Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Design Canberra: culture in the backyard – the thread of design connects arts, culture and creative industries

See main article, 'Designs on the future'

This is part of the article, 'Designs on the future – how Australia's designed city has global plans', about the annual Design Canberra festival and the plans for its future. The ultimate vision of Craft ACT for Canberra is to add another major annual event to Floriade, Enlighten and the Multicultural Festival, filling a gap between them and complementing them all.

When I worked in Canberra on national arts and culture programs and policy for over 13 years I had little to do with Canberra itself. My focus was firmly everywhere else in Australia, rather than my own backyard. 

The OZeCulture conference, the national series of conferences for artists and cultural organisations using the web, was the reason I first moved to Canberra in late 2000. I had come from the Powerhouse Museum to join the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts to organise the first of the OZeCulture series and I was closely involved with all the subsequent conferences.

Culture in the backyard
Since leaving the Australian Government Ministry for the Arts in 2014, and moving into a new stage of my career in the arts and cultural sector, I have found myself much more engaged with local arts and culture in Canberra. 

As part of this I have become involved at the heart of developments with Australian design. Since leaving the Australian Government I have been a member of the Board of Craft ACT since late 2014 and, in parallel, an Adjunct with the University of Canberra through the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design. 

All of these strands come together with my previous involvement in research and policy for creative industries in the vision for the future that is Design Canberra. The promise of Design Canberra was a major reason I was attracted to Craft ACT in the first place.

The thread of design
Looking back, almost 16 years later, it shows how design flows through so much of the arts and culture sector. It is illuminating to see how this thread connects Design Canberra with work I was lucky to be party to over more than a decade, within museums and other cultural institutions, government departments and creative industries.

See main article, 'Designs on the future'

See related article:
Designs on the future – how Australia’s designed city has global plans
‘In many ways design is a central part of the vocabulary of our time and integrally related to so many powerful social and economic forces – creative industries, popular culture, the digital transformation of society. Design is often misunderstood or overlooked and it's universal vocabulary and pervasive nature is not widely understood, especially by government. In a rapidly changing world, there is a constant tussle between the local and the national (not to mention the international). This all comes together in the vision for the future that is Design Canberra, a celebration of all things design, with preparations well underway for a month long festival this year. The ultimate vision of Craft ACT for Canberra is to add another major annual event to Floriade, Enlighten and the Multicultural Festival, filling a gap between them and complementing them all’, Designs on the future – how Australia’s designed city has global plans.

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