Co-working maker spaces, multidisciplinary creative hubs and the better co-opting of the digital space will help to build a bright future for the creative business of design and craft, a new report out of Australia contends.

Launched this month, the Agenda for Australian Craft and Design sets out a strong future vision for the country’s homegrown creative talent. The report contains recommendations and evaluates the current climate of opportunities for design, including four goals and strategies to shape a vibrant future for making in Australia:

  • Support maker spaces and multidisciplinary creative hubs through subsidised rent programs, and embedded project spaces in larger institutions, organisations and businesses.
  • Connect Australian craft and design organisations through a holistic digital strategy.
  • Improve secondary, tertiary and in-practice studio based education and training.
  • Support greater international engagement and export capacity through a joint government and industry body.

Funded by the Australia Council, the benchmark report is a result of three years of engagement with the Australian professional craft and design community, undertaken as part of the National Craft Initiative (NCI) by the project partners: the Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDC); and the National Association for the Visual Art (NAVA).

Jane Scott, of NCI, says: “This is a significant opportunity to start insisting on increased visibility for the national craft and design ecology and the unique makers who are the innovators for Australia’s future. They are the storytellers of our multiple histories, the people who generate cultures of learning and exchange, the makers and investors who open up new markets and the collaborators who experiment with solutions for our communities.”

In compiling the report on the future of creative business in Australia, consultation was undertaken with some of Australia’s brightest figures in craft and design including Liane Rossler (artist, designer, curator, creative advisor), Ewan McEoin (The Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture Contemporary, Architecture and Design, National Gallery of Victoria) and Helen Kontouris (furniture & product designer).

Scott adds: “Professional crafts practice requires advocacy and a platform to protect and preserve its future.”

Download the Agenda for Australian Craft and Design report here.