Researcher

Professor Suzanne Boccalatte

Keywords

Biography

Suzanne Boccalatte is a creative contributor and authority in design, art and culture in Australia and internationally. In 2018, she was appointed Professor of Practice, UNSW Art & Design. She is founder and director of Boccalatte—an award-winning strategic design and creative consultancy for social and cultural organisations. Boccalatte works on projects that encourage curiosity, foster culture and enrich society. Suzanne has appeared on...view more

Suzanne Boccalatte is a creative contributor and authority in design, art and culture in Australia and internationally. In 2018, she was appointed Professor of Practice, UNSW Art & Design. She is founder and director of Boccalatte—an award-winning strategic design and creative consultancy for social and cultural organisations. Boccalatte works on projects that encourage curiosity, foster culture and enrich society. Suzanne has appeared on TV, radio, presented to conferences and masterclasses on topics as diverse as AI, future of work, design in culture, creativity in uncertain times, and female futures. 

For the past 25 years, Boccalatte has created and designed some of the major cultural brands in Australia: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Carriageworks, Campbelltown Arts Centre, ABC Arts, HOTA: Home of the Arts, Creative Australia (National Cultural Policy), Screen Producers Australia, Arts NSW, National Heritage Festival to name a few. Boccalatte has also worked with Screen Producers Australia, Screen Forever, Studio A, Creative Australia, HOTA and MAAS in name development. Suzanne's experience has included complex strategic design—either as part of a larger rebranding or renaming project (e.g. MAAS, Screen Producers Australia, HOTA) or over time as the offer evolved and extended (e.g. Bundanon Trust, National Trust). Her collaborative and consultative approach comes into its own here—especially if the organisation has had a long and entrenched history and bigger changes are required. Relationship building and management at a senior level across diverse stakeholder groups and extensive experience with community, partners and government. Suzanne has worked collaboratively with key stakeholders to develop world-class creative destinations that delight and inspire, attract international attention, all within the parameters of budget and partnerships.

Suzanne publishes books co-edits Trunk—an award-winning compendium with contributors from the global creative community. Her work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney University of Technology, Sydney and private collections.

Recent accomplishments:

• HOTA, Home of the Arts, Gold Coast 2017–present: Collaborated with the board and executive team in a time of major change, building relationships with a skeptical community and then transformed the precinct from a regional art gallery to an international destination. Working with partners, stakeholders and government, Suzanne led the concept, name, brand strategy and visual identity and consolidated the venue sub-brand, under the parent brand, Home of the Arts (HOTA). The first week after launch HOTA was mentioned over 45 million times by the media.

• ACMI, Melbourne, 2016: Following an internally-driven brand refresh, Boccalatte was engaged to design a state-of-the-art digital platform to articulate and expand brand ACMI. This included workshops with the senior leadership team and staff creating consensus around the big issues for the project including design and content strategy.

• Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Sydney 2014–16 : Worked with the board and executive team in a time of significant transformation. In the rebirth of one of Australia’s most loved museums, Suzanne led the concept, design, brand strategy and visual identity and consolidated the venue sub-brands—the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory and Discovery Centre—under the parent brand MAAS. Aligned the brand promise for MAAS, Boccalatte delivered a bold visual identity, a suite of promotional, environmental, and merchandising assets.

• Carriageworks, Sydney, 2011–2018: Developed a bold visual identity and digital presence for Carriageworks. Its brand is as robust, ambitious and unrelenting as its program delivery, and one that complements the significance of its physical space. By reframing the brand experience from a ‘hall for hire’ to an international cultural precinct, in five years they achieved a seven-fold increase in attendances—more than a doubling in revenue.

• Guardian Australia, Sydney 2016–2017: Presented a series of national masterclasses for The Guardian and facilitated the sell-out public workshop ‘Can We Solve the Asylum Seeker Crisis’ for The Guardian at the 2016 Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney Opera House. Demonstrating the power of understanding audiences and design-thinking processes.


My Qualifications

PhD candidate, University of Western Sydney, 2020
Master of Creative Writing, UTS, 2018
Bachelor of Visual Arts (First Class Hons), University of Sydney, 1995
Grad Diploma in Communications Management, University of Technology (UTS), 1989


My Awards

Received local and international recognition for work including:
• Communication Arts, NYC
• Gold Graphis Awards, NYC
• MAPDA, Australia
• AGDA Awards, Australia
• NYC Publishers Awards


My Research Activities

Currently working on a project for UNSW A&D exploring and imagining the future of design education, to ask the questions—Are we designing the right designers to tackle our fast changing future? How do we teach designers to be more fluid and critical in these times?

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