The ecosystem around commercial design is ever-changing. New players bring greater diversity and opportunity but also herald shifts in power. Market forces both local and global demand flexibility from businesses and an open-minded outlook from the leaders within.
FRONT.design acknowledges the complexities of commercial design today. For Liam Timms, fund manager, International Towers and an Ambassador to FRONT.design 2019, the synergies between FRONT.design’s mission and its location within International Towers’ Tower Three at Barangaroo, couldn’t be better matched. Here, he shares his thoughts on the power of diversity and change as an enabler of collaboration and positive disruption.
Indesignlive: Tell us about why International Towers is excited to be a venue partner for FRONT.design?
Liam Timms: FRONT.design’s mission is very representative of our own ambitions. We look to align with organisations that really want to be part of future thought leadership and innovation – or curiosity as we call it. We operate as a community and collaboratively within that. Collaboration comes through the relationships we have both internally and externally. Our internal collaborations are with our partners in the buildings (all of whom represent a very diverse mix of companies from all sorts of industries). For us, external collaboration is about being part of the wider community and bringing the people within our community into contact with that. [FRONT.design] represents the next level of thinking – whether it’s a product or a space. It offers a great opportunity for connecting our community with the FRONT.design community to share learnings, and take away learnings.
International Towers’ vision is to enable game-changing, like-minded organisations and industry disruptors. How do you go about facilitating change and positive disruption?
I think change is embedded in everything we do and change comes from continually experimenting. But change doesn’t come easily, you need to be on the journey. And what you find on the journey is that you are continually re-pivoting – that’s the way change comes about. Disruption comes from a mindset, a community, people being together, organisations trying to change. People often say, “Oh, that person is a disruptor”. But that person started that idea years ago.
Trying to change really means being on a continual journey and being brave; opportunities are going to come when you are on those journeys. Opportunities don’t come when you’re sitting back waiting for somebody to deliver you the perfect box with a bow around it to bop into your business. It doesn’t work that way. You need to be participating in diverse fields because … most of the change you will learn will come from somewhere other than the area you specialise in.
You mention diversity as being key to change, tell us more.
Diversity is really key to engendering change. International Towers, for example, employs people from many different industries, bringing different skills and therefore different views on how we do things. It challenges us as to why and how we do certain things. We also have a diversity of people, partners and skillsets which occupy our buildings. Coming into contact with that on a daily basis opens your mind to the world and that is what change is about.
International Towers has been recognised as one of Australia’s and New Zealand’s Most Innovative Companies for the second year running at the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies annual awards.
Book tickets to see Liam Timms speak at Positive collisions: What makes co-working tick? at FRONT.design Forum, presented by Business Interiors. Book now, seating limited.