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Who Is Your Design Hero? It’s Time To Vote

They’re the leading lights of the architecture and design profession. Luminaries in their own right, these individuals’ ongoing contributions have had, and will have, a lasting impact on their community and industry at large. Here we celebrate four living design icons, nominated as The Luminary in the INDE.Awards 2019.

Who Is Your Design Hero? It’s Time To Vote

It all started with Indesign magazine, many years ago. Editor at the time, Paul McGillick, launched the Indesign Luminary program to pay tribute to the architects and designers who had made an outstanding and unique contribution to Australia’s design culture. “Over the last three years we have extended this celebration to include our whole region, the Indo-Pacific,” says Dr McGillick, also an INDE.Awards Juror in 2019.

“[Each year we] select four outstanding architects or designers from an extensive list of nominations, to celebrate their lifetime’s creative achievement and to be part of our annual INDE.Awards.”

As INDE.Awards program director and current Indesign magazine editor, Alice Blackwood, says: “Each nominee has a unique and special story. Through their practice, their design philosophy and their impressive body of work, we’ve come to see just how powerful their design contributions are to our design community and region at large.”

So what does it take to gain Luminary status? We share the stories of our four Luminary nominees for 2019.


1. The storyteller: Budiman Hendropurnomo

THE LUMINARY: Budiman Hendropurnomo
Budiman Hendropurnomo. Portrait by Andre Wiredja


Born in Malang, East Java, Budiman Hendropurnomo is one of the most decorated and respected architects in Indonesia. In his illustrious, almost 40-year career he has completed more than 30 award-winning hotels and resorts and many of the country’s most recognisable and celebrated architectural landmarks.

And all these he accomplished under one company banner – Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) Jakarta, better known in his home country as Duta Cermat Mandiri. 

“An architect is a storyteller,” says Budiman. “We take cues from the context and the site and we create a coherent scenario. Once we have that, we cast the actors – architectural elements like rooms, restaurants, landscaping and so on. The tricky part is the language that you use. What kind of language will be the most effective? It all depends on who you are talking to, who your audience is.”

Moved by Budiman’s story? Have your say and cast your People’s Choice vote.


2. The late bloomer: Jon Goulder

Jon Goulder. Portrait by Ryan Cantwell


He is 47 years of age and with his track record of exhibitions, prizes and outstanding furniture (and now lighting) products, others might be tempted to take their foot off the accelerator and settle back to enjoy the high profile. But Jon Goulder is driven by the sense of continuing evolution and the acquisition of knowledge. He loves the challenge.

“Furniture,” says Jon, “is a great challenge in terms of weight, scale, structure, materials, longevity and originality. I think it has a lot to do with being a fourth generation furniture maker. I didn’t set out to be a designer. I was just a country lad from Bowral, [NSW], I didn’t actually understand what it all meant. But it became my career. It’s a never-ending evolution, a progression of thought.”

Inspired by Jon? Have your say and cast your People’s Choice vote.


3. The game changer: Rachel Neeson

THE LUMINARY: Rachel Neeson
Rachel Neeson. Portrait by Charles Dennington


Following the death of her business partner and husband, Nick Murcutt, in 2011 Rachel Neeson doubted if she could carry on the Neeson Murcutt practice. “I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own,” she reflects. But do it she did, hauling the business back from the brink. In fact, she re-invented the practice. The Neeson Murcutt trademark tactility, elegance and sense of place is still a feature of the studio’s work, but Rachel has diversified the portfolio and re-built the company of 12-14 staff to greatly extend its capability.

“We always want to do houses,” she says, “because they are the hardest to crack. It is so complex to hold architecture together through a house. But we only do one at a time because they are so draining.”

Impressed by Rachel? Have your say and cast your People’s Choice vote.


4. The visionary: Yip Yuen Hong

LUMINARY: Yip Yuen Hong
Yip Yuen Hong. Portrait by Marc Tan | Studio Periphery


Yip Yuen Hong is Principal of Singapore-based ip:li Architects and a champion of architecture that promotes a simple, sustainable lifestyle. He is recognised in Singapore for a portfolio of houses that embody pragmatism and poetry, humanism and invention, timelessness and an articulate expression that doesn’t shy away from the truth of raw materials. And that truth, Yip acknowledges, is not to everyone’s palate.

“There are valuable aspects to the kampung rumah and the colonial black-and-white bungalow that we should never lose sight of,” says Yuen Hong. “I see my task as an architect as adapting these aspects to the present context, if not innovating more elements for the tropical climate.”

Awed by Yuen Hong? Have your say and cast your People’s Choice vote.


While the INDE.Awards celebrates all four Luminary nominees, there can only be one People’s Choice-voted Luminary on the night. We encourage you to meet our nominees, learn their stories and get invested!

Who inspires you? Whose story fills you with energy? Whose work drives you to exceed your own expectations? Have your say and vote today.

The Luminary 2019 is proudly partnered with Wilkhahn.

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