01.05.19 / 2019 DIA Hall of Fame: nine eminent Australian designers to be inducted

The 2019 DIA Hall of Fame inductees announced.

The Design Institute of Australia (DIA) is pleased to announce that nine eminent Australian designers will be inducted into the DIA Hall of Fame in May 2019.

The DIA Hall of Fame is an enduring record of the pioneers, ambassadors and contributors to the Australian design industry. It showcases Australia’s design visionaries, leaders and unsung heroes and celebrates their significant contribution to Australia’s economic development and cultural identity.

In announcing the new inductees, the DIA National President, Claire Beale FDIA, said: “We pride ourselves on acknowledging the diversity and contribution of Australian designers to global design, and the benefits that they have offered through their work to the broader community. The DIA Hall of Fame program is nominations based and peer assessed, so we encourage the industry to assist us in recognising and celebrating those unsung Australian design heroes.”

Signifying an outstanding body of work, contribution to the Australian design industry or achievement in furthering the profession, the 2019 DIA Hall of Fame Inductees are:


The Late Dahl Collings
Graphic, Exhibition & Textile Design

Dahl Collings was born Dulcie Wilmott in Adelaide in 1909. She studied at East Sydney Technical College and the J.S. Watkins Art School. In 1935, Dulcie, along with her husband Geoffrey Collings and two daughters travelled to Europe. They made their first documentary film in Spain then travelled to London where Dahl, gained first-hand experience of European modernist design. On return to Sydney in 1939, Dahl became a pioneer in introducing modern design principles to local industry. She was a costume designer, film producer and director and artist. Dahl and her husband worked collaboratively for most of their lives, co-signing the majority of their work Dahl and Geoffrey Collings.


The Late Robert Foster
Industrial & Product Design

Robert Foster studied gold and silversmithing at the Canberra School of Art, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) in 1985 and a Post Graduate Diploma of Arts (Visual) in 1986. He established a studio, Fink & Co in 1993 and received major sculpture commissions including Ossolites in the foyer of the ActewAGL building in Canberra. Robert’s iconic Fink water jug epitomises his design ethos and technical prowess and is a landmark achievement in Australian design. He won numerous awards and following his untimely death in 2016, two grants were set up in his name to ensure his dedication to helping others continues.


The Late George Freedman
Interior Design

George Freedman was born in New York and attended Syracuse University to study architecture. He arrived in Australia in 1968 after Knoll International sent him to Sydney to design the executive accommodation for the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac). In 1973 George and interior designer Neville Marsh, established the successful Marsh Freedman Associates which delivered many significant projects of the time. George went on to establish George Freedman Associates in 1986 which became Freedman Rembel in 2002 until 2010. George was a Fellow of the Academy of Design Australia and the Design Institute of Australia.


Nicholas Huxley
Fashion Design & Design Education

Nicholas Huxley began his training in 1973 at East Sydney Technical College’s Fashion Design course, now TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio where he taught until his retirement as head teacher in 2018. He was a mentor for many notable designers and was instrumental in developing showcase opportunities for students at Australian Fashion Week and Strand Arcade runway shows. He designed costumes for film and TV, created illustrations for fashion magazines and served on design juries and committees including the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards in 2017. His first solo art exhibition was held at Maunsell Wicks in 2018.


Akira Isogawa
Fashion & Textile Design

Akira Isogawa was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1964 and studied Fashion Design at the East Sydney Technical College (now SIT) from 1988 to 1991. Since launching his first boutique in Sydney in 1993 and making his debut at Australian Fashion Week in 1996, Akira has shown collections in Paris and forged collaborations with the Sydney Dance Company, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Ballet and companies such as Designer Rugs, QANTAS and T2. He has contributed to Australia’s fashion design industry in numerous ways, received many awards and exhibited in major galleries including the NGV, AGNSW, MCA and MAAS.


The Late Neville Marsh
Interior Design & Interior Decoration

Neville Marsh was born in Perth in 1931. He established Neville Marsh Interiors based in Edgecliff, Sydney and with designer Ray Seide, he went on to design the interiors of architect John James’ famous Reader’s Digest Building in Surry Hills in 1967. In 1970-73 the practice re-designed the new Her Majesty’s Theatre interiors in Quay St, Haymarket and in 1975 he formed a partnership with architect George Freedman. Neville was an active member of the Society of Interior Designers (SIDA) and his work was included in Babette Hayes’ books, Australian Style (1970) and Design for Living (1978).


Gavan Ranger
FDIA Architecture & Interior Design

Gavan Ranger has a degree in Architecture from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Science in Engineering Science majoring in transportation, from The University of California, Berkeley. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia and has served on a range of committees and advisory panels. In 1996 he received a Life Fellowship from the Australian Institute of Architects and was recognised as one of South Australia’s 25 Design Icons in 2017.


Kirsten Stanisich
FDIA Architecture & Interior Design

Kirsten Stanisich has a degree in architecture from University of Melbourne. During her long career with SJB Interiors in Sydney, Kirsten has designed and overseen many significant projects. She has made an outstanding contribution to the practice of interior design and interior architecture in NSW through her leadership roles, creative output and active participation in the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). She was a Board Director and NSW President of the DIA from 2012 to 2014 and in 2018, Kirsten established a new practice, Richards Stanisich with Jonathan Richards.


Harry Stephens
FDIA Architecture, Interior Architecture & Design Education

Harry Stephens graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) as an architect in 1968. His first major project in the Design Section of the NSW Government Architect’s Branch inspired his lifelong interest in interior design. In 1969 he taught at the Mary White Art School in Edgecliff, Sydney and in 1970 began teaching architecture at UNSW where he later established the first Interior Architecture degree course in Australia. He was integral to the establishment of IDEA, the Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association and served on the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) NSW Branch and as a DIA National Director.


The new inductees will be formally welcomed into the DIA Hall of Fame at an exclusive event at the Powerhouse Theatrette at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in May.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Committee is chaired by James Harper LFDIA with Joanne Cys LFDIA, Geoff Fitzpatrick LFDIA, Michael Bogle and Paul van Barneveld.

2019 DIA Hall of Fame Media Pack including Inductee’s Full Citations, Headshots and Past Projects can be found here.

For further details, please visit DIA Hall of Fame here.

The Design Institute of Australia (DIA) is the organisation through which designers work for the future of the design professions in Australia.

As Australia’s peak industry body for professional design, the DIA represents Australian design and designers both domestically and internationally.

We exist to help Australia’s professional designers to succeed in business and to enjoy their working lives, while collectively growing Australia’s reputation as a Design Nation.

The DIA brings together design practitioners with people and organisations who employ, educate, commission, support and promote designers. As such, our membership includes design practitioners and participants in Australia’s design industry.


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0405 101 887

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