Alice Rawsthorn Photography Michael Leckie
Alice Rawsthorn Photography Michael Leckie

Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic whose columns for the New York Times are syndicated worldwide. She is the author of several books on design, including the critically acclaimed Hello World: Where Design Meets Life. Her next book, A Field Guide to Design, will be published in spring 2018.

Alice speaks on design at important events including TED and the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings in Davos.

Born in Manchester and based in London, she is chair of the board of trustees of Chisenhale Gallery and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company, and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery. A founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign, Alice was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts.

Follow Alice on Twitter (@alicerawsthorn) and Instagram (@alice.rawsthorn)

Read about Alice’s keynote lecture here.

Dana Tomic-Hughes
Dana Tomic-Hughes

Dana Tomic Hughes

Dana Tomic Hughes is an award-winning interior designer and founder of Yellowtrace – an influential online design publication that champions good design through carefully curated, cutting-edge, and highly researched content in the areas of interiors, architecture, art, travel & design culture. Started in 2010 as a passion project, Yellowtrace quickly gained powerful momentum and gathered a loyal following amongst the design community and those passionate about design in its many forms.

Dana has been described as one of the most important influencers in the design online world

Dana has been described as one of the most important influencers in the design online world and a global tastemaker by esteemed international print publications Elle Décor Italia and Danish RUM Interiør Design. While Dana is super serious about design, she never takes herself – nor design – too seriously.

Follow Dana on Twitter (@dramatomic) and Instagram (@dana.tomic.hughes) or via Yellowtrace (@yellowtrace)

Read about Dana’s keynote lecture here.


Jane Caro

Jane Caro is an author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator. She has published nine books, including two novels and appears regularly in the media including Q&A, The Drum, Sunrise & Weekend Sunrise. She writes regular columns for ‘Sunday Life’ and ‘Leadership Matters’.


Ewan McEoin

Ewan McEoin is the inaugural Hugh D.T Williams Senior Curator of Contemporary Design & Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria. Ewan has had a diverse 20-year career within the Australian design and creative industries writing, editing and curating festivals and major exhibitions.

Nicole Monks

Nicole Monks is a trans-disciplinary artist of Yamatji Wajarri, Dutch and English heritage. Working with furniture and objects, textiles, video, installation and performance, Nicole’s practice reflects Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration.

Anne-Maree Sargeant

Anne-Maree Sargeant is an independent curator, writer & design consultant based in Sydney. As contributing editor to Monocle, Surface Asia/USA, she has been editor-at-large of Belle Magazine and helms the Authentic Design Alliance – an education platform aiming to make fake designer furniture illegal in Australia.

Penny Craswell

Penny Craswell is a Sydney-based editor, writer and curator specialising in design and architecture. She is the Founder of The Design Writer, Creative Strategy Associate at the Australian Design Centre, and former Editor of Artichoke magazine.

Tom Skeehan

Tom Skeehan is a Canberra-based industrial designer and founder of SKEEHAN studio, specialising in commercial furniture, lighting and product design. Tom’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the 2017 Milan design week and the 2017 International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is a passionate advocate for an inclusive society where everyone is valued and can participate fully. He is the ACT Minister for the Arts and Community Events, and in August 2017 he released the territory’s first Social Inclusion in the Arts plan. Gordon worked at Kippax Uniting Church for nearly two decades, establishing and growing UnitingCare Kippax as one of Canberra’s best known and respected community service bodies. A lawyer before his movement into the community sector, Gordon brings clear thinking and understanding to his work, and has been in leadership positions not only in Canberra, but also across Australia for many years.

Emily McCulloch Childs

Emily McCulloch Childs is a curator, visual arts writer, gallery director, publisher and founding curator and project manager of the Indigenous Jewellery Project. The first nation-wide contemporary jewellery project working with Indigenous jewellers, the Indigenous Jewellery Project works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned art centres across Australia, and comprises research and development, workshops, and exhibitions. Emily is co-director of Whistlewood Gallery on the Mornington Peninsula, which specialises in Australian Aboriginal art, and is co-author and publisher of the 4th edition of McCulloch’s Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Australia’s largest and leading art reference book for over 40 years. She also co-authored and published the 3rd edition of McCulloch’s Contemporary Aboriginal Art: the complete guide.

Lou Weis

Lou Weis is the creative director of Broached Commissions, Australia’s leading applied arts studio. Launched in 2011 the Broached collections reflects upon Australia’s relationship to the history of globalised material culture; what happens to design when it migrates? This is the central question Broached interrogates.

Sarah Rice

Dr Sarah Rice is an art-theorist, visual artist and writer. She is an affiliate of the School of Art, ANU, specialising in practice-led research for craft and design, runs workshops for art institutions, speaks at writers’ festivals, and collaborates with artists across media. Her full-length poetry book Fingertip of the Tongue is published with UWAP.

Tasman Monroe

Tasman Munro is Sydney based designer focusing on Social Design (Projects that look to promote positive social growth). He is trained as an Industrial Designer and woodworker and in recent years is moving into the larger scales of spatial design and place making. In his work at Designing Out Crime Research Centre over the past 5 years he has collaborated with spatial psychologists, architects, graphic designers and criminologists to design meaningful spaces within correctional contexts, including a Learning Centre within a Maximum Security Prison and Video Court Spaces that encourage fair access to justice.

Niklavs Rubenis

Niklavs Rubenis is a designer, maker and curator with a diverse research and studio practice. He has been involved with projects spanning community, non-profit, commercial and cultural institutions, and has had work exhibited and presented nationally and internationally. Rubenis’ research revolves around consumption and production, material culture, technology and the importance of retaining, promoting and applying craft skills to the almost forgotten practice of re-use and repair as a tool for slowing down waste.

Research forum speakers

  • Ewan McEoin, National Gallery of Victoria
  • Grace Blakeley-Carroll, National Library of Australia
  • Suzie Attiwill, RMIT University
  • Lisa Scharoun, University of Canberra
  • Tom Lee and Berto Pandolfo, University of Technology Sydney
  • Gene Bawden and Alli Edwards, Monash University
  • Faith Kane and Jo Bailey, Massey University School of Design (NZ)
  • Gyungju Chyon, Parsons School of Design (NY)
  • Janice Rieger, QUT School of Design
  • Rahmatollah Amirjani, Ph.D. student in Architecture at University of Canberra, Australia
  • Bryan Harris, Ph.D. student at The Australian National University School of Art and Design
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