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Davina Bester named a judge for IDEA 2024

Davina Bester named a judge for IDEA 2024


Davina Bester, founder and managing director of Perth-based multidisciplinary design practice Milieu Creative has been named as a judge for IDEA 2024

With more than 20 years of experience, Bester is an accomplished architect, interior designer and qualified builder. Leading a rapidly growing team from Milieu Creative’s main office in Perth, Bester applies a holistic and collaborative approach to every project she’s part of.

This ethos of design excellence and collaboration extends beyond the work of Milieu, which is in part what motivated Bester to take on the role of judge this year. 

“The IDEA awards are a fantastic program, which feels very aligned to my ethos,” she says. “I’m excited to be able to give back to a community that I am so passionate about, and contribute to the growth of an industry that has filled my cup for so many years.”

For Bester, design is about the people she’s designing for. Across the entire process, her philosophy is one of integration and the creation not only of an aesthetically resolved space that functions well, but also the creation of a genuine community and an atmosphere of togetherness. 

“Our practice has become known for our commercial workplaces,” Bester says. “Personally, I am fascinated by them as they’re no longer in their traditional form. Workplace design is now about hospitality, health and wellbeing, bringing people together and building a sense of community. All these different sectors intersect in one workplace environment, which is an exciting challenge for a designer.” 

Aerial view of the Mineral Resources village. Image courtesy of Milieu Creative

One project that highlights Bester and Milieu Creative’s commitment to making a positive impact and building community through workplace design is working on resort style villages for Mineral Resources which put the health and wellbeing of their employees at the forefront of their design brief. 

In what will go on to become the flagship of a multi-site rollout across Mineral Resources locations. Bester and her team have worked closely with the client to bring their vision for a world-class resort-style village to life. 

“A personal career highlight was having the opportunity to be the project director for the Mineral Resources new headquarters,” she says. “I loved guiding the client and leading the architectural and consultant team to deliver a project for a client that set their new benchmark that ensured their amenity offering was of equal importance to their workspace.” 

The conceptual design approach ensured the environment genuinely catered to the needs of employees, supporting them to excel at work, as well as thrive personally. This included a gymnasium, medical centre, cafe, creche and restaurant. 

Concept render of the pool at Mineral Resources. Image courtesy of Milieu Creative

Milieu and Bester have become known for their genuine care, attention to detail and working strategically and intimately with clients to push the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to making a positive impact through considered design of the built environment. 

Bester’s passion for design is rivalled only by her commitment to, and appreciation for the value of excellent project management. She and the team based themselves onsite to ensure everything went smoothly during the Mineral Resources project.

Managing a team of over 35 designers and architects across multiple cities can be challenging for a mother of three, but Bester’s dedication is inspirational.

Concept render of the recreation facilities at Mineral Resources. Image courtesy of Milieu Creative

As IDEA entries begin to come in, Bester’s experience in the design industry, spanning from conceptualisation to construction of livable spaces, together with her passion and vision for an ever evolving industry, will play an important role in shaping the future of Australian design.

 “What I’m looking for is the degree to which the projects have a positive impact on the inhabitants of spaces,” Bester says. “I’m excited to see the innovative ways designers are leveraging new ideas to enhance the built environment, from sustainability, community connection, and also the sensory [impact].” 

Find out more about IDEA 2024


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