The city of Geelong is gearing up for its 2022 edition of Geelong Design Week (GDW), which features a 10-day program that celebrates the theme ‘taur’, the word for belonging in the language of the Wadawurrung people.

Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design, Geelong has long been a design-savvy township. This year’s design week will be held from 17 March to 27 March, and will be opened by musician and actress Clare Bowditch at the Palais Theatre, a classic art deco building that has been refurbished after lying dormant since 2016. 

The launch event, dubbed Big Dreams, creative resilience and the stories we tell ourselves: an evening with Clare Bowditch, has limited tickets available for $35. Guests will enjoy refreshments on arrival, entertainment, and a discussion of how we can still dream big and show creative resilience despite the impacts of COVID-19.

Furthering the theme of taur, proud Wadawurrung artist Deanne Gilson has created a piece of artwork – Yalik Beek Murrup (Water, Country, Spirit) which will be the signature design for all the event collateral and signage. Featuring the traditional mark of the wave pattern used by Deanne’s ancestors, the artwork’s synergy with the city by the sea is reflected.

Approximately 6000 people attended GDW in 2021, with a total of 69 events held across the region. In 2022, events will be grouped under the banners of eight themes including: Art, Craft, Fashion; Culture and Heritage; Equity, Inclusiveness and Encounter in the Built Environment; Learning, Knowledge and Research; Social and Community Services; Sustainability; Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing and Visual Communications and Multimedia.

Geelong Deputy Mayor, Trent Sullivan, says the program will boost Geelong’s reputation as a design focussed city, whilst providing a much-needed boost to the local tourism, arts and hospitality sectors.

“Geelong is a city that continues to reinvent itself through the use of creative design,” he says.

“Design is fundamental to the way we live. The revitalisation of our CBD with new cultural institutions and a rich design culture shows that Geelong continues to change and grow.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from our region and beyond, as we proudly present this inspirational, educational and dynamic event program.”

Peter Murrihy, Chair of the Economic Development Portfolio, says the event program seeks to highlight the talent found across the Geelong region.

“The program includes more than 60 events that have been selected by a curatorial panel of the city’s leading design advocates,” he says.

“Local designers, artists, innovators and cultural institutions responded to the call-out for event applications and we’ve got a really exciting program on offer.”

To view the event program in full, please visit


Image: Supplied