoni (Belgium), award-winning architect Philip Vivian and urban renewal advocate Marcus Westbury.


Amplified by ever-increasing support from a creative network of local, national and international design and craft communities, together with corporate and government partners, DESIGN Canberra promotes design and craft, develops new and expanded audiences, forges marketplace connections and unexpected collaborations, and is a source of inspiration.

DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity for Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre — a not-for-profit membership based organisation which supports local artists, designers and makers at every stage of their careers. The festival is presented in collaboration with industry, associations and educational institutions committed to the design arts and creative industries in Canberra, including the Australian National University, University of Canberra, Australian Institute of Architects, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and the Australian Graphic Design Association.


Over 100 sponsors and supporters from the business, tertiary, cultural and industry sectors as well as the broader Canberra community helped to make the DESIGN Canberra festival a success.