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Senior Management

Billy Blue College of Design
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Mieke Leppens|Dean of Design, Postgraduate studies & Research

Dr Mieke Leppens has 25 years’ experience in the international design arena having worked mainly in the fields of fashion design, fashion marketing and design education. Her professional design career spans across all levels of the industry from haute couture in Paris to design original in Belgium and fast fashion and brand fashion labels in Australia. Mieke has extensive design teaching expertise right across the board - in private colleges, universities, design studios, with theory and research subjects, and in writing and implementing new design programs. She was awarded a PhD at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Mieke actively participates in the furthering of the Australian fashion design industry by writing, winning and implementing Federal Government grants allocated to Australian fashion companies for creative improvements of their businesses culture. She was the external consultant in the development of the Bachelor of Design (Branded Fashion) course at Billy Blue College of Design.

Qualifications

  • PhD: Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology

Scott Skipworth|Program Director – Interior Design

Scott Skipworth is passionate about the transforming capabilities of spatial design, having been involved in many projects that improved the lives of people at home, at school, at work, and at play within local and international communities.

Scott likens Billy Blue’s “applied design” pedagogic orientation of connecting students with industry in a cross-disciplinary setting to the Bauhaus approach of his alma mater Illinois Institute of Technology (started by Bauhaus’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Moholy Nagy). Following graduation from IIT, Scott worked with Gwathmey Siegel in New York City for ten years. Clients included Guggenheim Museum, Sony, Pepsico, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, W Hotel and private residential clients. As an Associate at Ike Kligerman Barkley in New York City, Scott led residential projects for celebrity clients in Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York and Michigan. In Sydney, Scott led an innovative house project in Palm Beach with fjmt Studio. Scott has his own studio, SPS Architecture, having designed interior projects in Darling Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rose Bay and Bellevue Hill.

Scott is particularly interested in ways remotely located interiors and digital/virtual environments are merged through technology to constitute a unified spatial experience challenging the biological limits of human embodiment, the physical boundaries of interiors and the definition of place. He has coordinated Billy Blue College of Design subjects in which students investigate augmenting environments with links to remote physical locations and 3D website prototypes.

Qualifications

  • Master of Architecture: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
  • Bachelor of Arts, Art History: Hope College, Michigan

Nathan Scoular|Program Director – Digital Media, Photo Imaging, Media Design

Nathan has 15 years’ experience in the visual communication design industry and education sector. He has worked as a creative director and art director for prominent design, packaging and branding agencies including XOU, Pearshop and Jack Watts Currie. Nathan has led the creative direction of corporate communications teams, developed visual identities, environmental graphics, packaging and advertising campaigns across both print and digital media.

Nathan has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2008, specialising in the development, delivery and coordination of all typography and branding subjects throughout the degree program. He jointly coordinates and manages the first year of the communication design stream in Sydney, as well as developing curriculum material in conjunction with the academic team and mentoring colleagues new to teaching. Outside of his management, teaching and pastoral support roles, Nathan has received multiple Australian Publishers Association Awards in the book design category since 2008. His team was also a finalist in the Australian Graphic Design Association Biennial Design Awards, Identity category in 2004 and was awarded a distinction in the packaging FMCG category the same year.

Nathan is committed to improving our students’ educational experience and professional skills via his passionate teaching of typography that he infuses with technology, logic and a love of the design process.

Qualifications

  • Advanced Diploma, Design and Advertising, Billy Blue College of Design
  • Certificate IV, Adult Training and Assessment, Hostec
  • Certificate IV, Training and Assessment, MIA

Mark O’Dwyer|Program Director – 8 Core

Mark has over 20 years’ experience in the visual communication design industry and education fields. He has worked as creative director for renowned design and branding agencies both locally and internationally including Enterprise IG, Armstrong Miller & McLaren and The Ball Group. Mark has directed brand strategy and identity projects that encompass many spheres from corporate to retail across both print and digital media. Mark has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2007, specialising in the delivery and coordination of third year design thinking and design and business subjects.

Mark coordinates and manages the day to day running of the communication design stream in Sydney, as well as developing curriculum material in conjunction with the Head of Academic Studies. Outside of his management, teaching and pastoral support roles Mark is a member of the Design Management Institute and has received multiple Australian National Print Awards in the annual report category since 2004. He has presented at The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) conference, in a co-authored paper entitled ‘End of the Beginning’. Mark is passionate about the power that design thinking has to transform out-moded business models and is constantly expanding the role design entrepreneurship plays within the community at Billy Blue.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Design in Visual Communications, Limerick School of Art and Design, IRL
  • Diploma of Arts in Design in Visual Communications, Limerick School of Art and Design, IRL
  • Foundations in Learning and Teaching (FILT), Macquarie University

Russell Ponting|Program Director, Branded Fashion

Russell has spent over 20 years in the fashion industry, specialising in fashion marketing and branding. He has worked with companies such as Globe International and Pacific Brands managing marketing for an array of youth fashion brands including Stussy, Superdry, Mossimo and Mooks.

Eric Thompson|Director Innovation, Industry and Employability

Eric has been a practicing designer for 25 years and an educator for the past 11 years and holds a Master of Design. He has worked in New Zealand & England, where he had his own design agency in London for eight years, and now in Australia as the Director of Innovation, Industry and Employability for the Design Vertical at Torrens University. He is an award winning designer, lecturer, journalist and a best selling author. Eric has also taken part on various national and international design discussion panels and facilitated a number of successful design hackathons and hosts a Vlog on creativity.

Robyn Latimer|Program Director Communication Design And Graphic Design

Robyn has a Bachelor of Design, Visual Communication from UTS and a Graduate Certificate of Design from TUA. She has practiced within multi sectors of the design industry including studio owner/operator for 25 years. Starting out at HarperCollins Publishers heading the coveted Fiction, and Gift & Stationary lists, publishing became her area of specialisation in both print and digital formats. Robyn is passionate about using design ‘for good and not evil’ and has performed work on a pro-bono basis in the not-for-profit sector for the past 10 years for which she received a 2010 NSW volunteer of the year award. Robyn is now Program Director of Communication Design and Graphic Design at Billy Blue Design School, Torrens University Australia.