The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), Cities of Design subnetwork meeting was hosted virtually by Geelong, Australia on 12-14 October 2021.

Read more about the UCCN

As a virtual convening, this event provided an exciting opportunity for communities from across all 40 design cities to participate-in and learn about a range of projects taking place across the network.  

The theme for this year’s convening was REIMAGINE, RENEW, REGENERATE.   

This compelling 3-day program included livestreamed panel sessions focusing on one theme each day – REIMAGINE (Tuesday), RENEW (Wednesday) and REGENERATE (Thursday).

The panels showcased projects from Australia, Europe, Asia, North and South America and the Middle East. Leading design experts shared projects that focused on how design is being incorporated in cultural, creative and social initiatives, sustainability advancements and within the built form. A moderated discussion with speakers following the presentations and enabled thought-provoking insights and conversation.

As the host city, Geelong was thrilled to invite people from all over the world to learn more about how design is being used in our city.

Image: Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

 ‘We acknowledge the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners of this land and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong community today.’

Learn more about the importance of acknowledging country and our First Nations in Australia.


Day 1 – Tuesday 12 October, 9.00pm AEDT

Panel 1: Reimagine – culture, creativity and social

This panel explored the role that design plays in reimagining creative spaces and the importance of connecting to a city’s cultural identity.     


Creating a 21st Century Clever and Creative Cultural District for Geelong | Geelong City of Design (Australia)

Presenter: Martin Paten, Manager Arts and Culture, City of Greater Geelong

The Eilands of Southwest Flanders | City of Design Kortrijk (Belgium)

Presenter: Jadd Hallaj Architect & Urban Planner, Designer in Residence with Designregio Kortrijk 2020

Reimagining the ‘who’ and the ‘how’ of the design process | Detroit City of Design (USA)

Presenter: Ellie Schneider, Director Detroit City of Design, Design Core

Nemuno7, the great ship of culture | Kaunas City of Design (Lithuania)

Presenter: Asta Ivanauskiene, Head of Ars Futuri [Ars Futuri is partner of Kaunas2022]

Moderator: Joel McGuinness, CEO and Creative Director, Geelong Arts Centre

Image credit: Geelong Arts Centre, Image by Rory Gardiner

DAY 2 – Wednesday 13 October, 9.00pm AEDT

Panel 2: Renew – Sustainability

This panel explored how design principles can be applied in various ways to deliver sustainable outcomes for the community, the environment and the economy


A circular economy approach to the pandemic – Designing out Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) waste | Geelong City of Design (Australia)

Presenter: Professor Christopher Hurren, Senior Research Fellow (Fibre Science & Technology) Deakin University

Step forward to ‘dual carbon’ goal: Green design reshaping fashion | City of Design Shanghai (China)

Presenter: Jun LI, Dean Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation, Donghua University ,China

Space for Life: Biodôme’s Migration | Montreal City of Design (Canada)

Presenter: Rami Bebawi, Architect, Kanva Architecture

R is for Repair | City of Design Singapore

Presenter: Hans Tan, Curator, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Division of Industrial Design of the National University of Singapore

Moderator: Tuba Kocaturk, Professor of Integral Design, Director, Mediated Intelligence In Design (MInD) Research Lab. Co-Director, DesignMind, Deakin University

Image Credit: BIODÔME, © Marc Cramer

DAY 3 – Thursday 14 October, 9.00pm AEDT

Panel 3: Regenerate – Urban design

This Panel explored how areas can be regenerated through design excellence principles to create contemporary areas of creativity and ingenuity as well creating spaces for community connection.    


Revitalising Geelong’s City Centre | Geelong City of Design (Australia)

Presenter: Tammy Smith, Senior Manager Revitalising Central Geelong, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

The Bahrain Dhow Building Project | Muharraq City of Design (Bahrain)

Presenter: Farah Mattar, Director of Culture and Arts at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities

Rosto da Cidade | City of Design Curitiba (Brazil)

Presenter: Guilherme Zuchetti, Focal Point, Curitiba City of Design

Pinge Fang Renovation and Reutilization Project | Wuhan City of Design (China)

Presenter: Dr Si Zhang CITIC General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Moderator: Dr Jonathan Daly, Manager Urban Design and Heritage, City of Greater Geelong

Image: Green Spine concept plan, Geelong


Visit Geelong
Links and Resources

Visitor Experience

Come and visit Geelong through these immersive augmented reality experiences. Explore our stunning waterfront and discover our parks, gardens and streets. Step inside the Geelong Gallery and take a 360° virtual tour or purchase your very own memento of Geelong from our CODE Souvenir program.

Geelong Digital Outdoor Museum
The Journey of Extraordinary Encounters
Geelong Gallery RONE Virtual tour
CODE Souvenir Geelong