Zena is one of a handful of people with a PhD that investigated the interface between colour and human response. In 2006, Zena established Design Research Associates and the Colour Collective Sydney in 2017 – see website.
A designer by training, Zena is an evidence-based colour consultant. She provides colour insight, colour validation and colour strategies for design, architecture, branding and advertising. In addition, Zena provides advice on the roles of colour and contrast to improve environmental visual literacy for aged care and healthcare facilities. Zena has worked on numerous projects including data visualisation, colour trend analysis, branding and logo design, product and packaging design, aged care design, and urban supergraphics.
Zena has published widely in peer-reviewed academic and trade journals. A frequent presenter at local and international conferences, Zena also holds a Master’s Degree in Design (UTS) and a Bachelor of Business, Major in Marketing (UTS).
Zena’s clients include Aevum Limited, Art Gallery of NSW, Arts Health Institute, Arvida Group (NZ), Auckland District Health Board, Auckland City Hospital, Bonds Coates Patons, Bupa (NZ), Dept. of Public Works, Hexham Textiles, ING Communities, Juvenile Justice NSW, Klein Architects (Auckland), Lifemark Design NZ, Macquarie University, Museum of Contemporary Art, National Textiles, New Zealand Health Design Council, Norna AI (Sweden), North Sydney Council, Porter Novelli, Powerhouse Museum, Resene Paints, SBS Television, Speedo Swimwear, Taylor fry, University of Sydney, University of NSW and numerous private clients.
Zena has published more than 30 peer-reviewed academic and trade articles. Plus, she has delivered numerous peer-reviewed conference papers, seminars and public talks. You can check out the full list here or at Academia.edu profile (currently listed in the top 5%) and Zena’s Amazon.com author page.
With an interest in sharing information, Zena has developed and delivered seven TEQSA-compliant university courses on colour theory and application, visual communications design, and design history and theory for the University of Sydney (Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning), University of NSW (Faculty of Art + Design formerly COFA) and the Sydney Design School.
In addition to being an individual member of the AIC (International Colour Association) since 2009, Zena is a member of the Design Institute of Australia (Member 13368), Foundation Member of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and was a long-term CAC member of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
In her free time, Zena is a content creator, cultivates her love affair with coffee, and dabbles in photography. She has a passion for social media and you can check out her Pinterest account plus Instagram accounts: @the.colour.collective @cinema.palettes and @colour.design.palettes
PhD – University of Sydney (Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning)
Master’s Degree in Design, University of Technology, Sydney
Bachelor of Business Degree (Major in Marketing), University of Technology, Sydney,
Graduate Diploma in Design, Sydney College of the Arts
Shillito Design School, Sydney
Zena O’Connor – Evidence-based colour consultant
McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay Sydney NSW 2010 Australia
Telephone: +61 400 690 004