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Perspective

5 Minutes with Caitlin Quinlan,
Communications Consultant at NHO
04.10.22

Here, Caitlin Quinlan, Communications Consultant at NHO, reflects on the design media landscape, her career highlights and current curiosities. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, Caitlin has gained nearly 10 years’ experience across marketing, events, media and communications within agency environments in Melbourne and London, where she has facilitated unique client positioning among peers and aligned media.

Q: Describe a day in your role as Communications Consultant at NHO.

A: A typical day for me always begins with an early rise – I find I’m most productive in the morning. My workdays vary from attending photoshoots, interviewing clients, liaising with media about a new project or collection, to working on the strategic direction for client profiling, forthcoming projects and/or social campaigns.

My client portfolio spans architecture, interior, furniture and lighting design, so, as you can imagine, my day-to-day tasks are always different. We work with some of the most interesting and inspiring people within the design community and I’m continuously wowed by their passion, knowledge and creativity.

There are also many industry events to attend: local exhibitions, talks, tours and showroom openings. During the warmer months, I like to end the day with a beach walk. I find it’s a great way to take a step back, breathe and reset before heading into the evening.

“We work with some of the most interesting and inspiring people within the design community and I’m continuously wowed by their passion, knowledge and creativity.” – Caitlin Quinlan

Q: What are some of your career highlights?

A: I’ve been fortunate to enjoy many career highlights, however one formative experience that comes to mind is working on the London Festival of Architecture during my time in London, and more specifically, on the launch of the first Dulwich Picture Gallery Pavilion. London design firm IF_DO won much acclaim for its ‘After Image’ which opened the summer season and marked the gallery’s 200th anniversary.

The reflective panel design mirrored the building’s brick facades and was such a beautiful juxtaposition, described as a “lively marriage of moving mirrored screens”. At the opening event, a surprise guest performed — Florence and the Machine. It was truly special to be part of this pivotal opening event.

Having worked for NHO for a number of years, it’s been incredibly rewarding to help facilitate the growth and evolution of our clients, sharing their challenges and successes along the way. Working with the National Gallery of Victoria on Melbourne Design Week has been a particularly unique experience – working closely with an array of designers, artists, gallerists, institutions, and retailers representing the full design ecosystem.

John Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery summer pavilion for London Festival of Architecture, by IF_DO.
Photography courtesy of Dezeen.

John Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery summer pavilion for London Festival of Architecture, by IF_DO.
Photography courtesy of Dezeen.

Q: What advice would you give to an architect or designer who wants to secure media coverage for a project or product collection?

A: First and foremost, familiarise yourself with the publication. Read the content and look at the type of projects featured. Is there a particular style or sector that the publication focuses on? Who is photographing the features and how are the projects presented? Understanding what the publication is looking for will set you up for success.

Secondly, we always encourage our clients to invest in quality photography. Built outcomes are often the culmination of many years of design and planning, rigorous collaboration and strong working relationships – so it’s imperative the final spaces are captured thoughtfully.

“We always encourage our clients to invest in quality photography. Built outcomes are often the culmination of many years of design and planning, rigorous collaboration and strong working relationships – so it’s imperative the final spaces are captured thoughtfully.” – Caitlin Quinlan

Q: What are you looking forward to most this year?

A: I’m looking forward to a few things this year, including the arrival of our first child towards the end of this year. It’s a whirlwind of emotions launching into this exciting new chapter with my partner – we can’t wait to meet our little darling. We’re also in the process of building our first home on the Bellarine Peninsula and are hoping to move in early next year.

Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria.
Photography courtesy of Visit Melbourne.