Rachel Coghlan is the CEO of Craft ACT and artistic director of the annual and fast-growing design of Design Canberra Festival.
She climbed two mountains in the past year: literally when she and her husband reached the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, and metaphorically when she graduated with her PhD from the Australian National University.
Her Canberra sat down with Rachel to ask her about her two passions in life: her hometown of Canberra and all things design.
To appreciate how amazing our city is—we are one of the few designed capitals in the world, with a thriving design and craft community, where iconic mid-century modern architecture abounds. We can stop comparing ourselves with Sydney and Melbourne and celebrate the intrinsic built and natural beauty all around us.
LABELS YOU MOST COVET?
Local Canberra designers of course! I’m currently coveting a parquetry side table by Chelsea Lemon, (more) jewellery by Alison Jackson and Phoebe Porter, a Hoshi armchair by Tom Skeehan…and I think I need another iconic F!NK jug (in red) for the coast.
Both! I love the extreme and dry heat of Canberra’s summer–which makes me welcome the icy freshness of our winters. For trail running, though, I’ll take winter any day.
WHICH SUBURB ARE YOU IN AND WHY?
Reid–I’ve lived in Canberra’s inner north for more than 20 years. I love the community, culture, history and proximity to Mt Ainslie, the city and the lake.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP?
If I’m going to go for a run before work it will be very early so I jump out of bed to turn off the alarm. (Otherwise, I continue to doze while listening to Fran Kelly on Radio National.)
Photography: Tim Bean