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On the Move: New year, new appointments for DesignInc, SB Architects and Bates Smart

DesignInc, SB Architects and Bates Smart kicked off the new year with a number of new appointments and promotions, strengthening each studios’ leadership for whatever lays ahead.

On the Move: New year, new appointments for DesignInc, SB Architects and Bates Smart

Bates Smart

Bates Smart is delighted to announce the appointment of two new Studio Directors based in Melbourne. Together, they will build on the firm’s legacy and strengthen its leadership as we move into the future.

Karen Wong, Studio Director

Karen is an expert in the management of large scale mixed-use projects across many sectors. Her skill set extends beyond design and encompasses all project delivery phases, from stakeholder management and community consultation, through to marketing campaigns and post completion processes. She is currently leading some of the firm’s most complex precinct projects, which includes the Box Hill Central North masterplan and Stage 1 residential and commercial developments, and the Arden Square masterplan, which offers 580 build-to-rent homes, two commercial buildings and extensive public realm.

Karen actively promotes design thinking and knowledge sharing forums as a board member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

“I’m excited to design and deliver diverse, people centric and connected communities promoting good physical and mental health. New neighbourhoods, such as the ones we are designing now, with access to great infrastructure and connections are of the utmost importance”.

Johan Hermijanto, Studio Director

Johan specialises in concept and front end project design. He leads teams to explore innovative architectural solutions that respond to and reflect context, culture and craft – key principles of Bates Smart’s design ethos. His design approach has made him an expert across many sectors. He is currently leading the design for the new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen NSW, Home Southbank – a new build-to-rent tower – as well as a survey project in the Melbourne CBD to identify potential commercial and residential opportunities within the current planning framework.

Johan is also the curator of the Bates Smart Gallery. He is currently preparing an exhibition titled ‘The Art of Distraction’ that will debut at Melbourne Design Week 2021.

“2020 has been a year of radical change which has demonstrated the world’s ability to adapt rapidly. I’m excited about the opportunity to craft a safer, conscious and more joyful built environment through my work at Bates Smart in a period of significant global transformation.”



Strengthening the team is a response to project wins in late 2020 which include significant education, health, and science/research projects. The team growth accords well with a revitalised studio structure rolling out in early 2021 that underpins DesignInc’s vision to be the best in market by creating healthy buildings.

Nicole de Lacy, Associate

Architect Nicole de Lacy has been promoted to Associate in recognition of her leadership capability and excellence as a project architect. Nicole has been with DesignInc for five years and has built a significant reputation for resolving complex design issues and realising design concepts into healthy buildings.

Sereni Naidoo, Senior Interior Designer

Sereni Naidoo has been promoted to Senior Interior Designer. Since joining DesignInc in 2015 as a graduate, Sereni has continued to excel with design roles on significant health, education, and research projects, always focused on creating restorative, engaging environments that people enjoy being in.

Additionally, two new hires – a senior education specialist and a project leader with health and research expertise – join the DesignInc team commencing January 2021.

DesignInc Directors said, “We are looking forward to 2021, and are optimistic that as a community we have all grown and learned many new skills in response the challenges of 2020. Sure, we are not out of the woods yet, but we are doing all we can to build the momentum of our practice toward our vision to create Australia’s healthiest buildings.”


SB Architects

SB Architects is proud to announce the appointment of Pinar Harris, AIA as Vice President and Principal.

Pinar Harris, Vice President and Principal.

With over 15 years of experience at SB Architects, Harris brings a well-rounded perspective that has been instrumental to the firm’s growth in the mixed-use and multi-family markets. Harris is a prominent member of the design team, working on a series of high-profile projects in Florida.

During her time at SB Architects, Harris has focused on urban mixed-use, high-rise residential, destination resorts and civic structures. From China to the Bahamas, her portfolio spans the globe as she has helped the firm build strategic client relationships in developed and emerging regions. Currently, she is leading the design for the St. Regis Longboat Key, a brand-new hotel and residential mixed-use project in Florida. As Principal, Pinar will remain focused on continuing to deliver high-quality projects from concept to completion, whilst working alongside the Principal group to effectively manage the firm during its exciting period of growth.

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