Exploring the way design speaks to us, and the way we speak about design, the inaugural national design writing conference will be held at Roy Grounds’ iconic 1959 Shine Dome as a signature DESIGN Canberra 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.

The conference will take place during the DESIGN Canberra festival, which celebrates and promotes Canberra as a global city of design, transforming the nation’s capital into a new platform for experimentation and design. Extend your stay and enjoy events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist studios and open homes from the festival program over the weekend.

Object Subject is realised with the support of Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and British Council.



Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic whose columns for the New York Times are syndicated worldwide.  She is the author of several books on design, including the critically acclaimed Hello World: Where Design Meets Life.  Her next book, A Field Guide to Design, will be published in spring 2018.  Alice speaks on design at important events including TED and the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings in Davos.  Born in Manchester and based in London, she is chair of the board of trustees of Chisenhale Gallery and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company, and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery.  A founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign, Alice was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts.

Follow Alice on Twitter (@alicerawsthorn) and Instagram (@alice.rawsthorn)

Read about Alice's keynote lecture here.

Dana Tomic Hughes

Dana Tomic Hughes is an award-winning interior designer and founder of Yellowtrace - an influential online design publication that champions good design through carefully curated, cutting-edge, and highly researched content in the areas of interiors, architecture, art, travel & design culture. Started in 2010 as a passion project, Yellowtrace quickly gained powerful momentum and gathered a loyal following amongst the design community and those passionate about design in its many forms.

Dana has been described as one of the most important influencers in the design online world and a global tastemaker by esteemed international print publications Elle Décor Italia and Danish RUM Interiør Design. While Dana is super serious about design, she never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. 

Follow Dana on Twitter (@dramatomic) and Instagram (@dana.tomic.hughes) or via Yellowtrace (@yellowtrace)

Read about Dana's keynote lecture here.



Guest editor: Professor Craig Bremner, jointly Professor of Design at Charles Sturt University and the University of Southern Denmark.

Committee: Rachael Coghlan, Artistic Director DESIGN Canberra and CEO, Craft ACT; Penny Craswell, Founder, The Design Writer, and Creative Strategy Associate, Australian Design Centre; Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe, Senior Lecturer, Design, School of Art & Design, Australian National University; Sarah Mason, Director ACT Writers Centre; Dr Carlos Montana Hoyos, Associate Professor, Industrial Design – Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra; Dr Lisa Scharoun, Associate Professor of Graphic Design – Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra; Gilbert Riedelbauch, Head of Foundation Studies and Graduate Coursework Convenor - School of Art & Design, Australian National University. 


3 August: Deadline for speaker proposals (including papers, panels and presentations)

17 August: Notification of accepted proposals

31 August: Early bird registration closes

29 September: Deadline for full papers (where applicable)

3 November: Registration closes

10-11 November: Conference

For more information, submission guidelines and to submit your proposal visit the Craft ACT submissions page.

Special journal issue:

All papers submitted to Object Subject will undergo a peer-review process. Selected papers from the conference will be published in an online edition of Fusion journal (established by Charles Sturt University and the University of Lincoln, UK). This publication will investigate the contribution that contemporary craft and design makes to society, and establish a dialogue between craft and design practice and cultural, social and environmental concerns.


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 design and experimentation. The festival, now in its 4th year, is for all interests and ages and most events are free.

    For any further information, contact us at designcanberra@craftact.org.au