Design City

Geelong is Australia’s only 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.

Geelong is one of 43 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 our designation we’ve embedded design as a key outcome of our community’s vision for a clever and creative future. We’ve integrated tangible principles to drive our design-driven work program and delivered a suite of initiatives to spotlight design, designers, creatives and the diverse sectors where design is critical to a sustainable future.

Guiding Principles

As one of Australia’s fastest growing regional centres, Geelong’s population growth is setting the scene for a design-motivated economy where cleverness in design, creativity and culture are at the heart of everything we do to achieve a sustainable, resilient, inclusive and creative future.

In 2021, we developed a set of principles to guide our goals and focus areas and to achieve regional design outcomes. Three principles were developed:

1. Embrace a design mindset – championing design-driven initiatives in business, government and the community to create economic, social, cultural and sustainable outcomes that address future challenges and embrace emerging opportunities.

2. Nurture creative talent – initiatives to cultivate design and creative talent at all ages and skill levels throughout the education lifecycle. We identify and embrace industry-leading trends to ensure design professionals grow and develop, and foster collaborations and connections to elevate the profile of local creatives and our diverse industry designers.

3. Foster a design culture – we cultivate a supportive environment for innovative programs, experimental creative activities,
social networking and gatherings.

Learn more about our Guiding Principles

Current projects and major initiatives

UNESCO four-year Monitoring Report, November 2021. This report presents an overview of our design journey over the past 4-years. Read the report.

UNESCO Cities of Design Subnetwork Meeting, 12-14 October 2021. A compelling 3-day program featuring leading design experts from across the globe. Learn more.

Geelong Design Week – a 11-day community event celebrating Geelong’s global recognition as Australia’s only UNESCO Creative City of Design. The event this year will be held from 19 – 29 October 2023. Learn more.

CODE Souvenir Geelong – a curated gift catalogue of designed in Geelong products for visitors, business events, tourism, retail and corporate buyers. Learn more.

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.