In 1976 Gary Cleveland presented a vision: “to establish in the minds of a large proportion of the world’s population that the word ‘Tasmania’ is synonymous with good design and reliable craftsmanship.” Forty years on, Design Tasmania remains committed to that vision by supporting, promoting and guiding designers and master artisans on a local, national and international platform.

When I first arrived at Design Tasmania the founder Gary Cleveland casually handed me a book that he wrote titled A Vision for Design. On reading the book I was pleased to find a resonance of thinking and a shared set of values of the importance of design for creating a sense of community and the betterment of social good.

There is no greater time in our history for a re-evaluation of the role of Design and the value of craftsmanship. What does the process of making concrete things reveal to us about ourselves and our sense of belonging to a particular place. Learning from things requires us to care about the qualities of materials, the source of where things come from and what they will become. Beautiful workmanship and craft like art enables us to imagine an inspired future where ideas are realised and individuals are empowered.

Karina Clarke, CEO Design Tasmania


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Design Tasmania proudly celebrates the history and heritage of Tasmanian designers and looks to the future optimistically. We pay homage to Gary Cleveland who founded Design Tasmania, formerly known as The Design Centre, and aspire to his vision and understanding of the unique context for design in Tasmania. Ten years ago he wrote:

The Design Centre is now recognised as one of the country’s most respected outlets for products from designer makers…. A spirit peculiar to Tasmania—I believe it is fostered by our environment—took form and has proven itself capable of continuing innovation at a level that permits a viable living for many.

We are charged with ensuring that we build on, enhance and expand what has been achieved. We are mandated to ensuring that Design Tasmania and Tasmanian design will increase in esteem in Tasmania, Australia and internationally. With the belief and support of our community of designers and supporters the next 40 years is bright.

Dr Pippa Dickson, Chair Design Tasmania

See our 2017 Annual Report