Melbourne Studio Leadership Doubles

Culture / Studio News

Our Melbourne studio announced today five new senior leadership positions, as two new Principals and three Senior Associates strengthen DesignInc’s leadership team. All the appointments are internal promotions.

In a shared statement, our Melbourne Directors, Christon Batey-Smith, Stephen Webb and Rohan Wilson said, ‘The promotions announced today reflect a strategy we set in train 18 months ago, to create clearer pathways for career progression and more opportunities for our people within DesignInc to grow and evolve as leaders.’ The new roles reflect each person’s capability to lead complex teams, deliver large-scale projects, collaborate with other practices, and interface at senior levels with clients, stakeholders, and the industry.

Melbourne Studio leadership doubles
Jane Sayers and Kieran Leong. Photo: Lucas Allen

New Principals, Jane Sayers and Kieran Leong are passionate about the power of design to influence peoples’ lives.

Jane Sayers is a design architect who has contributed to many of our award-winning projects. ‘Elevating design excellence and leadership of healthy buildings with biophilic design principles will be at the core of my new role,’ Jane said. As Principal, Jane has increased involvement across a broader portfolio of projects in education, health, and research sectors, often working in collaboration with other design firms

My strength is to develop and interpret the design intent, making sure that the conceptual framework is fully realised and guides our design decisions.

Jane Sayers
Principal, DesignInc Melbourne

A vocal advocate for healthy buildings, Kieran Leong is fast gaining a reputation for pursuing excellence in healthy buildings, combining high-level sustainability targets with biophilic design and people-focused connections. Leading DesignInc’s Glenroy Community Hub, Kieran anticipates the building will be Australia’s first Passive House and Living Building Challenge community project when it opens early next year.

My job is to ensure that DesignInc delivers on creating healthy buildings. My first-hand involvement with projects allows me to constantly be learning from our successes and challenges; raising the bar for excellence as we go.

Kieran Leong
Principal, DesignInc Melbourne
Melbourne Studio leadership doubles
Cameron Smith, Michelle Harris, and Simon McKeown. Photo: Lucas Allen

The new Senior Associates are Cameron SmithMichelle Harris, and Simon McKeown. All three are promoted from Associate level, are registered architects, and have been with the Melbourne studio for over five years.

Cameron Smith has been responsible for delivering many of DesignInc’s most challenging buildings. He contributes across diverse aspects of projects, steering design, managing resourcing, client relations and construction delivery. ‘Complex fast-moving projects that demand agility and problem-solving skills are the jobs I enjoy most. Having the versatility to straddle roles and support the entire team to perform at their best is my speciality,’ said Cameron.

Architect and project leader, Michelle Harris has a passion for community and local government projects. Keenly aware of the opportunities afforded an architect working on community buildings, she is driven by the power of imagining how the people using a space will feel. Michelle’s role also includes leading professional development for our Melbourne team.

With an acute technical approach, Simon McKeown’s focus is on buildability delivered through accurate and robust yet subtle detailing that often works best when it is unseen. Simon’s role includes training and mentoring across our Melbourne studio. He said, ‘Growing our practice-wide sustainability and practical skills helps DesignInc to deliver on our goal for healthy buildings.’ Simon leads internal forums to share his technical capability and knowledge with the team and reinforce the design culture within the studio.

On the appointments, our Melbourne directors said, ‘These leadership appointments reflect our confidence in our people and our intention to encourage an expanded mix of strengths and more diversity of styles and viewpoints. Despite COVID-19, 2020 and 2021 have been very busy at DesignInc. Our plans are taking shape to build the momentum of our practice as we work toward our vision to create Australia’s healthiest buildings.’