In recent years, few words have been as synonymous with innovation and success as ‘collaboration’. But how much does the buzzword promise...

Collaborate or Die: Insights from Successful Creative Collaborators


Museum of Contemporary Art
2000 NSW

Collaborate or Die


Lisa Gorman - Collaborate or Die

Lisa Gorman

Creative Director, Gorman

Lisa Gorman founded Gorman in 1999 as a modest operation, wholesaling a small range of clothing through a small Melbourne fashion retailer. Sixteen years on, the label now has 30 stores nationally and over 150 employees.

Lisa is still very much at the helm of the operation, designing ranges with her talented team and driving Gorman’s multitude of creative collaborations which include working with artists such as Rhys Lee, Rachel Castle, Elke Kramer, Fred Fowler and most recently the Melbourne Museum.

Follow Gorman on instagram and facebook.


Benja Harney - Paper Engineer

Benja Harney

Paper Engineer, Paper Form

Benja Harney is a paper engineer who is internationally renowned as a pioneer in his field.

As a professional creative, artist and educator, over the last 10 years Harney has led his Sydney based studio Paperform to develop a body of work that pushes the possibilities of the paper medium.

Pop-up books, paper sculpture, installation, illustration, packaging, fine art, fashion, animation, set design – Harney makes anything and everything possible within this endlessly inventive material. 

Harney’s enviable client list includes Hermès, Kenzo, Google, Samsung, Telstra, West eld, SBS, David Jones, Romance Was Born and the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Follow Benja Harney on instagram

Caroline Clements

Caroline Clements

Publications Director, Broadsheet Media

As the founding editor at Broadsheet Caroline is an experienced digital publications editor with expertise in content curation and production, digital media strategy, brand publishing and project management.

Throughout her career she has adopted a collaborative approach. Working with creative teams to plan and build strong industry and contributor relationships; and integrating commercial objectives into brand-led projects for Broadsheet.

She is now the Publications Director at Broadsheet working across new projects for the brand, such as expansion into new cities, cookbooks and pop-up restaurants.

Kate Hurst | Common Knowledge

Kate Hurst

Co Founder & Creative Director, Common Knowledge

Kate Hurst is the Co-Founder and joint Creative Director of Common Knowledge, a Sydney based consultancy and creative agency working within the fields of fashion and design. As the name suggests, Common Knowledge specializes in a highly collaborative approach with their clients, truly valuing their experience and expertise while reinvigorating it with new focus and vision.

With over a decade’s worth of experience working within the creative industries, Kate Hurst is a brand strategist, critical thinker and serial entrepreneur whose management and marketing skills have led her to work with some of Australia’s most exciting brands including Romance Was Born, Ellery and Studio Elke.

She is regularly asked to share her industry insights and has been a presenter at Curvy Creative Women’s Conference and a panelist at events such as at Creative Sydney, Fashion Exposed and Powerhouse Museum’s D*hub. She has been on the board of NSW Creative Industries Taskforce, assessed and awarded grants applications for the Australian Arts Council Start-Up Program and has mentored numerous emerging fashion designers through government run programs.

Kate Hurst will be presenting Collaborate or Die at the MCA on 1st June 2016, an event curated by Common Knowledge for Vivid Ideas.

Common Knowledge Instagram

Stéph Donse

Stéph Donse

Director of Brand and Words at Hotel Hotel

Stéph Donse is the Director of Brand and Words at Hotel Hotel. She has worked on Hotel Hotel since its inception playing a number of roles on the project from writer to graphic designer to creative project manager to general thinker.

Stéph’s interest lies in Hotel Hotel’s capacity to contribute to Australia’s creative and cultural landscape in a meaningful way. Hotel Hotel carries out very little traditional marketing focusing instead on compiling, creating and commissioning creative projects that explore themes such as play, curiosity and quirks as well as architecture, art and design. These collaborative projects and the people that have contributed to the creation and ongoing development of Hotel Hotel can be read about on the Hotel Hotel blog.


Dan Honey

Dan Honey

Director of Special Projects and Cultural Programs, Hotel Hotel

Dan Honey is the Director of Special Projects and Cultural Programs at Hotel Hotel. Hotel Hotel was conceived as a place for creative exchange, cross-pollination and collaboration, and a vessel for ongoing cultural and artistic creation. Dan supports this through the development of a diverse range of projects and programs designed to bring different people together to stimulate creative thinking. She manages special projects for hotel staff that provide opportunities for creative expression and collaborative public programs that spark broader conversations.

Dan has been working as an advisor to the creative industries for more than 10 years. She has a penchant for the experimental and is a supporter of initiatives and ideas that challenge conventions and subvert traditional approaches.

Dan is also creative advisor to Field Experiments – a nomadic design collective that uses collaborative making to explore diverse cultures and craft communities in different regions around the world. This project has been presented at New York Design Week, Ventura Lambrate in Milan and the Design Museum in London.

Dan is a partner at Office for Good Design – a curatorial group that promotes the value of creativity in shaping a positive future. She has been engaged by MPavilion, the National Gallery of Victoria and the State Government of Victoria to create public programs, exhibitions and events that inform people about the everyday impact of design. 


Event Details

In recent years, few words have been as synonymous with innovation and success as ‘collaboration’. But how much does the buzzword promise - and how much does it actually deliver?

Collaborate or Die will bring together a panel of top creative professionals from a variety of industries to explore their experiences of collaboration. We will examine themes such as how collaboration works for individual creatives compared to bigger brands, and delve into the process of determining the ‘true’ value of a collaboration. Or put more simply – to find out when it’s worth it and when it’s not.

Presenter : 

Kate Hurst - Co-Creative Director | Common Knowledge 

Speaker Line up :

Benja Harney - Paper Engineer | Paperform

Lisa Gorman - Creative Director | Gorman

Caroline Clements - Publications Director | Broadsheet

Dan Honey - Director of Cultural Programs | Hotel Hotel 

Steph Donse - Director of Brands & Words | Hotel Hotel 

Who is it for?

This event is for anyone wanting to harness the power of collaboration in their creative projects, practices and organisations. It will shed much needed light on the underexposed processes and approaches that help create a truly successful collaboration.

Independent creatives, artists, small business owners, senior managers and members of larger organisations will all benefit from the insights shared in Common Knowledge's Collaborate or Die event.

What to expect 

With presentations from each of the speakers followed with a Q&A session, this is a rare opportunity to gain valuable insignts from a panel of influencial creative professionals. Not only will you walk away with a toolkit of practical tips, you will also be able to connect with like minded individuals, meet potential collaborators and contribute the value of your own personal experience to the larger conversation.

This event is presented by Common Knowledge

*Booking and transaction fees may apply.

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