Email – zena@zenaoconnor.com.au
Telephone – +61 400 690 004

One of a handful of people with a PhD that investigated the interface between colour and human response, Zena established Design Research Associates in 2006 and the Colour Collective Sydney in 2017 – see website.

A designer by training, Zena is an evidence-based independent research consultant. She provides insight, validation and colour strategies for design, the built environment, branding and advertising. In addition, Zena’s consultancy projects include strategies to improve environmental visual literacy for healthcare and aged care projects; colour interventions in the urban and built environment; AI and data visualization; branding, logo design, product and packaging design.

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), Deicke Richards Architects (Brisbane), Dept. of Public Works, Haugstad Møbel (Norway), 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, Oslo Planning Dept. (Norway), Powerhouse Museum, Resene Paints, SBS Television, Speedo Swimwear, Sydney Design School, Suncorp Bank, Taylor Fry, University of Sydney, University of NSW and numerous private clients.

​An Individual Member of the International Colour Association, Zena is a member of the AIC Environmental Colour Design Study Group; member of the AIC Art & Design Study Group; member (Emeritus), Environmental Design Research Association; member, Inter-Society Color Council (USA) and Design Institute of Australia​

In addition to 65+ peer-reviewed books, book chapters, academic articles and conference papers, Zena has also delivered numerous seminars and public talks. Zena won the Colour Maestro Prize (Resene, 2017) and three Research prizes (University of Sydney). You can check out Zena’s full list of publications here or at Academia.edu profile (currently listed in the top 5%).

Zena has developed and taught seven TEQSA-compliant university courses including:

  • University of Sydney (Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning) – Designing with Colour I and Designing with Colour II (2012-2017).
  • University of New South Wales (Faculty of Art + Design, formerly COFA) – Theories of Colour (2004-2015).

An individual member of the AIC (International Colour Association) since 2009, Zena is a member (Emeritus) of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), Inter-Society Color Council (USA), Design Institute of Australia, CAC member of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (2007-2017), and Foundation Member of the Art Gallery of New South Wales since 2001.

In her free time, Zena is a content creator, cultivates her love affair with music and coffee, and dabbles in photography. Zena’s social media includes Instagram accounts:  @the.colour.collective  @cinema.palettes  @colour.design.palettes @2120music and Pinterest

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.