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Hossein Farmani, is an entrepreneur and creative force, he has left an indelible mark on the worlds of publishing, design, and photography. Born with a passion for artistic expression, Farmani embarked on his journey by founding the Farmani Group in 1985, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Initially focusing on publishing with ventures like Vue Magazine and FotoFolio magazine, he quickly rose to prominence, receiving awards for his innovative approach as both Creative Director and Publisher.

In 1995, he recognized the transformative potential of the internet and established one of the first Internet service providers, ARTNET.NET. His efforts not only connected people globally but also played a pivotal role in educating the public on utilizing email and establishing an online presence, earning him recognition in prestigious publications like the New York Times.

Farmani continued to push boundaries. In 2004, he introduced the Lucie Awards, often hailed as the Oscars of Photography, alongside the International Photography Awards (IPA), cementing his commitment to celebrating photographic excellence. This dedication extended further in 2007 with the inception of the International Design Awards and the London Creative Awards, platforms designed to champion designers and the creative community worldwide.

In response to a call from the European Parliament, he established the European Product Design Awards in 2016, further solidifying his commitment to recognizing exceptional design. Collaborating with like-minded visionaries, he co-founded the Architectural Masterprize Awards in 2017, fostering a global platform for architectural and interior design excellence.

Throughout his career, Farmani’s passion for art and design has driven him to create some of the most respected awards in the industry. His mission has always been to honor the vision, passion, and dedication of exceptional creative talents, shining a spotlight on their extraordinary contributions to humanity’s cultural tapestry.

Mr. HOSSEIN FARMANI

Founder

Steve has focused on advocating for Design and the role it can play across a career spanning 25 years. He is deeply experienced in the business of design, having worked in and led design organisations before co-founding and growing Meld Studios from three founders in 2009 to twenty-five Designers across four studios today. The company has a string of accolades, winning the Australian Good Design Team of the Year in 2022 and becoming the first Australian headquartered company to become Employee-Owned by Trust in 2021.

Steve has played a critical role in the growth of Interaction Design, User Experience, Service Design and Strategic Design as communities of practice in Australia and around the world, helping to expand the Interaction Design Association from 10,000 to 75,000 members globally; convening Australia’s premier User Experience conference - UX Australia - since 2009; and launching and coordinating the UX Bookclub in 140 locations around the world.
Steve is a Good Design Ambassador and served on the Jury Panel for the Australian Good Design Awards from 2012-2016.

An accomplished speaker and presenter, Steve has also recently published a book on Strategic Design, Designing Tomorrow, co-authored with Dr. Martin Tomitsch of UTS.

Mr. STEVE BATY

CEO

Simon Ong spearheads the strategic planning, development, as well as its creative and brand standards of Kingsmen, a leading communication design & production group with 18 offices spanning the Asia Pacific region and North America. Kingsmen has won numerous awards, including the Asia’s Top Design Practice, President’s Design Award, Singapore Good Design Mark, SRA Best Retail Concept Award, SFIA Hall of Fame, Promising Brand Award, A.R.E. Retail Design Award and RDI International Store Design Award USA.

An ardent advocate of education, Simon is actively involved in the creative industry as a board director of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, an Honorary advisor to the Society of Interior Designers of Singapore and an ambassador of Red Dot Design awards. 

Simon served as the Chairman of the design sector of Singapore Workforce Development Agency, member of the advisory board of Design Business Chamber, the School of Design & Environment at the National University of Singapore and a board member of SHOP!, a leading Association of Retail Environments in USA. In 2019, he was inducted into the SHOP! Hall of Fame in recognition of his significant contributions to the industry.

Simon graduated with a master degree in design from the University of New South Wales and an MBA from the University of South Australia.

Mr. SIMON ONG

Deputy Chairman & Co-Founder

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Lisa Cahill joined the Australian Design Centre team as Associate Director in 2015 and in 2016 she was appointed as CEO and Artistic Director. In that time she has developed and presented seven annual creative programs, curated more than 40 exhibitions, founded and directed the annual Sydney Craft Week Festival, and restarted the organisation’s commitment to supporting makers and designers with a retail shop and twice yearly outdoor markets.

 

With more than 35 years’ experience, Lisa has held various government roles in Canberra and Melbourne, including a stint as a ministerial adviser, SBS, the Australia Council for the Arts and the City of Sydney. Working variously as a curator, writer and creative producer in the visual and performing arts, Lisa co-curated the Australian exhibition for the Triennale of Craft in Kanazawa, Japan in 2013 and, most recently, co-curated ADC’s award nominated podcast series.

 

Lisa was the founding CEO of the Australian Design Alliance and is currently co-chair of the Australian Craft and Design Centres Network (ACDC). She holds a Bachelor of Communications in Professional Writing at the University of Canberra and a Master of Arts Administration from UNSW. Lisa is a Fellow of the Gordon Darling Foundation Museum Leadership Program.

Ms. LISA CAHILL

CEO and Artistic Director

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