2017 Melbourne Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design


Panel members are recognised voices in the design economy sourced from leading studios, industry bodies and design commissioners. The panel members curate nominations, rate programs, contribute content and provide advocacy. 

The panel is broad based as the programs cover multiple markets and design areas. Additional panel members are appointed throughout the year to provide specialised input and ensure diversity. Our reachout is driven through the advocacy of the programs by the panel. Panel members do this though mentioning the awards via social media, advocating to partners and speaking about the awards at forums or during private conversations. 

Glen Barry
Founder + Creative Director, Genius Group

Glen is a Brand Identity specialists with over 16 years of Global Brand Experience working for the top tier branding consultancies in New York (Siegel + Gale), London (Interbrand), Sydney (Landor, IdeaWorks) & Melbourne (FutureBrand / FHA)  


Rick Bell - Architecture
President, Fredric Bell LLC

Rick Bell is an architect and urban strategist consulting to organizations and institutions on matters of design excellence, design build, sustainability, resilience, accessibility and urban design. He served as executive director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapters from 2001 to 2015 where he helped create the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place. Previously Rick worked in the public sector at the NYC Department of Design & Construction, serving as Assistant Commissioner of Architecture & Engineering. He has also worked in the private sector in New York, France and Switzerland, and was a design partner at WBTL Architects & Planners. Elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2000 for his work in public facility design, Rick has received numerous honors, most recently the AIA’s 2014 Kemper Award and the rank of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture.  


Mark Bergin - Experience Design

Courage is the root of all creative projects, courage of the sponsor, courage of the project team and courage of the creative team. design100 celebrates courage through 11 design awards programs. All programs are marketplace centric and offer an opportunity to recognise those that are defining tomorrow. When I'm not advocating or celebrating design, I work as an adviser to projects on the client side, providing expert input on how to structure projects, develop creative ideas and engage the best of market suppliers to deliver exceptional project outcomes. At the heart of my work is a focus on experience design. Always with one simple question - are we making something that is Made for People? Specialties: creative direction, experience design, project guidance, project direction   


Matteo Bologna
Partner/President, Mucca

Matteo is the founder and principal of Mucca Design. His multidisciplinary background in architecture, graphic design, illustration and typography facilitated his early business successes and inspired his decision to create a New York branding and design agency. As creative director, he oversees and inspires every project with energy, intellect, and a quick wit. Matteo is the Vice President of the Type Directors Club, and is frequently asked to lecture about branding and typography around the world.  


Frederic Bonn
Executive Creative Director, JWT New York

Frederic Bonn was recently appointed Executive Creative Director JWT New York overseeing digital creative across the agency’s flagship New York office whose clients include PUMA, Nestle, Energizer personal care or Google. Prior to JWT Frederic was Executive Creative Director at Razorfish New York. During his tenure, he helped double the size of the creative department, and, in the process, helped Razorfish become the first digital agency to be featured on Advertising Age’s A-List two years in a row. He oversaw creative across all agency clients, including Mercedes-Benz, Citibank, UNIQLO, Ford, Smart Car and Morgan Stanley, and drove innovative efforts such as the world’s first tweet race for Mercedes-Benz and the first graphic novel written by and starring its readers for Axe Anarchy.  


Greg Branson
Founder, Design Business Council

Greg has had 20 years experience in running a design studio, building it up from two people to 13. During that time he has assisted clients from organisations of all sizes and types to use design for a wide range of communication/marketing projects. In 2005 Greg established the Design Business Council to use his expertise in design management to train other designers and to help business owners use design more effectively. Greg, with partner Carol Mackay, has begun developing a series of eTutorials to take design management training online. Greg has extensive experience in developing design strategies and design audits. He has conducted design audits for a large number of public organisations such as TAFE institutes, service organisations and SME manufacturers. In 2010 Greg was given federal funding to show 12 design studios how to conduct design audits and develop design in business strategies. This resulted in 20 design audits being undertaken. Greg Is committed to design education. He is Chair of the Program Advisory Committee for Communication Design in the School of Media and Communication RMIT. In 2013 Greg, with his business partner Carol Mackay, commenced work on a design management publication that shows the best practice for a successful Australian design studio. The publication is due for release in August 2013. Specialties: Design management, design audits, design strategy, design thinking, design management online learning  


Sam Cannon
Executive Creative Director, North America, Razorfish

Sam oversees multi-disciplinary creative teams working on digitally born campaigns, products, and experiences for brands such as Kraft, Delta Airlines, Samsung Mobile, Target, AT&T, and Bridgestone Tires. Their work has been awarded at The One Show, Webbys, and Effies and covered by publications such as New York Times, Wired, Inc., Mashable, and Contagious. He has spoken at numerous conferences, judged the ADDYs and Effies, and conducted workshops at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Before Razorfish, Sam was Executive Creative Director at Organic, where he led award-winning work for global clients such as Jeep, Hilton Hotels, and Kimberly-Clark. There he also co-directed Camp Organic, a week-long boot camp in ideation and customer empathy, for over five years. A former music journalist, Sam still obsesses over discovering music – new and old – and sometimes writes about it at 3hive.com, a music blog he has been running with friends for almost a decade.   


Paul Charlwood
Director, Charlwood Design

Passionate about design in all its facets, he has engaged with many areas of design culture during his career. He established his versatile industrial design consultancy Charlwood Design in 1993, and has since developed a reputation among clients and peers for his innovative, simple yet elegant design solutions for consumer, medical and capital applications. Consequently, the consultancy has collected a raft of design prizes and accolades, among them multiple Premier's Design Awards, 'Gold' at NeoCon, and a Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum and Australian International Design Award, as well as being admitted to the Australian Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Perhaps the most visible Charlwood Design creations were the Queen's Baton for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Always eager to support Australia's design culture, Paul has been state President of the Design Institute of Australia and Director, where he co-authored the DIA education policy and contributed to policy and strategy for industry and government. In 2006, he founded the ‘best-selling’ Melbourne Design Guide, a 350 book on local design culture and Sydney Design Guide, and has been a key driving force in establishing the Design for Sustainability working group and the Greenfly lifecycle online tool. His design work has been featured in the National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? The Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York.   


Matt Coleborne
Managing Partner, three of a kind/Mobile Advertising Solutions

Matt is an experienced marketer who has worked across just about every industry and category there is. From the business next door to some of the most popular brands from around the globe. In the last couple of years he has also become fascinated with emerging technology and sought after ways to use or create new technology to improve the way we do business. This passion has seen him involved in the development of a variety of new digital products in the marketing technology landscape. Matt has always loved doing things with others and which has led him to hold several Board positions and multiple Directorships. He is currently a co-founder and shareholder in a number of businesses and consults to others on a monthly basis, including tenure with The Lost Dogs Home as a member of its Board.  


Steve Cornwell
Creative Director, The Howard Hughes Corporation

Steve Cornwell was CEO and Founder of Cornwell Design one of Australia's leading desgin studios. After working with Steve at Cornwell Howard Hughes Corporation made the decision to launch their own in-house design studio, appointing Steve as the Creative Director. HHC Studio is now the corporation's in-house design, marketing and branding group.   


Penny Craswell
Communications & Business Development Manager, Bijl Architecture

Penny is a design editor, writer and communications specialist, who works with organisations to strategise, develop and deliver content and brand messaging in line with business objectives. As a well-respected voice in Australia’s design industry, she also has her own blog - www.thedesignwriter.com.au, writes regular articles, moderates panels as well as being a regular speaker and curating events. Her freelance work includes positions as contributing editor of Belle and Architectural Review Asia Pacific magazines as well as consulting and freelance writing. A former Editor of Artichoke magazine, she has contributed to over 20 publications, including Glass: Art Design Architecture (2015), Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design (2012), Indesign, Frame, Architecture Australia, Mark, Habitus, Urbis, Houses and Australian House and Garden magazines.   


Grant Davidson
Managing Director, Davidson Branding

Graduating from Swinburne International School of Design in 1989, Grant has pursued his love for ideas beginning his career as an Art Director at Ogilvy & Mather. It was there that Grant was presented with the opportunity to accelerate his skills in strategic and creative thinking. After a couple of years of intensive training, a desire to revel in the detail and craftsmanship of design and an entrepreneurial attitude; Grant saw the opportunity to form his own business which brought these disciplines together: strategy, creative thinking and craftsmanship – a vision that combined the best of all worlds. Over the past 20 years Grant has built a multi-award winning branding business, attracting some of the best talent from around the country and across the globe. A self-confessed knowledge junkie, Grant is passionate about acquiring and sharing knowledge. As such Grant is an esteemed lecturer at RMIT, Swinburne, Victoria University and the Australian Federation of Advertising as well as being sought after for numerous speaking engagements as a guest speaker. Grant loves the industry and has a strong desire to see it develop and prosper – a desire that drove him to become Vice President of the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club in 2003. His efforts were recognized with an honorary life membership and Grant now looks forward to being apart of influential initiatives that will continue assist this industry in the future.  


Joe Distefano
Head of Operations, design100

Joe has been working professionally in the online industry for over 12 years. His involvement started even earlier while In advertising. He was one of the first to win an award for the newly included interactive/multimedia category at the MADC awards. His work has crossed many streams; design, development, strategy, information architecture, as well as various disciplines including eCommerce, Corporate/Branding sites, CRM software, Intranet. He has been encouraged by the growth of mobile not simply because of the new form factors, but of the challenges it creates in how we communicate with our Users. Specialties: Site and Information Architecture, Interaction modelling, site build, Content Strategy, Design, production, Web Standards  


Ian Dryden
Senior Industrial Designer, Melbourne City Council

As the leading industrial designer for the City of Melbourne Ian has been responsible for the design of this city's street furniture, lighting, tram stops, news stands, Xmas decorations and much more for over twenty years.   


Jamie Durie
Founder & Principal Designer, Durie Design

Jamie Durie is an international award-winning designer, and founder and Director of Durie Design - now in its 16th year with over 33 design awards nationally and internationally. With offices in Sydney and Los Angeles. Jamie has authored 10 best-selling books (Edible Garden Design, 100 Gardens, Jamie Durie's The Outdoor Room, Outside with Jamie, The Source Book Editions I and II, Inspired by Jamie Durie, Outdoor Kids, The Outdoor Room and Patio Garden Design) and an outdoor lifestyle magazine The Outdoor Room. Largely responsible for completely changing the face of landscape design in Australia, Jamie Durie is the master of the Outdoor Room concept, inspiring a whole new generation to rediscover their gardens and integrate them as extensions of their living spaces. In his mission to bring us back to the earth and reconnect us with nature, not only has his work blurred the boundaries where architecture meets nature, but through his 15 years of work in design, he has organically bridged the gap and seamlessly transitioned between the design disciplines that govern the interior and exterior spaces. Coupling his love of natural spaces with the warmth and comfort of interior spaces without compromising one or the other, he and his team have created residential and commercial spaces that share an equal dedication to transterior harmony. Undoubtedly one of Australia's most successful design exports and recognisable talents, Jamie has featured in over 40 television shows worldwide.   


Rod Farmer
General Manager - Sydney, Isobar

Rod is recognised as one of Australia's thought-leaders in product and service design. He has led the strategic transformations of numerous Australian organisations, whilst building (and subsequently selling) a highly successful design agency. Over the past 10 years, Rod has led the design and delivery of hundreds of mobile and online services across all major platforms and devices from mobile, tablet, multi-platform TV, emerging gestural interfaces, and of course desktop. Rod is an internationally published author/speaker and a recognised expert on mobile and multi-device design strategy. Between 2011 and 2013, Rod was integral to the Apple versus Samsung trial in Australia, acting as the lead Human-Computer Interaction design expert witness. He is also a member of National Design Council, previously co-chaired the Australian Research Council committee on Interactive Interfaces and the Australian Human-Computer Interaction association, and is an active mentor within the business community.  


Dan Formosa
Co-founder, Smart Design

Dan Formosa is a consultant in design and design research. He has developed products and services in a wide range of categories. With a background in product design, he holds a Masters and a Ph.D. in Ergonomics and Biomechanics. His work has received numerous design awards and has been selected for national and international exhibits.  


Kristine Howard
All Rounder, Canva

Kris has been building websites since the original dot-com boom in a variety of different roles: front-end and back-end programmer; business analyst; iteration manager; team director. Career highlights include helping build a world-first online car purchasing platform for Subaru's BRZ, as well as the launch of both 9Jumpin's web platform and Android app for Australia's Nine Network. She's now working at Canva, an Australian startup with a goal of democratising graphic design. Kris has also been blogging for more than fifteen years and speaks regularly at technology events and conferences in Sydney. She's also a mad knitter and sewist, and she's currently fascinated by the possibilities of e-textiles, wearables, and the Internet of Things. Kris is also active in groups such as Girl Geeks and Women Who Code, and she's passionate about encouraging the next generation of developers and designers.  


Tim Leslie
Studio Director, Bates Smart

Tim is a well respected architect who has worked internationally prior to joining Bates Smart in 2006. He has focused predominately on developing a wide range of new projects, and is highly regarded for his architectural integrity, leadership and tenacity. In addition to his work at Bates Smart, Tim is a regular guest critic at universities and has been a juror for the AIA Awards. In 2006, Tim was the founding president of Open House Melbourne, a not for profit event promoting architecture and buildings of significance to the public. This event attracts over 100,000 visits annually and has become a key event in the Melbourne calendar, the success of which lies in part to Tim’s insight into architecture and how to communicate its worth to others. In addition, Tim also curates an annual architectural speaker series.  


Brendan Lewis
Managing Director, London & Partners

Brendan Lewis has setup greenfield professional services businesses around the globe – Investing in South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Romania. He also has extensive commercial experience in the UK & the US. His background includes qualifications in accounting and IT and his industry experience includes; Oil & Gas, ICT, Product Distribution, Engineering, Internet & Advertising. Well known for his commercial insight and extraordinary network, he also chairs the Churchill Club in Melbourne and runs Ministerial Dinners. As the sole representative of London in Australia for investment attraction, he personally generates up to 46 new investment projects per annum.  


Kirsten Mann
Director of Customer / User Experience (UX), Aconex

As Director of Customer / User Experience at Aconex, Kirsten and her team are dedicated to cultivating an increasingly engaging and satisfying user experience within the Aconex platform; the most widely-used online collaboration platform in the world for construction, infrastructure, energy and resource projects. Aconex has helped thousands of companies to manage project information and processes to the highest standard and Kirsten’s team helped design the experiences that support these processes.   


Victoria Milne
Director Built/NYC, Public Art and Design Initiatives, Dept of Design & Construction, CIty of New York

Victoria is the Director of the Office of Public Art and Design Initiatives at NYC's Department of Design and Construction (DDC), where her team manages public art commissions and the Built/NYC program as well as innovative design programs. DDC manages the capital programs for most mayoral agencies, and has a combined streets and buildings budget of over $8 billion per year.  


Dominic Russo
CEO, Diadem Pty Ltd

Graduating with Distinction in Industrial Design from RMIT University, Dominic possesses over 20 years design industry experience, working across a range of disciplines. Starting his career as an exhibition designer, and shortly after in a commercial interiors practice, Dominic spent these founding years designing spaces, objects, point of sale and furniture products for corporate clients such as BMW, Telstra, Holden, and ANZ Bank. In 2000 Dominic joined with two partners to found Diadem, a multi disciplined brand implementation firm. Dominic and his team have successfully collaborated with many of Australia’s leading and renowned architects, graphic designers, and interior designers, to design, develop and deliver many significant landmark projects. Over the eleven years, Diadem has transformed from a small practice to a medium enterprise with over 70 staff across Australia and New Zealand. In recent years Dominic’s role within the business has shifted from Design Director to CEO & Managing Director, focusing on the commercial aspects of design business. This still affords him the opportunity to work with many designers and corporate clients in a management capacity.  


Vicki Stirling
Director of Product, Redbubble

Vicki has led business units in international brands such as Nike & Bonds. A cross functional expert in brand & business strategy, marketing communication, consumer insights, brand identity, and all aspects of brand development. Vicki is well equipped with world class knowledge of the creative industry, her inclusive and enthusiastic approach to every project is infectious! Vicki’s career has been focused on driving and affecting positive change - transforming brands and evolving organisational culture. She prides herself on delivering a solution which will improve efficiency and deliver considerable revenue growth, quickly. Vicki's recent work has seen her; strategically develop brands in new market segments, scope local markets for retail opportunities, develop white space strategies, lead product launches and implement category brand extensions around the world. Vicki describes her current role at Redbubble as "the best job in the world"!  


Harriet Wakelam
Director Human Centred Design, IAG

I am a design strategist with experience across financial services, Fintech, insurance and health. Given that titles are meaningless…this means that I like to design better ways for humans to experience services that improve their lives and improve the business bottom line. I use design to transform the experiences customers use, using the tools, skill and mindset appropriate to enable organisational alignment and change. I am driven by the development of purposeful services whether in health, financial services or communications through the development of outcomes not outputs.   


Willy Wong
Faculty, School of Visual Arts

Willy Wong is a creative consultant in New York City. He previously served as Chief Creative Officer of New York City's official marketing and tourism organization from 2006-2014. He built a multidisciplinary team that managed brand NYC and produced cross-agency civic initiatives, public-private partnerships, and integrated global campaigns. Willy is a board member of Center for Urban Pedagogy and Adobe Partners by Design. He is a former advisor to SXSW Interactive and former president of AIGA/NY. At the School of Visual Art, he teaches a BFA senior interaction design course on innovation for smarter living/cities and an MFA thesis seminar on design entrepreneurialism. At Parsons the New School for Design he teaches tourism branding and design as placemaking. He's served as guest critic and visiting lecturer at Yale, FIT, NYU, MICA, Cooper Union, Columbia, and Princeton. Willy received his MFA from Yale University and AB from Dartmouth College.  


Susan Worthman
Director & Lead Facultry (Leading by Design Fellows Program), California College of the Arts

Susan Worthman is a sustainable-systems strategist, writer, researcher, and policy advocate. She consults with businesses and public agencies, helping to accelerate shifts to sustainable systems and practices within their core operations. Much of her current work and research centers on the big, gnarly question of what success and growth look like in a post-consumerism society -- and by what and whose measure this is determined.  


James Woudhuysen

James Woudhuysen is Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester. 'Woudhuysen predicts a Britain 12 years hence in which new homes are designed, manufactured and built in much the same way that cars are now.' His formation was in the 1960s and early 1970s, before the end of the Vietnam War. Inspired by the Space Race, he wanted to be an astronaut – so he decided to read physics at university. Jame went to Sussex, where he followed his degree with an MA at the Science Policy Research Unit. After that he pursued journalism, before going on to coordinate postgraduate studies at what is now London’s University of the Arts. For more than 20 years since that time, James has consulted for major corporations and for government.  


Jennifer Zhu Scott
Co Founder and Principal , Radian Partners

Jennifer Zhu Scott is the cofounder and Principal of Radian Partners, an advisory firm focusing on private investments in renewable energy, media, and disruptive tech with 'double bottom lines' - do well and do good. Prior, she was head of business development and strategy in APAC for Thomson Reuters. She co-founded one of the first education companies in China and sold her shares in her 20's before moving to UK as a senior advisor to the education subsidiary of Daily Mail & General Trust. Jennifer is the chairman of Music for the Growing Mind, a charity inspired by Venezuela's El Sistema, which provides free classical music education to underprivileged children in Hong Kong. In 2014, she was appointed as one of the 18 council members of China Council convened by the Global Agenda Council, the World Economic Forum's think tank. In 2013, Jennifer was honoured by WEF as a Young Global Leader. Jennifer studied Applied Mathematics in Sichuan University and holds an MBA in Finance with Manchester Business School, where she earned distinction with her research on PE/VC in China and was awarded as a Distinguished Alumni. Jennifer is a China Fellow of Aspen Institute and a permanent member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.  



Best of the best

Winners list