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30UNDER30 gold partner Tongue & Groove on how connections are a lifelong resource  

30UNDER30 gold partner Tongue & Groove on how connections are a lifelong resource  


Australian Design Review’s 30UNDER30 program provides mentorship and career development in the architecture and design industry, bringing together game-changers, industry leaders, practice founders, product manufacturers, suppliers and sponsors to highlight and empower young architects and innovators of the future.

Leading the way in unlocking the power and potential of timber, Tongue & Groove has joined as a sponsor for 30UNDER30 for the second time – continually inspired by the invaluable networking, mentoring and educational opportunities the program provides. 

To celebrate the launch of the new ADR 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World stream, ADR chatted with Tongue & Groove and learned of the company’s belief in embracing hesitation and apprehension as fuel for expanding your potential. 

Australian Design Review: What motivated Tongue & Groove to sponsor the new 30UNDER30 stream, and how does it align with the company’s commitment to the industry?

Tongue & Groove: We’ve proudly sponsored this program because we’re committed to supporting the industry’s emerging talent. Our aim is to foster a community that’s not just supportive but also genuinely encouraging. 

These remarkable 30UNDER30 individuals represent the next generation of designers, and they hold a significant place in our industry’s future. It’s crucial to provide them with the encouragement and support they need as they embark on their exciting journey in these formative years.

Tongue & Groove’s General Manager Marketing Tegan Schwarz.
ADR: This is the second time Tongue & Groove has sponsored the program. What benefits did you see from your sponsorship of last year’s interior and product design stream?

Tongue and Groove: We loved the opportunities this program provided us, allowing us to connect with the industry and engage in meaningful conversations with Australia’s emerging design talent. 

The chance to learn about the challenges that young designers are currently facing was truly invaluable. Moreover, being able to reflect on how we can assist them, mentor them and help them forge connections to overcome these challenges was a fulfilling experience.

ADR: In what ways do you think the program supports young architects and innovators in their professional development and advancement within the industry?

Tongue & Groove: The program plays a vital role in unearthing hidden talent and encouraging design practices to recognise and celebrate the talent within their teams. It provides a platform for exposure and recognition, which was lacking in this field until now.

Furthermore, the chance to be mentored by Australia’s leading architects and designers is nothing short of priceless. They were once in the same position and have a wealth of experience to share. The program offers a unique opportunity for emerging talent to benefit from their insights.

Concluding with the retreat solidifies invaluable relationships for the 30UNDER30. Creating a close-knit community of peers and mentors, providing a reliable network for guidance, reflection and insights. These connections serve as a lifelong resource for the participants as they continue to grow and thrive in the field of design.

ADR: What unique opportunities and experiences does Tongue & Groove offer to the selected individuals as part of this program, and how do these contribute to their growth and recognition?

Tongue & Groove: Our team serves as the glue that unites individuals, forging valuable relationships and opening doors within the industry for the 30UNDER30. We have a knack for connecting people with others in the industry they aspire to or simple have a genuine interest in meeting.

In addition, we take great pride in celebrating outstanding design through multiple platforms. We relish the opportunity to highlight and share the remarkable work of which our 30UNDER30 are a part.

ADR: How does Tongue & Groove envision the long-term impact of the 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators’ program on the architecture and design industry, as well as in the broader community?

Tongue and Groove: Our sponsorship of the 30UNDER30 program is an investment in the future of architecture that extends beyond our organisation. Through our support, we empower the next generation of architects to develop their skills and confidence, contributing to the industry’s continuous evolution. 

These emerging talents have the potential to push the boundaries of design concepts, bringing fresh and exciting ideas to the field.

ADR: What would you say to those architects who are a little dubious about entering the program? Why should they enter 30UNDER30?

To any architect who is having doubts about entering the program, consider it an exciting adventure where there’s truly nothing to lose, but a world of incredible opportunities to gain.

Think of it like a stepping stone on your career path, a chance to explore, grow and connect with like-minded individuals. It’s a journey filled with new experiences and learning that can only enhance your skills and broaden your horizons. So, don’t let hesitation hold you back. Embrace the possibilities for you’ll find a supportive community and a wealth of knowledge waiting to help you flourish. This is your chance to expand your potential and make lasting connections that can shape your future in the most amazing ways.

Australian Design Review’s 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World stream is brought to you by major sponsor Neolith, alongside Interface, Miele and Tongue & Groove.

The program is supported by practice partners Billard Leece Partnership
, BVN, HDR, SJB, Richards Stanisich and Williams Burton Leopardi.

Photography supplied by Tongue & Groove.

Read about how 30UNDER30 alumnus Lia Popolo pushes through self-doubt.


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