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Design + Craft Award: Supporting the next generation

Laura Peppas

Canberra’s emerging designers and craftspeople will have the chance to showcase their work to the cream of the creative community thanks to the 2015 Design + Craft Award.

Held in conjunction with the DESIGN Canberra festival on 21-29 November and presented by Canberra-based furniture company Designcraft, the award is open to designers, craft practitioners or makers who have practised their craft for five years or less and are participating in this year’s DESIGN Canberra festival. It offers a $2,500 prize to an outstanding practitioner to help them develop new or existing works, materials and research.

A panel of experts will judge shortlisted entrants, with the winner and a ‘People’s Choice’ award to be announced at the festival’s closing event on Sunday 29 November. Outcomes from the prize will be exhibited and promoted by Designcraft in 2016.

In the running for this year’s award is fashion designer Alice Sutton, whose label, EDITION, specialises in sustainable fashion.


A design by Alice Sutton of EDITION.

Alice, who completed her Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at the Canberra Institute of Technology in 2011, says the award is an incredible opportunity for the next generation of designers.

“It’s a fantastic way to be recognised for the design work that you do and give you motivation to grow and better yourself, your design practice and your business,” Alice says.

“It would mean so much to win as it would reassure me that what I am creating is worthwhile and connecting with other people.”

Winners of last year’s inaugural Design + Craft award were Nellie Peoples and Sam Tomkins, behind collaborative project Fusion: The Art of Eating.

Nellie says the achievement served as confirmation that the “blood, sweat and tears were all worth it.”

“For me, as an emerging designer, the award [meant] that we were moving in the right direction,” says Nellie.

“We were utterly surprised to be recognised amongst such a rich and broad range of designers and artists.”


Artist Dan Lorrimer working on ACTivate Brickworks.

Doors have certainly opened for the pair since their win. They have been listed as finalists for the prestigious Vogue Living Alessi Design Prize in the emerging designer category. Earlier this year Nellie won an ArtStart grant from the Australian Council of the Arts and was listed as one of “15 Women to Watch” in HerCanberra‘s inaugural Magazine feature.

“This award works to increase the capacity and ability to try new opportunities,” says Nellie.

“It also works to ensure the growth of a vibrant design community in Canberra. It’s very important to me to contribute and continue be a part of Canberra’s fantastic design and arts community.” 

To nominate yourself or a fellow designer, crafter or maker for the award, visit designcraft.net.au to download a nomination form and submit by midnight Friday 27 November. Only those participating in DESIGN Canberra 2015 are eligible to apply.


the essentials 

What: DESIGN Canberra festival

Where: Various locations around Canberra

Cost: Free

When: 21 to 29 November

Web: designcanberrafestival.com.au


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author