At the beginning of 2018 everyone at Meld came together to define our priorities for the year and look key aspects of our business, our work, and our relationships with each other. One of the key outputs from those efforts was a re-articulation of our values, and a re-affirmation of our purpose as an organisation.
Throughout the year the importance of those values have been reinforced time and again. They have allowed us to make difficult decisions with respect to our people and our clients, confident in the support of those around us.
We have been fortunate to celebrate important life events with our colleagues – marriages and births in particular; as well as be there to support each other through more difficult and stressful times – in our relationships, buying & selling homes, and the sadness of death. These are all part of what it means to maintain a healthy work-life balance and, more importantly, to feel confident in bringing your whole self to work and be nurtured and cared for in the workplace. We are all humans, in all the complexity that that entails, and we continue to strive to embrace that here at Meld.
During the year we bid farewell to three of the very talented people from our Senior Designer ranks – Dom, Sabina & Jess – as they sought new adventures here and abroad. We were privileged to have them with us for so long, and know the good fortune of those organisations at which they now work. Jack took the leap to explore a potential PhD and try out new areas of focus. And we’ve welcomed and farewelled interns throughout the year, who’ve each enriched us with their energy and perspectives.
We were honoured in May to be awarded the highest design award in Australia – the Best in Show at the Good Design Awards – for our work with the Queensland state government. That work, and the associated work with the Department of Housing, have been featured on television and the AFR, with the Housing project also winning a Premier’s Award in Queensland just recently.
We’ve worked this year with 54 organisations – a third of those in Government – on projects that will touch the lives of millions of Australians. One of those will eventually reach into every home in the country, making a small but important improvement to all of our lives. We’ve worked in transportation, education, financial services, GLAM (galleries, libraries & museums), and government services. And we’ve been able to work with some truly talented and passionate people along the way.
As part of our commitment to sharing our hard-learned lessons we’ve presented at conferences around the world, including Australia, Czech Republic, India, and China. We produced our first webinar, and delivered hundreds of hours of training in design.
We had the honour of co-hosting the Danish MADE exchange students (with Cox Architects) through the middle of the year, as they collaborated on a project with the Sydney Opera House. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to explore the integration of service design and architecture with a group of people here to push their thinking as far as they could.
Sadly, this will be our last Christmas at our current studios, with moves on the horizon for both the Sydney and Melbourne studios. Sydney will move first, sometime in late February/early March; Melbourne later in the year. Keep an eye out for an invitation in the new year to our studio housewarming parties!
2019 sits now just over the horizon, and we look ahead with a sense of optimism and excitement as the company enters its 10th year. With the support and kindness of our extended family of colleagues, friends and family, we have built a solid foundation upon which to continue our work, to improve the ways in which we all interact with our world.
We wish you all the best, and look forward to 2019 with you.