Alice Rawsthorn; Photography by Michael Leckie

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.

From 6 to 26 November 2017, the DESIGN Canberra Festival celebrated and promoted Canberra as a global city of design, transforming the nation’s capital into a new platform for experimentation and design. The festival included over 150 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, markets, artist studios and open homes being showcased. 

We are pleased to have supported award-winning London-based design critic Alice Rawsthorn's participation in DESIGN Canberra 2017.

Rawsthorn took part in the Object Subject national design writing conference which explored the way design speaks to us, and the way we speak about design, the inaugural national design writing conference was 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 came together to explore the creative and important ways that writing has become essential to the future of design.

Design has adopted many different meanings at different times, and is still prone to muddles, misunderstandings and clichés. In her keynote lecture, titled 'Design Rewritten', Rawsthorn considers the part that writing has played in this process, and how it could help to foster a more enlightened and nuanced understanding of design in the future.

Find out more about the conference.

11 November: Public lecture, 'Design as an Attitude'

In her public lecture Rawsthorn explored the role of experimentation in design, arguing that it is now more important than ever as a new generation of independent, politically engaged designers fulfil László Moholy-Nagy’s belief that 'design is an attitude, not a profession'.

About 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.

About DESIGN Canberra

DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity of Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, a non-profit membership organisation which supports artists, craft practitioners, designers and makers at every stage of their careers

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