QLD Branch

The Queensland Branch of the Design Institute of Australia is the voice of professional design in Queensland.

The Queensland Branch of the Design Institute of Australia is the voice of professional design in Queensland. We are actively working with community, government, business, industry and education sectors within the industries of manufacturing, product, fashion, built environment, communications, business and many more.

The Queensland branch is also highly active in the areas of education and socially responsible design. Education programs in Queensland are supported by our student council, TARMAC. TARMAC is a Queensland program specifically tailored to assist emerging designers launch their careers and forge important networks and relationships with local and international design leaders.

Our vision is to raise awareness and increase the profile of the design profession within the community. We want to establish Queensland as an epicentre of design innovation and creativity - where the contribution of leading Queensland designers is recognised.

We believe in the power and potential of design and encourage everyone to share our vision.

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Council Members

  • Olivia Mathisen MDIA
    DIA QLD State President; National Councillor

    Olivia Mathisen is the current President of the Queensland Branch. Olivia is an Interior Designer experienced in the design and delivery of a wide range of projects including small to large corporate fitouts. She has worked at global design firm, Woods Bagot, for the past six years and is currently working within both the interiors and business development teams.

    “Being involved in a professional body like DIA, is more rewarding then I first imagined. I’m constantly amazed by the people that I meet, and the inspiring stories that I hear. DIA delivers me the relevant industry information first hand, and provides me with links to networks I wouldn’t normally get access to.”
  • Beck Davis MDIA
    DIA QLD Vice President; National Councillor

    Rebekah’s presence over the last 10 years as a known and engaged member of the design practitioner and academic communities is reflected through her involvement in workshops, seminars, and her co-organisation of the industrial design seminar series Design Talks Loudly (2009). Rebekah was invited to become a member of DIA in 2009 and joined council immediately.

    Rebekah is a senior researcher and has 10+ years tertiary teaching experience. Some of her recent work focuses on better understanding theory-to-practice and practice-to-theory transitions (graduate capabilities). This is expressed through her work surrounding Work Integrated Learning as well as her contribution to the Australian Learning and Teaching Council report on Professional Education in Built Environment and Design (2010).

    In addition to her work as council member for the DIA, she is also a member of the Design Research Society (DRS) UK, the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA), the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE) and has recently been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Panel for Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research. Rebekah has also reviewed for HERD (Journal) and seminal design research conferences such as IASDR, DRS & KEER. Rebekah holds a bachelor degree and graduate diploma (distinction) in industrial design and is currently completing her PhD. Her Doctoral studies feed into her interests in universal and sustainable design and explores the complexities of integrating these considerations during the early stages of the design process.

  • Scott Bagnell FDIA, Accredited Designer™
    Communications Portfolio

    Scott is a creative transdisciplinary designer with professional experience in delivering innovative solutions in interior design, communication design and visual/performing arts to transform the way we live, work and play in the 21st century. He is a dynamic, collaborative team player that effectively utilizes his design and project management skills to deliver tangible business solutions for clients through a creative, strategic approach.

    With over 15 years experience in the design industry, encompassing a diverse range of disciplines including Interior, Retail, Graphic, Multimedia, Theatrical Set Design, and Event Management , Scott has been able to develop a unique creative approach to all projects he works on.

    Architectural project sectors Scott has worked in include commercial, education, transport, religious and residential with a specialisation in strategic retail design and hospitality design.

    Scott is passionate about contributing to and improving Design Education in Queensland and has lectured at Queensland University of Technology and Southbank Institute of Technology. Scott is highly dedicated to the future sustainability of the design industry in Australia and has been actively involved on the Queensland Branch Council of the Design Institute of Australia since 2000. He was heavily involved in the establishment of the inaugural Queensland Design Awards program (QDOS) in 2002 and received promotion to Creative Director for the Awards Program from 2004 – 2009. Severing as President and National Director of the DIA from 2009-2013 Scott was responsible for the management and leadership of a team of nearly 20 volunteer professionals dedicated to the advocacy of design in Queensland.

  • Peter Florentzos LFDIA, Accredited Designer™
    Advocacy Portfolio; National Councillor

    Peter Florentzos is a leading design strategist with more than 26 years experience in the graphic design field. Based in Brisbane Australia, he established Florentzos Design in 1996. Florentzos Design is an award winning graphic design studio specialising in corporate identity and branding design.

    Having previously worked within the architectural industry, Peter specialises in graphic design and branding requirements in the architectural, property development, retail design and interior design sectors. Peter has strengths and passion for 3 dimensional graphic design, and also specialises in the design of packaging, wine industry branding, signage and way finding.

    Peter is a highly active member of Queensland Branch Council, serving as Co-President and National Director of the DIA from 2011-2015.

    Peter is also the Executive Board Treasure of ico-D - International Council of Design (previously icograda). As an Executive Board Member of Icograda and Treasurer, Peter works alongside ico-D’s esteemed design professionals from around the world who are duly nominated and elected by ico-D Member organisations at the biennial ico-D General Assembly. Members of the Executive Board serve in a volunteer capacity, donating their time and expertise to further ico-D’s mandate. Board meetings are typically held four times a year in different locations around the world, usually in conjunction with regional Platform Meetings.

  • James Luu
    Secretary; GOTYA Coordinator

    With 3 years industry experience working on a wide scope of commercial and hospitality projects, James’ main forte is in 3D visualisation, James intuitively develops concepts and functional floor plans, transforming them into realistic three-dimensional drawings; allowing client’s to see their dreams come to life before construction even begins.

    James has been involved in the Queensland council since he was a student and is now the council’s Secretary and Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA) Organiser. Being a young designer himself, he is highly interested in supporting the next generation of designers coming up through the design education system and celebrating their talents and achievements through the GOTYA program.

  • Robert Geddes FDIA Accredited Designer™
    Fresh Ground Breakfast Series Coordinator; Advocacy Portfolio

    Currently Senior Innovation Consultant, ‘Designer in Residence’ and Product Development Specialist, at the Australian Institute for Commercialisation, Robert uses his strong background in transforming businesses and commercialising new products and services to assist Australian business owners to innovate and thrive. He is a frequent innovation workshop facilitator and presents Enterprise Learning Workshops for AusIndustry.

    Educated in Industrial Design at QUT in the 1970’s and 80’s Robert was a founding director of PROdesign Australia, an award-wining multidisciplinary consulting design practice operating for over 30 years. His experience ranges from branding to product design in fields such as medical products, commercial and industrial instruments, transport, consumer and architectural products, and children’s products and toys.

    An Accredited Designer™ and DIA Fellow, he was awarded Smart State Designer of the Year in 2008. His design studio won numerous accolades and awards including being a Top Nominee in the Danish INDEX:07 international design awards, several Australian Design Awards and Design Marks, Powerhouse Museum Selections, a Memento Award, Queensland Design Excellence Awards, People’s Choice Awards and numerous Design Institute Gold and Silver Awards. Robert has been a Director, National Vice President and Queensland President of the Design Institute of Australia, has been on the Designers’ Hall of Fame selection committee and is in the key Advocacy Role in the Queensland Council of DIA.

  • Rafael Gomez
    Education & Research Portfolio

    Dr Rafael Gomez is a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology in Industrial Design. He holds a PhD in design and emotional experience, and is a prominent researcher in the field, publishing and presenting nationally and internationally. In addition, Dr Gomez has over 15 years industry experience in aviation, construction, medical, government and consumer electronics industries and is currently Director of Propaganda Mill, a multidisciplinary design company. He is a Council Member of the Design Institute of Australia Queensland Chapter, Founder and Chair of the Design and Emotion Society Australia Chapter and Committee Member for the 2015 IASDR Design Conference.

    Dr Gomez joined the Design Institute of Australia Queensland Chapter driven by a desire to inspire young designers to impact the world in a positive way. The DIA is the peak Australian body that engages designers from all walks of life and promotes the relevance, importance and significance of design. As such, the DIA is the perfect platform to mentor and inspire young designers from their educational life to the professional environment.

  • Domenic Nastasi
    Industrial Design Portfolio

    Educated in industrial design, Domenic Nastasi is a Senior Designer with over 20 years experience in wayfinding and signage design. After starting his design career at a sign manufacturer, he began at Dotdash in 1999 working with Director Mark Ross on the wayfinding planning for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

    Over the last 15 years Domenic has worked across all types of public environments including major events, health care and education. He is able to undertake large projects and coordinate with the lead consultant and client as well as guide the project design team.

    Domenic’s strengths are in developing concepts into practical design solutions and the detailed design of signage forms and hardware to suit current technologies and manufacture methods.

    Domenic has been responsible for a varied range of wayfinding and signage design projects. The most recent among those; Queensland University St Lucia Campus, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, and as a consultant for the Beijing and Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  • Catherine Grey

    Whilst Catherine is currently a Finance Manager she has also completed her Interior Design qualifications and is in the process of establishing her own Interiors business. Catherine provides strategic financial advice to the DIAQ team whilst relishing inspiration gained from the design sector networks made available through DIA and the various events managed by the DIAQ team.

  • Michelle Rossi
    Corporate Partnership Portfolio; Bubble & Speak Coordinator

    Michelle Rossi is the current Bubble & Speak Event Coordinator of the Queensland Branch. Michelle has worked within the design industry for the past 16 years as a sales executive/state manager within the commercial flooring industry. Michelle represents Mohawk Group, a global flooring manufacturer of commercial modular tiles and LVT products; it is her goal to bring the best products to architects and designers to meet all their specification and design requirements on projects.

    “I initially joined the QLD DIA as an opportunity to give back something to the design community from where my livelihood is derived, but it has become so much more than that now. DIA connects me to the design community on a greater level than I ever expected and has increased my network tenfold, but more than that, I actually feel like I have a real opportunity to make a contribution.”

  • Ben Maunder
    Graphic Design Portfolio

  • Melissa Gore

    Melissa is an Interior Designer with Brand + Slater Architects. She has a strong design background, having worked professionally as a Graphic and Web Designer for 14+ years before embarking on a career in Interior Design.

    Graduating in 2014 from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Melissa excelled in her university studies, graduating with honours at the head of her cohort and was awarded the ’IDEA Led Design Arkhefield Award for Innovation’. In 2015 she won the Design Institute of Australia award for ’Australasian Graduate 2015’ as Queensland’s Emerging Designer in Interior Design. Melissa has stay connected to the broader design community, mentoring at the State Library of Queensland in Design Thinking workshops, presenting at QUT Shape of Things to Come and providing valuable critiques to students at Billy Blue College of Design, Torrens University Australia.

    "Design has always been there, for as long as I can remember, it is within me, I live by it and I cannot live without it. Joining the Design Institute of Australia Queensland Branch provides a platform to connect with the broader design community who have a like-minded passion to create awareness of the importance of design thinking within education and as a profession. Together with the amazing people in the DIA I hope to impact the broader Queensland community through thought provoking design mentoring, events and discussions."

  • Tara Dehbozorgi
    Student Councillor; Social Media Portfolio

    Tara is a student studying a Bachelor of Interior Design with a major in Architecture at the Queensland University of Technology. She found her love for Design as a youngster. Her father was a builder and she would watch over him constantly making sure her opinion was included in the designs. Since then, her love for Interior Design has only grown stronger and she is working towards that dream day in and day out. To Tara, design is not just a job, it is a hobby and a lifestyle.

    "I love being part of the Design Institute of Australia as it allows me to meet like-minded people who share a passion for design and get to embrace the design culture with the Queensland community. I have met so many talented designers along the way and am honored be part of such a great organisation."

  • Kacey Weber

  • Bernard Thompson
    Education Portfolio

    Like many people today, Bernie has a varied professional background, having worked in both public and private spheres. Education has been the mainstay of his experience, being involved in adult education since the early 1990s. Early work included 4 years in Sales with The Laminex Group but it wasn’t until 2005 that he really started to focus on design. Having studied Interior Technology at Southbank TAFE, he then went on to work for architectural firms, private interior designers, private importers and designers and continued to manage private interior design projects. Since 2009, he merged his two interests and has been teaching and in recent years, managing, the Billy Blue Interior Design degrees and the CATC Interior Design & Decoration diploma in Brisbane. His employer, Laureate International Universities, recently launched Torrens University (one of three private universities in Australia) and the degree courses he now manages are under the Torrens University banner.

    His diverse background means that he is interested in how public, private, local and global employment and education can work together to support each other to build a global community of design. He has a multi-disciplinary interest in design and works towards inclusion of all designers and educators.

    Bernie holds a bachelor degree (Adult and Vocational Teaching), a diploma (Interior Technology) and is currently completing a master degree (Global Learning & Leadership). He has been a Justice of the Peace (Commissioner for Declarations) since 1990, a member of Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) since 1995 and a member of Design Institute of Australia (DIA) since 2005.