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Exploring connection, interconnection, and reconnection.

Hear from artists, architects, designers, storytellers, scientists.

Enjoy workshops, entertainment, and live music.


Brisbane Designscape 2023 will be taking place on the 4th November 2023. The day has been curated by Paul Fairweather, Speaker, Writer, Artist, Podcaster, re-imagined architect and co-founder of TEDxBrisbane.


The tone for the day will be set by house band Black Pudding, featuring architects Allan Reilly, Tim Bennetton and Kevin Lynch.


Workshops will kick off at 8:30 with Brisbane Urban Sketches drawing in and around the venues, and an indigenous weaving workshop in the Blaklash studio.


Talks and sessions will begin at 11:00am. Hear from an eclectic group of speakers, including architects and designers speaking about everything except their work, artists, storytellers, and neuroscientists to talk about their take on reconnect


Ticket price includes coffee, snacks, lunch, and a drink or two at the end of the day, with black pudding of course.


Come along and reconnect ideas and stories that matter, along with old and new friends and colleagues.

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event speakers

Rachel Bernard
Amanda Cole
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Rachel Barnard
Reconnecting with Justice

Rachel is a coach, entrepreneur, and artist. She created the proprietary Map process that allows creative entrepreneurs to get unstuck and achieve their wildest dreams. Rachel has been Mapping for over two decades. Her art+coaching model was advanced during the decade she founded Young New Yorkers (YNY)—the first arts-based Alternative to Incarceration program in NYC. She assisted over 1,400 young people to exit the criminal legal system via creative programming. In this role she partnered with multiple criminal legal agencies including NYC Criminal Courts, Kings County DA's Office, NYC Department of Probation, and the New York Police Department.

Rachel has been acknowledged in the media and received awards and fellowships. She holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Queensland.

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Jason Bird
Reconnecting with Collaboration

Jason Bird founded Luxxbox in 2006, designing and manufacturing furniture, lighting and objects for commercial and domestic use. With a long and varied career, accolades and exhibitions in Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo and Australia, Jason’s skills are channelled into Luxxbox's unique aesthetic version of urban design.

His career launched in architectural lighting in Australia before relocating to the US, designing for several major US manufacturers. Returning home to his practice, he focused on designs embodying a visual display of strength that explores negative space. Using unconventional materials, industrial finishes, colours and production techniques, they push boundaries to make a unique style statement. 

Jason's intimate knowledge of lighting design and manufacture has also seen him receive international awards for his large-scale public and custom lighting installations. His company, Luxxbox, has become a major manufacturer exporting his designs throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

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Gavin Blake
Connection with scribing

Gavin Blake has been drawing conversations, systems, and stories for over twenty years. His work has been seen at over 70 TEDx Events around Australia and abroad. Visual scribing inspires and entertains audiences and leaves them with useful visuals that enable them to share and remember the event content at a glance more effectively than video or text transcripts. 

Gavin learned visual scribing from a world-class facilitation group in the UK and he now deploys this capability at exec retreats, product launches, conferences, and yarning circles.

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Rebecca Caldwell
Reconnecting with Clients

Rebecca founded Maytree Studios to put architecture in reach of more people. That means she’s an idealist at heart, but she works with pragmatism to bring this vision to life. She does more with fewer resources, and believes in designing homes that are sustainable, clever and beautifully tailored to each client. She believes good design is about the process, not just the outcome. Using everyday language to explain design ideas is all part of her approach to lift the curtain on architecture.

To make a big idea happen, Rebecca won’t shy away from real talk (and a swear word or two). She is committed to breaking down the awkwardness around money conversations, so that clients better understand what they can do with their budget.

Rebecca believes the secret to a great client experience is to provide a human-first approach. That’s why Maytree runs under a co-ownership business model and an ethos of being humans first, architects second. This warm management style creates an environment where both her team and clients feel valued.

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Amanda Cole
Reconnecting with Future Entrepreneurs

Amanda Cole is recognised as an expert in strategy and enhancing performance for emerging medium sized business. She has facilitated strategic growth for over 100 businesses and Chaired the Advisory Boards of 8 private companies from start-up to $500m in turnover. She has founded two companies, sold two and been an investor in an e-commerce business, a catering company and supports the operations of the family car rental business with her husband Peter Clark founder of Crazy Clarks Discount stores. She is the co-founder of Growth Education Institute (groei) an innovative learning company nurturing the development of future thinking skills through peer and project-based learning.

Amanda’s first career was as a Commercial Interior Designer with her business Spark Consultants, and once a designer always a designer, although now she designs strategic conversations and learning experiences. Until this year Amanda chaired two peer groups for The Executive Connection and is in the top 5% of Chairs nationally (winning six awards for Chair excellence) and was the first female Chair in Australia. She is also a judge for the Telstra Best in Business awards and Lord Mayors Business Awards and a previous winner of the Young Telstra Businesswomen (Qld).

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Cheryl Desha
Reconnecting with Infrastructure

Cheryl Desha is Theme Leader for the Cities Research Institute's 'Digital Earth and Resilient Infrastructure' research agenda (12 academics, 13 PhD candidates), and a professor within the School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University. 

She co-leads Griffith University's Disaster Management Network and directs the Disaster and Resilience Management Facility (DRMF) in Griffith’s newest 6-storey AUD$70 million building ‘N79: Engineering Technology and Aviation’. She also sits on the Queensland Disaster Research Alliance (QDRA) as Griffith University's representative. Cheryl was awarded Engineers Australia's Queensland’s Professional Engineer of the Year in 2021 and in 2020 was awarded the Queensland Government's Individual Champion of Change Award by the Inspector General Emergency Management.

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Neal Foard
Reconnecting with Story

Neal Foard spent 25 years in advertising and marketing, creating and selling award-winning campaigns for global power brands like Budweiser, Lexus and Sony. For his work on Toyota, Neal ranked among the top ten most awarded creative directors in the world in 2002. As the author of an innovative coaching series, Neal was named Worldwide Director of Creative Learning for global ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi. 

He has consulted on creative messaging for Fortune 500 companies and universities, and been a featured speaker at TEDx conferences. Most recently, Neal has gained a rapidly growing following on social media for his inspirational videos about the kindnesses of everyday people.

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Anita Hamilton
Reconnection with Basic Blocks

Dr Anita Hamilton brings a wealth of expertise from her extensive career as an occupational therapist and educator of future practitioners. Anita's 14 years of clinical experience encompasses acute and community mental health, work rehabilitation, and specialised care in orthopaedic and neurological conditions. Her teaching and research experience spans 20 years and her research interests are wide-ranging, covering mental health, assistance animals, digital literacy, business and marketing skills, and scholarship in higher education.

Recently, Anita identified the need for allied health professionals to develop business acumen. To achieve her vision, she completed an EMBA and built strong networks with business and marketing to inform curriculum and research to elevate the business acumen of her students, peers and her profession. This highlights Anita’s forward-thinking approach and dedication to equipping those she works with a comprehensive skill set beyond the confines of traditional occupational therapy education.

Having taught at universities in Australia and Canada, Anita is well-versed in guiding emerging practitioners at all levels. Anita's teaching style is dynamic, infusing immersive techniques that transform learning into an engaging and rewarding experience. Notably, she embraces immersive teaching techniques, providing a dynamic learning environment. Anita brings her certification in LEGO® Serious Play (LSP) to her practice, using this innovative method in professional development and as a teaching tool to encourage students to explore personal values and professional concepts to construct deep knowledge that can be applied to practical settings. Prepare for an engaging presentation that will challenge the way you think about Lego®!

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Alec Hamilton
Reconnection with Basic Blocks

Dr Alec Hamilton is an experienced psychologist with over three decades of experience in private practice and educational settings. He's not just a psychologist but a Certified LEGO® Serious Play®(LSP) facilitator, adding a whole new dimension to his therapeutic toolkit. Alec has also served as an educational psychology, psychology, and counselling educator at universities in Australia and Canada.

What sets Alec apart is his penchant for innovation. He's an ardent advocate for evidence-based practices but not one to stick to a rigid formula. Adaptability is his secret weapon, tailoring his approach to the needs of his diverse clientele. Playfulness is another cornerstone of his methodology, injecting a vibrant energy into every session.

Alec has been invited to speak on various subjects, including brain function, parenting, child and adolescent development, and the art of therapeutic presence. His most recent achievement includes co-authoring a book titled "Seriously Therapeutic Play with LEGO®" (STP), which unveils the ground-breaking potential of integrating LEGO®into clinical practice. Get ready for a thought-provoking presentation that may change your perspective on playing with LEGO®!

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Amanda Hayman
Reconnecting Indigenous Designs with Place

"My name is Amanda Hayman. I grew up in Logan City, Queensland. I am a proud Aboriginal woman and have cultural connections to Kalkadoon and Wakka Wakka Country. I now live and work in Brisbane.
I have always loved art. I have a Bachelor of Arts with a contemporary art major. I have over 20 years experience in the arts and creative industries.

 My partner, Troy Casey, and I have been in business together for the last 6 years and we have a number of ventures; Blaklash – an agency specialising in First Nations art and design; Magpie Goose – a social enterprise fashion label; and Aboriginal Art Co – a not-for-profit Indigenous Art Centre in Brisbane. We also have a very spoilt 3-year-old boy – Charlie.

All this keeps us very busy and bursting with pride!"

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Chris Meredith
Reconnecting with the Audience

Chris Meredith is a thought leader and podcaster in creativity, communication and innovation with a career that spans brand marketing, strategy and innovation roles on the client and agency side in the UK and Australia.

Chris has helped to transform the fortunes of companies in fields as diverse as financial services, travel, packaged goods, B2B, drinks, telecoms, pharmaceuticals and luxury goods.

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Alisa Newey
Reconnecting with Green Library

Alisa is a designer, collaborator and impact-driven leader.

Alisa has worked as a commercial interior designer for 15 years and has a particular passion for the design of environmentally sustainable places and products. She is the director of Re:New Design, an interior and product design studio and certified social enterprise with the mission to use design projects to create solutions to the environmental crisis with a global impact.

One of the projects Alisa is working on is the Green Library. The concept for the Green Library came about through a desire to make certified environmentally sustainable materials easily accessible to Architects and Interior Designers. The first two libraries will launch in Brisbane in early 2024 with a view to expand nationally.

Green Library will be a shared resource of materials for Architects and Designers who care about the environmental impact of the buildings, spaces and products we design. Our purpose is to move the construction industry toward a circular economy. We do this by connecting specifiers with manufacturers and suppliers who are genuinely committed to taking responsibility for the environmental impact of the products they produce.

By providing a physical library of third-party certified products, Green Library will make it easy for Architects, Designers and Builders to select products that are better for people and the planet.

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Brent O'Neill
Reconnecting with the Paint Factory

As an urbanist grappling with a desire for greater artistic expression and place-making, I've blended my studies in visual arts, urban planning, and urban design into a rich and diverse educational background. Drawing upon three decades of experience in master planning and urban design, encompassing projects across various cities, continents, time zones, cultures, and climates, my journey has ignited a profound passion for infusing arts and culture into our constructed environments.

Must our urban environments remain drab and devoid of the vibrancy of local culture and artistic expression? Do we really want to settle for the mundane, standardized outcomes that often result from placeless codes, akin to the sensation of perpetual micro-sleeps as we traverse our cities, encountering a series of forgettable spaces? I firmly believe that personal and cultural expression through architecture, landscape design, public spaces, and activities offers the potential to craft memorable places that enrich our lives and inspire.

At the grassroots level, I proudly serve as the President of the Royal Queensland Art Society and Petrie Terrace Gallery. In this capacity, I feel I can actively contribute to the promotion and nurturing of both professional and amateur artists within our local community.

Brent is the Director of Strategy + Place at Wolter Consulting Group.

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Peter Richards
Reconnecting Place with Drawing

Peter Richards is a South-East Queensland based architect, urban designer, teacher, and a principal of Archipelago Architects. Peter has utilised drawing to drive his professional practice and teaching for 40 years. He is the author and publisher of the book DesignThinkingDrawing (2018), which is an advocacy for and demonstration of how drawing can inform design processes. He has conducted more than twenty DesignThinkingDrawing training workshops throughout Australia to over 300 people. 

Since 2017, he has been an active member of the urban sketching community with Urban Sketchers Brisbane. He has drawn with urban sketching groups throughout Australia and overseas. Places in Queensland include Cairns, Maryborough, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Townsville, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Elsewhere in the world includes London, Lisbon, Oslo and Copenhagen He has attended three International Urban Sketching Symposia in Porto (2018) Amsterdam (2019) and Auckland (2023), and serves on the Education Committee for Urban Sketchers International. 

Over the last few years, he has begun to undertake workshops for urban sketching with groups of all ages and locations within South East and North Queensland. His work is characterised by careful observation of the qualities of urban places, the richness of city building over time and the way that people occupy the urban environment. He uses a wide range of techniques and has a keen interest in developing his skills.

Peter’s sketches have been included in two recent international publications, ‘London’ by Urban Sketchers’ and ‘The World of Urban Sketching’ by Stephanie Bower.

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Mark Williams
Reconnecting Minds

Mark has worked with thousands of students, teachers, health professionals, and company directors keen to understand how their brain works, how to perform optimally and maintain a healthy brain. He runs programs on the neuroscience of learning, the neuroscience of emotions, how our brains create our reality, and the impact of modern technologies on our brains.

Mark has an extensive academic background in brain research and teaching. He is a professor of cognitive neuroscience, with over 25 years experience conducting behavioural and brain imaging research focusing on our social skills. He has taught the fundamentals of neuroscience to a wide range of students, as well as publishing more than 70 scientific articles and worked at MIT in the USA and multiple universities in Australia.

He draws on his extensive scientific background to work with schools, companies and the public to develop evidence-based practices using neuroscience to enhance our education, work and personal lives. His work has been highlighted in the media both locally [e.g., Mirror Mirror (Channel Ten), Our Brain, Magic and the Brain, Music and the Brain, Making Australia Happy (ABC), Sunrise (Channel 7), Screen Time is Affecting Learning (SkyNews)] and internationally [e.g., The Guardian (UK), New York Times (USA), Economist, New Scientist, Leading Edge, (BBC: UK), Science in Action (BBC; International)].

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Brooke Williams

Brooke is an industry thought leader who, through her years of experience, has co founded the not-for-profit organisation U.R{BNE} Collective, delivered internationally acclaimed activations and championed the placemaking movement in Queensland.

Brooke’s understanding of complex urban issues is founded on 15 years of experience collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams for both private and public sector clients. This experience underpins her ability to respond innovatively to the social, environmental and economic factors confronting the region while managing community and stakeholder concerns and ensuring communities have genuine and meaningful ways to engage through the process.

Brooke and the Fourfold team advocate for people-centred approaches with high levels of stakeholder collaboration, drawing on experiences to ensure strategies are grounded in the lessons learnt from delivering them on the ground. Brooke is passionate about creating vibrant cities with proud and connected communities, and has a wealth of knowledge of processes which improve upon traditional planning processes to facilitate greater involvement of local stakeholders in built environment decision making.

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Neil Wilson
Reonnection with Music

Neil had a long and successful career as an architect, urban planner and project manager until he hit mid-life and decided he needed a change. Rather than buy a red Porsche, he and his partner sold their family home and established the first vinyl record pressing plant in Brisbane in 35 years. He is now the proud co-owner of Suitcase Records.

Having pressed his first record a year ago, he has now pressed records for everyone from local favourites Full Flower Moon Band and Screamfeeder, through to major Australian acts such as G Flip, Pete Murray and Savage Garden.

He is an avid music lover and vinyl collector, and is on a never ending creative journey. He's not sure what's next, but there is always something new to get excited by.

Neal Foard
Gavin Blake
Anita Hamilton
Rebecca Caldwell
Amanda Hayman
Alisa Newey
Alex Hamilton
Cheryl Desha
Chris Meredith
Jason Bird
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Workshop Info
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house band

black pudding

Throughout the day, Black Pudding will be performing live for Brisbane Designscape 2023. 

 Black Pudding have been playing in bars around West End and the Valley for the last 9 years and have perfected their own brand of loose fitting rock and roll.

Live Band
Band Members
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