Katja Forbes



The Masterclass

Think through the possible pitfalls of what you design, and navigate the dangerous waters of unintended consequences, without wrecking your ship.

As Paul Virilio famously stated “When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck… Every technology carries its own negativity, which is invented at the same time as technical progress.”

We need to consider the wider effects of what we design and build – both human and environmental. The ethics of design and technology are merging. Yet, the line dividing what is and what isn’t ethical is becoming increasingly blurred. Who is taking responsibility for the impact of all new products and services? What about the people left behind?

Technological development is often in focus, and develops too quickly to consider the side-effects. But, design has the capability to see the bigger picture and preserve human values.


Katja Forbes is an Australian leader in the field of experience design and all of its components.

She is the Managing Director of DesignIt, Australia & New Zealand, as well as the Vice-President on the Global Board of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

Back in 2014, Katja founded Syfte, a specialist business in research and experience design. In late 2018, her business was acquired by the international firm Wipro, and she was appointed as ‘Managing Director of Australia & New Zealand’ for DesignIt, Wipro’s strategic design arm. Katja was also a co-founding member of IxDA Sydney.

One of Katja’s personal motivations is to inspire other women, especially in her industry, to reach toward their definition of professional success. Katja is also a published contributing author, and regular national media commentator for her industry. Having overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Katja’s vision and determination has seen her become a thought leader and inspiration to countless women across the world.