• Discussion

Design Diplomacy in Canberra - New Zealand

Event type
Registered Only
Accessibility for all

DESIGN Canberra is delighted to announce that participating embassies in 2018 are those of New Zealand and Italy.

At the inaugural Design Diplomacy event for DESIGN Canberra, the New Zealand High Commissioner, Chris Seed, will host a conversation between Canberra designers Alison Jackson and Dan Lorrimer and Auckland designer-makers Douglas Snelling and Bec Dowie.

About the New Zealand High Commission

The New Zealand High Commission in Canberra was designed and built in 1973 by the Ministry of Works, the New Zealand Government Architect at the time.

It was extensively remodelled in 2017 by Studio Design + Architecture. New Zealand-sourced design items have been incorporated throughout the building. A tawa veneer is featured as an insert in the New Zealand wall in the entrance; other items include New Zealand carpets, furniture, works of art and fabrics.

Douglas and Bec (Auckland, New Zealand)

Douglas and Bec is a design-and-make studio producing contemporary furniture and lighting, based in New Zealand, with showrooms in Auckland and Melbourne. Their work explores the contrast of natural hand-crafted materials with elegant linear forms, searching for the perfect balance between tactility and poetry. The provocation of fine art, the lessons of design history, and a dedication to immaculately beautiful craftsmanship inform their process. Douglas and Bec believe in the honesty of pure materials, and in recognising the many hands and minds that help shape every piece of our work. They love the energy of creative collaborations with our fellow designers and makers around the world. Douglas and Bec are father and daughter, designers and makers. Dreamers and doers both.

Alison Jackson and Dan Lorrimer (Canberra, Australia)

Alison Jackson is a designer, maker and contemporary Silversmith based in Canberra Australia. Completing a Gold and Silversmithing degree at the Australian National University, Alison holds over a decade of artistic and technical metal forming expertise. Craftsmanship and the way pieces are made has always been an influence to Alison. From the way two surfaces join together, a junction, or the way an edge has been finished, it’s all in the details of an object. It is the perfection of being imperfect and the distinctive nature of structures and objects that inspires her. Alison’s work is held in both public and private collections, including a large acquisition by the Canberra Museum and Gallery. A recipient of numerous notable awards and grants such as the Australia Council for the Arts and artsACT project grants, Alison’s work has been exhibited widely within Australia and also internationally, including at Inhorgenta (Germany) and Milan Design Week (Italy).

Dan Lorrimer’s practice incorporates sculpture and object design. His work is driven by a deep understanding of materials, industrial processes and a keen sense of exploration through making. Lorrimer explores notions of movement, energy, solidity and illusion through minimalist sculptural forms, often located between the artificial and natural world. Over the last 7 years Lorrimer has developed a highly productive studio specialising in metal forming. Lorrimer also works with many artists and designers as a prototype and fabrication specialist. Lorrimer graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Sculpture from the Australian National University, Canberra in 2009 and has since established a fully equipped independent metal forming workshop. He has exhibited widely in both Sydney and Canberra and is currently represented by Flinders Lane Gallery Melbourne.


The event is part of the Design Diplomacy discussion series created by Helsinki Design Week, which open the doors to ambassadors’ residences all over the world.

More information


Subscribe to the Helsinki Design Weekly newsletter

Helsinki Design Weekly is an online design publication presenting timely phenomena in the field of design and raises discussion about the future of the industry bolstered by top writers on the front lines.