Meet Chloe Sterland, Senior Designer at TGD
Born and raised in Queanbeyan, near Canberra, Chloe Sterland has been a Designer at The Growth Drivers since late 2020. Keen to use her combination of creative skills to forge a better future for all, Chloe is driven by her passions, whether she’s exploring solutions for plastic pollution or sense-making.
Throughout high school, Chloe knew she wanted to pursue a creative field, but didn’t want her studies to be art-focussed. She eventually found industrial design and enrolled into a Bachelor of Industrial Design at RMIT, feeling happy in this space that fit into her desire for creativity married with the possibilities of the design thinking process.
Chloe’s university experience was ‘epic’, paired with the pressure of a very intense and demanding degree. She has fond memories of always being challenged during projects, from undertaking lots of hands-on activities, to engaging with industry and community members. During her honours year, Chloe worked on a project exploring women’s safety in public spaces that won her multiple awards, including a Good Design Award. Aiming to flip the onus of responsibility onto allies and men, Chloe dived into research work that saw her testing safety apps, talking to realms of different people to see how they experienced certain situations, and eventually developing a behaviour change campaign called ‘How to be a considerate stranger’.
During her degree, Chloe completed an exchange in the Netherlands where she pursued the industrial design degree at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Throughout the exchange program, she developed a passion for Dutch design and decided to continue her experience through an internship at the social design company, T+HUIS Eindhoven. This internship was perfect for her as it revolved around engaging and working with community members experiencing structural disadvantages. Working at the firm for around four months, Chloe gained a love for diving into community-level projects and eventually returned home to Australia with a better understanding of her career trajectory.
Graduating university at the end of 2019, Chloe was faced with the challenge of entering the workforce at the start of a pandemic During this time she explored her own creativity and design practice returning to the job hunt with a refined sense of purpose. A friend sent her a job ad for The Growth Drivers, and soon after she was happily hired in a role she thought she wouldn’t reach for a few decades. On her first day at The Growth Drivers, Chloe was stationed on the Australia-Indonesia Plastics Innovation Hub project, and she couldn’t believe she was working in a company where she could steer impact like this.
Passionate about forging change alongside her team, Chloe loves the fact that she’s always working on different projects in varying sustainable spaces. She also feels as if she’s gained a behind-the-scenes peek into different parts of society, gaining deep knowledge in areas including biosecurity, higher education support services, and the seafood industry. For a curious person like Chloe, it’s a dream job.
For Chloe, she feels that there is a legacy of design that she needs to answer to. Citing inventions like plastic, which plays a critical role in our societies but has detrimental effects on our environment, Chloe believes it’s integral there are always people working to explore and find solutions for these designs and/or systems, reducing harm to our environment and societies. Previously very affected by the hustle and bustle of a world full of injustice, Chloe has found a sort of solace in designing. When she found design thinking and realised its potential to forge a better path for future generations, she decided to utilise her skill set to create the change she wished to see in the world.