Simone Mandl

Principal: Bushfire’s Initiative Lead

Doctor of Philosophy in Art, Design & Media, University New South Wales; Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication (first class honours); Bachelor of Arts/Communication (International Studies), University Technology Sydney

A participatory designer and generative researcher, Simone has over 14 years’ experience helping communities and organisations create visions for sustainable, equitable futures through fieldwork, co-design and design-led research.

Simone joins us from the world of commercial design and innovation where she lead cross-disciplinary design and research teams through transformations at scale. A visual designer and art director by trade, Simone is passionate about re-imagining the role of the visual designer as one who foregrounds and makes sense of complexity, rather than one who works to hide it. A committed educator, Simone continues to lecture in Visual Communication at University Technology, Sydney, where she most recently taught alongside Indigenous elders and practice leaders to help future designers work more successfully with Indigenous people, practices and ways of knowing.

At TACSI her role is to shape, share and evolve design research processes that activate, sustain and orient positive social change. A big advocate for the power of play, participation and the right of reply, she loves creating hands-on experiences that help people feel comfortable sharing stories about themselves, gives them the tools to become better listeners, and helps them see their story alongside other people’s experiences.

When she’s not at work, you’ll find her plotting new projects, cooking with friends, drawing patterns and weaving cloth.