Emily Rayner joins the team at Niche Media as the editorial director of its built environment titles, including Australian Design Review (ADR), Architectural Review, Facility Management and Niche’s flagship interior design publication, inside. Rayner will also be involved with IDEA, the 30UNDER30 program and the Business of Architecture and Design conference.
Rayner’s media career has taken her all the way to London, Paris, New York and back, interviewing Beyoncé when she was still in Destiny’s Child and Lady Gaga before she was filling out arenas.
“I had the great fortune of interviewing some of the world’s most incredible musicians and creatives, including Coldplay, U2 and Queen for ITV, BBC and Channel4,” she says.
Rayner witnessed firsthand the digital revolution of journalism and publishing and, since moving back to Australia 16 years ago, she has carved out a career transforming traditional media organisations into omnichannel content publishers.
This started with seven years in Sydney working with commercial broadcasters Southern Cross Austereo and Nova as head of digital and content, where she pioneered podcasting and the use of social media to drive audience engagement.
“Then I moved home to Melbourne where I developed my love of design media and architecture at Fairfax/Nine Media as executive editor at Domain, Domain Prestige, Commercial Property and Domain Weekly Review,” Rayner says.
What draws Rayner to the world of design is the way it “ignites her creativity”.
“I remember reading ‘Architecture of Happiness’ by Alain De Botton and the huge impact it had on me back in the mid-2000s,” she recalls.
“It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I realised how much architecture and design can shape our emotions and well-being. Since then, I’ve been captivated by the power of design to create meaningful and beautiful experiences and connections.”
Rayner says she’s “in awe” of a designer’s ability to bring ideas to life, make positive impacts, and create things that resonate with the way people live their lives – and she hopes to deliver the same for the architecture and design (A&D) community in her new role.
“Design media at Niche publications serves as a platform for the A&D community to explore and exchange ideas, pushing the boundaries of creativity and inspiring positive change in various domains. It serves as a catalyst for collaboration, enabling the emergence of new perspectives, trends and approaches that drive innovation and transform the industry,” she says.
A naturally curious person, Rayner hopes to bring a fresh perspective to these established titles. Expect to see more features on sustainability, intersectionality in A&D, collaborations between Indigenous communities, artists and designers, innovations in design, practice partner project spotlights, and future trends in urban planning and liveability.
“By showcasing exemplary work, providing educational resources, and facilitating discourse, design media titles like ADR, inside, Facility Management and Architectural Review empower the industry to challenge conventions, embrace diversity, and create impactful solutions that address complex challenges.”
“It’s essential to provide a platform for emerging talent to gain visibility and recognition, and that’s why we’re following up ADR’s 30UNDER30 interior and product design stream with the launch of the next tranche of 30UNDER30: architects and innovators of the built world.”
ADR is hosting a 30UNDER30 panel titled ‘Greenwashing vs The Real Deal’ in Meanjin (Brisbane) later this month, in partnership with Tongue and Groove. Come along and meet Emily Rayner!