In 2006 an idea for a new kind of design studio was born. One that could approach complex problems and avoid oversimplified solutions. A studio that could focus on good ideas and meaningful design interventions. And a studio that could balance a genuine passion for sustainability with design. In 2007 this idea came to life, and NWD opened for business. A lot has changed over the years, and our sustainable core has grown deeper roots in the process. We create the kind of work that's needed in the world, and that's something we can all feel good about.

We take a collaborative approach to projects so our team is often changing, but at its core are passionate humans who do more than make things, we make things happen.

Niki Wallace

Niki Wallace | Principal

Niki is a designer, writer and agent of change. Her PhD research explores design's role in sustainability transitions and through NWD she aims to create change and make it desirable. Part of designing for transitions means she's also continually transitioning, personally and professionally. Niki strives to live and work in ways that avoid creating waste, and helps others to do the same. In 2017 NWD’s consultancy arm, Almost Zero, started offering coaching in sustainable transitions to zero waste. Niki personally coaches individuals and partners with schools through AZ’s Rethink Rubbish program. As part of this work she also facilitates workshops and is available for speaking engagements. She also lectures part time at UniSA.

Niki thinks collaborating is tops and never works alone. She works on the right projects with the right people at the right time, and rather than doing things for people, Niki does things with people. Her aim in all collaborations is to create space where people can more forwards, together. She practices slow-radical design thinking and invests more time in articulating problems rather than leaping to solutions. Systems thinking and relational thinking inform this approach. She uses autonomous design and transition design methods that draw on her skills as a writer, illustrator, communication designer and interaction designer. When Niki thinks about a project (in whatever form that takes) she approaches it from a lot of different perspectives. Everything she does is underpinned by a drive to improve social and environmental sustainability, because this is the kind of design the world needs in order to thrive.

Sean Killian

Lead Developer

Sean is a long-time collaborator on all things digital and he makes magical things happen in digital spaces. The collaborations between Niki at NWD and Sean at KWD have brought a great sense of balance to our digital projects and Sean's development expertise is coupled with a willingness to go the extra mile and learn even more in the process. He has a great eye for the visual and is a stickler for the details—it's that winning combo that makes Sean such a crucial part of this collaborative team!

Jude Gaffney

Content and Data Management 

Jude is the boss when it comes to managing content and crunching data. Her organisation and analysis skills keep things ticking along in the studio and as our offering continues to grow, her event management skills will be the rug that ties the whole room together!

Penny Lara

Community Engagement 

Penny has a wide variety of experience in social marketing, community engagement and sustainable design. Her research background informs her design approach and her work is underpinned by theoretical knowledge in sustainability transitions. Penny is also responsible for starting up a pretty incredible community garden and works part time as a carer in the disability sector. She's an all-round top-shelf human!








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