Collectivity Talks: Experts explore the power of human-centred design as part of Melbourne Design Week

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Collectivity Talks: Experts explore the power of human-centred design as part of Melbourne Design Week
Collectivity Talks: Experts explore the power of human-centred design as part of Melbourne Design Week

As part of Melbourne Design Week 2019, Communications Collective is hosting 'Collectivity Talks: Human-Centred Design', a panel discussion bringing together designers, data analysts and architects to debate what it means to place the user at the centre of every step of the problem-solving and design process. The event is currently sold out, pending the release of further tickets.

The panel includes a diverse group of industry leaders from Cantilever Interiors, NH Architecture, Schiavello and HIP V. HYPE as they explain how they execute and experiment with human-centred design. The panel will delve into the creation of value through design, the importance of design outcomes for users and the processes used to enhance products and the places we inhabit with a human-centred approach.

Communications Collective director Genevieve Brannigan says the panel will provide a fascinating insight into one of the key trends shaping design across digital, the built environment and product design.

“Human-centred design is about empathy with the user’s needs, and it’s a critical strategy that informs good design today. For example, a workplace that is designed through user consultation will provide ongoing efficiency and, not least, create value and enjoyment.” 

The event is being hosted at the NH Architecture office on Wednesday 20 March.


  • 6:15-7:45pm Wednesday, 20 March 2019
  • NH Architecture, Level 7 Cannons House, 12-20 Flinders Lane Melbourne


  • Martin Heide - Design lead at NH Architecture and studio leader at RMIT University. Heide has been working with his students on urban design projects looking at how people interact with our cities.
    Heide says digital technologies and data have become a key tool for understanding how people use their built environment. 
  • Samantha Simpson - Data Analyst from People & Culture Consulting at Schiavello, applies human-centred design to workplace design, one of the other important areas for its use. Working with clients on workplace strategy and change management, Schiavello collects data that informs the “why” behind new ways of working.
  • Travis Dean - Director at Cantilever Interiors. The interaction between a tried-and-tested system and the individual needs of the user is paramount for Cantilever Interiors - a design-focused kitchen manufacturing company that applies a systematic approach to its products.
  • Liam Wallis - Founder at HIP V. HYPE.  Wallis describes human-centred design as a “first principles-based approach. HIP V. HYPE is a multi-disciplinary design led practice with expertise spread across four pillars: development, design, sustainability and research.

What they say...

“We’ve got quite a bit of data now coming through, with beacons that allow us to track people by their mobile phones. You can track pedestrian movement, for example in big train stations, so we’re using that a lot for public projects.

The information we have from those programs and technologies now feeds into the design process but then there’s that point where you need to innovate, and innovation only happens if you challenge the results.”

- Martin Heide


“We focus on the people who are going to be using the space and think about the experiences they are going to have in the workplace.

We can identify trends in the workspace or perhaps some values might be uncovered. For example, we might reveal that a client’s employees are passionate about well-being and having a workspace that supports their well-being, is important.

In terms of making sure it’s a human-centred design, by taking that three-pronged approach you’re making sure that everyone’s voice is heard to then respond accordingly with a strategy that informs the design.” 

- Samantha Simpson


"What’s the need, who is the user and ultimately how can we curate a design team to best respond to that person’s requirements?

In a project such as Nightingale 2, where sustainability will be highly important for residents, that means working out how to provide an apartment that is more comfortable, has cleaner fresher air, costs less to operate and is easy to use.

We call this approach Low Impact Living. Designing with people in mind at every stage of project procurement is fundamental to our approach.”

- Liam Wallis


“Our products are designed from client feedback and the loop that we have with our projects but the system is integral to the product. Through tailored site visits and meetings, we identify what the client’s key requirements are.

Those technological advances tie in with a human-centred design approach. It’s a conversation that puts the user at the centre as opposed to being told how to use something by someone else.”

- Travis Dean

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