Karen Webster for Melbourne Design Week 2022
Karen Webster for Melbourne Design Week 2022

Transforming Design for Daily Use

April 04, 2022

By Lily Sarafian

LCI Melbourne Dean and Principal, Karen Webster, partnered with Sustainability Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria to bring you ‘Transforming Design for Daily Use’ as part of Melbourne Design Week.

Karen moderated a thought-provoking discussion between industry experts including Samantha Seljak co-founder of Seljak Brand, Matt Genever interim CEO of Sustainability Victoria and Jordy Kay co-founder of Great Wrap. Karen, Samantha, Matt and Jordy all work in their respective fields as change agents, promoting responsible innovation in creative industries and beyond.

The event prompted a discussion on whether a circular economy is attainable and the emerging trends and opportunities arising for designers, manufacturers and consumers. The panel considered regulation for a more responsible economy, hyperlocalism for manufacturing and sourcing climate appropriate fibres and processes for each step of production.

“This shift to circular is relevant because in simple terms linear does not work”
- Karen Webster

As the restrictions from the last two years begin to ease and designers, manufacturers and consumers must navigate a post-pandemic environment; more people are beginning to question “how was it made? when was it made? can I keep it forever?”.

The development of responsible cutting-edge systems, new material innovation, and strategies for rethinking how we design, manufacture and sell in a circular world have never been more important.

“We need disruption, we need reversal…no more sustaining"
- Karen Webster

Despite the challenges of a ‘sustainability’ focused economy, the panel shed light on the positive opportunities and design thinking that has emerged in creative and productions spheres. We are now experiencing a shift in thinking where people care about where things end up as much as where they come from.

“The circular economy is full of storytelling, positive and challenging narratives”
- Karen Webster

MORE ABOUT THE PANEL

Karen Webster  
Karen Webster is the Dean and Principal of the Melbourne campus of internationally acclaimed Design Institute LCI, fostering innovative and progressive design education. Karen has been a design advocate and leading academic in Australian’s creative industries for over four decades. She has served on numerous government and industry advisory boards across the creative industries. 

Samantha Seljak
Samantha Seljak is co-founder and managing director of Seljak brand. Together with her sister Karina, she harnesses the value of textile waste to create beautiful products that are circular by design. Seljak Brand’s award-winning closed loop wool blankets are proving how small business can accelerate the transition to a circular economy and design for limiting global warming. 

Matt Genever
Matt is driven by the potential for the world to make positive change. He has spent some 20 years working in the sustainability sector, with a particular bent for delivering a best practice waste and recycling sector that brings true circularity to our material usage.
Matt has spent time in consulting, the not-for-profit sector and more than eight years with SV.

Jordy Kay
Jordy & Julia Kay, Co-founders of Great Wrap manufacture home compostable stretch wrap from food waste. Working with a team of scientists and engineers they are proudly developing technology that will change the world, one roll at a time.

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