The Design Institute of Australia’s (DIA) first female national president, Jill Stansfield LFDIA, has sadly passed away on June 20th, aged 72, following a 10 year fight against Multiple Myeloma.
August 2nd, 2021
Jill Stansfield contributed significantly to the Australian design field and is recognised for her textile design, marketing, colour expertise and volunteering. We remember her widely valued participation in the Australian design community.
After studying an Interior Design Diploma from 1968 to 1971, Stansfield began establishing her name in the design community. Initially working in sales, she then moved into consultant and freelance decorating, before becoming a manager and company director of Comspring Fabrics until 1979. In 1984, she graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design.
Stansfield joined the DIA in 1984 and immediately served on the Victorian Chapter Council before becoming Victorian State President from 1992 to 1995. At this time she was instrumental in founding the Australian Textile Designers Association, which merged with the DIA in 1998.
From 1995 to 1998 Stansfield served as the national president of the DIA and brought a new impetus to the Institute. She was awarded a Life Fellowship in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to the profession. Stansfield forged the way for multiple other women who have since acted as presidents of the institute
Following her responsibilities with DIA, Stansfield continued in academia and the design industry.
Stansfield’s life-long interest in colour originated in her student years in ‘69, according to friend and colleague Geoff Fitzpatrick. She supported Fitzpatrick in establishing Colourways, a colour forecasting subscription organisation, which engaged designers and manufacturers in Australia for several years and eventually became a DIA program.
Stansfield’s long standing friend and notable designer Sandy Geyer recalls, “It was around 2000 when Jill, along with Allan Whitfield at Swinburne University, commenced a study investigating whether colour trends reflect the prevailing socio-cultural lifestyle conditions of a society. We will remember Jill being surrounded by colour swatches, particularly the somber colours of the War years. The colour palettes were assembled decade by decade – Jill’s life was being lived within a rainbow.”
Jill Stansfield will be remembered by her many friends and colleagues in the design community, and as the loving partner of Paul, much loved mother of Emma, Chloe and Skye, adoring Grandmother of Jemima, William, Ruby, Sarah and Lachlan and Mother-in-law of Ian, Stephen and Rory.
Thank you to Geoff Fitzpatrick OAM and the Design Institute of Australia for providing details of Jill Stansfield’s life.
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