Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects

Our team

William Smart
Aaron Wooster
Bill Baker
Derek Chin
Harald Straatveit
Jillian Salter
Leanne Harrington
Lucy Bedbrook
Nicole Leuning
Maggie Lum
Ron Keir

Adrian Walsh
Alexandra Gordon
Angus Hardwick
Anton Luc Bucich
Avril Brown
Ben Doherty
Dominic Tanaka Van de Ven
Donatus Gurnito
Dylan Main
Elizabeth Cox

Ginger-Rose Harrington
Gionata Comacchio
Goldie Peligrino
Hon Loong
Huw Duncan
Inacio Cardona
Jarrod Van Veen
Jason Haworth
Jo Ann Kok
Justinus Hartany

Kerrie Bolton
Layla Stanley
Marco Caldarola
Olivia Moore
Q Tran
Robert McFee
Sophia Hill
Tom Bunting
Veronique Jenkins

William Smart creative director

B. App Sc, B. Arch (Hon), ARB (UK), AACU, RAIA
Nom Arch 6381

Smart Design Studio, founded in 1997, is a multi-discipline design studio of 40 plus staff offering professional services in architecture and interior architecture and design. Smart Design Studio’s portfolio includes master-planning for urban centres, multi-unit residential developments, private dwellings, retail and commercial developments and fitouts, as well as product design.

William is the founder and Creative Director of Smart Design Studio and is directly involved in every project, contributing at all stages from design to final delivery. His buildings have received critical acclaim, many prestigious awards and have been widely published in architectural and other publications.

His, and the Studio’s, approach to design is holistic, combining both architectural and interior design with a passionate attention to detail. Since 1997, as Creative Director, William has been directly involved in each project, and is continuously exploring ideas in his work relating to flexibility, contemporary living and the merging of art and architecture.

William’s enthusiasm and passionate attention to detail is fundamental to the Studio’s success, motivating a highly dedicated team of architects and interior designers to realise projects of high quality and innovation producing work that is both detailed and resolved.


Leanne Harrington Chief Operating Officer

Leanne joined SDS in 2012 and oversees the Studio’s operations across the financial, marketing, legal, IT, HR and administrative functions. Having started her career as a creative in theatre, Leanne then transitioned into training and development for top tier corporates and senior federal government departments. Further work in human resources and recruiting gave her experience across diverse industries such as legal, telecommunications, digital and advertising.

Leanne brings a strong commitment to ensuring that the growth of the business is aligned with the creative vision and for this vision to be given the best opportunity to remain bold and undiluted. She is passionate about being responsible for all hiring at SDS in order to develop a cohesive team of people focussed on delivering work of the highest standard. Leanne is particularly proud to be part of a practice that has a strong focus on inclusiveness and where women make up 50% of the staff and over 50% of the leadership team.

Nicole Leuning ASSOCIATE/Practice Manager/team leader


Nicole is Smart Design Studio’s practice manager and team-leader for large scale projects. Her expertise lies principally in cultural, public and residential projects. She is currently overseeing the Science Gallery Melbourne, that will occupy two levels in the new Melbourne Connect precinct. Nicole was project architect for the award-winning Indigo Slam in Sydney’s Chippendale, an inspiring residence for an art-collector and for Sydney Saesoon Presbyterian Church, a large facility for a congregation of over 3000 people. She has also managed successful competition entries for mixed-use developments such as Green Square Site 15 and Newmarket Green.

After graduating, Nicole worked with Richard Goodwin on public art and architecture projects and then for a number of years in the offices of McDowell+Benedetti in the United Kingdom, where she was project architect for the unique Scale Lane Bridge over the River Hull and for Claremont Fan Court School in Surrey, set in a 90-acre landscape of outstanding historic significance. Thorough and well-organised, Nicole’s enthusiasm for delivering projects of excellence is supported by her strong management, technical and design skills.


B. Arch

Ron’s architectural experience spans nearly four decades across building types including individual houses, university buildings, commercial buildings and large scale multi residential developments. In addition to Ron’s architectural experience he has worked as a design manager and client representative with responsibility for the design development and delivery of projects containing as many as 650 apartments. Ron’s experience and involvement in architectural projects covers all places of the design and delivery process. A broad understanding of good urban design and planning guidelines are at the core of Ron’s capability at feasibility where the crucial governing parameters for designs are first established. Ron’s design perspective is also informed by constructive technologies that are required to produce high quality buildings within closely defined budgets and timelines.

Within Smart Design Studio Ron’s role is to oversee the groups within the practice that deliver multi residential buildings. He has previously worked for Kann Finch Architects and Crone Partners where his project experience has included large scale retail and commercial office buildings as well as roles in the design and documentation of multi-storey interior fit outs for the private and public sector.


BAS, B. Arch (Hon)

Lucy specialises in high-end residential, multi-residential, and commercial development. She brings considerable skill and broad experience to her role as Houses Team Leader at Smart Design Studio.

Most recently, Lucy has overseen the renovation and addition to Mandolong Residence in Mosman, and the revitalisation and extension of a grand terrace, Paddington 64. She also led the award-winning renovation of ‘Orama’, an historic residence in Sydney’s Woollahra. This remarkable project comprised the extension of a sumptuous 19th Century villa with a strikingly modern concrete addition. The imperative of matching the level of fine detailing and beauty of the old house in the new was perfectly suited to Lucy’s design flair, construction knowledge, and ability to bring these together on site. Lucy also worked as the project architect for the interiors of Quay Apartments in Haymarket – the opening of the Quay display apartment saw 80% of the 270 apartments sold on the first weekend of sales.

Lucy’s extensive knowledge of materials and finishes, skill with large scale and detailed design, and experience in delivering this on site, makes her an accomplished practitioner in all facets of architecture and design.


B. Arch (Hon), B. APP SC ED

Derek is a registered Architect with over 15 years of experience with award winning practices in both the ACT and NSW. As a result of his diverse experience, he has been project architect for a range of projects including high end residential homes, a specialised institutional building for St Lucy’s School in Wahronga, innovative commercial offices in Canberra’s Business Park and a multi-million state of the art storage facility building for a private art collector in Sydney.

At SDS, Derek is focused on the preparation and delivery of contemporary residential and commercial projects with an emphasis on elegant designs with high quality detailing. He oversaw the documentation of the Phillip Street refurbishment project, the $12M rejuvenation of a pair of multi-storey storey mixed use commercial and retail buildings originally built in the 50s and 70s in Sydney’s CBD. Other projects include the Mandolong and Wollumbi Residences, and the Bridge Street Refurbishment.

In addition to his technical knowledge and an appreciation for high quality designs, Derek exhibits strong problem-solving skills in working collaboratively with clients, consultants and builders to successfully deliver buildings of all categories and complexities.


B. Arch (Hon 1), B SC. Arch

Maggie has over fifteen years of experience in both architecture and interiors and has a varied portfolio including multi-residential developments, houses, retail and commercial projects. On many projects Maggie has been responsible for all stages from sketch design, development application, documentation through to construction administration. Maggie has a passion for delivering beautiful results on both large and small-scale projects. She worked previously for Alex Popov and Associates and Peddle Thorp.
Maggie was the project leader for the Saatchi & Saatchi fitout in the heritage listed Metcalfe Bond Stores, shortlisted for the 2012 NSW Australian Institute of Architect’s Award for Interior Architecture. She was a key team member on multi-residential projects including Connor at Central Park for Frasers, Alexander at Barangaroo for Lend Lease and Figtree Pocket for CBus Property. Commercial projects include offices for Woolworths Liquor Group in the iconic Readers Digest building and fitouts for the tutoring college, Matrix Education. She has also worked on private residential projects.
Maggie is also experienced on projects with heritage significance, as demonstrated by her involvement with Saatchi & Saatchi and the Morris Suites 201 & 101 in BMA House.

Jillian Salter TEAM LEADER

B. SC Arch, B. Arch

Jillian has over 15 years of experience working for architectural practices across a variety of sectors including retail, commercial, institutional and residential. Through working with large, renowned international practices including HASSELL (Sydney) and Foster + Partners (London), she has acquired a wide range of design and leadership skills on substantial sophisticated projects, including problem solving of complex issues, planning of large scale submissions and directing and coordinating project teams from concept stages through to construction.

Prior to SDS, Jillian was working with bespoke architectural practice Oliver Morgan Architects on a large private residential project through which she was able broaden her skills to include production information of joinery, budget monitoring and cost control, small contract administration, tender negotiations and building direct end-user client relationships.

Jillian is highly driven to achieve excellence through a conscientious dedicated approach, flexible attitude and versatile skill set. She brings this positive approach to her role as Team Leaders of Large Scale Projects at SDS.


B. D IND (Hon)

Aaron has over 10 years of knowledge and experience across the disciplines of interior design and architecture. Before joining Smart Design Studio, he worked in award-winning multidisciplinary studios in Australia and the Middle East with a focus on high end residential projects, both single and large scale.

Aaron is renowned for his ability to work with, and nurture clients throughout the entire design process. With a holistic approach to each project, Aaron continues to champion philosophies that deliver a timeless outcome for all projects.

Applying high quality and bespoke solutions to every brief, Aaron continues to seek new and innovative ways to solve design challenges. He brings this rigorous approach to his current role as Interiors Team Leader at SDS, where he continues to lead a diverse range of residential and multi residential projects. He is currently overseeing the renovation of Goodhope 44, a unique inner city home, as well as finely detailed interiors for developments such as Hall 20, Green Square and Shell Cove.


ADIP APP SC Arch dft (1st place)

Goldie is an Architectural Draftsperson with over 15 years’ experience in the architectural industry. She is highly proficient in Microstation and Sketchup and has basic knowledge of Revit. Goldie’s expertise is not limited to one stage, she is adept at all parts of the process from the concept design to construction drawings. With a commitment to working within deadlines and great written, communication and interpersonal skills, Goldie is an invaluable asset to Smart Design Studio.

While at SDS, Goldie she has worked on projects that range in scale and function. She has worked on multi residential developments such as Pipi, a low-rise brick and concrete building with 29apartments in Bondi, and Arlington Grove, four mid-rise brick buildings in Sydney’s Dulwich Hill. She has also contributed to high end single residential projects including Mandolong and Elizabeth 59. In addition to her residential work, Goldie has been involved in commercial projects like the 7 Network offices.

Harald Straatveit ASSOCIATE


Harald has over 20 years-experience and his breadth of experience provides him with strong strategic skills in the design and management of projects. At Smart Design Studio Harald was the team leader for Connor at Central Park, Sydney Town Hall House and Saesoon Presbyterian Church. He also allocates one day per week to checking the quality and compliance aspects of all significant SDS projects.

After graduating, Harald worked in the offices of OMA in Holland collaborating on large-scale competitions for complex projects in Belgium and Morocco. In 1990, Harald worked for Wiel Arets and Jean Nouvel on significant works in Holland and France, many since published internationally. Since returning to Australia in 1992, he was a design architect for two of Sydney’s largest architectural firms, Peddle Thorp and AJC designing many projects of scale and complexity. During this period, he was a project architect for one of Sydney’s benchmark residential apartment complexes, The Hudson in Alexandria. In 2000, he was part of the Durbach Block team that won first prize in the Commonwealth Place International Competition, Parliamentary Zone, Canberra 61.


B. Arch (Hons 1)

Hon has contributed to the successful delivery of many Smart Design Studio projects, including White Rabbit Gallery, Arlington Grove, Connor at Central Park and Sydney Town Hall House. In addition to this, he was instrumental in the documentation of Sydney Saesoon Presbyterian Church and Metcalfe Bond. Along with White Rabbit Gallery, these adaptive re-use projects required extensive co-ordination of existing fabric and specialised building knowledge. His ability to negotiate multiple concurrent projects successfully and deliver them on schedule ensures projects have ample time for further review, design development and refinement.
Hon’s expertise is in the technical production and co-ordination of detailed and accurate documentation. His attention to detail combined with CAD proficiency ensure he is an invaluable member on our medium and large-scale teams. Additionally, he has been providing ongoing CAD mentoring within the studio. Hon has developed and introduced measures to ensure our projects are delivered efficiently and in line with their unique requirements. His role has been crucial in ensuring the documentation standards across the office is of high quality and consistent with the requirements of our QA system.

Tom Bunting Projects Leader

B. IN Arch (Hons 1)

Tom graduated with a bachelor of Interior Architecture both here in Australia at UNSW and in Denmark at Århus Arkitektskolen, where he was awarded for furniture and lighting design. With a background in interiors, retail, hospitality and fashion, Tom was involved in projects where he contributed both front of house and behind the scenes to the growth of the company. Tom helped take Redgen Mathieson from its infancy to a successful contributor to the Australian architectural industry.

As an Interior Architect at Redgen Mathieson, Tom worked on leading hotels, restaurants and cafes and top end residential projects in Australia and abroad. He was involved with clients and contractors, working on initial design, concept presentations, development approval process, construction documentation, project management and contact administration. Tom also worked as an in house interior architect at the Issey Miyake Design Studio.

As a Team Leader at SDS, Tom is currently focussed on high end residential projects. He is involved from the macro to the micro, overseeing everything from the architecture to the detailing and furnishing.  His most recent projects include the renovation of two historically significant Sydney homes, Riverview and Elizabeth 59.


B. SC Arch (Hon),

Ben is an ARB and RIBA registered Architect with over 13 years professional experience in Australia and the UK, who specialises in multi- residential projects. Ben’s experience also encompasses a variety of other sectors and building typologies, including multi-residential, education, commercial, arts, infrastructure and transportation projects. With a background as an architectural technician, Ben has strong technical abilities and keen attention to architectural detailing.

As a project architect, Ben produces refined and elegant solutions reflecting Smart Design Studio’s rigorous design approach. He is an invaluable member of the multi-residential team. He worked on Connor, a high quality multi-residential scheme in Sydney’s Central Park for Frasers Property. Located within the former Carlton United Brewery precinct, Connor is a 13-storey, 15,000m² development comprising 178 apartments and two retail spaces with associated car parking, servicing and common areas.

Ben has also contributed to Sussex 286, a 25-storey mixed-use tower in Sydney’s CBD, a Greensquare, a large multi residential complex in south Sydney, and Shell Cove, a multi-residential project outside Wollongong.

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