Vanessa Cullen is the Principal of Forward Thinking Design & has owned her own business since 2003 (starting out aged 21). Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Design (Hons, UNSW) & a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies (Deakin), is an Accredited Member of the Design Institute of Australia, is the Junior Vice President of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Shop and Office Fitting Association and has over a decade of experience in interior architecture.
The NSW Business Chamber recognised Vanessa as a Finalist in their Future Business Leader Award 2012. She was also named Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2012 Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence. Anthill Magazine selected Vanessa in their “30Under30” Young Entrepreneurs Awards in 2009 and 2010.
Vanessa balances her business life with training and competing as a trailrunner and current Australian representative triathlete. She is Founder of the plant based wellbeing social enterprise; morethanpkd.com, is the Ambassador for PKD Australia and is an Associate Member of Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Her background is also in plant based nutrition, massage therapy and martial arts. She loves yoga, travel, eating out and spending time with her cat; Yoda.
Vanessa shares her knowledge and experiences through undertaking regular public speaking and guest contributor engagements. If you would like Vanessa to present at your next event, or to write for your publication, please call 02 8850 4977.
Considering starting a business or undertaking a fitout or renovation? Got questions? Phone sessions with our Principal Vanessa Cullen can be booked via https://clarity.fm/vanessacullen Her extensive experience in Retail, Hospitality and Service Based Business Strategy, Planning, Development, Branding, User Experience, Customer Engagement, Fitout Design and Project Management is available for your advantage, from anywhere in the world, at a time convenient to you. Book a 5 minute chat or schedule in a long-form appointment; it’s up to you. https://clarity.fm/vanessacullen
Chan Ly studied in the UK at University of Huddersfield graduating in 1999 with 1st Class Honours in BA Interior Design. She has worked in both Belgium and London and now resides in Australia where she is a member of the DIA. In 2008, after several years as a Senior Designer in Sydney, Chan left with her partner and 2 young children to go sailing the east coast of Australia on their catamaran. During her 4 years out of the design industry, sailing and travelling, Chan trained as a Breakfast Chef and greatly enjoyed her experience working in a commercial kitchen. We are glad she has re-settled and brought her creative talents back to design though! Chan and her family now live ‘off the grid’ in a National Park. Chan speaks basic Cantonese, enjoys travel, arts, yoga and healthy living, is also currently studying Natural Healing and Massage Therapy, and has recently adopted a Siberian Husky.
Josie Stevenson studied at Raffles College of Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Interior Design. Josie holds a Grade 8 in piano, has 2 cats, and enjoys playing Netball and Oztag. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Liv Tyler and Anne Hathaway, which is perhaps the reason Josie has a weakness for shoes, of which she currently owns over 60 pairs. She also believes strongly in the adage ‘Creative minds are rarely tidy’, or at least that’s the excuse she uses.
Lina studied the Bachelor of Interior Design (commercial) at Billy Blue College of Design for 3 years. Lina joined the Forward Thinking Design team towards the end of her last semester and is constantly gaining new skills with us at our practice. Other than designing, Lina enjoys shopping and catching up on her favourite TV shows, as well as family and friends.
Emma-Jane is currently in her first year of the Bachelor of Interior Design course at the Design Centre Enmore. She has had a love for interior design since she was a child; although her tastes have drastically changed from the orange and black tiger stripes she wanted to paint her walls when she was little. When she isn’t studying or working, Emma-Jane can be found drawing, playing her favourite songs on the piano or eating copious amounts of cereal. She also has an affinity for organisation and will often be found cleaning and rearranging anything she can get her hands on.
Steve Wall has been collaborating with Vanessa Cullen from almost the birth of Forward Thinking Design. Originally from Zimbabwe, Steve studied graphic design in Harare at Spencer’s School of Art and Design and continued his training as an understudy to David Marsdon, a Creative Director at Matthewman Banks Advertising Agency in Zimbabwe. Steve then moved to UK where he lived for 14 years. During this period, he owned a design company before moving to Australia in 2004. He is a graphic design wizard who has previously studied theology and enjoys travel, the outdoors, playing tennis and squash and he owns properties in Spain.
Naandi Parikh graduated from the School of Interior Design India with First Class Honours 2004. She then moved to Australia and attained a Graduate Diploma in Design from UTS. In 2015 Naandi moved back to India to live with her family. Naandi teaches Interior Design at university in India and documents projects for Forward Thinking Design. Naandi also enjoys cooking, music, travelling and spending time with her 5yr old son.