This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Dinosaur Designs Co-Founder Louise Olsen On Building An Iconic Australian Brand, On TDF Talks

Podcast

Louise Olsen is a true icon of the Australian design industry. She is co-founder of Dinosaur Designs, – a company she founded more than thirty (!) years ago with two art school friends. She’s also the daughter of legendary artist John Olsen, and a formidable artist in her own right. 

In this conversation with host Lucy Feagins, Louise talks about her creative upbringing with two painter parents, the humble beginnings of Dinosaur Designs, and the ways she’s seen the industry shift in the last few decades. It’s a conversation filled with anecdotes, wisdom and insight – and you can listen now!

17th September, 2021

Drawing at the Dinosaur Design HQ in Redfern. Photo  – Nikki To for The Design Files.

As creative director, Louise spends four days a week here overseeing new collections. Photo  – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Some of the iconic resin pieces! Photo – Eve Wilson for the Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Art Direction – Annie Portelli.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 17th September 2021

Believe it or not, Louise Olsen and Stephan Ormandy started Dinosaur Designs as a means to supplement their fledgling artist practices. Newly out of art school, they needed some form of income so they could keep painting!

Selling pieces at Sydney’s Paddington Markets in the 80s turned quickly into commissions for INXS and Kylie Minogue – aka other young Australian artists making it big on the international creative stage. Fast forward a few years, and Louise and Stephen were right there among them (albeit in a different industry)! 

These days, Dinosaur Designs has grown to a global brand with stores in New York and London, alongside their Australian outlets. Louise is now its creative director, and these days splits her time between Dinosaur Designs, and her own art practice. 

Don’t miss this conversation with a true legend of the Australian design scene!

See here to learn more about Louise Olsen’s artistic work + browse the current Dinosaur Designs collections here

This Week

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

More Podcasts

Podcast

Cormach Evans On Creating Space For Aboriginal Excellence, On TDF Talks

Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans talks to host Lucy Feagins about the two organisations he founded and directs: Strong Brother Strong Sister, a...

Podcast

Stylist Turned Designer Sarah Ellison On Building A Cult Status Furniture Brand, On TDF Talks

The Byron Bay-based creative talks transitioning from stylist to designer, the value of being an assistant + living in an Instagram world.

Podcast

BuildHer Collective Co-Founder Rebeka Morgan On Empowering Women In Construction, On TDF Talks

In this episode of TDF Talks, BuildHer Collective co-founder Rebeka Morgan breaks down the basics of the renovation game!

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net