30 Years of Innovation

D+I was founded in a boatshed in Balmain, Sydney, in 1987.


Murray Hunter founded Design + Industry (D+I) in a boatshed in the Sydney suburb of Balmain in 1987. We were a small band of adventurers, approaching each new project with optimism and a can-do swagger, pushing boundaries and harbouring a mild disdain for the establishment. Routinely forced to replace our rusting computers, we caught a spirit of reinvention in those early days that has stayed with us to this day.

As our experience and team grew, the world began to change. New product timelines were halved, then halved again. Technology bowed to Moore's law, with clients in a race to release the Next Big Thing. Global markets reeled with each new crisis, money was tight, and manufacturing was sent off-shore, never to return. Alongside this uncertainty came a wider understanding of design thinking, and it's power to solve business problems. We bore witness to a disruptive change that transformed the design landscape.

As Australia's largest industrial design consultancy we now faced a new challenge: "how do we maintain leadership, expand the business, and develop an enhanced foundation for the future in this new environment?" In short, how do we respond to change?

We recognised this challenge as the same one confronted by a product reaching maturity: the need to leverage existing strengths while, at the same time, embracing the uncertainty of new ideas.

As designers, creativity is our most abundant resource. True to our founding spirit we began a new transformation by design, seeking to expand the business, increase profitability, provide an enhanced foundation for the future, and create opportunities for the team. To achieve those outcomes used design tools to innovate in three areas of the business: our working environment, business processes, and team culture.

We started this journey as adventurers, and we still rise to any challenge, recognising that the one constant in business is change. Equipped for the challenges ahead, we continue to push ourselves and our clients forward, ready to embrace new opportunities, and never afraid to ask what's over the horizon.