The Placemaker

AIP 37 -Speaker -Rebecca Mills
Rebecca Mills

Frost*collective, Australia

Topic: Somewhere Not Anywhere – Our Future Cities Need Everyone’s Imagination

When the UK Government launched its first Office for Place in July 2021, they proclaimed that ‘People do not want their built environment to be a fragment of anywhere. They want it to be somewhere’. The growing obsession with Place globally has hit fever-pitch since COVID, with developers and Governments alike focusing on the fact that great places are not just about urban design – people are fundamentally drawn to places that have an authentic sense of identity. This is driving a reprioritisation of how places are planned, and a resequencing of who is engaged when in the process.

Frost* Place is at the forefront of new methodologies bringing people and places closer together by combining insights, imagination, and ideas. This talk will step through the many benefits of Placemaking and how we need to pay greater attention to the cultural and social identities that define a place, if we are to support its ongoing evolution from ‘anywhere’ to ‘somewhere’.

Rebecca Mills represents a new wave of placemakers. With degrees in interiors, spatial design, and public communication, she thinks both technically and conceptually about place.

In 2017, Rebecca won prizes for Design Communication and Rising Property Professional in New South Wales with Savills. Her star has been rising ever since.

Today she is a leading proponent of Place Visioning – a growing practice that involves working alongside developers and government to articulate big ideas for places.

As a lead Strategist in Frost*collective’s Place team, Rebecca blends techniques such as empathic listening, persona and needs states definition, and spatial skills, from a range of disciplines including human-centred design, communications and UX design. She thinks in a 360-degree way about places, rather than through the lens of any one design discipline.

Rebecca is currently leading strategies for large developments such as Sydney’s Darling Park, a progressive workplace in Shenzhen and major projects adjacent to Sydney’s new airport. She’s passionate about Place Visioning’s ability to set attuned directions for places in the future, and how these idea-led places help to avoid the mistakes of the past and unlock stronger solutions for tomorrow.