About Steve Santer

Based in Melbourne, Australia after previously residing in Johor Bahru, Malaysia for the last 3 years—where I experienced some of the rich, vibrant textures of life in South East Asia. I’m currently undertaking a PhD in Design at RMIT’s School of Design. While this is an applied, practice based PhD, my focus is on development of Design Theory through its application. Prior to this undertaking I completed a Masters of Design Futures with RMIT where I graduated with Distinction (2020), after a research project delving into how Speculative Realist philosophies can be applied at various stages of design and across a number of disciplines.

I have more than 20 years of Art Direction and Visual / Motion / Interaction Design roles in Sydney, Australia. 

I’m curious, excited, and passionate about the use of Design, Philosophy, and Futures approaches to investigate the chaotic, the invisible, and the complex problems that surround us and those of our fellow co-inhabitant nonhuman entities.

Areas of interest and research include:

  • philosophies of design and technology
  • global ethics
  • object-oriented, new materialism, and speculative realist philosophies
  • discursive, adversarial and critical design
  • design studies

Prior to my current career vector — through which I am attempting to develop new Design and Futures approaches through philosophical concepts — for more than 20 years I was a hands-on Art Director and Design Director; managing teams and projects from concept to completion. Historically my remit was to designing to strategies, and driving projects through to a successful outcome irrespective of the platform delivery. In a nutshell, I was a senior level, hands-on, creative designer with expertise across; Art Direction, Experience and Interface Design, Illustration, 3D & Motion Design.

I have worked on a number of award winning projects for both online and mobile apps: WilderQuest iPad app which was a winner of 11 AIMIA awards, Trocoxil iPad app which picked up a Bronze Clio, Streets Paddle Pop (online) was an AIMIA Finalist, just to name a few.

As a creative design specialist in the digital industry, I work proficiently across several design disciplines including; User Experience (UX Design) and User Interface (UI Design) for mobile apps, games and online products, as well as 3D animation and motion design. I also enjoy exploring creative programming through Processing.


Interaction design and art direction experience

My interaction design and art direction experience covers a cross-section of industries. Below, while not an exhaustive list, it summarises the last 20 years across different advertising and digital agencies, and through my own studio:

  • Children’s games and education apps (National Parks and Wildlife Service NSW)
  • Online and mobile B2B (Leap Legal software, ING Investor, Electrolux, Nutricia)
  • FMCG and Consumer discretionary brands (Cup-a-soup, Paddle Pop, GWF, Ribena, OMO, Maccona Coffee, John West, AmbiPur, Ikea)
  • Electronics (Sunbeam, Breville, Electrolux, Nintendo Australia, Pioneer, Fender Australia)
  • Automotive (Subaru)
  • Pharmaceuticals (GSK, Pfizer, Zoetis, Bayer)
  • Mining and infrastructure (Ausenco)
  • Entertainment (Hoyts Entertainment, Dendy Cinemas, Moonlight Cinemas, Fox 8)
  • Government (TAC Victoria, NSW Heritage Council)

Additional sites

Future Human by Design

Design skill set overview

  • Manage design teams
  • Manage multiple complex projects
  • Lead creative / design director / art director
  • Hands on designer with expert skills in Adobe Creative Suite products
  • UX Design (User Experience) skills across research, user journeys and wireframing
  • Excellent comprehension of branding and brand management
  • High level of design research and communication skills
  • Experienced at mentoring junior members of creative teams
  • Experienced art directing photo shoots

Professional interests

Philosophy of Design
Futures Thinking
Moral Ethics
Adversarial Design