Who we are

Who are we?

We are a collective of researchers, designers, organisers, entrepreneurs, horticulturalists, collaborators, and active, concerned citizens.

Our projects focus on sustainability transitions and every aspect of the projects we undertake aim to transform how we live, work, play, eat, and more. We never do this alone, we partner with communities which means we do this with you.

Our core team is based in Australia but we also collaborate with a local, national and international network of researchers and practitioners who each bring diverse skills and perspectives to the projects they join us on.

Niki Wallace PhD, BDes Hons

I’m a researcher, designer, writer, educator and facilitator who brings critical-relational-radical-designerly thinking to every setting. Net Zero Lab was born out of my PhD research in co-creating transition pathways in communities using emergent and experimental research and post-capitalist design processes. I’m fascinated by complex systems, people, things, and how they are all linked by design. I often think, draw and write about the intertwining of these things. I have taught in the design program at UniSA for the past decade and am the Principal of a design studio that provides creative support to the lab when needed. I'm an experienced facilitator and speaker and regularly host skillshares and masterclasses in both academia and communities.

I love dogs and lizards. I doodle constantly. I devour books. Music is my time burglar. I grow my own food. I can make cheese out of nuts and witchcraft.


Richie Khoo BDes, CPA

Richie Khoo is a Digital Product Developer, and systems thinker, with board chair experience and a strong background in governance and organisational development. Richie is also a CPA with expertise in Accounting Information Systems and Strategic Management.  As the Principal of Deming Factor a strategic design and development agency he is responsible for the execution of digital and brand strategies that align with organisational goals and the development of digital products that support their achievement. Richie is also an active member of a number of social innovation communities including as an Enspiral Contributor; exploring the cutting edge of participatory organising.

Penny Lara MDes, HSc Hons

I’m a community minded sustainable designer and health scientist. I am passionate about health and well being and working collaboratively to promote, educate and advocate for the environment and disadvantaged groups. I aim to co-create systems that are ecologically sound and socially equitable. I’m an experienced disability worker and am involved in local food projects like monthly produce swaps and skillsharing. I believe in strengthening community by working together.

I’m a soccer-wife, a soccer mum and an ex-lover of soccer. I like writing, biking, and hiking. I love sleep.

Dr Robert Crocker DPhil (oxon)

Robert Crocker, DPhil (oxon), is Deputy Director of the China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development in the University of South Australia. His research focuses on the relationship between consumption, waste, and design for sustainability. His book, Somebody Else’s Problem: Consumerism, Design and Sustainability (Greenleaf/Routledge 2016), won gold in the Axiom Best Business Books for 2017 (sustainability). He is co-editor of six collections of essays, including Unmaking Waste: Towards a Circular Economy (Emerald 2018). He is currently leading a collaborative research project part-funded by Green Industries SA on ‘Implementing the Circular Economy in Regional SA’ (2020- 2021).


Aly Di MDes, BBA

Bio to come.

Jude Gaffney

Jude Gaffney holds 20 years experience working within large scale events/festivals with world-leading sustainable green practice objectives including circular economy initiatives. She is an experienced driver of community support with proactive approaches and provides diligent leadership of physicalresources and personnel through her administrative leadership role. Jude is also proficient in
providing direct support and coordinating outreach programs and has a wealth of experience in community groups and their governance.

Dr Aaron Davis PhD, BArch (Hons)

I'm a researcher and design educator at the University of South Australia. My work has included the development and delivery of innovative interdisciplinary teaching models in higher-education, as well as the delivery of design thinking and co-creation workshops to a broad range of community, industry, and educational groups. I'm an experienced facilitator that thrives on the challenge of bringing interdisciplinary teams together to create new knowledge. I've worked with organisations that include the CSIRO, NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, SA Health, IgniteSA, and the Global Centre for Modern Ageing.


Jake Shaw MDes

Bio to come.

Zainab Abbas MArch, BArch

I’m a researcher and a designer. I am curious about social sustainability, energy efficiency and sustainable design and like to follow complex systems. Having witnessed waste in my construction background, I aim to recreate the harmony lost in our current waste crisis. My personal projects have revolved around community engagement and, sustainable and self-sustaining environments.
I am a philomath and an autodidactic city-girl who loves adventure sports and crochet. Sci-fi is my weak spot and DnD my game.