Expressions of interest have been announced for the 20th Sydney Design Festival taking place from 2 – 11 March 2018 at venues throughout Greater Sydney. Celebrating the best of design, the Festival, presented by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), will include exhibitions, talks, workshops, events and tours at venues across Sydney.

Sydney Design Festival is one of the longest running design festivals in the world. Last year’s Festival attracted over 65,000 attendees to over 100 events. This year’s theme, Call to Action, invites participants to consider the role of design in tackling complex global issues.

MAAS Director and CEO, Dolla Merrillees said “Design impacts on everyday life and culture. In a time of rapid change design can offer unexpected solutions, yet good design can be elusive and controversial. Sydney Design Festival aims to democratise and nurture design, encouraging the interplay between the designer and consumer, the process and product. Originally focused on Australian design and local issues, the Festival has grown and developed over the past two decades and now engages in international debates, explores trends in design processes and champions innovations. We are excited by the prospect of the 20th Festival attracting designers addressing challenges facing the world today through the theme of Call to Action,” said Ms Merrillees.

Expressions of interest are now open for program contributions across formats as varied as lectures, studio tours, exhibitions, events and networking opportunities. Design streams range from architecture, landscape, industrial and interiors to fashion, jewellery and graphic design. The Festival this year will also explore the expansion of design disciplines through materials technology and sustainable production, design-led community engagement, digital communication and speculative practice. A panel of Festival advisors will be integral to the selection of participants and developing the program. Advisors range from high-profile designers to industry bodies central to setting future directions for Australian design and include the NSW Architects Registration Board and Good Design Australia.

NSW Architects Registration Board registrar Tim Horton said “In a more urban world, more of our world is designed. How well it’s designed, and what it’s designed to do becomes more important. We know great design not only solves problems, but also creates new opportunities. But most importantly design can reveal plausible futures for us to choose; something Sydney needs more than ever. Sydney Design Festival has been making all this possible for 20 years.”

Good Design Australia CEO Brandon Gien said “Our world has many challenges that can be solved when looked at through the lens of design. The Sydney Design Festival brings our design and creative industries together to help shape a new narrative around how design can be leveraged to help solve some of these challenges – from better city planning, transport, health, education – to helping shape better products, services, systems, spaces and experiences – design impacts at all levels.”

The full festival program will be announced on 29 January 2018
Dates: 2 – 11 March 2018
Expressions of Interest close 8 September 2018

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