Dr Natalie Wright

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PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Grad. Dip in Interior Design (Queensland University of Technology), Bachelor of Built Environment (Interior Design) (Queensland University of Technology)

Natalie is a Senior Lecturer and QUT Design Lab Design Education Program Leader in the QUT Faculty of Creative Industries, School of Design. From 2014-2016 she was Manager of the Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL) at the State Library of Queensland. She has 18 years Interior Design commercial practice experience gained in Australia, Japan and the UK and is a Past National Director and Past President (Queensland Branch) of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). Natalie’s research interests are focused around socially responsible, collaborative and inclusive design; community engagement and service learning; design thinking and design-led innovation approaches for students and educators in the secondary and tertiary contexts; and the role of design in the 21st century creative knowledge economy.  In 2010, she received a QUT Dean’s Award of Excellence for ‘Engagement with the Community’ for the design and delivery of the goDesign travelling design immersion program into six regional high schools in Queensland, the subject of her PhD.  Since then she has been involved in the authoring and facilitation of over 45 state/local government and privately funded school design workshop programs for secondary school students and the professional development of secondary teachers, the QUT Widening Learning and Participation Program, and a member of the project delivery team and content contributor for the State Library APDL Design Minds website, which won a Good Design Australia Award in 2018. In 2012 she was Chief Investigator for the Arts Queensland funded Knowledge Economy Market Development Mapping Study highlighting the scope and value of design education programs in Queensland, from primary school to the professional design sector.   Natalie has represented Australia (DIA) at the 2009 and 2011 International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) General Assemblies. Main Areas of Research

Offices Held

  • Design Institute of Australia (DIA) National Director: 2007 - 2011; 2012 - 2014
  • Design Institute of Australia (DIA) Co-President Queensland Branch: 2007 - 2010
  • Design Institute of Australia (DIA) Queensland Branch Councillor: 2003 - 2014


  • 2012 - $16,800 - Knowledge Economy Market Development Mapping Study, Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy Funding, Queensland Government, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation & the Arts through Arts Queensland
  • 2009 - $15,000 - The Affective Dimension in Engaging Built Environment Students in the Project-Based Learning Context, QUT Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering Small Teaching & Learning Grant.
  • 2009 - $30,000 -  Travelling Design Workshop Program for Regional Queensland Secondary School Students QUT Engagement and Innovation Grant, Project Manager.
  • 2009 - $25,000 - ‘unleashed: queensland design on tour 2010’ Regional Travelling Exhibition     Queensland Government Arts Queensland Development & Presentation Grant.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2016 - AIA Queensland President’s Prize, Asia Pacific Architecture Forum (State Library of Queensland & Architecture Media); http://designonline.org.au/content/apaf-wins-aia-presidents-prize/
  • 2013 - QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance (Team) Award (with D. Brough); http://designminds.org.au/design-minds-contributors-recognised/
  • 2013 -  QUT Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence Nominee  - Partnerships and Engagement
  • 2013 - Excellence in Marketing Award for Super/Major Regional Shopping Centre - 'Sit-Art 60 Chair Challenge' Program 2012 (with L. Hooper, A. Wright, T. Deen, A. Layton, T. Lunardon, C. Duell) http://designminds.org.au/inspire-sit-art-project-a-major-success/
  • 2012 - Queensland Government Arts Queensland Finalist Queensland Smart Designer of the Year http://www.queenslandersign.com.au/index.php/qld-has-smart-design-minds/
  • 2011 - Queensland Government Education Queensland Regional Showcase Award for Excellence in Innovation -  'Living City' Design for Change Secondary Education Program 2010 (with L.Hooper, P. Boyle, G. Searle)
  • 2010 - QUT Faculty of Built Environment & Engineering Dean’s Award of Excellence for Engagement with the Community.
  • 2009 - QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2009 - RAIA Qld Chapter Commendation – Brisbane Regional Awards: O’Neill Building - Nudgee College, Brisbane (Fairweather Proberts Architects)
  • 2009 - RAIA Qld Chapter Commendation – Brisbane Regional Awards: Badge Construction Office Building, Brisbane (Fairweather Proberts Architects)
  • 2008 - QUT Faculty of Built Environment & Engineering Dean’s Award of Excellence for Engagement with the Community
  • 2004 - HIA Apartment Project of the Year – HIA South East Qld Housing, Cutters Landing Flinders Apartments, Brisbane (Mirvac Design)
  • 2004 - HIA Apartment Project of the Year – HIA National Housing, Cutters Landing Flinders Apartments, Brisbane (Mirvac Design)
  • 2002 - DIA Queensland Design Awards Interior Design Residential Commendation, Cutters Landing Sales Office, Brisbane (Mirvac Design)
  • 2002 - RAIA Qld Chapter Commendation – Brisbane Regional Awards, Cutters Landing Sales Office, Brisbane (Mirvac Design)
  • 1998 - QUT Andrew Brock Memorial Prize, Excellence in Bachelor of Applied Science Built Environment course, Second Year

Career History

2008 - Present: SeniorLecturer in Interior Design: Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Faculty of Creative Industries, School of Design, Brisbane 2014-2016: Manager, Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL): State Library of Queensland 2007: Senior Interior Designer: Fairweather Proberts Architects, Brisbane; Sessional Lecturer: QUT School of Design, Brisbane; Sessional Lecturer & Tutor: Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane 2006: Sessional Tutor: QUT School of Design, Brisbane 2005 - 2006: Interior Design Manager: ML Design, Brisbane 2000 - 2005: Associate Director/Interior Design Manager: HPA Architects/Mirvac Design, Brisbane 2000: Sessional Tutor: QUT School of Design, Brisbane 1998 - 2000: Senior Interior Designer: Haysom Spender Architects, Brisbane; Sessional Lecturer: Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane 1998: Interior Designer: Richmond International, London UK 1997 - 1998: Interior Designer: EAA International, London UK 1996: Sessional Lecturer & tutor: Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane 1994 - 1996: Interior Designer: Cottee Parker Architects, Brisbane 1993 - 1994: Interior Designer: Buchan Group, Brisbane; Sessional tutor: QUT School of Design, Brisbane 1992: Interior Designer: Syntax Pty Ltd, Osaka Japan 1991: Interior Designer: IDEA Pty Ltd, Brisbane 1990 - 1991: Interior Designer/CAD Draftsperson: Arkell Shopfitters, Brisbane

Additional information

External Collaborations

  • Kelvin Grove State College
  • John Paul College & Conrad Gargett Riddel Architects
  • Artisan
  • Queensland Museum
  • State Library of Queensland, Asia Pacific Design Library
  • Queensland Government Arts Queensland
  • Queensland Academies
  • Southbank Corporation
  • Kyabra Community Association
  • Design Institute of Australia
  • Regional State High Schools - Chinchilla State High School, Spinifex College Mt Isa, Quilpie State College, Emerald State High School, Gladstone State High School, Bundaberg State High School, Annandale Christian College, Townsville
  • Other Local Schools - Morayfield State High School, Narangba Valley State High School, Pimpama State Secondary College, Watson Rd State School, Indooroopilly State High School
  • Manufacturing Skills Queensland (QMI) Solutions - Manufacturing and Engineering Gateway Schools Project
  • Queensland Government G20 Cultural Program
  • Object: Australian Design Centre
  • StepUp OLT project
  • University of Queensland School of Education
  • James Cook University College of Arts, Society & Education
  • Design & Technology Teachers Association (DATTA)
  • Apple Educators
  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)
  • Architecture Media

Community Service/Engagement

Speaking Engagements

  • CONASTA 65: Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) National Science Education Conference Speaker, Brisbane (with Dr Kathy Mackey): July 2016
  • ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS’16) Conference QUT Design Lab Queensland Design Policy Summit, 'Design Education' Panellist, Brisbane: June 2016  http://www.dis2016.org/program/summit/http://designonline.org.au/content/queensland-design-policy-summit/
  • QUT Design Directions Breakfast Seminar Invited Speaker, QUT Brisbane: July 2015  http://designminds.org.au/inspire-design-directions/
  • Industrial Technology & Design Teachers Association (INTAD) State Conference ‘Design: Our Future’ Keynote Speaker, Toowomba: July 2015  http://designminds.org.au/design-our-future/http://designminds.org.au/design-minds-in-toowoomba-at-intad-state-conference-2015/
  • INSEA2014 34th World Congress of the International Society for Education through Art Speaker, Melbourne (3 presentations with Les Hooper & Dr Kathy Mackey): July 2014.
  • QUT Design Thinking in Higher Education Symposium Speaker, Brisbane: 2013
  • QUT/Art & Humanities Research Council Connected Communities Research Network Higher Education, Creative Engagement & the Creative Economy: The Australia Experience Symposium Speaker, Brisbane: 2013; http://www.creative-campus.org.uk/-qut-workshop.html
  • DIA DIAlogues Interrogation Forum 'Design Education' Panellist, Brisbane: 2013 http://www.dia.org.au/index.cfm?event=882&id=422
  • QPAC Out of the Box 'Connecting the Dots' Symposium Industry Forum Panellist, Brisbane: 2012
  • dThink Design-led Thinking for Business, Education and Community Framework Research Project Presentation to Queensland Design Council, Brisbane: 2011
  • Optimism ICOGRADA Design Week 2010 What is Design -led Business Day Panellist, Brisbane
  • Optimism ICOGRADA Design Week 2010 Regional Meeting Invited Speaker, Brisbane
  • DIA Bubble and Speak Breakfast Seminar Series  Invited Speaker, Brisbane: 2010; http://unlimitedap.portablecontent.com/2010/06/dia-bubble-and-speak-breakfast/
  • Queensland Art Teachers Association (QATA) Connections Secondary Schools Inservice Day Invited Speaker, Brisbane: 2010
  • DIA design:action! WA Branch Member Event Invited Speaker, Perth: 2010
  • DIA design:action! Interior Design Workshop for Salvation Army Project  - Curtin University & Central Institute of Technology, Perth - Invited Speaker
  • International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) General Assembly 2009 Australian Representative Speaker, Dubai, UAE