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New visions for a city that's ripe for a design renaissance

Date

Michael Inman

Curator Erin Hinton, front on right, and back row from left, young designers Alison Jackson, Dan Lorrimer, Mitchell Brooks, Megan Jackson, Nick Robinson, and front row from left, Paul Krix, Dan Armstrong and Tom Skeehan.

Curator Erin Hinton, front on right, and back row from left, young designers Alison Jackson, Dan Lorrimer, Mitchell Brooks, Megan Jackson, Nick Robinson, and front row from left, Paul Krix, Dan Armstrong and Tom Skeehan. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

After years of domination by the legacy of Walter Burley Griffin, a burgeoning renaissance in design is taking root in the capital.

The Gallery of Australian Design is showcasing this transformation in its latest exhibition: YOUNG.HOT.CANBERRA.

Exhibition curator Erin Hinton said the show, which opens on Saturday, seeks to showcase Canberra as a vibrant centre for young designers.

Ms Hinton said the exhibition, the first of five to be presented by the GAD this year, presents the high calibre of work in the capital which was characterised by innovation, excellence, and an unapologetic local pride and enthusiasm as makers. She said all 10 designers featured in the exhibition trained or live and work in the capital.

The displays contains work spanning a range of disciplines, including architecture, digital, graphic, industrial, jewellery, print and object design. Ms Hinton, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Interior Architecture at the University of Canberra, said the exhibition was an opportunity to discover the work of emerging Canberra designers.

"As the years are passing by, Canberra has gone from a place that operated under one voice, the Griffin legacy, but is now starting to have several voices," Ms Hinton said.

She said the dynamic design was transforming many of the capital's austere buildings into nation-leading spaces.

"We know this is happening, but we want to show people it's happening."

GAD director Magdalene Keaney said she came up with the concept after returning to the capital after many years in London.

"I was blown away by the straight out talent of these young designers and the impact of their work around the city which wasn't present here in some way when I left," Ms Keaney said. "It seemed a good way to launch our new vision for talking about the importance of design for Australian communities."

For more information, visit gad.org.au.

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