Local Peoples

We were lucky to catch up with Giuseppe Demaio, Creative Director and Founder at strategic design studio Local Peoples, as well as Founder and Editor-in-chief of their in-house design publication Matters Journal. Giuseppe chatted to us about having a community-first attitude when working as a designer, the importance of an adaptable and curious mindset for design grads, and shares the advice not to be afraid of varied work experience.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I’m the founder and creative director of Local Peoples, which is a strategic design studio using human-centred design to add economic, social and environmental value to organisations and brands. We’re obsessed with helping shape the future of learning through human-centred design.

What are your three must-read design books, blogs or podcasts and why?

Blog: DIVISARE Journal — this is hands down my favourite architecture journal. They’ve been online since the 90s and their archive is amazing.

Podcast: Imagine Podcast — Ikea’s creative Lab, Space10 investigates the growing trend of shared living and explores how we can redesign future living spaces for the many, not the few.

Book: Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp — This is a must-read for designers looking to reimagine how to focus their attention collaboratively to achieve results within a short timeframe.

Design work by Local Peoples The Design Kids interviews Local Peoples work-2

What did you do while you were studying to prepare you for the design industry?

It was always reading broadly, outside of design-specific media. To cultivate a human-centric, community-first attitude, designers have the social responsibility to understand social issues first, and then embrace design to solve them.

What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate?

Curiosity is number one! Having an adaptable, curious mindset will definitely set graduates apart when they’re applying at studios, organisations or brands which encourage innovation.

Design work by Local Peoples The Design Kids interviews Local Peoples work-4
Design work by Local Peoples The Design Kids interviews Local Peoples work-4

Designers have the social responsibility to understand social issues first, and then embrace design to solve them.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

We have an in-house publication, Matters Journal, that explores interconnected stories from the worlds of arts, design, technology, health, food and the environment. As part of our Melbourne X Design Week event series – which includes our 100 Jobs of the Future installation and the launch of our College of the Curious workshop – we’re also launching the fourth issue of Matters with a party at Abbotsford Convent!

What advice would you give students graduating in 2020?

Don’t feel the pressure to adhere to a linear career pathway — the best hirers value dynamic, varied experience.

Design work by Local Peoples The Design Kids interviews Local Peoples work-6
Design work by Local Peoples The Design Kids interviews Local Peoples work-6

Where to find Local Peoples online.

Get involved