Top Designs 2016 Industry Speaker Bios

LAB DE STU Product Design and Technology (products and furniture)
Chloe Greaves Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Laura McKenzie Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Christina Exie Product Design and Technology (textiles and fashion)
Emma Luke Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Claire Best Product Design and Technology (textiles and resistant materials)
Eirian Chapman Visual Communication Design
Chris Murphy Visual Communication Design
Dawn Tan Visual Communication Design
Drew Coughlan Visual Communication Design
Russell Mann Visual Communication Design
Rebecca Naughtin Visual Communication Design
Virginia Mannering Visual Communication Design
Kate Pullen Visual Communication Design
Andrea Innocent Visual Communication Design
Tam Bowden Visual Communication Design
John Yanny Visual Communication Design
David Franjic Media – Film
Mark Farrelly Media - Photography

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.

Chloe Greaves
Chloe Greaves is a graduate of the Victorian college of the arts, where she studied theatre production majoring in costume design. Post graduating her studies she worked as a wardrobe assistant for the Malthouse theatre. And now works full time as a freelance costume designer and stylist, working in dance, opera, Theatre and film. Chloe's most recent costume designs included Blak Cabaret (Sydney Festival/Malthouse Theatre), The Magic Pudding (Victorian Opera), On the Bodily Education (Fraught Outfit - MTC Neon), Le Donna Curiose (The Juilliard School, New York), Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Essential Theatre), Therese Raquin and The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Dirty Pretty Theatre), and Pacific Overtures (Watch This Productions).

Upcoming productions include The WaitingRoom (MTC), Grumpiest Boy in the World (Victorian Opera) and The Bacchae (Fraught Outfit, Melbourne Festival).

Chloe also works as a stylist in film and television, and has among others designed music videos for Kimbra, San Cisco, Guy Sebastian, Montaigne and Imperial teen. Chloe has been nominated for three Green Room Awards; in 2013 for The Magic Pudding (set and costume), opera category, and in 2010 The Fate of Franklin and His Gallant Crew and 2012 for The Pineapple Sorrow, for costume design in the independent theatre category.

Laura McKenzie
Laura McKenzie exhibited her Product Design and Technology pieces in 2014’s Top Designs exhibition, having completed the subject in 2013 while in year 11 at Loreto College, Ballarat. Her displayed work featured a vintage style dress and bathers, which won the prize for innovation at Top Designs, as well as winner of the casual wear category in Apex Australia Teenaged Fashion Awards. She has since completed year twelve, and in 2016 Laura will be completing her second year of studying a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University, majoring in Creative Writing and Politics and International Studies. Throughout 2015 Laura had the incredible opportunity of working for industry speaker, Chloe Greaves on both a music video and theatre production which has given her great insight into the world of costume design, film and theatre projects. This has sparked interests in design, script writing and film that will continue to shape her studies both within Bachelor of Arts and onwards.

This same dress also was awarded first prize in the Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards national final, for the ‘casual wear’ category, which rewarded her with a week’s fashion illustration course undertaken at Whitehouse in Melbourne. This course developed her illustration skills, with which she has taken a recent interest in art, drawing and painting, in addition to sewing and fashion. While Laura does not wish currently to pursue a career in fashion, her love for design will see her to continue its practice well into the future.

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.

Emma Luke
Coming from an artistic family and background in drawing and painting in country Australia, Emma completed an honours degree in Industrial design at Swinburne University in 2004. Her interests have always primarily been in Jewellery and Product Design, believing that industrial design was a good skill base from which to; explore a fusion between creative concepts and functional products and accessories.

After working as a watch and product designer Emma started her own accessories label in 2007 going on to develop her skills in jewellery. She completed an advanced diploma of Silversmithing at NMIT in 2010. In 2011 Emma collaborated in establishing the retail spaces Stone Glint and Bone in South Melbourne and at the beginning of 2015 their first collection was shown at Paris Fashion week.

Claire Best
Claire Best is a shoe maker based in Melbourne. Her footwear is designed and made by hand, with an emphasis on quality materials, craftsmanship, contemporary design and innovation. All aspects of production take place in her Brunswick workshop, and each pair of shoes are made to order.

Having completed her Certificate IV in Custom Footwear at RMIT, Claire has since undertaken a number of short courses as well as undergoing internships and mentorships with some of Australia’s finest shoe makers. Claire has taught a variety of short courses at the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) and Third Drawer Down, for would be shoe makers and leather craft enthusiasts alike. She is now a tutor of footwear short courses at the RMIT School of Fashion & Textiles in Brunswick. 2013-2014 saw Claire exhibit as part of Melbourne Now at NGV International, and her ‘Painted Derby’ shoes have since been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria for their permanent collection of fashion and textiles. Claire has also recently been commissioned by the Powerhouse Museum (MAAS) in Sydney for their permanent footwear collection. Her ‘Gusset Brogue Boots’ were exhibited as part of ‘Recollect: Shoes’ in 2014- 2015. Having begun in bespoke footwear, Claire Best Handmade is currently expanding, with a new range and website launch due in early 2016.

Stay in touch via Instagram @clairebesthandmade and Facebook.

Eirian Chapman
Eirian Chapman is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Melbourne, Australia. She creates works for advertising, editorial, digital and retail and is represented by The Jacky Winter Group in Australia. Some of her clients include the Commonwealth Bank, Mercedes, GQ, The Arts Centre, Screen Australia, Schweppes, Koko Black and The Guardian.

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 and then on to found Motherbird, a cross-disciplinary creative consultancy.

With a score of awards under their belt including the coveted Qantas Spirit of Youth Award (SOYA) for best Australian creative talent, Motherbird are an established force within the Australian design industry. Passionate about what they do, and proud of how they do it. Their experience spans across government, commercial and not for profit sectors in Australia and Internationally.

Dawn Tan
Based in Melbourne, Dawn Tan is a Singaporean-born Australian maker. With food and nature being her best inspiration, Dawn spends her days painting as well as teaching art in a cute junior school. Over the years, Dawn's work have been featured in many notable magazines, press and sites such as Frankie Magazine, Smith Journal, Hooray Magazine, Inside Out Magazine, The Age, Herald Sun, The Design Files, A Cup of Jo and so on.
Apart from freelancing, Dawn also hosts regular watercolour workshops throughout the year. Dawn is currently represented by the creative crew at The Jacky Winter Group.

Drew Coughlan
Drew Coughlan is an award winning designer from Melbourne, Australia. His work covers the fields of branding, graphic and digital design. He has worked on a range of projects, from reimagining national icons to developing a crowd-funding platform for the arts. He is currently the Design Director of Love + Money – a brand agency for the digital age. Previously, he's worked at the brand and design studio SouthSouthWest, the Melbourne office of global brand consultancy Interbrand and as well as freelancing at Elmwood and Tank.

Drew is active within the local design community where he is currently a council member of the Australian Graphic Design Association (VIC), has spoken at AGDA First Five Out and Melbourne Museum Top Design Forum. He has participated in the AGDA Folio Nights, agIDEA’s Open Studio program and has contributed to Sex, Drugs & Helvetica and The Design Kids. Throughout his career, Drew has worked on a number of project which have been recognised by award shows nationally and internationally, including Type Directors Club of America (TDC), REBRAND, IDCA, Spikes Asia, AGDA, Shopify and Create.

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.

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.

Virginia Mannering
Virginia Mannering is a graduate architect at Chaulk Architecture Studio. She also writes for design publications and teaches architectural history at Monash University and design at the University of Melbourne.

Kate Pullen
Kate Pullen is an emerging illustrator and letterer from Melbourne who can't drink caffeine, making her choice of profession and home city seriously questionable.

Slowly, and without any grand plan, letters and words became her primary focus. Often gathering inspiration from pop culture (read: watching a lot of movies), she's driven by the hope that these illustrations may help crack a smile or two. Although the majority of pieces created will end up on a Mac, there continues to be something about the humble pen and paper that will always have her reaching for a fine liner before a mouse.

Now, two years after graduating, Kate works as a graphic designer, will sit on the 2015 AGDA Victorian Council, exhibits when possible, scrolls through Instagram like a fiend, and freelances in typography, illustration, and just a pinch of writing. Her work has been published in the 2013 Typism and Semi-Permanent books, she has guest blogged for the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards and the Sex, Drugs and Helvetica blog, and in 2014 she was invited to present at the Adelaide leg of design conference Analogue/Digital. To be honest, it is a lot of juggling deadlines whilst watching Ghost more times than is socially acceptable.

Andrea Innocent
I am a professional artist and freelance illustrator working in Melbourne, Australia. I tell stories with pictures. These stories, often of the bizarre and quirky, are told using character design and detailed digital illustration. My clients range from book publishers to advertising agencies, I illustrate in a variety of mediums but use vectors for the majority of my works. I like to combine colour and graphics, blending these with found photographic and textural images in the works. After beginning my career by exploring aspects of Asian culture, inspired by Japanese folklore and ghost stories as well as current events, my personal works utilize an eclectic mix of mediums, including charcoal on washi paper, photography, installation, interactive media and sculpture. Let’s be making happy pictures! 

Tam Bowden
Tam Bower is a freelance illustrator based in Melbourne with a love for watercolour and inky lines. Graduating with Honours in Visual Arts (Drawing) from University of South Australia in 2008 her work is a mixture of found material such as first aid books with drawn figures reminiscent of the 18th century. These ink based works are often subversive and have a wry and ironic sense of humour to them. Her interests include the role of gender in relationships with a lot of her work coming from the act of diary writing which can often be seen as a feminine (‘low art’) activity.

Tam’s work has featured in publications such as Early Harvest and a window installation at 100 Story Building. She has worked on various commissions including tattoo design, business cards, portraits and invitations. Working previously in early education, fashion and now as a freelance illustrator, her work can be found on Instagram at tam_after_tam.

John Yanny
John Yanny is the Managing director of Voodoo Creative. Having graduated with a bachelor of Graphic design from the University of Canberra, he co-founded the agency when he was 22, which has since gone on to do work with clients nationally and internationally. Over the last 10 years, John has been a practicing graphic designer, design strategist, web developer and branding consultant. Voodoo now has offices in Canberra and Melbourne focussing on Branding and Digital work.

Mark Farrelly
I am a Melbourne-based professional photographer and a working artist, specialising in Architectural photography and all forms of Commercial Portraiture. I have now branched out into Corporate movies/videos. In over 21 years of practice as a photographer I have developed a loyal portfolio of clients drawn from Government, design, architecture and business. I am a graduate of RMIT.
As an artist, I am represented by the Jackman Gallery in St Kilda. My artwork is a unique blend of photography, paint shellac & glaze on wood. I have been a semi-finalist in the prestigious Moran Photographic Prize a number of times and my artwork has attracted a dedicated following through the Jackman Gallery.

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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