A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

3 mins with… Daniel Tobin

We spend three minutes with Daniel Tobin from art and design consultants Urban Art Projects.

3 mins with… Daniel Tobin


April 27th, 2009

Daniel and Matthew Tobin are the founders of Urban Art Projects – an award-winning design and art consultancy company taking on the world and uniting art, design and architecture.



Who are UAP?

We see ourselves as a specialist design consultant – art and design consultant – we sort of straddle that gap between architect and artist.

Artists are used to engaging on gallery work or sometimes small-scale sculptural work and when it starts to become major public commissions they need a team to support them and to deliver.

How did you start out?

After my brother (Matt) and I finished art school we set up the business.

We bought and old welding workshop and built a foundry and then started talking to artists about working with them on their work and then also started talking to architects and designers about collaborating with them on projects.


Shanghai Expo 2010?

We’re creating all the entry experiences for the expo. There are eight major entry points to the expo so we’re designing those experiences, so it’s a sort of blend of artwork and theatre – theatrical solutions and lighting.

Public or private works?

Sometimes we do small private commissions, but 99 per cent of our work is public work, so it’s all for external or internal public spaces, whether it’s lobbies or retail spaces or city plazas or parks.


Why Queensland?

There’s strong support for the creative industries up here. The Queensland government was very proactive in the late 90s in understanding creative industries and creative businesses and supporting them through legislation and other supports such as small grants.

Queensland does lead the way in Australia in terms of creative industries. We used to have an office in NSW and NSW were very slow in engaging and I still don’t think they’ve really engaged with creative industries, so it really wasn’t a place that could sustain us.

The Queensland  State development has offices throughout our market places – so Saudi Arabia, the UAE, in America, in China and they provide a lot of support for our growth.

Look out for a full profile of Urban Art Projects in Design Quarterly magazine Issue #34, out in July.

Urban Art Projects


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed