"I have planned a city that is not like any other in the world. I have planned it not in a way that I expected
government authorities in the world would accept. I have planned an ideal city - a city that meets my ideal of
the city of the future."
Walter Burley Griffin 1912
2013: From the beginning, an appreciation for the arts has been at the foundation of Canberra. To realise Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony's design for Canberra, the role of artisans to furnish the new purpose built capital in the world's youngest nation was crucial. The design for Canberra emerged at the height of the "City Beautiful" movement and the arts and crafts movement, which have had a long lasting impact on Canberra.
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre continues this legacy today, supporting and promoting Canberra's strong contemporary craft and design community. The 2013 Designing a Capital: Crafting a Nation celebrates the Centenary of Canberra and explores the role of craft and design in crafting of our nation's capital.
2012: This year Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 2012 is spearheaded by the Talking water: artists-in-residence project in which four talented craft and design practitioners have been selected to undertake residencies in the beautiful environs of Canberra's national parks. An open day is held for each artist while in residence so that the community can experience the beauty of their work and the environs. The 2012 program will culminate in a public forum with experts in the fields of environmental management and the arts discussing our impact on the environment and the influence of nature on the arts.
2011: Now in its fifth year, Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 2011 continued to draw out conversations around the design and crafting of our nation's capital. The 2011 program opened with the exhibition Embracing innovation showcasing the scope of innovation taking place in the craft and design sector, and continued with the lively discussion Talking art precincts, which examined the creation and existence of art precincts and hubs in Canberra, followed by a two day talkfest that explored design education and the role of craft and design thinking in building a creative capital.
2010: The Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 2010 program encouraged ongoing dialogue about the function of craft and design in the formation and continued development of our 'designed' city. The 2010 program kicked off with Gudgenby traces, an exhibition in response to the 2009 Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage Residency, and continued with Craft and the centenary, an insightful panel discussion; an animated debate Drop and plop: the art of public sculpture; and came to a festive close with an evening of fun, food and frivolity with Craft ACT Bingo Extravaganza.
2009: Completing a third year, Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 09 offered exhibitions and events exploring the innovation and imagination which shaped our city. The award exhibition Epidemic showcased the talent of recent graduates from Canberra's tertiary institutions; Deborah Fiori presented LOST YOU in the Centre's Crucible Showcases; a panel of movers and shakers discussed the place of craft and design in the innovation revolution; experts reflected on the influential life and work of Ruth Lane-Poole; and audiences flocked to Craft ACT Bingo Extravaganza.
2008: The 2008 edition of Designing a Capital: Crafting a City, Sketching, presented a jam packed two week line-up of events and exhibitions devised by the Centre to stimulate unfettered artistic expression and debate. Shifting Perspectives: Round 2 was a forum for creative political ideas to run free, the Canberra Girls Grammar School team took on the Arts Mafia team in a hot-headed debate, Local Innovations celebrated new and dynamic Canberra craft and design, and a sell out crowd contended for prizes at the Craft ACT Bingo Extravaganza.
2007: In the lead up to Canberra's centenary celebration in 2013, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre jumped upon the celebratory band wagon and threw our own ideas into the mix, developing Designing a Capital: Crafting a City 07. The inaugural program encouraged open dialogue through exhibitions and public events which were designed to reinvigorate community awareness and involvement in the culture-scape of the extraordinary phenomenon that is our national capital.