A city renowned for innovation, Canberra has a rich history in remarkable design. From the cutting-edge ‘garden city’ vision of city designers Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, to the modernist and brutalist city architecture, the evolution of Canberra since the early 1900s is played out through its ever-changing design landscape.
The DESIGN Canberra festival is a city-wide celebration that brings the capital’s creative community to the fore. A collection of events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artist studios and open homes transform Canberra in to a hub of all things design.
We Dance Together artist installation by Jodie Cunningham. Photo: 5 Foot Photography, supplied by CraftACT.
We speak with this year’s designer in residence Chelsea Lemon about her involvement.
For the past two years, DESIGN Canberra has selected a local designer to create the look and feel of the festival, including a feature piece that will align the festival’s aesthetic with this year’s theme of ‘geometry’.
2018’s designer in residence, Chelsea Lemon, is an esteemed Canberra creator. Lemon’s medium of choice is timber — and her fresh take on traditional woodworking techniques serves up a contemporary perspective that pushes the boundaries of typical Australian furniture design. Her innovative style, flair for artistic finishes and tenacity of craftsmanship make her the ideal candidate for the designer in residence post; promising dynamic geometric arrangements that inherit the interactive quality of her coveted parquetry technique.
“I have been involved in DESIGN Canberra since it began in 2014, so it is a festival which I really value. Not only does it bring together the creative community within Canberra, but it immerses the broader population in design, bringing an incredible aspect of the city to life,” says Chelsea.
On the affinity Chelsea feels with this year’s theme of ‘geometry’; “I often use deconstructed geometric shapes within my designs to reconstruct new images and forms, which fits perfectly with this year’s aesthetic theme. I also use a decorative woodworking technique known as ‘parquetry’ to create my work, however for the festival I leaned towards the use of layered shapes and colour to create a sense of growth,” she says.
Curl Dish. Photo: courtesy of the designer.
“When developing the concept for the feature design, I wanted to create something that people could recognise, yet was a piece that the eye could explore. I also considered the theme of geometry and sketched iconic buildings within Canberra that were constructed through diverse geometric architecture. The buildings that I sketched are used for various purposes – they bring together design, community, and global connections.”
From 5-25 November 2018, Chelsea Lemon will be the designer in residence creating new work for DESIGN Canberra exhibitions, whilst also creating a bespoke gift for festival partners.
For more event information visit the DESIGN Canberra official website.