Design City

Geelong is Australia’s first UNESCO City of Design, an evolving, dynamic city with a deep sense of place and a strong industrial past. We embrace change to build a Clever and Creative Future.

Geelong has a long and proud history as a creative city and a leader in design. On 31 October 2017 Geelong was designated a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The City of Design designation is about using creativity and innovation to build more sustainable, resilient and inclusive communities. It fits perfectly with our 30-year, community-led vision to be internationally recognised as a clever and creative city-region.

There are currently 246 members of the UCCN. Each Creative City has a designation across one of seven fields – Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, Music, Craft and Folk.

Geelong is one of 38 Cities of Design in the UCCN. Our designation opens up opportunities to showcase and celebrate our achievements on an international stage. We’ll learn from and share knowledge to improve our industrial and commercial activities, our urban form and our liveability.

Since receiving the designation, Geelong has been an active participant in the UCCN, with visits to other international Cities of Design and hosting of fellow City of Design representatives. These visits and exchanges allow us to share knowledge and build creative partnerships with other Cities of Design.

Major activities and current projects

  • Geelong Design Week 2020 – a curated program of more than 80 events to embrace new ways of thinking, showcase our design talents and explore ways we can use design to shape our everyday lives. The program will be delivered again in 2021.
  • October 2019 – attendance and guest panel speaker at the first Asia Pacific Creative Cities Conference, Adelaide
  • PechaKucha night, March, June and November 2019 – these events follow a specific 20×20 format, with up to eight guest speakers talking about clever and creative design in Geelong
  • Partnered with Deakin University and Clever and Creative to deliver the Deakin Lecture Series
  • Established a working group consisting of key local stakeholders to oversee the framework, communications and major projects of the designation
  • Attendance and participation in the UCCN Subnetwork meetings in Dundee, Scotland and Detroit, USA.
  • Attendance and participation in the UCCN Annual General Meetings in Krakow, Poland and Fabriano, Italy
  • March 2019 – Regional Geelong Program as part of Melbourne Design Week
  • Liveable Loveable Cities Project in collaboration with Dundee City of Design
  • March 2019 – Hosted a Geelong Stakeholder day with more than 140 representatives from the Geelong community. This event included special guests from Dundee and Kortrijk Cities of Design
  • May 2018 – Designation launch with special guest from Detroit City of Design

2019 Stakeholder Day

On 14 March 2019, the City of Greater Geelong hosted a UNESCO City of Design Stakeholder Day.

Watch the video to see how the day brought together local industry and community stakeholders, international guests and representatives of Deakin University and Creative Victoria to focus on creativity and design in building a sustainable future for Geelong.

We look forward to working closely with our UCCN partners to share best practice ideas, strategies and design thinking, to help deliver a strong Geelong where creativity drives culture.