Design Generation

Meet the sons & daughters of the visionary creatives who shaped Beaumaris.

Design Generation is a celebration of the creative social history of Beaumaris. Our suburbs rich cultural legacy is detailed on our History page.

This special evening will illuminate the life and times of the creative spirits who grew up in our suburb, all via fascinating insights from their sons and daughters. Our moderator is Emma Telfer, Director Open House Melbourne, and we’re very pleased to have her return after wonderfully hosting our previous Australian Heritage Festival event, Let’s Talk MCM Heritage.

The format for the event will be a panel forum and the renowned Beaumaris creatives life and times will be revealed via fascinating anecdotes from their children.

As a teaser, we’re gradually revealing the identities of the panelists, all of whom have followed in their illustrious parents creative ways.

Our poster boy is…

Our first panellist and the poster boy of our event is Guy Brown, son of Donald Brown. Seen out the front of his parent’s home in our amazing image from Home Beautiful, May 1955.

Guy’s father, Donald Brown, founder & lighting designer at BECO, is the unsung hero of Australian Modern Design lighting. You can still see incredible BECO lights in many MCM homes in Beaumaris and beyond. And his lighting stole the show in the 1949 ‘House of Tomorrow’ exhibition at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. You’ll learn more about this incredible man and his work through his son, Guy.

A selection of Donald Brown's wonderful BECO lighting

Our feature artist is…

Leonard French -1969 By David Moore (image copyright: National Portrait Gallery)

We’re excited to announce that Marc French, son of Leonard French, OBE, is one of our esteemed panellists for our National Trust Heritage Festival event.

Leonard was a highly awarded Australian artist, best known for the magnificent ceiling of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Great Hall – the world’s largest stained-glass ceiling. However his first love was painting and he won multiple awards for his art including two Blake prizes in 1963 and 1980; and the Sulman Prize in 1960. His paintings include a seven-panel mural, The Legend of Sinbad the Sailor, which hung in the Legend Café in Melbourne.

Leonard and his family home in Alfred Street Beaumaris was designed by local architect, John Baird and their home was awarded the Bronze Medal for architectural merit for house of the year by the RAIA in 1973 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Leonard French in his Beaumaris studio -1969 by David Moore (image copyright: Michael, Matthew & Joshua Moore)

Our next panellist is…

Top left: John Baird Top right: Mariemont Avenue home Bottom: RIckett's Point Teahouse Images courtesy of Simon Reeves.

Joining our already announced panelists is Peter Baird, son of John Baird – a highly regarded and awarded architect who resided in Beaumaris and designed many of our significant homes along with the iconic Ricketts Point teahouse.

Originally from the Mallee region, John Baird moved to Melbourne to commence architectural studies at RMIT. Whilst commencing work in commercial high-rise buildings, Baird entered and won first prize in a housing design competition which was published in the Australian Home Beautiful. He then adapted that scheme for his own home in Hume Street, Beaumaris.

Baird designed some strikingly modernist homes in Beaumaris including one on Mariemont Avenue (1957), Balcombe Road (1960) and later in Alfred Street, the home of artist Leonard French and family (1973).

One talented father, two talented panellists…

David and Terry Godsell at their iconic 'Godsell House' in Beaumaris.

We are delighted to announce brothers Sean and Chris Godsell will join our already announced line-up. Sean & Chris will provide an insight into their father’s work and life in Beaumaris, along with their own journeys growing up in a creative environment.

David Godsell was a highly regarded and renowned architect, who’s self-designed family home, built in 1960, is one of Beaumaris’ most celebrated and listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Heavily influenced by the contemporary architecture of the West Coast of the United States, including Frank Lloyd-Wright, David Godsell was a contemporary of Australian mid-century architects that includes Robin Boyd, Roy Grounds, David Chancellor and Rex Patrick and Geoffrey Woodfall, among others.

David designed a number of other homes and buildings in Beaumaris and Bayside, including the Olive Phillips Kindergarden.  David and Ursula (‘Terry’) Godsell raised their sons in their remarkable Balcombe Road home.

The Godsell House today. Image credit: Derek Swalwell.

Unearthing another incredible local…

The wonderfully talented Gordon Steele

Joining our already incredible line-up is Lindy Tribe, daughter of architect Gordon Steele. Lindy has had a long creative career herself in advertising, so clearly the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Gordon followed his passion from physics, geometry and arithmetic to find architecture. After graduating from Melbourne University, he took a cadetship with the Commonwealth Department of Works (D.O.W.), working on a broad range of projects from aeroplane hangers to municipal works.

Melbourne was enjoying a rapid, post WW2 growth period and new municipal infrastructure was in high demand. So, when Gordon took a job with A. K. Lines MacFarlane & Marshall architects and town planners, he became instrumental in the design of ‘new concept’ council undertakings… Post Offices, Community Centres, Telephone exchanges and Baby Health Centres. Gordon embraced the MCM philosophy in all of these projects and truly left his mark on Melbourne’s public buildings.

Top: Sandy Bay Post Office Bottom: Gordon's own stunning MCM home in Beaumaris

A fashionable final addition…

Our final panellist is Martin Bade, son of renonwed fashion designer, Geoffrey Bade.

Geoff married in 1951 and opened his first clothing store in Bluff Rd Mentone, ‘Dawn Geoffreys’. In 1955, he purchased land in Lynette Ave Beaumaris where he & his wife Dawn lived for many years and raised their four children (Geoff was offered the whole of Lynette street for £200 but his father told him that Beaumaris wouldn’t ever be valuable, so he only purchased one block!)

Geoff started his trade in the 60’s, selling an armful of samples of shorty coats, then teaming up with Col Colman in a showroom at 167 Collins street opposite ‘Georges’. The business was called GEOFF BADE. They later moved to bigger premises in Flinders Lane, the heart of the rag trade.

Geoff’s ‘ready to wear’ range progressed to evening wear. And the company went from strength to strength. He retired in the mid 80’s and son Martin took over the company with a friend. They traded successfully until 2014. Geoff’s designs are prized vintage items and sell for a premium on ebay and other resale sites

Event Details

THU 9TH MAY 7.30pm -10.30pm

Beaumaris Bowling Club, Martin Street, Beaumaris

Tickets on sale now at Eventbrite – click here



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