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Canberra Modern

Canberra Modern is being developed in 2017 as part of the exciting Design Canberra festival program.

It is an annual program of interconnected events which aim to showcase Canberra’s unique mid-century modern places.

In its first year (2017), Canberra Modern events will be centred around the Australian National University (ANU). Established from the late 1940s, ANU has a unique collection of iconic mid-century buildings and landscapes, many of which are not widely recognised by the community.




Tim Ross – Modern(ist) Love
Saturday, 11 November, 
The Hall Foyer

Join Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross for a casual chat about modernism, Canberra and anything else he feels like. Tim is a major advocate for the protection and appreciation of Australia’s modernist buildings, most recently lending his voice to the Save Our Sirius campaign in Sydney. Tim’s award winning program on ABC ‘Streets of Your Town’ gave a voice to the buildings which provide the unique backdrop to the Australian lifestyle. Instagram @modernister



Modernist Dinner
Saturday, 11 November, 
The Great Hall

Recreating an official dinner from the 1950s/1960s at ANU. Using an authentic menu as inspiration, the University House chefs will prepare a three-course meal complete with entertainment and speaker. Guests are be encouraged to dress the part.

Our MC for the night will be Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross who will also provide us with a bit of ‘razzle dazzle’. The keynote for the evening will be award winning architectural photographer and Canberra aficionado Darren Bradley, also known by his Instagram handle: @modarchitecture.

Bookings: Click here to book through eventbrite


Canberra Modern Market
Sunday, 12 November, 

A day out for young and old including sellers of vintage clothing, jewellery, books, homewares, food vendors etc. Musical and dance performances, vintage car show and shine, vintage hair and makeup demonstrations, games and activities for kids, best dressed competition, vintage photo booth, tours, speakers and more. The market will be curated by Mel O’Brien of Three Sixty Style.


Photography Walking Tour of ANU
Sunday 12 November, 

Grab your camera and take a walk around the ANU Acton Campus and surrounds with award-winning photographer, Instagram star and Canberra aficionado Darren Bradley AKA @modarchitecture. Darren will share his amazing tips and tricks for architectural photography with several examples of modernist buildings on and around the ANU Campus. Following the walk and snap, Darren will show you how to make your snaps shine with a brief workshop on post production.

Bookings: Click here to book through eventbrite.


The Cocktail Hour Lifestyle with the Martini Whisperer
Thursday 16 November,

5pm-6pm Masterclass
6.30-8pm Demonstration and Talk

$85pp Masterclass and Talk
$55pp Talk only
The Common Room

The Martini is the most iconic of cocktails, instantly recognisable and evocative. Like modernist design, its elements are simple but expressive of time and place. Join Canberra’s own Martini Whisperer Phillip Jones for a memorable cocktail hour to explore its mysteries and history of the Martini, and to learn how to craft the perfect cocktail at home. He’ll also share the role of the Martini in adding glamour to the suburban cocktail hour. Phillip has invented a bespoke recipe just for Canberra Modern – the ‘modtini’

Click here to see a short promotional video about the event.

Bookings: Click here to book through eventbrite


Other Moderns
Tue 14 November,
Drawing Room

While Harry Seidler is one of Australia’s most famous architects, little is known of his European-born contemporaries. The newly released title The Other Moderns uncovers the work of these forgotten émigré architects, interior designers, and furniture makers working and reveals their ground breaking impact on modernist design. The Other Moderns explores the work of this unacknowledged group of style makers for the first time in a richly illustrated publication including stunning images from Austrian-born photographer Margaret Michaelis and furniture from the collection of Hotel Hotel Canberra. Author Rebecca Hawcroft will speak on her research for the book and focus on some of Canberra’s many fascinating émigré stories and the connections that intertwine with the designers featured in the book and the exhibition ‘The Moderns’, currently showing at Museum of Sydney.


Booking link: Click here to book through eventbrite


Talking Points Exhibition
7-12 November
Torrance Room

Talking points will present recent works from makers connected with the gold and silversmithing program at The ANU School of Art and Design. A boardroom table located in the Torrance Room at University House will function as a backdrop for this exhibition. The exhibition will present a diverse range of dialogues, interests and concerns that have emerged through the gold and silversmithing studio over the last 40 years. The table is an appropriate platform for the interests the exhibition presents, as a place where complex dialogues converge. Themes explored include cross-cultural enquiry, material and sensorial concerns and the intersection of visual languages.

Curated by Rohan Nichol, tours and talks by ANU artists

For more information:


For more information contact the Events office at University House:
02 6125 5270

For more information on Canberra Modern as part of the Design Canberra Festival

Website: Canberramodern
Instagram: @canberra_modern

Website: DesignCanberraFestival