Nicola designing for change

Seeing the energy and excitement of young people when they grasp ‘design thinking’ and how it can be used to solve any problem is the rich reward for 2011 Smart State Design Fellow Nicola Lloyd as she travels within Queensland this year.

 “I love working with students and helping them understand everyone has the ability to make change happen,” she said. 

 “They can be living in the more remote areas but when we turn on the tap, these kids are just transformed.  They get so excited about design; they really blossom.

The fellowship recognises Nicola’s significant contribution to developing a design culture in Queensland, beginning in 1987 as part of a multi-disciplinary team co-designing three pavilions for World Expo ’88.

In 1993 she co-founded Lloyd Grey Design which has grown to become a leading, integrated branding and communications consultancy.

Her commitment to fostering design thinking includes guest lecturing at the Queensland College of Art and Griffith University and travelling throughout Queensland inspiring students and business leaders to embrace design thinking to deliver creative solutions.

“Too often creatives – particularly in my industry – receive a brief and design to meet the brief when really, as problem solvers, we should be questioning the brief, putting ourselves in the shoes of the end-user and – if need be – reframing the brief,” she said.

“Good design is not just about making things look nice; it’s about solving problems to deliver tangible benefits and results.

“It’s about applying knowledge learnt from our experiences, trusting in gut-feeling and applying intuitive judgement.

“We need to question everything, gain deeper insights from the end-users and collaborate with other disciplines to harness collective strength to deliver the best creative solutions.”

Nicola is a brand positioning analyst in the Queensland Government’s Ulysses pilot program. The program assists leading Queensland manufacturers to integrate design-led thinking business wide, and in doing so increase their international competitiveness.

“We’re taking 12 Queensland manufacturing companies through a design-led audit,” she said.

“We’re applying design to all aspects of their businesses and transforming them to deliver greater revenue and international success.”

Nicola says Queensland is brimming with talent and energy.  Her mission is to foster partnerships and connections, to spark collaborative problem-solving and help position Queensland as a world leader in design thinking.

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