Speaker Series 2018

The Speaker Space is home to a series of creative conversations, where the issues, challenges and opportunities of our design industry are discussed, debated and discovered anew. The themes this year place design, architecture and art in the wider realm of life, asking how our products, projects and creative passions play out not just within our fields, but also beyond. A diverse line-up of local and international, emerging and established speakers give voice to the multitudes of stories and experiences that shape us as a community.

This year, the speaker space at DENFAIR is proudly supported by Joyce foam and designed by Arthur Koutoulas. The design of the Speaker Space explores the boundaries between furniture and architecture. The idea was to create a soft sculptural installation that engaged and offered an immersive experience

to the audience. From the outside it appears like a circular megalithic monument, but once inside the emphasis shifts to an intimate environment that encourages discussion and dialogue.

Tactile and acoustic qualities of the Joyce foam material was perfect for this branding application and meant that in this case we could celebrate and showcase the foam instead of concealing it. Given the inherent characteristics of Joyce foam material, the installation aims to inspire and inform its audience to explore/experiment with its qualities further, and showcases possibilities of the material.

Join our conversations in the Speaker Space — free to attend over the duration of the event.

Curated by

Nicky Lobo

Former Editor of Habitus magazine, Nicky Lobo is a writer, editor and curator with more than a decade of experience in the design community. She brings a passion for creativity, mindfulness and the environment to every project and collaboration, and revels in the opportunities that the intersection of these interests offer. Through taking part in creative conversations with a sense of openness, engagement and deep listening, Nicky believes we have an innate capacity to learn, grow and transform ourselves and the world around us.

Day One | Thursday — 14th June


The Journey of Studio Truly Truly (Q&A)


Based in the Netherlands and working creatively and commercially with luminaries such as Hella Jongerius, and brands such IKEA and Rakumba, Studio Truly Truly are living the designer’s dream. Join us for a Q&A to hear about their journey so far.


Joel and Kate Booy
– Studio Truly Truly


Talking Taboos in Design


Gender roles are suggested and perpetuated through the objects and spaces we design, therefore we also have the power to creatively shape more positive, balanced experiences. Our panel will discuss this, along with the role — if any — that politics has in design.


Charles Wilson

Fiona Lyda

Dr. Gill Matthewson

Nick Karlovasitis


Designing Spiritual Experiences


How do we worship and reflect in contemporary society and how can design facilitate this in relevant, revolutionary and respectful ways? We explore the elements of a spirituality in art and architecture, and the responsibilities and challenges involved in creating these kinds of spaces.


Hakan Elevli

Rob Mills

Victor Rubin

Day Two | Friday — 15th June


Designing and Communicating Ethically


Design can harm and design can heal. What guides our moral compass when working in the design community, particularly in commercial and public spaces, and when communicating with clients and the public? Find out what our panel thinks.


Peter Maddison

Roderick Wiles

Sarah Zerella

Taku Kumazawa


Tapping into The Art and Science of Design


Developing a sixth sense gives designers, curators and brands the edge in business. Our panel explores how we can develop intuitive skills to complement traditional systems of knowledge.


Dr Donna Wheatley

Lou Weis

Stefan Gevers

Suzy Annetta


A Meditation on The Natural World


David builds on the writing of well-known thinkers on the origin of beauty and its role in the creative process in this reflective and poetic presentation. He follows Western culture from cave art, through to the rational and romantic cycles of the past 2,500 years, including different paradigms from Polynesian and Australian Aboriginal cultures.


David Trubridge

Day Three | Saturday — 16th June


Exploring The Nature of Design Collaborations


The dynamics of the design ecosystem are complex, with clients, creatives, consultants, manufacturers and retailers playing crucial and intersecting roles. Join a panel discussion that explores how the various moving parts work together — and what happens when they don’t.


Dhiren Das

Lodovico Bernardi

Meryl Hare


Breaking The Golden Rules of Design


While safety and function are imperatives in interior design and architecture, there is always room to explore, push and even break the boundaries of artistic expression. What, then, is good and bad design, and what is the role of design trends in our personal spaces? Our panel sheds some designer light on the matter.


David Hicks

Jon Goulder

Michael Alvisse

Sibella Court

Private Speaker Sessions

The Speaker Space will also host and array of private sessions. A collection of talks designed to further facilitate the design conversations, integrating practice, design development and business. Hosted by various design practitioners, these independent talks are subject to seat availability, and walk-ins are welcome.

Thursday June 14th | 12:45pm

Tasmanian Timber

Tasmanian Timber Reimagined.

Tasmanian timber is an ideal medium for inspired interior and architectural design, joinery, and furniture. The colour range is rich and varied, the timber is stable and highly workable, and sustainable supply is certified. Find out about how Tasmanian timber is transforming projects for architects, builders and furniture makers.

Friday June 15th | 12:30pm

Authentic Design Alliance

Intellectual Property for design

The Authentic Design Alliance hosts a panel of legal experts and designers discussing the essentials for protecting original creative concepts for designers, design businesses and creative start-ups. Learn how to navigate Trade Marks, Copyright, Design Registrations and more in one comprehensive discussion. This talk is a ticketed event, to attend please visit eventbrite.com

Friday June 15th | 4:30pm

BUZAO | Remodern

INSIGHT: Behind BUZAO’s Inspiration

BUZAO discuss the inspiration leading to their latest Lavastone series. Focusing on the traditional volcanic culture of Hainan, BUZAO reflect on the deep connection possible between humans and their environment.

On a broader scale, BUZAO also provide insight on the impact of recent cultural developments on modern Chinese design, and the evolution to its current exciting and unique state.

Saturday June 16th | 12:00pm


Hot Air | How to Identify Eco-Washing in a Machiavellian World

Green Magazine Editor, Tamsin O’Neill, Longboat Property Director, Theo Kerlidis and Michael Buxton, Professor of Environment and Planning at RMIT University, join a panel discussing how bold eco-centric actions can be taken now. Join the panel as they discuss how far current design, planning and building practices can be advanced to create greater positive environmental impact immediately.