Design Tasmania secures big grant

GAME CHANGING: Design Tasmania program coordinator Amy Cavanough and chief executive Karina Clarke outside the iconic Launceston institution. Picture: Scott Gelston
GAME CHANGING: Design Tasmania program coordinator Amy Cavanough and chief executive Karina Clarke outside the iconic Launceston institution. Picture: Scott Gelston

Tasmania could rival Scandinavia in the design world with the help of a game changing grant to Design Tasmania.

One of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations, the Ian Potter Foundation, will provide $390,000 over three years.

Foundation chairman, Charles Goode, said the Foundation was pleased to support Design Tasmania’s vision for Tasmania to be the design island.

It is believed the foundation funded only seven organisations from a field of 70 applicants.

Design Tasmania board chair Dr Pippa Dickson was overwhelmed at the grant and said it would make “a significant and lasting impact”.

“We’ve been working towards a design island for 15 years and this will revitalise the concept of a design culture in Tasmania and beyond,” Dr Dickson said.

“Scandinavia has a design culture of craftsmanship, quality and long lasting which we also have.

“This will allow us to enter a new phase of thinking about design and craft and valuing our artisans.”

CEO Karina Clarke said the grant was “game changing” and would allow Design Tasmania to double their staff to four.

“We will be able to offer professional development for designers and will work closely with UTAS as they offer the new design degree,” Ms Clarke said.

“Our food, wine and festivals are getting great attention and design is a fundamental element.”

Design Tasmania was established 42 years ago and Ms Clarke said Tasmanian designers were internationally recognised from the Gary Cleveland Galleries at City Park in Launceston.