It’s the final round of career moves for 2023. Stretching back to November, it’s a bumper list full of diverse and exciting appointments.
December 14th, 2023
We begin a little closer to home with the announcement of our new Editor here at Indesignlive, Timothy Alouani-Roby. As we celebrate the legacy of Alice Blackwood – through, for example, the recent Your Moment INDESIGN campaign – the new appointment represents a stronger editorial presence in Sydney. Alouani-Roby is a recent graduate in architecture at the University of Sydney, having previously completed Master’s and Honours degrees in English Literature and Philosophy, respectively. Prior to joining Indesign as Assistant Editor, he worked in professional sport as an NRL referee.
“My path has been unorthodox but I’m excited about drawing together disparate skills and knowledge in writing, architecture, philosophy and politics to interrogate the most pressing issues in Australian and Asia-Pacific design,” he says. “Building on our strong connections across the design community, we cover the best project, people and practices – and I want to hear ideas and provocations from across that community about housing, climate, Country and more.”
Ben Peake, recent winner of the National Emerging Architect Award, is now a co-owner of the Carter Williamson, stepping into the role of Principal alongside Shaun Carter. Meanwhile, Julie Niass and Nuala Collins have also been elevated to new positions, joining Julia English as Directors.
“I’m honoured to be stepping into the role of Principal at a firm that I had admired from my early days as a graduate,” says Peake. “From day one, working alongside Shaun has been a privilege. He has built a practice and a team that values design excellence, a client-focused approach, and a commitment to equity. This appointment is not just a professional milestone; it represents a decade of learning, growing and contributing to a firm whose values echo my own.”
Carter says that Niass “is a beautiful soul. She came to Carter Williamson with talent and enthusiasm that has never left.” He also comments on Collins: “There seems like nothing [she] can’t do. From the moment we met Nuala we knew we had to work with her. Nuala also brings a diversity of opinion and insight that broadens our thinking.” She can see a project in a way that brings a depth and empathy that gives more to the process and the client.”
No less than 16 promotions have been announced across FK’s Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney studios as part of a drive to mature its organisational structure. The diversity of the promotions is aimed at harnessing collective expertise while nurturing individual growth.
Cliff Chang, Jim Stewart and Sarah Hurst’s elevation to Principal recognises leadership and expertise in adaptive reuse, large-scale precincts, masterplanning and sustainability disciplines. Meanwhile, Associate Principal appointments go to Nuno Dias (Brisbane), Kianson Tay (Melbourne), and Tim Jones (Melbourne) in FK’s architecture arm; Catherine Allington (Sydney) in the interiors team; and, in communications and branding, Peta Michaelides (Melbourne). Further promotions to Associate level include Imogene Pond, Justin McLennan, Freya Robinson, Andrew Crettenden, James Selleck and Sally Jacob in the design team, as well as Robert Willis (IT and Systems Lead) and Lauren Waddell, (People and Talent Development Lead).
Managing Director, Mark Murphy: “In our unwavering pursuit of design excellence and innovation, these promotions are about recognising the individual’s contribution to our strategic outcomes. Crucially, they are also a celebration of our highly integrated team and the role our broad range of skillsets play in FK’s overall success and strength.”
Residential design studio Cadence & Co has welcomed senior interior designer Lynn Charoenchai to join its team of architects and interior designers delivering bespoke projects across Sydney and the Southern Highlands. Charoenchai is from New York and brings experience in high-end residential design following years working with studios in Sydney and the US, including Thomas Hamel in Sydney and Paul Davis New York.
“I was attracted by the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects, bound by a common goal to make a positive contribution to the way we live,” she says.
Design Principal Michael Kilkeary adds, “This is an exciting time for Cadence & Co as we celebrate a decade in practice. We are so pleased to have Lynn join our Design Team. Lynn’s talent and experience are invaluable, and her warm, calm and confident manner brings a lovely positive energy. Working alongside Lynn is already a pleasure.”
Australian architectural practice DKO has announced the appointment of six new associates in Melbourne and Sydney, together with a new Board Chairman, Stella Rosenthal. DKO has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Auckland, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta, and the news reflects further commitment to growth.
Stella Rosenthal says, “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed Chair of the Board of such a renowned and successful architectural practice that has a broad reach across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. DKO’s commitment to putting people at the heart of what they do is something that deeply resonates with me. This commitment is evident in how they approach their clients, their teams and how they design and deliver extraordinary places for people to live and work.”
The newly appointed associates, meanwhile, are: Aaron Bettio-Sandlant (Victoria), Daniel Nolan (NSW), Judith Williamson (Victoria), Lizzie Rix (NSW), Mathue Denicker, (NSW) and Ngai Lao (Victoria).
Sarah Slattery and Michelle Farman have been appointed at Studio Leads at AJC Architects with a focus on Sports and Community, and Multi-residential and mixed-use sectors respectively. Slattery joined AJC in 2018, while Farman moved there in October 2023. “I’m thrilled with these two new appointments,” says AJC Director, John Whittingham. “I’ve worked closely with Sarah and witness her growth and development, and I welcome Michelle into the practice, who comes to AJC with a wealth of experience.”
Even more recently, two new Directors have been announced by AJC: Kelly Green and John Gunnell. “Kelly has developed excellent relationships with clients and project partners, built a great team and transformed her domain at AJC through her keen design intelligence and a pragmatic consensus-driven approach to achieving project objectives,” says Brian Mariotti, AJC Director.
Commenting on Gunnell, AJC Director and CEO, Michael Heenan says he is “a Renaissance architect who understands the entire design and delivery process, and has been the hand behind some of AJC‘s most successful projects.”
Lisa Munao has joined Gensler in Australia as Managing Director with immediate effect, bringing almost 25 years of experience in leadership, design and project execution for clients in Australia and around the world. Before joining Gensler, Munao held the position of Head of Workplace Design and Innovation at Davenport Campbell; most recently, she founded her own design firm, leading the design team and overseeing all aspects of business operations.
“Gensler’s position as the global leader in design and architecture is clearly evident through its expansive array of research driven offerings,” says Munao. “I am truly honoured to join the firm and build upon this strong foundation. I look forward to collaborating with the talented team to drive innovation, create exceptional design solutions which are global yet uniquely Australian, and contribute to the firm’s continued success.”
A new Director has joined Hammond Studio in Sydney, Oscar Iturra. He is set to bring his knowledge, experience and network to assist Hammond Studio with its strategic growth. Throughout his accomplished career, Iturra has been a trusted adviser at design and delivery phases of city-shaping projects for public and private sectors. According to the practice, the appointment ensures that its foundation of trust, professionalism and design excellence continue.
“I’m looking forward to being challenged and having the opportunity to inspire others by using all the knowledge I have gained from 26 years of experience,” says Iturra, pictured below (left) with Todd Hammond. “My expertise has developed from a holistic approach to design and architecture, and a willingness to broaden my understanding of all disciplines involved in each project. I always aim to create a strong bond with the entire team while striving for design excellence and keeping the client in full view of the big picture.”
Interior Designer, Mark Ojascastro, has joined the team at Plus as a Principal at the practice’s Sydney studio. An award-winning design practitioner, he joins the studio following twelve years as an Associate Director at Bates Smart, where he worked on projects across Australia spanning residential, commercial, public and education sectors. “I am delighted to have joined the team at Plus Architecture,” he says. “With a goal to continue to create award-winning buildings that meet and exceed the needs of their end-users, we are committed to continually elevating the quality of our designs.”
Plus Architecture Director Sumedh Kataria comments: “With a growing portfolio of projects across a range of sectors in Sydney and beyond, Mark will play a pivotal role in delivering our
industry-leading integrated design services to clients. Leading the studio’s interior design division, Mark will be working to identify strategic opportunities to both grow and mentor the team, where his extensive experience in the sector will be invaluable.”
Two new Directors, Mathieu Le Sueur and Karen Wong, both joined Bates Smart in 2012 and bring more than 40 years of collective experience to the firm. Le Sueur relocated to Brisbane to launch the practice’s studio there this year, while Wong is a Hong Kong-born, British-trained architect with experience working in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.
In some news overlapping the design and wine industries, Adelaide-based branding agency Parallax as promoted designer Amanda Eve to the role of Strategy Director and Kellie Campbell-Illingworth to the role of Creative Director. Meanwhile, Founder Matt Remphrey will assume the role of Executive Creative Director, focusing on driving the agency’s creative vision and ensuring it is well-placed for the next 20 years.
Moving up to the role of Associate at FMD is Patrick Tran. He has been with the practice since 2021 and has helped to successfully deliver the nearly completed Babylon House as well as a series of projects currently being designed internationally and throughout Victoria.
Steve Baty, one of the Co-Founders of Meld Studios, is the new CEO of the ADC. He brings over 25 years of commercial design experience working with large institutions and organisations on complex challenges.
“I’m excited to join the Australian Design Council at this pivotal time for Design and Australia as a nation,” says Baty. “Design practice is undergoing a fundamental shift, integrating the rich history of design practice through the 20th and 21st centuries with the millennia-old wisdom of First Nations and the lived expertise of everyday people.”
Ryan Russell has been appointed as Chair designate and will take up the position of Chair at the next DIA AGM to be held on 31 October 2024. The Chair position also holds the President role and leads the National Advisory Council (NAC). It was also announced at the 2023 AGM that Professor Beck Davis is not seeking a further term as an elected member director and is stepping down. She is a fellow of the Design Institute of Australia and served on the Board from 2015.
Russell comments: “Our design industry is at a turning point. I believe that our connections across the different design disciplines makes us stronger together, allowing us to shape our future as a collective within the broader social, economic and cultural contexts we are all experiencing. I look forward to working with our members, the DIA Board, NAC and our national office team to help shape this future direction.”
The Western Australian university has appointed academic leader Professor SueAnne Ware as its new Head of School of Design and the Built Environment in the Faculty of Humanities. Professor Ware joins Curtin from the University of Newcastle and has a background in landscape architecture. Professor Ware completed her PhD at RMIT University and has spent more than three decades working for and with academic institutions across the world, including the US, Belgium, France, New Zealand, Spain and China. The role begins in March 2024.
“I look forward to being a new resident on Whadjak Noongar Country and wish to acknowledge the importance of the Traditional Custodians and their regimes of care for Country,” she says.
“I hope to co-design and collaborate across the School, University and, importantly, in the wider community in my new role. Design and built environment professions are integral in shaping resilient and agile futures; fortunately, the School is well placed to do this important work.”
The peak building and construction industry association, Master Builders Australia, has appointed two new board members following its AGM. Effective immediately, Simon Pilcher from New South Wales and Brett Johnston from Queensland are the newest additions to the national Board. In addition Steve Margetic from the Northern Territory and Clr Lisa Hollingsworth from Victoria have been reappointed.
“These appointments come as part of the regular board renewal process, with Mr Pilcher and Mr Johnston succeeding outgoing directors Mr Ralf Dutton from Queensland and Mr Ross Mitchell from New South Wales. On behalf of the industry and Master Builders Australia, we extend our sincere appreciation to Mr Dutton and Mr Mitchell for their dedicated service and valuable contributions during their tenure,” says Master Builders Australia President, Craig Edmunds.
We think you might also enjoy reading about last month’s On The Move, careers in design column, here.
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