In Memoriam: Madeline Lester (1948-2017)

30.05.2017 News


On behalf of the ico-D Board and the larger international design community, we express our condolences to the family of Madeline Lester on her passing. Madeline, a Past President of our sister organisation IFI, was a member of the small and intimate community of international design organisation activists who work to better the situation of designers around the world. That work is often intense, sometimes difficult and usually unsung. Madeline was highly dedicated to serving the needs and hopes of interior designers and highly respected by her peers. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.


David Grossman
President 2015-2017


More about interior designer and former Design Institute of Australia national president Madeline Lester (1948-2017) 

Madeline Lester’s outstanding contribution to the field of design both in Australia and internationally made her a leading voice on interior design, academia and design practice.

Madeline was President of IFI (International Federation of Interior Architects/ Designers) from 2005-2007, joining the IFI Board in 2002 and was IFI President Elect (2003-2005), IFI President (2005-2007) and IFI Immediate Past President (2007-2009). In these years she was dedicated to strategy that would push the profession of interior design in Australia onto the international stage.. Madeline was also a role model, supporting individuals to attend forums and give talks at conferences. In 2006, she initiated and convened an important international roundtable conference Interior Design: The State of the Art, that brought together interior design leaders from academia and practice from around the world to discuss professional issues and the contribution of professional interior design practice to the community. In 2013 Madeline was instrumental in arranging the City of Sydney’s adoption of The Interiors Declaration by the Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore.

Madeline was DIA National President (1996-1999) and DIA NSW State President (1995-1996) where she presided over DIA’s to becoming a multidisciplinary organisation. She was Director of Sydney Design ‘99, Australia’s first major international design conference, exhibition and congress, at the same time maintaining her own profession as a designer in a multi-award-winning private practice (Interni, Madeline Lester Design Management and Madeline Lester + Associates). Madeline was Adjunct Associate Professor in Interior Architecture at the University of NSW and the University of Tasmania, and was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2011, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her exemplary services to the design profession.

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