Making a design culture:
How do we create an inclusive, well-informed culture of design?

In 2015 Design Tasmania held the inaugural Women in Design Colloquium in Launceston, Tasmania at the iconic Gary Cleveland Galleries at Design Tasmania and neighbouring venues to a very intimate audience of 75 people. The event resonated so strongly for those who attended that Design Tasmania committed to presenting it as part of an ongoing annual program.

Women in Design was inspired by a gap in the Australian design and cultural calendar recognising and celebrating the pivotal role women play in growing and defining excellence within Australian cultural practice and creative thinking. From independent design studios to cultural agencies and institutions, women lead. Women in Design is about providing a platform to hear their voices and experiences at a number of levels. In doing so it provides the opportunity for professional development, networking, learning and sharing within a collegiate and welcoming environment.

By developing a national event focused on the role and outlook of women in design practice Design Tasmania seeks to underscore the importance of nurturing future opportunities for women in design. This program identifies and gathers leading female practitioners and thinkers offering a unique opportunity for Design Tasmania to consider the role of the organisation as a champion of women in social and cultural practice.

At a time when gender equity is being discussed on the national political and social agenda the design sector can be proud of the strength and breadth of its creative sorority.

The theme for the 2018 Women in Design Colloquium is Making a Design Culture, and will look at the different ways this can be explored: materiality, ethics, and identity. This theme will initiate talks and dialogues from people, asking the question: How do we create an inclusive and well-informed culture of design? Design Tasmania has invited professors, entrepreneurs, directors, academics, designers, founders, and CEO’s to talk at this event. Among this group of creative influencers are people who have built their practice around a culture that sustains a design practice, or who influence social fabric through a design culture.

Our commissioned exhibition for this year’s Women in Design will be a collaboration between architect and artist Fei Fei Feng (USA) and Tasmanian designer Michelle Boyde, who will engage with these themes.