Hi, find me @

About me

The Journey

email: tristan@relativecreative.com.au

Geography: Living on Kombumerri Country in the Yugambeh language region of the wider Bundjalung Nation on the Gold Coast, Australia. Logging a footprint around the world which I am trying to justify with powerful work.

Practice: Relative Creative

Twitter handle: @TristanSchultz

I am a designer, researcher and strategist of Gamilaroi and Australian-european descent living and working from Jellurgal (Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast). I have a Bachelor of Design, Masters of Design Futures (hons) and a PhD in Design and am an Honorary Adjunct Fellow at the UTS and Honorary Fellow RMIT. I am the founder and director of Relative Creative, one of Australia’s leading strategic design studios where my research and practice in critical design, futures thinking, decolonial thinking and sustainable transitions cuts across academic, commercial, non-commercial and government settings. My practice combines product design, visual communication design, service design and systemic design, participatory design, experience, events, placemaking and interpretive design.

A bit more about my practice, Relative Creative
I am founder and Director of Relative Creative, a design, arts and strategic consultancy and creative practice. We are squarely focussed on thinking, talking and mobilising sustainable futures. We are experts in design-led facilitation of conversations around social complexities of communities and societies’ relation with work, leisure and everyday life amidst rapid change. We work with multiple disciplines inside and outside the field of design. Projects might examine the relational complexity linking issues like population growth, resource stress, climate change and its diverse impacts, geopolitical reconfiguration, global food security, actual and projected asymmetrical conflicts, global inequity, hyper-consumption, colonialism and more. It can be understood as design as situation facilitation; service design, policy, planning design and strategic design; social design; social innovation and activation design; participatory design and co-design; social enterprise design and design writing at any given time. We combine this with working creatively across visual communication design, product design, fashion design, interior design, event and exhibition design, film and production, print design, web design, information design, interactive media design, publication design, typographic design, branding and marketing, advertising and campaigns, environmental graphics design, psycho-social and psycho-geographic mapping and urban space activation and more.

Academic Appointments
2019-onwards – Honorary Adjunct Fellow RMIT
2019-onwards – Honorary Adjunct Fellow University Technology Sydney
Mid 2012 – Dec 2019: Lecturer & Convenor, Design Futures, QCA, Griffith University, Brisbane.

PhD Design, Queensland College of Art – Griffith University South Bank, Brisbane – 2019
Master of Design Futures with Honours, Queensland College of Art – Griffith University South Bank, Brisbane – 2013
Bachelor of Design, awarded academic excellence, Queensland College of Art – Griffith University Gold Coast. Major in Product and 3D Design – 2006

Activity Log

This a running log of select activities of Tristan Schultz.
If you want to know more about any of below, and can’t find the links online (most often summaries are found at relativecreative.com.au), please drop me a line.




  • Book Design – Dear Son, 2021
  • Book Design – Looking after Fire with Country, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design, QAGOMA, Strategic Plan, 2021-ongoing
  • Participatory Design, Strategic and Visual Communication Design, Interpretive Design. Reef HQ, 2021-ongoing
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design, Lowitja, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design, Wayfinding, Interpretive Design and Placemaking: Cooktown Museum, herehere and here, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design, Wayfinding and Placemaking: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Visitor Experience Strategy and Wayfinding Guide and Implementation, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Dhawura Ngilan National Heritage Report, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design: NASCA (National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy, 2020-ongoing
  • Visual Communication Design: Science Festival, Qld Museum, The Hatchery, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design, Curation and Event Design: Gondwana Festival Opening, 2021
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design, Placemaking: Binna Burra, 2021-ongoing
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design: First Nations Foundation Programs, Tomorrow MoneyMy Money DreamsFNF, 2020-ongoing
  • Visual Communication Design: Hardie Grant Puzzle Cover Designs, 2020-ongoing
  • Strategic and Visual Communication Design: Queensland Water Plans, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Bleach festival, Kiosk of the Future, 2021
  • Strategic Design – The Spit, 2020
  • Facilitation – QMusic Covid Response, 2020
  • Facilitation – HOTA Art Commission Community Engagement, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Indigital, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Tonga LT-LEDS, 2020
  • Strategic Design – HOTA, 2020
  • Strategic Design – City of Gold Coast, Water and Waste, 2020
  • Strategic Design – DESE Future of Work, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Great Barrier Reef Foundation, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Qld Gov. Career Pathways Evaluation
  • Strategic Design – AsiaTOPA Evaluation, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Qld Gov Water Technology, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Fire Country book illustration, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Fire Stick Alliance, 2020
  • Strategic Design – Future BNE, 2020
  • Strategic Design – SEQ Water, 2020
  • Strategic Design – DESE Future of Work, 2019
  • Event Design and Facilitation – Gold Coast City Futures Forum and report, 2019
  • Strategic Design – Straddie Brewing Company, Minjerribah, community consultation and visual system, 2019
  • Strategic Design and Facilitation – FutureBNE 4, World Science Festival, Brisbane, 2019
  • Cultural Awareness Training – Yourtown Marketing, Design and Fundraising team, 2019
  • Event Design and  Facilitation – Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), Futures Forum Multi-year/stakeholder/location events, 2018-9
  • Strategic Design – Cooktown & Cook250 Co-Designing, Cooktown 2018-ongoing.
  • Workshop Facilitation – Australia Council for the Arts Design Futures Workshop, Sydney 2018
  • Strategic Design – See Change Sand Tracks – QPAC, Out of the Box Festival, 2018
  • Strategic Design – FutureBNE 3, World Science Festival, Brisbane 2018
  • Strategic Design – Visual Relational Map in Gnibi Wandarahn Reconciliation Action Plan, Southern Cross University, 2017 – 2020
  • Strategic Design – Blakdance
  • Strategic Design – Yirramboi, 2017 – 2018
  • Strategic Design – Gateways Community Activation – Gold Coast City Council
  • Strategic Design – See Change Sand Tracks – Commonwealth Games, 2018
  • Strategic Design – FutureBNE 2, World Science Festival, Brisbane, 2017
  • Workshop Facilitation – Australia Council for the Arts Signature Works Innovation Lab, Melbourne, 2017
  • Workshop Facilitation – Australia Council for the Arts Signature Works Innovation Lab, Sydney, 2016
  • Design Strategy – Beenleigh Housing Development Company
  • Design Strategy – World Science Festival Brisbane – Green Heart Schools Future BNE Challenge
  • Workshop Facilitation – GNIBI Masterclass Conference, November 2015
  • Workshop Facilitation – Repairing the Future of Queensland Series: Designing the Now 2016, Event Book
  • Workshop Facilitation – Silkwood School
  • Workshop Facilitation – Repairing the Future of Queensland Series: Making an Age of Repair 2015, Event Book