in memoriam: michael bryce (1938-2021)

25.01.2021 Member news

It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to Michael Bryce, one of Australia’s most celebrated professional designers who passed on 15 January 2021. Michael's renowned multidisciplinary career spanned graphic design, architecture, industrial design, interior and urban design.

Michael Bryce established an architectural practice in Brisbane where he expanded his interests to include graphic and industrial design. In 1977 he was elected the inaugural Queensland President of the then Industrial Design Institute of Australia and National President in 1979. He served as President of the Design Institute of Australia from 1979 through to 1983, and Councillor of the Industrial Design Council of Australia which later became the Australian Design Council. He served on the Design Board of the Australia Council and as Patron of the Australian Design Alliance. Bryce was Adjunct Professor of Design at the Queensland College of Art (Griffith University) School of Design and Architecture (University of Canberra) and the College of Fine Arts (University of New South Wales).

Among his many achievements throughout the decades, Bryce was Principal Design Advisor of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, designing the Olympic bid logo and playing a leading advisory role on the application of the corporate branding throughout the games.

In 2003 the University of Canberra conferred Bryce with the degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005 and inducted into the DIA Design Hall of Fame in 2006 for services as an architect to the development of industrial, graphic and commercial design, reflecting Australian heritage and the environment, to education, and to the community.

In 2009 Bryce was awarded an Icograda Achievement Award, honouring an outstanding career. The Award may be presented to an individual or a team in recognition of outstanding and consistent achievement in the practice, education or promotion of design.

Good Design Australia awarded Bryce with the Australian Design Prize in 2020 in recognition of his tireless efforts to champion design in Australia. “Recently my father was awarded Australia’s highest design honour – the Australian Design Prize which was established to recognise designers who have made a significant impact in Australian design across the course of their career. It came as a tremendous surprise to him to be included in the company of the creators of this country’s most highly regarded products and places. But for many – no surprise at all.” said Jack Bryce, Michael Bryce’s son.

He resided in Canberra as His Excellency, the partner to the Australian Governor General, Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce, where he exercised this opportunity to bring attention to issues of design in Australia and internationally, among many other worthy causes.

Michael Bryce will be greatly missed by the design community.

Many thanks for in memoriam provided by the Good Design Australia and for content about Bryce's life and career from the Design Institute of Australia.