UTOPIA in the City

Designers and artists are invited to submit UTOPIA-inspired designs to activate and beautify the city centre for the duration of the DESIGN Canberra festival from 4-24 November 2019.

The GRAPHIC Intervention program will build on the popularity of DESIGN Canberra’s collaborations with local artists in Civic Square; Jodie Cunningham (2017) and Marilou Chagnaud (2018). This year DESIGN Canberra seeks proposals that create a dialogue between the ground plane of Civic Square and surroundings and a temporary architectural pavilion commissioned by DESIGN Canberra and designed by the University of Canberra Faculty of Arts and Design team.

The proposed intervention will activate Civic Square, respect the significance of the site, celebrate its mid-century and Griffin legacy credentials, and imagine a vibrant place of art, nature and engagement for the community. Besides being an art experience of its own, the GRAPHIC Intervention will be used as a prelude and backdrop to the autonomous pavilion – a sculptural intervention into the open space of Civic Square.

Together the graphic and sculptural installations will frame audience experiences for DESIGN Canberra’s programs including talks, tours, exhibitions, performances, a pop-up bar and wellness programs (e.g. public yoga and meditation). GRAPHIC Intervention proposals should carefully consider the edge conditions of their designs and should not make contact with the footprint of the pavilion.

The 2019 DESIGN Canberra GRAPHIC Intervention specifications and pavilion description can be downloaded here. Successful artist will receive a $1,000 cash prize, as well as having their work professionally produced, installed and deinstalled. Artist will also receive copies of professional photographs of their installation taken during DESIGN Canberra.

Entries must be received by 4pm Monday 23 September 2019 and will be judged by a panel of Canberra-based arts professionals:

  • Marilou Chagnaud: artist, designer and winner of the 2018 DESIGN Canberra GRAPHIC Intervention’s program
  • IAIN [MAX] MAXWELL, Supermanouvre and University of Canberra
  • Rachael Coghlan: CEO of Craft ACT Craft + Design Centre



  • 16 Aug – 23 Sept – Submissions
  • 24 Sept – 25 Sept – Jury Review
  • 27 Sept – Winner Notified
  • 30 Sept- 25 Oct – Installation Preparation
  • 28 Oct – 1 Nov – GRAPHIC Intervention Installation
  • 4 Nov – Opening Event
  • 4 Nov – 24 Nov – DESIGN Canberra Festival
  • 25 Nov – GRAPHIC Intervention Deinstallation


With support from the ACT Government under the City Renewal Authority’s City Grants program.

For more information, contact Anna Fryer, Creative Producer at Craft ACT on creative.producer@craftact.org.au or 02 6262 9333


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