Domenic Svejkar is a musician, strategic designer and artist. It may therefore come as a surprise to learn he actually started out in a completely different field.
Not long after graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) from the University of NSW, Svejkar decided he needed a career change.
“I started working in engineering after uni, but I felt like I was still lacking something in my life and career. I’d been writing and playing music since I was 14 or 15, so I decided to get better at actually making it into something tangible.”
Not long after, Svejkar began studying audio production at Ultimo TAFE, and then a Master of Design at UTS.
“When I was doing my master’s I was exposed to the idea that design could be more than just creating tangible products, it could be about changing services and systems in society, too. I saw so much value in the positive impact design could make in the world.”
While studying, Svejkar landed a casual role working in the Design Innovation Research Centre, a part of UTS’s Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creative Intelligence Unit. He now works there full-time as a Strategic Designer.
Here, Svejkar says, he and his colleagues use “Design thinking-based methodologies to tackle ‘complex’ or ‘wicked’ problems for positive social impact.
“We work to embed these skills within organisations and sectors so that others are able to explore and understand the deeper nature of the problems they are trying to solve, before they jump into generating solutions.”
One of the many campaigns Svejkar is currently involved with is Respect.Now.Always. which aims to prevent and respond to sexual assault and sexual harassment of university students at UTS. He and his team are using design to give a stronger voice to students in the process, and to dig deeper into the complexity of the problems around sexual assault in Australian universities.
Outside of UTS, Svejkar enjoys creating sculptural installations and interactive sound and visual artworks. Many of his pieces have been featured at well-known festivals such as Vivid Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea and BEAMS Arts Festival.
Right now, Svejkar is working with a number of bands to create interactive visual projections that react to sound and help create a unique vibe at live shows.
He describes being drawn to interactive art because of its ability to completely engross people. “I feel like because I never grew up studying in an art and design setting I was the outsider when I stepped into this space.
“I feel participatory, interactive elements help to break down those barriers between artist and audience. And by engaging more senses and getting people to actually be much more immersed and involved in the art, it creates more of a dynamic experience. It establishes a fun, playful, engaging relationship.”
Looking forward, Svejkar hopes to find a way to combine all of his interests into one. “If I could find a way to merge all this creative and social impact stuff into one thing it would be really interesting,” says Svejkar. “It’s idealistic, but I definitely want to be working much more in the social impact space and really creating positive change for people around the world.”