Meet Josie.

Josie joined Design Farm Collective as a Business Designer, supporting our clients and teams in quantifying design values and impacts through a commercial and financial lens. Prior to Design Farm, Josie has been honing her craft in deal advisory and strategy in one of the Big Four consulting firms, bringing an invaluable perspective to product, service and venture design. Her superpower is her ability to effectively translate conceptual business opportunities into practical terms and actions, allowing organisations to move quickly in bringing ideas to life.

Now more of our conversation with Josie.


  • What do you do at Design Farm Collective? What does it involve?

JB: I’m a Business Designer, or what we like to call, The Pragmatist. My focus is on bringing a structured and practical approach to problem-solving and provide a solution that balances commercial, creative and innovative needs.

  • How long have been in Design? What attracts you to Design?

JB: I only recently moved into “design” having previously worked at one of the Big 4 accounting firms. I’ve always been interested in creative areas and have been looking for a way to integrate this with my business background. Design consulting provides the perfect balance between the two with its approach to innovation. It uniquely combines all of my interest; people, creativity and business strategy.

  • What topics/ areas in Design are you most passionate about?

JB: Anything with a sustainability focus, whether that be in terms of energy production, infrastructure, health services, agriculture etc. The technology and projects that I’m most excited to work on or read about are those that are trying to rethink systemic problems and how cities and communities will operate in the future.

  • What is the most interesting project that you worked on here at Design Farm? And why?

JB: We recently did a project with a major cultural events provider helping them to design their programming process and curate their schedules for the coming year. What was so interesting about it for me was that it was for a business that has to balance so many different objectives. So providing a process and tools through which they could ensure that they were meeting the cultural, social and business demands of their business was a unique challenge.

Also as someone who is a big fan of attending creative events, it was good fun to be able to brainstorm some event ideas and see how many different elements it takes to execute an event effectively.

Josie Barlow


  • What are some of the biggest misconceptions you have come across about Design/ Innovation/ Growth/ Transformation?

JB: I think a lot of people who aren’t in “creative” industries shy away from the word *design* because they don’t think it’s in their skillset. But given the right environment, anyone can come up with creative or innovative ideas. That’s one of the best parts of running our workshops — to challenge people, push them to think beyond their current mindset, and eventually arrive at ideas that truly create change.

  • What do organisations usually get wrong about Innovation/ Design/ Transformation/ Growth?

JB: This is not a super enlightening (or exciting) answer, but implementation. So many companies have bold aspirations, but the ability to execute these is the real challenge. Because there’s no one size fits all formula about how to achieve any of these things. Every industry and business is different, meaning no challenge is the same. It’s what makes our jobs so exciting, that we get to tackle these complex problems and give organisations the tools to realise their aspirations.

  • What are you most excited about the future or the industry?

JB: I’ve been stuck on this question for a while. I think because there are so many new developments happening across industries at the moment that it’s hard to pick one thing to focus on (in a way very similar to my relationship with Netflix). So a few top picks;

  1.  the development and implementation of smart city technologies, (hopefully),
  2. a circular economy (food chain in particular),
  3. space travel (of course!).
  • What is your favourite book? Design and non-design.

JB: My favourite book constantly changes depending on the day (and my ability to remember what I’ve actually read), but at the moment it is Circe by Madeleine Miller.

  • What is your spirit animal? And why?

JB: Polar bear. We both love the cold and are not opposed to a swim.

  • What’s something people wouldn’t normally know about you?

JB: I have two mini lop rabbits called Huffle and Puff who are far too cute for their own good.


This is part of our Collective Series in Meet the Team. Every 2 weeks, we will share the story of our team members, of their learning and experience in Design, and what is it like working at Design Farm Collective.