Geelong Design Week is coming, and it’s set to be bigger and better than ever imagined

Geelong Design Week is coming, and it’s set to be bigger and better than ever imagined

Rone | Powerhouse, Geelong 2014 © RONE
Words by Mackenzie Pennycook

Explore how design can transform unpredictability into opportunity with a showcase of the best designers and artists in Geelong at the 2021 Geelong Design Week.

The City of Greater Geelong is showcasing the best of local designers and artists in this year’s Design Week, running from the 18th to 28th of March. This event will be the first of its kind in Geelong due to the cancellation of last year’s Design Week.

The key takeaways

  • Geelong’s first Design Week will arrive next month
  • The program showcases the great talent and expertise of local designers, artists and innovators
  • The program features a diverse mix of exhibitions, experiences, public art installations, open studios, performance, pop-up shops, talks, tours and workshops

Check out more art and design related content via our website.

The event is set to showcase why Geelong is considered Australia’s first and only UNESCO city of design.

This year’s theme is ‘Unpredictable’ a reflection of the year that’s been and the future that lies ahead. Design Week is all about how design and creativity can be used to push the boundaries and continue to address global challenges, encouraging participants to explore the ways design can turn unpredictability into opportunity.

Across the city, the week will feature a diverse mix of more than 60 exhibitions, public art installations, open studios, performances and workshops, as well as pop up shops, tours and talks across six different interest categories: Art, craft, fashion, visual communications and multimedia; Culture and heritage; Equity, inclusiveness and encounter in the built environment; learning, knowledge and research; Sustainability: human, social, economic, environmental, and ecological; and technology, innovation and manufacturing.

A highlight will be the ability for event participants to revel in a brand-new Geelong gallery installation from renowned local artist RONE, showcasing his fascination with beauty and decay and featuring many of his early works including stencil works and street art as well as photographs documenting his major installations. You can read more about RONE’s special exhibition here but this will feature furniture that has been destroyed and torched, placed among various other ruined décor.

Other highlight events include ‘From Then to Now: Designing Old New Again’, which will explore how secondhand objects can be repurposed into something new and functional. Think brooches from street trash, or artworks on glass shards. Another must-see is ‘Bringing the Boyd Collection to Life’ which showcases the stunning furniture designs of famous mid-Century Australian Architect Robin Boyd.

You can also gain an insider view of artists practice and creative environments with the Open Studios Trail, an interactive trail that takes participants to a number of artists galleries and workspaces across Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, while the Geelong library will be home to ‘Urban Design and our Civic Precinct: Creating Active Community Spaces’, which allows designers and community leaders to unpack how they design and create vibrant and welcoming city spaces.

Street art has always been a favourite of ours, and ‘Talking art: Urban art—streets of your own town’ will see Geelong Gallery Director & CEO, Jason Smith, and local street art contributors, Laura Alice and Glen Smith, tour Geelong’s most exciting street art collaborations throughout the laneways of the Little Malop and James Street precinct.

Budding designers will also have their time to shine with the ‘Design Your City Competition’. Designers submit their ideas for a new urban design concept for the city: be it a building, park, service or more! Be inspired by the How Cities Work exhibition at the National Wool Museum and respond to the festival theme by preparing a design to help city residents deal with the unpredictable. With great prizes and a chance to share your ideas with the community – this is a great opportunity for our future design leaders to make their mark!

That’s barely scraping the surface of what’s on offer this year. You can browse the selection of events for yourself here.

Mayor Stephanie Asher is over the moon to have Design week in Geelong in 2021, saying “We are thrilled to be delivering Geelong Design Week in full this year – our local creative community has so much to offer.”

This year’s Design Week is set to be bursting with local talent and interactive exhibitions ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy. In a year that has been incredibly difficult for the arts sector Geelong design week sets to be a year full of “wild, inspiring, transformative concepts and creations” according to Mayor Asher.

Geelong Design Week 2021 is one not to be missed, in order to secure your spot or suss the program outlining the various exhibitions head to

Please note, bookings are required for most of the events and tickets will likely sell fast.

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