Top Designs 2015 Industry Speaker Bios


Speaker 
Meg Kolac Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
LAB DE STU Product Design and Technology (products and furniture)
Chris Murphy Visual Communication Design
Clare Cousins Visual Communication Design
Will Mahon Visual Communication Design
Belinda Smullen Visual Communication Design
Megan Wardle Visual Communication Design
Russell Mann Visual Communication Design
Rebecca Naughtin Visual Communication Design
Kim Pannan Visual Communication Design
Mark Olive Food and Technology
Jessie Di Blasi Food and Technology
Jacqueline Di Blasi Food and Technology
Paul Douglas Food and Technology
Luke Deylen VET Interactive Digital Media
Christina Exie  
David Franjic Media

Meg Kolac
Meg Kolac’s VCE Design and Technology folio was selected for Top Designs 2007, which helped with her acceptance into the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) course at RMIT University.

She has completed internships with local designers such as Roy, Megan Park and Scanlan & Theodore. In her final year, her work was showcased at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and throughout her studies, Meg further developed her interest in Fashion Illustration.

Since graduating, Meg has exhibited at The Melbourne GPO for the RMIT Showcase, The Clothespeg Exhibition at ICAS Singapore, Cose Ipanama for L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, at The Melbourne Fringe Festival with the presentation of her debut collaborative exhibition, and Blondes to Brunettes Hair Salon, where she has installed numerous window displays. She has had illustrations published in Lip magazine. Since 2011, Meg has worked in Childrenswear Design, developing clothing for leading Australian retailers. She has embraced the opportunity to learn the ropes of the Australian commercial fashion industry, while she continues to grow and develop in her career, both in design and illustration.
www.megkolac.com

LAB DE STU
LAB DE STU is a multi award-winning and forward thinking Melbourne design collective created by Adam Lynch, Andre Hnatojko, Dale Hardiman & Nico Evans in 2011. Used as a vehicle to promote their work and design ethos, with the support of each other and each other’s success, this business and marketing model pushed the group to new heights within a short period of time allowing them to exhibit not only within Australia but also internationally.

Although separate as designers, they showcase a wide selection of designs together, more focused around experimentation, furniture and objects, and using strength in numbers to show the Australia and International design community what local design is capable of. The LAB DE STU designers use self-constructed design briefs created for market needs drawing on research and knowledge to specify such instructions, allowing for new methods of thinking and a more sustainable approach to be invested.
www.labdestu.com.au

Chris Murphy
After having his work exhibited in the 2005 Top Designs exhibition Chris Murphy went on to Graduate from Swinburne University of technology with a Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) in 2008. He is currently working as a founding partner of Motherbird, a young Communication Design studio, whose work includes Art Direction, branding & identity, advertising, print, signage, illustration, photography web and digital design for a diverse range of clients working on both large and small projects.

Being actively involved in projects that will be of social value to our local and international community’s is of chief concern to Motherbird. Design has the ability to change the way we think and live our lives. Having the skill set to do so, Motherbird engages in projects that have made a conscious decision to better our world while helping us become more socially responsible as designers and individuals.
www.motherbird.com.au

Clare Cousins
Clare Cousins Architects (CCA) was founded in 2005. Based in North Melbourne, the studio works primarily in residential architecture and aims to create engaging and inspiring environments for people to inhabit. Each project is a considered response to site, context, programme, affordability and sustainability, and is developed through a highly collaborative interaction with clients.

In addition to many residential projects, Clare Cousins has created interiors for Aesop, T-bar and Koko Black, exhibition design for Game Masters at ACMI, as well as pro bono work for Victorian bush fire survivors
clarecousins.com.au/

Will Mahon
Will Mahon is Creative Director of Atticus Design. Atticus Design are a small graphic design studio based in Kensington, offering creative communication solutions in branding, logo design, print design, packaging, and web design. Atticus Design strive to deliver engaging, creative solutions tailored to each of their clients’ needs, in the arts, not for profit, retail and corporate sector.
www.atticusdesign.com.au

Belinda Smullen
Since graduating from Swinburne University of Technology in 2005 Belinda has worked as a Communication Designer within small Melbourne studios and in more recent years has been a member of the design studio at Museum Victoria designing exhibitions, environmental graphics, interactive interfaces as well as educational and marketing material. Belinda now runs her own freelance Communication Design business and last year joined forces with her husband to open a contemporary locavore cafe in the Dandenong Ranges.
belinda-smullen.squarespace.com

Megan Wardle
Designer, Clear

After graduating with Distinction from RMIT University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Design, Megan was the recipient of the Artisan Award for achieving the highest academic results in third year Communication Design (RMIT). She was also a nominee and finalist for Design Institute of Australia's Graduate of the Year Awards.

With more than a year of industry experience under her belt, Megan joined the team at Clear in early 2011 and has enjoyed working within the dynamic studio ever since.
www.cleardesign.com.au/

Russell Mann
Originally from Perth, Russell began his working life a cinema usher, sneaking in as many friends as possible before getting serious about a career and enrolling in a fine art diploma.

Russell graduated college with a Diploma of Art & Design and moved to London in 2004. He started working a night shift, making artwork corrections to Russian DVDs This lasted two days. He then began freelancing for some of London’s top studios, including Made Thought, Winkreative and Dixon Baxi on projects all around the world. He has worked for brands as diverse as adidas, Levi’s, Samsonite, Skype, Sony and Zaha Hadid Architects.

He joined Clear in 2011 and is currently the creative director.
www.cleardesign.com.au/

Rebecca Naughtin
After completing her VCE at Newhaven College, Phillip Island, Rebecca Naughtin completed a Bachelor of Architecture degree with first class honors at RMIT. After graduating in 2004, Rebecca commenced work in an architectural practice and within 4 years had formed Allen Naughtin Architects. In 2007, Rebecca was promoted to Examiner at the Architects Registration Board of Victoria and currently holds the position of Lecturer and Tutor at both Monash and RMIT Universities.

In 2012, the practice Rebecca Naughtin Architect was formed, an architectural firm that focuses on residential, commercial and pro bono work. Her designs focus on sustainability and innovation with a particular emphasis on client engagement and helping clients’ realise the potential of their projects. In 2013, Rebecca was promoted to Convener for the Constructive Mentoring Program for Women in Architecture and most recently won Emerging Architect of the Year 2014 for the Victorian Chapter of the Architects Institute of Australia.
www.rnarchitect.com.au

Kim Pannan
Kimberly is an award-winning design professional, winning prizes for innovative sustainable architecture in Australia and abroad, including the VicUrban Affordable Housing Competition and the USA’s Big Ideas for Small Lots Competition.

Kimberly has over a decade’s experience working with industry leaders and has completed projects in Australia, China, Africa and the USA. Specialising in the fields of residential, education, and cultural/community architecture, Kimberly loves the challenge of resolving complex design problems into simple, logical and spatially beautiful solutions.

Kimberly has excellent communication skills and is very au-fait working with large and diverse stakeholder groups. Her approachable and easy communication style ensures that everyone’s needs are teased out and integrated into the solution.

As a Green Star and LEED Accredited Professional, Kimberly is committed to sustainable design and it is a core component in her design process. Kimberly believes the key to the most sustainable outcomes are achieved when a project is conceived with the first principles of sustainable design in mind from the get-go.
http://www.chaulk.com.au/

Mark Olive
Mark Olive, aka ‘The Black Olive’, has been a chef for over 25 years and has become a well know Australian celebrity with his charismatic style and creative approach to food, starring in his own television series ‘The Outback Cafe’ and a host of cooking, lifestyle and travel shows nationally and globally. Mark’s passion for fusing native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle cooking has led to a huge international profile, and the creation of Black Olive Catering, an indigenous catering company in North Melbourne, Victoria.

As a Bundjalung man, Mark’s family originated from the Northern Rivers region in NSW. Born in Wollongong he became interested in cooking as a child, watching his mother and aunts prepare meals. He trained under a European chef and has worked in a number of kitchens ranging from theatres, universities, health services, film sets and in a lá carte restaurants around the globe, before establishing his own business in 2008.

Along with his daily business operations, Mark now cooks regularly for clients such as Tourism Australia (TA) at large corporate, public and cultural events around the country and the world, bringing his signature infusions of contemporary outback flavours to every occasion.

In 2010 Mark’s business was chosen as one of the destinations on Oprah’s Victorian itinerary when she travelled to Australia with her Ultimate Audience. Her lucky guests were treated to a cultural experience of indigenous food, art and storytelling during Mark’s infamous cooking demonstration.

Recently Mark hosted his own private MasterClass on series three of MasterChef, and has made regular appearances in the kitchen on The Circle (both airing on Network Ten). Mark has also been published in SBS’s new foodie Feast Magazine which launched later in 2011.

Due to his success, Mark has been selected to be a member of TA’s ‘Friends of Australia’ program, which was “created to harness the power of bright and influential individuals who are making a name for themselves on the world stage, and who have a genuine affinity with Australia”.

In 2013, Mark has become involved with the Outback Academy as the Creative Director Hospitality Programs which has developed Australia’s first Master Class curriculum in bush native foods with Mark Olive, and local knowledge holders. This curriculum will support intensive delivery to Outback Academy Indigenous apprentice chefs and front-of-house hospitality professionals across Australia. The Outback Academy has also begun the process of connecting Indigenous bush native foods growers as a Cooperative and majority business ownership group for what is being positioned as Australia’s first major Indigenous owned and operated bush native foods product and label.
www.blackolive.net.au

Jessie and Jacqueline DiBlasi
Created by Melbourne sister duo, Jessie and Jacqueline DiBlasi (Photographer/Designer), Nonna to Nana is a documentary style cookbook. Exploring the seamless connection between love and nourishment, fifteen Nonnas and Nanas invited the sisters into their home to share stories from their kitchen creating a project that explores much more than ingredients and method - each recipe and story honouring their dedication and legacy.

Sunday spaghetti is a treasured tradition. This custom—a shared meal every Sunday—is one of the strongest threads binding the family together. Nonna Giovanna was a beloved member of the DiBlasi family, but she was also part of a passing age - an age in which the family unit was sustained and protected through shared culture, food and history. And so, Nonna to Nana was born out of the realisation that if the sisters didn’t document Nonna Giovanna’s recipes they would be lost. Working to preserve their beloved Nonna’s traditions, they realised they were not alone. It didn’t take long before the project grew. Eager to maintain the traditions and histories of a fast disappearing generation of matriarchs, numerous grandchildren recommended their grandmothers, enthusiastically listing off recipes to be added to the growing book - as well as the Nonnas and Nanas who made them.

The kitchens and cuisines were different, but the love and teaching remained the same. Each of the 15 grandmothers documented across this project treated them as if we were their own grandchildren – teaching, feeding and sharing their stories with wisdom and kindness.

Nonna to Nana is due for official launch Mother's Day 2014.
www.nonnatonana.com
www.jessiediblasi.com

Paul Douglas
Paul has had 17 years experience as a chef; beginning his career working in some of London's top fine dining restaurants before traveling to New Zealand and Australia. Since settling in Melbourne Paul has worked for a number of small and large event catering companies, restaurants and cafes. In 2011 Paul moved to the Dandenong Ranges where he now owns and operates a contemporary locavore style café called The General Food Store.
www.thegeneralfoodstore.com.au

Luke Deylen
Luke Deylen is an Interactive Developer with a Bachelor of Multimedia (Business Marketing). He is currently working his first job in the industry outside of university, in digital advertising. Over the last 3 years he has worked with clients including KFC, BMW, MINI, Myer, Officeworks, NAB and Bunnings Warehouse, creating rich interactive experiences for websites, on site activation's, smart phones and tablets. His recent work includes the KFC iPhone and Android Game, 'Snack! in the Face' which hit No.1 in the iTunes App Store.

He is the industry representative on the Top Designs Multimedia judging panel, and his own digitally manipulated photography work was selected for Top Arts when he was in high school. His dream is to one day run his own indie game business.

Christina Exie
Melbourne-based Christina Exie is one of the most electric new talents to emerge in Australian fashion in recent memory. Directional yet wearable with a crisp modern edge, Exie’s creations are thoughtfully constructed for the wardrobe of the sophisticated and young at heart woman with an appreciation for the avant-garde.

An artist in the truest sense, Christina Exie’s designs grow organically from a conceptual level with a broad and innovative set of influences – both abstract and particular. With a reverence for classicism, a firm foundation in the present and a foot always boldly towards the future, Christina Exie is a designer for all seasons and times.
http://www.christinaexie.com/about

David Franjic
David began his career in Television Broadcast in 1999. He was employed as a Junior Editor at then Production House 'Mighty Big Images'. During his time at 'Mighty Big Images' David worked on a large slate of television productions including a weekly magazine style surfing program, TVCs, TV specials and documentaries. In 2004 David moved to Brisbane to undertake a Bachelor Degree in Film and Television. During this time David shifted his focus towards Directing and Cinematography.

In 2008 David moved to Dublin, Ireland . Whilst in Dublin David worked on a large and slate of broadcast productions in both Camera and editing roles. Productions included a weekly current affairs program, music reality show, children's game show and a travel series. In 2009 David moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands. While in Amsterdam David worked for Production House 'The Film Factory' as an Editor. In 2010 David returned to Australia, establishing himself in Melbourne as a Cinematographer and Director. More recently David has finished filming on a thirteen part travel/lifestyle series for ABC/Australia Network titled 'Fashion Asia' (2013) . The series was shot in a diversity of cities across Asia. Following its completion David then filmed for his second ABC TV series titled 'Food Bowl' (2014) which would see him head back to Asia. Other recent projects have included filming on a documentary series for SBS, the filming and editing of a series of current affair stories for 'The Conversation' and SBS, the shooting of a motorbike magazine style television program for cable TV and work on many other projects.

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