Past Event

Shifting Gears: The Adapting Role of the Designer in an Ever-changing Industry – Past, Present and Future.

Presented by Newpath


Fri 19 May 5:00pm - 7:00pm


Free, booking required


Performance Space @ Library at the Dock
Library at The Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia


Seating available

For designers looking to stay ahead of the curve, Shifting Gears features a group of highly talented leaders from the creative industry, who will share their insights on the evolution of the designer’s role and the future of design. The panel will explore various topics, including the changes that have occurred in the designer’s role over the past decade, as well as the expected future developments over the next ten years.

Additionally, the panel will discuss the value that designers can bring to an organization beyond their projects, both currently and in the future. The discussion will also consider whether educational institutions are adequately preparing designers to meet modern design challenges.

Over the last ten years, there has been a significant shift from print to digital channels and formats. Consequently, designers have had to adapt their skills to match the demand for interactive and dynamic state-based digital formats. The panel will examine how designers have responded to this shift, and whether the growing use of A.I. as a functional tool and the continued expansion of the Metaverse will bring about a new industry-wide transformation.

The event is free, but space is limited, so designers are encouraged to book their spots early. Doors will open at 5 pm for a 5:30 start.


Ben Dexter

With 23 years’ experience in IT and digital solution design, Ben specialises in Innovation Strategy, Digital Solution Design, and Digital Product Commercialisation. Highly skilled in leading executive teams and boards to build visionary, viable and feasible technology roadmaps leading businesses to growth and profitability. At heart, Ben is a creative with deep, hands-on technical knowhow, a drive to execute, and deliver. Ben leads the team at Newpath as Chief Innovation Officer building refined and proven innovation, design and development strategy taking “ideas to commerce”.

Stephen Rollestone

Stephen is the Head of Creative Services at Newpath and brings with him 15 years of experience in the creative services industry. His diverse experience includes working with blue-chip Australian companies, international companies, not-for-profit organisations, and Government agencies. Stephen focuses on creating user centred designs that are both functional and desirable for end-users. He is interested in integrating the principles of Human Centred and Life Centred Design into the design process, and unifying segmented audiences across channels and mediums. His process ensures solutions consider the impact on individuals and society as a whole.

Jes Egan

Jes is the General Manager at Principal Design. The numbers, the teamwork, and the execution – these are Jes’s metrics for motivation and her aptitudes for success in the creative space. Her myriad of general management skills comes from a background in graphic design and business operations, seeing her lead a range of teams through complex growth phases. When it comes to understanding the inner workings of the creative industry, Jes has the track record to prove her place. Always getting to the root of the problem, she dismantles client challenges and looks for potential in each team member to deliver powerful and creative ecosystems. She is naturally adventurous, spending a decade working, living and falling in love in the UK, stories that inspire and enthuse her team every day.

Jeni Paay

Professor Jeni Paay is a leading international researcher in Human Centred Computing. She is Professor of Interaction Design at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. She is Director of the Centre for Design Innovation in the School of Design and Architecture. Jeni has a transdisciplinary background spanning architecture, computer science, and Human-Computer Interaction. Her research areas include: Design Methods; Interaction Design for Mobiles, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality; Human-AI Interaction; Digital Health; Interaction Design for Smart Spaces and Digital Twins; Design for Digital Workspaces and User Experience Design.


Amber Bonney

Amber is the founder and Head of Strategy at The Edison Agency – a strategic design consultancy with a philosophy anchored in the principles of human-centered-design. Her expertise focused on making better connections, creating change, influencing behaviour and solving commercial and brand reputation problems. Amber’s depth of experience stems from the diversity of her work both locally and internationally across major identity programs for Astra Zeneca, Volkswagen, Nestle, Lend Lease, Asahi Beverages, Victorian State Government, Uber and Subaru.

She offers business, organisations and brand owners intelligent and creative solutions to real commercial problems and deliver a relevant and differentiated experience for the end user. With over 20 years experience across diverse industry sectors, she has a vested interest in both traditional and disruptive design methods that activate, provoke and inspire. Amber believes in the principles of human-centered design to help shape ideas and behaviours and drive value for brand owners by connecting with their consumers more effectively to help organisations and brands connect, transform, excite, gain trust, disrupt, transform and be seen.

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