City of Design
City of Greater Geelong, Victoria, was formally designated Australia’s first and only UNESCO City of Design last month at the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre.
One of only 31 cities worldwide recognised as a City of Design, Geelong’s designation is a recognition that the city has been historically, and will continue to be, shaped and influenced by design.
Mayor, Bruce Harwood, said, “This recognition of Geelong’s achievements in design by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is a tremendous honour.
“We are now part of an esteemed list of amazing cities including Bilbao, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Istanbul and Singapore.”
Created in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to make creativity an essential driver for sustainable urban renewal and development.
eelong has been the home of many design firsts, some of which have changed the world.
The UNESCO designation acknowledges the region’s rich history, from its indigenous heritage, textiles and wool production, auto design and manufacturing and surf culture to the innovations currently being made in advanced manufacturing and the provision of public art.
Geelong is the home of the first designed commercial refrigeration (James Harrison 1851), the Ford ‘ute’, forerunner to the modern SUV (designed by Lew Bandt and built in 1934), the Hills Hoist (patented by Geelong’s Gilbert Toyne) and the Thruster, which revolutionised surfboard design (created in 1980 by local surf identity, Stewart Anderson).
Geelong is also the birth place and home of a number of significant world renowned design practitioners, including goldsmith and jeweller Stuart Devlin, AO, CMG, who designed most of Australia’s decimal currency coins more than 50 years ago, and acclaimed furniture designer Grant Featherston.
Architecturally, Geelong exhibits a wonderful mix of classic ‘Boom Time’ civic and industrial buildings, many of which have been maintained, but repurposed for modern usages.
Design remains a driver of the Geelong economic and creative sectors, with Ford Motor Company committing its resources to the Geelong based Hi-Tech Design, Innovation and Research Centre. Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus and the Australian Future Fibres Research Innovation Centre, provide world leading materials based around applied design.