DESIGN Canberra has announced the theme of the 2021 festival will be ‘Transformation’, a vision that seems timelier than ever.

The fast-growing festival – which attracted more than 84,000 people in 2020 – showcases design history, design excellence and design education and in 2021 will present more than 200 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artists’ studios and open homes.

After world changing events, history has shown that citizens, business and communities have responded with a celebration of life and gratitude and a burst of entrepreneurial energy.

As part of Craft ACT’s 50th – golden – anniversary, DESIGN Canberra will celebrate transformation – fostering innovation, facilitating quality discourse, supporting professional development and promoting social inclusion.

‘Even in the midst of upheaval and disruption during the global pandemic and other confronting experiences of 2020, we are seeing profound transformation taking place all around us,’ said Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director of Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre and DESIGN Canberra.

‘We have a shared responsibility and extraordinary opportunity to achieve real transformation. The eighth edition of the DESIGN Canberra festival asks what should we retain and what can we discard from our 2020 experiences to connect more meaningfully as a community, to nurture wellbeing and health, celebrate creativity and reduce our burden on the environment?’ said Coghlan.

‘We remain constantly inspired by the ways that artists and designers transform raw materials and ideas into objects, spaces and buildings to creatively express layers of meaning, history and connection from the domestic to the public sphere,” said Coghlan.

With the announcement of the theme, DESIGN Canberra is calling for leading architecture, design and craft initiatives to be part of the annual three-week festival, celebrating Canberra as a global city of design and a living design laboratory.