The dynamism of contemporary life creates both challenges and opportunities for designers. The structure of our communities, the products we use, the way we navigate ourselves online and in the real world, how we gather, filter and use information – all these things require design solutions if our lives are to be made easier.

At this weekend’s much-anticipated Women in Design Colloquium in Tasmania, participants will ask themselves broadly how designers can contribute in a meaningful and sustainable manner to design problems confronting us in our homes, businesses, and the broader community. More specifically, participants will examine the natural role that women can fulfil within the design world as designers, mentors, educators, and role models.   

The theme for this year’s event is a multi-layered assessment of collaboration. Speakers will be examining Ways of Collaborating, Pushing the Boundaries of Collaboration, and How Collaboration Leads to Success.   

According to Karina Clarke, the newly appointed CEO of the event’s host organisation, Design Tasmania, “The Colloquium is about fostering and encouraging ideas and talking and listening so that all voices can be heard.” It’s Clarke’s belief that the Colloquium is important personally and professionally for participants and can have long reaching impact in terms of influencing people’s choices and values and supporting their goals. 

This year speakers include a broad selection of influential women from design, architecture, journalism, and the interdisciplinary creative studies.

Katrina Strickland, arts writer and editor of the Australian Financial Review Magazine, will deliver the keynote address on Saturday evening discussing how collaboration has benefited her career and those of creative practitioners she’s worked with and written about.

The twelve other event speakers include Anne-Maree Sargeant (designer, industry commentator, curator, and journalist), Patsy Cameron (Indigenous elder, artist, writer, and educator), Elliat Rich (jewellery and furniture designer and UNSW Art & Design graduate), Claire Scorpo (architect and business manager), Jacqueline Clayton (ceramicist, object designer and former longstanding academic at UNSW Art & Design), Lindsey Wherret (ceramicist and object designer), Katherine Moline (artist, designer, and UNSW Art & Design graduate and senior lecturer), Natalie Holtsbaum (designer and gold and silversmith), Fleur Watson (curator), Dorita Hannah (designer and lecturer), Peta Heffernan (architect, designer, and business manager), and Zoe Veness (jewellery and UNSW Art & Design graduate and current PhD candidate).         

Women in Design will open with a special exhibition of work created by architect, Claire Scorpo, and designer and jeweller, Elliat Rich, consisting of an enormous interlocking ceiling orb (to hang in the venue’s foyer) and a related range of wearable jewellery pieces.

Tickets for Women in Design, which takes place 22-24 July, can be purchased here.