Deborah Singerman talks to the founder of Siren Design Group, NAWIC’s Businesswoman of the Year.
September 29th, 2010
‘Go for it’ is a phrase made for Mia Feasey, the National Association of Women in Construction’s 2010 Businesswoman of the Year.
At 20, she left London and came to Sydney with little money or experience, but lots of conviction. “I wanted to be a designer.”
Feasey went from resource librarian at Geyer via a small architectural practice and then to setting up a design and construct company with a builder. “I think about what’s there and how to make it work,” she says.
In 2006, she founded the Siren Design Group. “When it is your own firm, you can take more risks. You are not accountable to anyone.”
Straightaway, she was designing for “amazing advertising agencies” (BMF was the first) networking at industry events and getting projects published.
With more traditional, formal clients, the firm has completed “exquisite” offices – tailored and tasteful with beautiful stone reception counters, she says.
Other clients on the other hand, may prefer Siren Design’s more typical, playful approach. The signage for one law firm, for instance, had the company logo burnt into timber logs that sit resplendent in an open area next to comfortable seating.
“My story is pretty unique. I’m a girl and nearly all the other firms are owned by men.”
At 33 Feasey is the eldest of her team made up of 10 staff. “We’ve picked up big clients quickly. We meet deadlines and are not pretentious. We’re known for our culture – the Siren spirit. We have fun. We take our work seriously but there’s a culture of sharing.”
Everyone speaks at Monday morning meetings. The heritage office is open plan. Designers work on jobs from beginning to end. Churn is non-existent.
“I feel people were waiting to see if I was going to survive. I see myself as a designer, not a businesswoman, so maybe my clients will feel more comfortable that I’ve matured and am maybe a bit more astute.”
Siren Design Group
A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Join us behind the scenes with V-ZUG’s in-house design team, and discover how this Swiss boutique kitchen manufacturer balances art, science and history to create its pioneering Excellence line.
Natural forms meet technological sophistication to produce GH Commercial’s Pattern Perfect® Native Collection of carpets. Step inside the factory to see how local flavours inform the design.
In the bid to balance the desire to live amongst nature with the modest footprint of today’s homes, designer Victoria Azadinho Bocconi looks for inspiration in the depths of the Amazon jungle.
Introducing the new I.D. Collection from Designer Rugs – the winners and judges from the 2010 Evolve Awards.
Designed by finalists and the winner of 2010 Evolve Awards including Gavin Harris, Emma Elizabeth, Edward Wong, Louise McGregor, Sarah Marriott and Lachlan Allen.
Sputnik is a smartly designed response to the call for customisation and comfort in one stool
Forward thinking is essential for Herman Miller and it is fitting that as supporters of the INDE.Awards and partner of The Design Studio category the company ‘sees the big picture’ and the universal language of design that connects together the Indo-Pacific region and indeed the world.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
A new Reconciliation Garden at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Herston campus showcases the power of collaborative design. The project saw a partnership between Arcadia, Multhana Property Services and representatives of Traditional Owners of the land.
A Japanese restaurant experience like no other: Kelly Ross has delved into Japanese folklore to respond to the incredible cuisine of hatted chef Nobuyuki Ura.
Once the byword for passé, the arch has returned to favour with force. The cheeky epitome of 70s chic is now championed on a grand scale with both renovations and new builds opting for the arch. Here are 6 outstanding examples.