10th Design Tasmania Award – Judges Announced

The 10th Design Tasmania Award deadline is fast approaching with September 12th the closing date for entries. To select the Top 10 Finalists for the 2017 Award, Design Tasmania has invited Phillip Drury, Laura McCusker and Dr Zoe Veness to Judge this years Design Tasmania Award.

DTA JudgesPhillip Drury

Sunny has held a diverse range of senior positions spanning the design and advertising industry over 30 years. As a positive change agent, he passionately believes that creativity holds no boundaries, whether applied to commercial or community challenges. He’s inspired by the power of ideas and dedicated to the principles of innovation and distinction, whether applied to pixels and paper or product design and retailing. A past board member of DT, he lead the implementation of our revitalised brand image and the establishment of these Awards, now 10 years ago.


Laura McCusker

Laura McCusker is an international award winning furniture designer and maker based in Hobart, Tasmania. Her work is described as ‘exceptional’ by Tyler Brule (Wallpaper magazine) and her pieces have featured regularly in Australian and international interior design publications including Monocle, Monument, The Financial Times (UK & Asia), Australian Financial Review, Vogue Living and Craft Arts International, to name a few. Over her 18-year career as a designer/maker, she has been the subject of a number of TV documentaries focusing on her studio practice.

Her work has been commissioned locally by both the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and has travelled as far as the US, UK and Europe. In 2013 she won the prestigious Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design.

Laura is a pragmatist in her approach to her work and business. Trained at one of Australia’s leading craft schools, The Sturt School for Wood in NSW, her approach to her work has also been shaped by her industrial experience, from her first apprenticeship with a Sydney cabinetmaker to her work on the fit out of an $80 milliion super yacht in Tasmania. These experiences, coupled with Laura’s formal woodworking education, have resulted in work where traditional techniques sit comfortably alongside the use of more contemporary technologies.

Her designs are instantly recognisable from the clean aesthetic and mid-century influences, and her no nonsense approach to problem solving some of the most challenging commissions has meant that demand for her work continues to increase locally, interstate and internationally.

Laura is an educator and advocate for the Visual arts, Design and Contemporary Craft sector and its community of makers. She has sat on the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board and was also Chair of its Assistance to Individuals Panel.


Dr Zoë Veness

A contemporary jeweller and academic with interests in issues of materiality, process and body-object relations. Her work has been selected for exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, London, Scotland, Germany, and the USA, and is held in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia. She is the recipient of awards, grants and residencies including an Australian Postgraduate Award in 2011 to undertake PhD research at UNSW Art & Design in which she examined jewellery-sculpture transitions in contemporary art/design practice. In July Zoë commences as Lecturer of Object Design at the Tasmanian College of the Arts, UTAS in Hobart. Previously she was Associate Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design in Sydney.

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Contact abbie@designtasmania.com.au