“Creativity is new thinking, new ideas, new ways of looking at things. Innovation is the introduction of the new: new process, new product. Design links the two. A designer wants to take creativity and take it to the end” – Sir George Cox, Designing More Innovative, Productive Businesses luncheon, Brisbane 24 November 2011 How do you encourage businesses to embrace design and creativity as a way to excel and to move forward? Celebrated UK design policy expert Sir George Cox recently came to Brisbane and did just that when he addressed industry leaders and senior government figures. Sir George Cox, a former Chairman of the UK’s Design Council, is internationally-known for his authorship of the revolutionary Cox Review on Creativity in Business, which explored design as both a cross-link between creativity and innovation, and as a crucial economic enabler and critical business innovator. Drawing on findings from the review, Sir George Cox encouraged people to avoid the “complacent assumption” that had left the UK with a “poverty of aspiration,” making the country fall behind in comparison to the economic boom of China and India. Sir George Cox advocated us all to harness design and innovative thinking as integral tools to sustain ...


By Danielle Koopman A Brisbane-based team has achieved what many thought impossible. Biomedical engineer Dr Dan Timms and intensive care Associate Professor John Fraser have teamed up in Prince Charles Hospital to design and develop BiVACOR – a revolutionary artificial heart, set to save thousands of lives. The fist-sized, titanium device could also vastly improve the quality of life for many hundreds of thousands more people waiting for transplants and others whose hearts require temporary assistance due to viral infections and autoimmune illnesses. Dr Timms said the deceptively simple device uses magnetics, a spinning disc and centrifugal force to pump blood around the body. Five years in the making, it’s small, reliable and has a balanced blood flow, a winning combination that gives it the edge over current products. According to Dr Timms, the BiVACOR’s design advantages include the fact that it is small enough to implant in an 8 year old child, but powerful enough to support an adult. It’s also designed to function for more than 10 years and allow recipients to live a relatively normal life. “Typically the left side of the heart fails first because it has to work harder than right, pumping blood around the ...


An exhibition opens in Brisbane on 18 November that truly breathes life into art…and needs regular watering. Green Nation is the latest show from Artisan, Queensland’s peak body for promoting unique and individual quality crafted design. This bold exhibition features art, craft and design exploring the next frontier of ‘green’ by integrating living, growing nature into the work.   The living works on display include moss graffiti, growing jewellery, permaculture design, contemporary bonsai, furniture, grass rugs, installation art and living garments. The artists featured in Green Nation are: Eliza Donald, Christian Duell, Donna Franklin and Gary Cass, Janet Laurence, Richard Neville, David Nicholson, La Chanh Nguyen, Claire Poppi and Nicole Voevodin-Cash. (m)art & Gallery artisan is at 381 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley. It’s open from 10.30am-5.30pm Tuesday-Friday, and 10.00am-4.00pm Saturday. Artisan is funded by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Federal Government through the Australia Council. Green Nation runs until 21 December 2011. For more information, visit IMAGE: Clare Poppi Growing bangle 2010. Recycled sterling silver, organic pod and organic grass, 90 x 90 x 90mm. Photo: Katie Stormonth.  


Rick Wells, internationally recognised ‘design integration’ leader, will make a presentation in Brisbane this week on how local designers can increase the demand for their services. On Thursday 17 November, at the Emporium Hotel in Fortitude Valley, Rick will give an overview of New Zealand’s Better by Design program, which was the model for the Queensland Government’s Ulysses initiative. The focus of Ulysses is to help Queensland businesses harness the power of design in their operations to boost their bottom line and increase their international competitiveness. Rick is an expert on this subject. He and his business partner transformed Formway Furniture from a small business with 12 staff to an operation employing 200 people, turning over more than $50 million a year. He now works with several design-led companies and is Deputy Chairman of the Design Advisory Board of the Better By Design program. During his Connecting Designers With Business talk Rick will cover the following topics:   The client’s business model: creating differentiation; Collaborative working culture; Business expectations; The design process: minimising risk; The living design brief: client buy-in; and Creating your own niche as a design practice. The event is hosted by the Australian Graphic Design Association and Design ...


The Kurilpa Bridge over the Brisbane River has become the first Queensland project to win a World Architecture Award.   Judged World Best Transport project at the World Architecture Festival Awards in Barcelona, the Kurilpa Bridge was designed by Cox Rayner Architects and took the honour over projects in the United Arab Emirates, China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Opened in 2009, the Kurilpa Bridge was designed to represent the ships that once sailed into the Brisbane River. It has since become a tourist attraction carrying an estimated 50 000 pedestrians and cyclists each week between the CBD and South Brisbane. Judges said the bridge appeared to ‘float’ over the river while its structural elements ‘seem to be abstractly suspended in the air making the bridge appear very different, functional, unique and sculptural’. The Kurilpa Bridge is the world’s largest structure based upon the principles of ‘tenesgrity’, a term first used by legendary 20th century innovator and architect Richard Buckminster Fuller to describe a system of balanced compressive and tensile forces. The judges added the bridge provided a pedestrian and cycle connection across Brisbane’s river but also formed a new public space, as well as a symbol for art, ...


Once again the 2011 National Awards of the Australian Institute of Architects proved rewarding for Queensland. Held at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart on 3 November, 34 awards and commendations, selected from a total of 160 finalists, were awarded across 12 categories with Queensland picking up five. The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture went to the Ecosciences Precinct at the Boggo Road Jail redevelopment in Dutton Park (designed by HASSELL). The judges lauded the building concept saying it ‘purposefully unites the complex, high-performance requirements of laboratory space with social, people-oriented environments filtered by a light garden ambience’. The Cairns Cruise Terminal (Arkhefield together with Total Project Group Architects) won The Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage, with a project the jury said had ‘breathed life into a largely forgotten part of the Cairns waterfront.’ A National Award for Interior Architecture was awarded to Nudgee College Tierney Auditorium (m3architecture) and the National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses – went to Solis on Hamilton Island (Renato D’Ettorre Architects). The AM60 building on Albert Street in Brisbane’s CBD (Donovan Hill) picked up a National Commendation for Commercial Architecture. More information on the awards and the winners is at ...

Living with Growth: Have your say

As Queensland’s population hurtles toward the 5 million mark, The Courier-Mail is hosting a free public forum on growth tomorrow night (Wednesday 26 October). Living with Growth: How do we prepare for 5 million and beyond? is the latest of the newspaper’s Let the Sun Shine reader forums. With the Queensland Population Counter on the website of the State Government’s Office of Economic and Statistical Review showing our population increasing by one person every 7 minutes and 4 seconds, the forum couldn’t be timelier. Speakers include Associate Professor Phil Heywood from the Queensland University of Technology’s School of Urban Development, Brisbane City Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Chair Amanda Cooper, and Urban Land Development Authority CEO Paul Eagles. The forum covers issues like infrastructure, housing and transport. It runs for 90 minutes at QUT, IHBI Seminar Room, Level 4, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove Campus. Entry is from 5.45pm for a 6pm start. To attend, email

Winning design for Brisbane ferry terminal

A cutting-edge design from Cox Rayner, Derlot, Aurecon has won the Brisbane ferry terminal design competition. With a brief to rebuild the terminals damaged in the January 2011 floods, the winning design combines technical innovation, flood resilience and elegant form to deliver terminals that will be iconic features of our river city. The design can be viewed at It features a single pontoon structure tethered to a single up-stream pier that deflects debris away from the pontoon and uses a gangway able to be detached, rotated and secured parallel to the pontoon in the event of a flood to avoid floating debris being trapped. The design is ecologically sensitive, is easily adapted for each terminal location and delivers passengers a more direct engagement with the Brisbane River and its landscape. Construction is expected to begin before the end of this year. For more information go to

Watch the unveiling of Juli Grbac’s designs for Virgin Blue.

Virgin Blue (a division of Virgin) unveils their new look uniforms designed by Project Runway Australia winner Juli Grbac with Elle Macpherson making a runway appearance at the new Westfield Sydney. Also on the runway were 60 Virgin Blue staff, including air hostesses, airline captains and etc. Watch the unveiling of Juli Grbac’s designs for Virgin Blue.

Want an easy to understand definition of design thinking?

Try this article from Warren Berger: 4 steps to design thinking It seems everybody is talking about ‘design thinking’ these days. But the concept remains somewhat vague, and much of the current discussion around it feels a bit academic and jargon-laden—all of which can be off-putting to many people (including some designers). And yet I think there is great value in bringing some of the key ideas and principles of design thinking to the larger world, where they can be applied to all kinds of business and social problems. So with this in mind, I’d like to humbly propose a new, simpler definition of Design Thinking. Design thinking = how designers think. Makes sense, right? But this in turn raises the question: How do designers think? Are there certain ways they tend to view the world, and to approach problem-solving, that are different? And if so, what can we all learn from that? Obviously, it’s dangerous to generalise about anyone, and perhaps especially designers—they’re an eclectic breed, working in a range of disciplines, employing different materials and distinct methodologies. But having studied more than 100 top designers in various fields over the past couple of years (while doing research for ...

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